I’d like to describe some of our failed relationships like this:
We meet someone.
We see red flags.
We ignore the red flags because we see the good or potential in them.
We begin to try hard to get them to see this potential for themselves.
We show how supportive we are to them but they still won’t see it.
They begin to show more signs of how much of a selfish person they are, but by now we are attached.
We still see the good and imagine how things should be. Instead of moving on, we push to get what we want.
By now, we have stopped dating this person and have started dating our imagination (what we wish it could be, what we wish it could turn into, how we know that if this person tweaked a few things, the relationship would be perfect).
Time progresses and things get worse.
We either get left or we are forced to leave for our own self-dignity and sanity.
I have experienced this a few times in my life, but on my path to self-awareness, I caught onto the pattern. I was forced to leave.
Yours might be different, but I’ve met enough men and women to notice that their pattern is similar to the one described above.
The reality is that a lot of us are out here trying to be saviors to people who can’t save themselves. The truth is that it’s not always them, it’s us. We will not accept blame for what we did in these situations. We choose to be hurt.
We want to blame the person who broke our heart to justify our current mindset and mood. We want to be pressed about how things ended. We choose to stand firm in making everyone else pay for our mistakes. Yes, our mistakes in our own failed relationships.
This blog post is not for the blindly deceived and broken-hearted. It is for the person who keeps making the same mistake in different relationships, with different strategies that lead to the same end result: heartbreak.
There are a few things you should have learned by now. They are the most important things to pay attention to in your self-growth journey. If you keep meeting the same types of personalities or ending up in the same relationship structures, that means you keep failing the same tests.
By now you should’ve learned:
1. How to fall back in love with YOU after you lost yourself in a past relationship
People who are givers are often the ones trying to make it throughout their day on fumes. They attract a lot of takers because they are so free in their giving. Oftentimes they don’t know when to stop giving. They give so much that they run on empty trying to keep up with what they’ve started.
The problem is, not enough people are pouring back into them.
If this lesson has your name on it, and you are close to exhausting all of your resources, you must learn to say NO and move in peace for survival’s sake. This happens in relationships often. Never get to a point of giving that it strains your lifeline. Be strong enough to say when enough is enough.
Then pour the love you give to others back into yourself. Take yourself out. Glam yourself up. Save your time and energy by giving them out on a strict budget. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks that make you think and feel better. Stay off the internet if it makes you sadder.
While you are learning to love yourself again while healing, you can’t continue to stay around the same people who got you sick. Pour back into YOU and love from a distance.
2. To run when you notice red flags
People always show you who they are in the beginning. Pay attention to their habits, especially the ones you don’t like. Decide whether or not you can put up with them long-term and go with your gut early. We ignore and give way too many passes in the beginning because we are excited about meeting and liking someone new.
However, our history with exes teaches us that we stay too long or don’t speak up soon enough.
If you’re still struggling with this lesson, learn to trust your gut more often. Let’s learn to put our needs before our wants. It’s hard, especially when someone piques your interest, but our inner voice never lies to us. Most of us can admit that we knew better. So, let’s do better.
3. Appreciate the people who show up
“We are all chasing someone” is a phrase that I used to hate. I think I took this too literal because I thought, “I don’t chase people”.
This statement represents someone physically present who’s interested in us and also a person we think we’d like to date (physically or who we imagine). These two people aren’t always the same. We can be on either side of the spectrum. If you look at it this way, the statement still applies.
With that being said, we should start evaluating who we are entertaining and who’s entertaining us. We should show more love to the people who genuinely show up for us and spend less energy on those who don’t. Sometimes showing love means releasing the people we don’t want to be with romantically so they can find people who can equally show them love back.
4. To heal before you deal
If you can, allow yourself to ache from your pain. It sucks, yes. The upside about allowing yourself to feel this is to actually heal from it. Don’t dwell or feel bad for yourself. Acknowledge the pain so that you can take ownership of it and begin your healing process.
Other people should not have to pay for what you’ve experienced in the past. Not healing is the most damaging thing you could do to yourself and everyone around you. Suppressing your emotions with partying, alcohol, sex, or drugs won’t make them go away. You can control how you react to the past and choose how to live in it in a healthier way. (Easier said than done, I know!)
“If you don’t heal, you’ll bleed on people who didn’t cut you.” -unknown
5. When to throw in the towel
You have to learn the difference between loyalty to them and loyalty to you. Someone can love you or hate you and still be loyal to you. You can do the same for them. You can love someone so much that you release them because of your loyalty to yourself.
Better a small gash now than a bigger and deeper cut later. Save yourself from repeating the same nonsense with a different person.
Pain is your greatest teacher. With that being said, learn from yours. Stop making the same mistakes and hold yourself to a higher standard. Accountability is imperative to growth. Be accountable for the decisions you make and do better. Remember to heal before you deal and that your own love will heal you.