It’s easy to feel discouraged about love after a jarring divorce process or multiple breakups that may follow it. To counter this defeated and defeating attitude, it’s helpful to treat romantic disappointments as an opportunity to learn both more about yourself and exactly what you want out of future relationships. The marriage that seemingly couldn’t be salvaged, that date that went downhill fast, the relationship that felt like a constant uphill battle; all of these experiences offer mere faulty glimpses instead the whole picture of the kind of marriage that would be right for you.
Lessons for the Dating Ages
There are both philosophical changes in perspective as well as specific do’s and don’ts that can raise the likelihood of you eventually finding the right love. This Huffington Post piece highlights some major lessons to take home and simmer on after leaving a failed romantic union. They are all stellar, but I took the blog-writer liberty of tweaking and rearranging them according to my order of importance:
Find Your Own Happiness First: It’s quite common in our culture of romantic idealism to go overboard by thinking that your significant other will be the one to fulfill your every need and be the source of your life’s every happiness. Chasing the intangible idea of happiness as a goal within itself, especially when it’s dependent upon another person, is dangerous, shaky ground. Sometimes it takes a lot of tumultuous relationships to learn this, so let’s do ourselves a favor and know it beforehand. Find out what fulfills you personally in life, independent upon others’ treatment of you.
No One Can Save You but Yourself: On a related note, if you have unresolved personal issues, such as low confidence or unfulfilled life goals, it’s a fallacy to think that your significant other will rescue you from these problems. You determine what kind of life you live and what you want and can accomplish. Your spouse or partner is not a knight (or knightress?) in shining armor who will shield you from the realities of your life and yourself.
You are Not To Blame: On the other hand, be careful about going too far regarding the previous philosophies by blaming yourself for a relationship’s failure. Trial and error doesn’t mean that you (or the other person) were wrong or did something wrong. Breaking-up and divorce means that two rights made a wrong, meaning the combination of your characters, personalities, and/or values was a faulty one. Leave it at that and let it go, or you run the risk of tearing yourself and your confidence down for no reason.
Red Flags of a Mismatch: It’s important as you go through different relationships, to recognize those points when it’s obvious the combination is faulty. Sometimes it’s intuitive, as in you can’t quite put your finger on what the issue is, but something feels wrong. Always trust those kinds of feelings. Yet, trust the more obvious red flags of things like verbal abuse, narcissism, or drastically different love languages.
Hope after Hopeless Relationships
A link running through all of the above important lessons is to remain positive in the face of hard learning experiences and thereby move forward. There will of course be a period of grief after even after the easiest breakup or quick no fault divorce. The real test that brings the greatest rewards is not giving up, but instead moving on with confidence, regardless of heartache, and finally finding the love that’s right.