Lesson 36: All of your failed relationships have on thing in common, you

Do not misinterpret my meaning.  This is not an attack against you.  I am not saying it is all your fault.  I am not pointing a finger at you and saying you are the one to blame.  All I am saying is that no matter what, you are the only one you have any control over and you are the only true constant in your relationships.  This isn’t about shame or guilt.  This is about self reflection.  It is about having an open mind.  You need to be able to take a step back and look at the situation objectively.  You can’t learn from the past if you can’t see the lessons to be learned.

Humility check.  It is OK to fail.  It is important to fail, necessary, even.  Failure gets such a bad stigma but no one gets everything right on the first try.  Failure is life’s greatest teacher.  Taking responsibility for your part is essential to learning and growing.  It is the one thing that you have any true control over.  A relationship is about the connection between you and whoever the relationship is with.  No matter what happened, you share in the successes, but you share in the failure(s) as well.  You can either look at it as a learning experience or ignore it and continue making the same mistakes.

Relationships fail for a multitude of reasons.  My personal contact with them may not be vast, but after talking with friends, family, and having encountered enough different stories to write a book of its own, I have learned that there is no way to learn to counter them all.  I have also learned that there will never exist a shortage of excuses for relationships to end.  Try not to get too caught up in trying.  The only thing that matters is how you conduct yourself in your relationships and what exactly it is you want from them.  Just because you don’t think you were the cause for the relationship ending, doesn’t mean there isn’t a lesson to be learned.

Life is so much simpler when you can take accountability.  Ask more questions.  Not just of others, but of yourself as well.  As you navigate your relationships with others, ask what it is you are looking for.  What are you expecting from a romantic partner?  What is OK for them to expect from you?  What are the lines you will draw for personal, ethical, moral, religious, etc… reasons?  Do you believe that your expectations are reasonable?  Do they?  Why?  I know that this all seems complicated, but relationships have hardly ever been simple.  You are trying to merge two lives into one.  If it seems simple, there is a chance you are missing something.

The most important thing is to never settle for less than what/who you believe you deserve.  The worst attitude you can have is to settle for being with someone for any other reason than they are the perfect person for you.  Take responsibility for your happiness and never settle because I promise you will never reach your full potential.  The relationship will suffer as a result of your surrender and it will never be what you dream of.  Learn from the past, take with you what you want and discard what you don’t.  These lessons are all tools to do with as you wish and you don’t have to keep them all.        

Take a big bite of humble pie.  Life is too short to keep playing the blame game.  Take what you liked from the relationship and move on.  Take notice of what you didn’t like from the relationship and adjust accordingly.  It is an ongoing, never-ending process.  There is always room for improvement and growth.  If you don’t believe that is the case, then that right there is your problem that you need to work on.  See Lesson 35 if you think you are some finished masterpiece that is a gift to the world.  Confidence is about continuous improvement and overcoming adversity.  Take ownership and keep pushing forward.

Takeaways:

  1. Learn from the past by taking accountability.
  2. It is OK to fail.
  3. Relationships fail for a multitude of reasons.
  4. Never settle for less than what you deserve.
  5. Keep the tools you want, discard the tools you don’t.

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