Thought Catalog
June 2, 2017

There Are No Mistakes In Love

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Maybe you fell into the wrong person, wrong relationship, wrong time, wrong place. Maybe you gave everything to a connection you thought was real and permanent and you ended up alone. Maybe you trusted, shared your life, made a promise for better or worse to stand beside someone and they failed you. Maybe somewhere down the road you realized you weren’t ready for a relationship, couldn’t be the person you needed to be for someone else. Maybe you stood powerlessly as someone broke your heart into a million pieces. Maybe you’re just ready to give up on love altogether.

Wherever you are, I want you to know something—there are no mistakes in love.

The person you fell for, the one who disappointed, who cheated, who lied, who left? That person was placed into your life intentionally, for both a blessing and lesson to your future self. If you hadn’t met that person, hadn’t loved them, hadn’t trusted them, you wouldn’t have known the pain of brokenness. You wouldn’t have experienced the loss of love. You wouldn’t be as strong as you are right now.

The connection that failed over time? Without it, you wouldn’t recognize lasting love when it finally comes to you. You wouldn’t be able to see the difference between affection and commitment. You wouldn’t know who you are and what you deserve.

The promises that were broken? These taught you to be careful, to give your heart to someone who is genuine and will be there when push comes to shove.

The love you lost because you weren’t ready, because you couldn’t commit? This showed you what you needed, who you could be when the time was right, and how you have the power to hurt those around you, so you must always proceed with caution.

The broken heart you’ve learned to re-heal in time? The pain showed you your resilience, your strength, your capacity to forgive and open again. Without your broken heart, you would be naïve and foolish. Without your broken heart, you wouldn’t know the beauty of real love when it finally stumbles across your path.

There are no mistakes in love, only moments where you learn, grow, and rebuild.

Every break in your path teaches you something, shows you what love can be, shows you what you deserve, shows you that you must not settle for less when it comes to matters of the heart.

So often we think our failed relationships mean we’ve wasted our time. We believe that since we were with the wrong person or in the wrong relationship, we’ve made such a terrible mistake.

But there are no mistakes.

You let someone in. You loved. You gave your heart. You were happy, for a period of time. And that’s not a mistake, no matter the outcome.

You cannot live your life in regret, wishing you could go back and press the ‘rewind’ button, wishing you could start over and unlove some people. Every kiss, every date, every relationship you were in had a purpose, even if it became nothing in the end.

You grew into a new person, you strengthened your heart, you cared for someone outside of yourself—and that’s beautiful, despite the outcome.

There are no mistakes. Just connections that failed, just people who weren’t right for you, just relationships that didn’t work out. But this is no reason to feel defeated.

You opened yourself, you let someone in, you were vulnerable. And this is one of the most powerful and incredible things you can do.

Don’t regret the way you loved.

Don’t look back and wish you could change parts of your past or erase time. Because time wasn’t lost, is never lost in loving.

Every moment you open yourself, every moment you decide to be real and fragile and emotional with someone is a gain. You gain knowledge, strength, kindness, passion, heart, and a sense of self.

And that can never, ever be a mistake. TC mark


Marisa Donnelly is a poet and author of the book, Somewhere on a Highway, available here.

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