We often hear about “failed relationships”. But do relationships actually fail? Perhaps the better way to question yourself is do you regret having a relationship? Am I better off for having had it?
Every relationship has its ups and downs, of course, but do you think you are a better person for having had this one? Certainly, some relationships can be legitimately written off as “mistakes,” but even relationships that were negative on the whole aren’t necessarily “complete” failures. As we do with all mistakes, we can and should learn from even the worst relationships—perhaps especially the worst ones!
People feel flawed, unlovable and that there is no hope for future success for them in relationships. Long terms relationships and especially a marriage, can feel like an insurmountable failure, as you have invested so much of yourself, your time and your identity into this relationship and being part of a couple. What we actually need to understand is that failure of a relationship doesn’t make us a failure. No one is perfect and hopefully, no one is claiming to be. However, if you genuinely tried to make the relationship work and things still did not work out, you should give yourself credit for your efforts instead of focusing on inevitable outcomes. The truth is no matter what we do, sometimes relationships are just not meant to work out, or the issues have become too great to overcome. But you have to remember that every person has unique needs and desires, and things about you that did not satisfy one person may be welcomed by another. If one person thinks you talked too little (or too much) the next person may love that about you. If one person thought you were not affectionate enough (or too affectionate), the next person may value that about you. It all comes down to being yourself and finding someone who likes you for who you are. To feel that you failed the other person just because you weren’t everything he or she wanted you to be is to imply that his or her preferences were more important than who you are. You deserve someone who appreciates the real you, and you shouldn’t feel like a failure if your partner wasn’t that person.
The lessons revolve around identifying many things more clearly, which will allow you to be more successful in your future relationships. A relationship not working out allows us the opportunity to reevaluate what we do and do not want in a relationship. How we have grown and changed, and therefore so have our needs. What is most important to us, and what does not really matter? Often, and especially after a long relationship, we will discover that what we thought we once wanted, has changed a great deal over the years. To find our more ideal match, and to have greater success, we need to adjust what we are looking for and our knowledge of what we have learned is most important to us.
So don’t take failed relationships to heart—learn from them, certainly, but don’t beat yourself up over it or write yourself off as a failure. The same things that disappointed one person will thrill another, and the only way you’ll fail is by not trying again.