If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that you can grow through the things you go through. That’s definitely true when it comes to the end of a relationship.
The Power of a Failed Relationship
Have you discovered widening of goals? Or behaviors not aligned with your values?
If you are in a relationship that needs to end, I wouldn’t use the word failure to describe the dynamic. I most certainly would not say you are failing in any way. In this situation, you are doing the right thing to bring peace and clarity to your well-being and others around you.
For other relationships, where there isn’t a clear cut reason it may feel complicated and like a failure. With that said, here are a few powerful lessons you can learn as you go through the process.
Failed Relationships Show You What You Don’t Want
As your relationship comes to an end, it can be easy to hang on to all of the great memories and be in denial about the things that weren’t so good.
I encourage you to really dig deep and be honest with yourself about your relationship. What were the things that annoyed you? What do you wish your partner had done differently? What do you wish you had done differently? Make a list. Include all of the big things and all of the small things. Sure, some of the small things might turn out to be petty, but it’s good to identify all of the things you don’t want in a relationship. This will be a reminder, to not repeat those things in your next relationship.
Failed Relationships Allow You To Practice Vulnerability
Allow yourself to commit fully to vulnerability. It won’t feel good as it happens but trust it will be powerful. Be honest with your partner about what isn’t working. Take responsibility for the things you have done to contribute to the failure of the relationship. But don’t take responsibility for the things that are not within your control – vulnerability doesn’t have to mean being hard on yourself or assuming guilt that doesn’t belong to you.
Use this opportunity to have a discussion with one another about the things that could be handled differently. Tell the person how you’re feeling. Did you feel your partner didn’t respect or value you enough, care for you the way you want to be cared for? Sharing it now is the first step to being able to identify what you need in a healthy relationship. Be open to hearing what they tell you. While some of the feedback might be specific to them and have very little to do with you, you might learn something you can work on for a future relationship.
Not All Failed Relationships Were Meant To Last Forever
There is a reason why you don’t go out and get married on every first date you have (or every second date, either). Some relationships are great for a season but were never going to last forever. That’s okay. Allow yourself to acknowledge that “opportunity” in failed relationships.
Instead of mourning what could have been, take a moment to celebrate the good things that came from your time together. Those six weeks might not have led to a wedding ring, but maybe you found out you actually love hiking, or you made a new friend, or rekindled your love for cooking.
Failed Relationships Help Make You Who You Are
Wow, powerful! Just like your other life experiences, every failed relationship can teach you something and inform who you are as you move forward. As you become a stronger, and a self-aware person, you will also be a better partner to the person who you will eventually spend the rest of your life with. More importantly, you can also be a better, happier, more spiritual person for yourself.
If you are in a relationship that is failing, I encourage you to be honest and vulnerable with your partner. It’s possible you can turn things around. If it isn’t a situation that can’t be fixed, give yourself a lot of grace and an opportunity to create space for peace. Then, take the time to identify what you really want in your next relationship.