We’ve all had our share of failed relationships, whether it is with a now ex-spouse or ex-partner. Once it’s all said and done, we move back into the dating field, often still carrying our baggage from our last heartbreak.
Like Personal Growth on Facebook
As awful as going through the end of a failed relationship and its aftermath can be, you can learn from it and use this knowledge to help out your dating life in the future. Check out the following ways your past relationships can make you all the wiser in your next one.
1. You’ll Stop Taking Everything At Face Value
Taking something or someone at face value is fine on occasion; after all, you shouldn’t live your life operating under a cloud of suspicion. You’ll just end up exhausted and a little paranoid that way.
On the flip side, you shouldn’t trust everyone automatically either, and doing so has probably gotten you into trouble in relationships in the past. Carry this rule into your next relationship: if something seems wrong or “off” with the person you’ve begun dating, do a little investigating.
Learn to trust your gut instinct when it comes to something like this, because if you think something is amiss, it probably is. Finding out what that is now can save you wasted time and heartbreak further in.
2. You Won’t Accept Being A Secret
If someone really wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you, no matter how busy or frantic either of your lives get. Maybe you’ve been lucky, but chances are you’ve been in a relationship where you weren’t a priority but more like an afterthought, and that’s not how it should be.
If you’re not included in family reunions, weddings, and work-place events and feel more like a secret than a partner, you’re being shortchanged and will continue to be if you stay in the relationship. Promise yourself that you won’t be a secret or at the bottom of any future partner’s consideration list.
3. You’ll Recognize The Early Signs Of A Controlling Partner
As with being a secret, you may not have gotten the end of the controlling stick yet, but if you have, it’s definitely an experience to learn from. A controlling person is generally selfish and will want you all to himself or herself. While the latter may sound romantic, it’s actually because they see you as an object to be owned rather than a person.
Being in a relationship with a controlling person is unhealthy, and this trait is also a red flag, as controlling people sometimes also turn out to be abusive. Use your past experiences with controlling exes to help you see the signs before you end up deeper into the relationship.
4. You Won’t Settle For No Support
Ever had a partner who couldn’t be less interested in your dreams and hopes for your future? They’d tune out whenever you tried to talk about some venture or achievement you were excited about. You would be involved in an event and they would never support you in any way.
You probably remember how crushed you felt by that. A real partner would be more supportive and encouraging of whatever it was you were trying to do, so you were entirely right to feel that way.
Whether you want to be a writer, dancer or make origami frogs, your partner should support your goals. While they don’t have to turn cartwheels every time you achieve something, the right partner for you will support you whenever it’s possible to do so, in both the big and little things in your life. Be aware of how the person you’re dating reacts to your dreams and goals, and don’t shortchange yourself in the support department by sticking with someone who isn’t supportive of your visions for your future.
5. You’ll Figure Out Your Stance On Age Differences
Age differences are a bit of a hot-button topic. For some people, they’re not a problem at all. For others, they can be a direct root cause for relationship troubles. Dating someone younger or older can pose problems because you’re coming from two different generations and may not share the same views or values. Life goals may also be incompatible.
A younger person, for instance, may want children when you’re past that point, and an older person may not want children when you do. For a relationship to work, both of you need to be on the same page when it comes to big issues like children. Naturally, these topics are often sticking points in relationships with age differences.
Openly talking about life goals is generally a must for any successful relationship, but be mindful that a partner who is younger or older than you may not be entirely truthful about what they want. This is not necessarily done out of spite, as they may fear incompatible goals will end your relationship, but it still can cause some major issues.
If you’ve already dated someone who is younger or older than you by more than just a few years, think about what led to the end of the relationship. If age-related issues played a starring role, you should be able to identify those pitfalls before you try another relationship in which the age difference is significant.
6. You Won’t Be Easily Manipulated
One common mistake you may have made in the past is telling a new person you’re dating all of the things you look for in the ideal partner and what horror stories you have from past relationships. The wrong person may use this information to present themselves as someone they are not – your “dream” partner. Generally speaking, you want your new partner to get to know you in a genuine way, rather than them using information you gave them to manipulate you.
Take the time to get to know the person you’re newly dating before trading information about personal experiences in the romance department and what an ideal mate means to you. By getting to know the person as they are, and letting them get to know you as you are, there is less chance of deception on either side.
Overall, don’t let yourself be dragged down by your past failed relationships. There’s no reason to think every relationship you have won’t work out because past ones didn’t. Chances are you just haven’t found the right person yet. It’s not easy to be patient, but it’s definitely worth it when it comes to finding your true partner in life.
If you let yourself learn from your failures rather than dwell on them, you’ll be better positioned to find your ideal partner, and you’ll waste less time on the partners who just don’t work for you. Stay positive and good things will come to you in the end.