Lessons Learned from My Past Relationships

A woman sitting by the water reflecting on her life.
"A breakup is not the end of the world."

I used to think that my breakups were the worst experiences in life that I could ever imagine. This went on for years until about five years ago when I decided to shift my mindset about how I viewed breakups. Yes, breakups are sometimes horrific and heartbreaking, but it’s not the end of the world, trust me. Once you look at the overall relationship after a breakup, I’m sure that you can point out some very key lessons that you learned and that’s exactly what I do.

For starters, I’ve learned from previous relationships to not force anything that is no longer worth it or healthy for me. I used to work overtime trying to stay in relationships that I knew were toxic or just wasn’t meant to last. I’ve begged men to stay in a relationship with me, let’s say after they cheated on me…..crazy right? RIGHT! The more this happened, I became physically sick to my stomach and decided to practice the best self-care that I knew how: LOVE MYSELF FIRST.

A woman looking out into a body of water.
"Expectations are great but they can lead you down a lonely road."

How you allow people to treat you from the start of a relationship or at the first incident dictates how they will continue to treat you. Instead of setting boundaries in the beginning, I would allow things to be swept under the rug and of course, things festered into a gigantic snowball by the end of the relationship. So I’ve learned to use the “See something, say something” mantra in my relationships. If I see that something isn’t right or makes me feel uncomfortable, I address it as soon as possible. When you overlook things that your partner does to hurt, harm or disrespect you, it doesn’t change for the better, it gets worse.

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I stop expecting more from my partners when it was clearly shown that they didn't have the capability to or want to. I learned to watch their actions closely verse what their mouth said to me. Expectations are great but they can lead you down a lonely road. I don’t have any grand expectations for any partner that I first meet. I see the person for who they are and let them change or seek change in their own time. You can want all great things for a person or partner, but it won’t happen unless they want it for themselves. Really watch your partner’s actions verse what they are saying to you. I’ve learned that a person that I’m in a relationship with, will tell me what I want to hear just to move on from the topic of discussion.

Learn from my mistakes and eventually your own relational experiences that ended. Don’t take it all as a lost, ask yourself, what were the lessons learned in that relationship? You can go through a breakup and feel triumphant once you realize the lessons learned and apply them moving forward.