Tuesday, August 5, 2014

What Did You Learn about Yourself from Your Last Relationship? Part II

I've discussed this before and will probably discuss it again.

Relationship are a great source of affection and companionship.  Relationships help us to experience the depths and heights of love.

At their best, relationships can create a profound sense of belonging in the world and feelings of connection that transcend the here and now.

At their worst, relationships help prepare us for our next relationship -- especially if we are reflective and able to assess our contribution to every stage of the relationship.  After all, we were a co-participant.

You don't need to break up to learn about yourself -- but the break-up lessons are vital and unique.  A break-up is painful and you want to avoid the pain next time you venture into a love relationship.  Often, though, we paddle headlong into the next cohabitation collaboration without pausing to reflect.  We follow our heated heart and hope for the best.

Here's some things I learned about myself from past relationships:

Lesson:  An emptiness caused by a lack of direction in my own life will not be filled by a relationship.

Resulting Action:  Find out what I want to do and do it.

Lesson:  A trip across the continent to get away from an unsatisfying relationship will not necessarily protect you from the next unsatisfying relationship.
Realization:  You don't have to leave town.

Lesson:  I can be a magnet for psychopaths because I tend to overlook bad behaviour.

Resulting Action:  Don't trust my own judgement.  Screen for psychopathology.  Ask my 50 closest friends about a potential romantic partner.

I also learned that I'd rather be alone than be in an unequal or unsatisfying relationship. That was probably the best lesson.  I had to learn to live without someone reflecting back my value.  If I needed someone's love to feel worthy, then my value disappears when the relationship ends.

What did you learn?  About yourself?  From your last relationship?

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