Today, I want to talk about life lessons that we can learn from failed relationships. I feel it is important to reflect on the lessons we can learn from those experiences, especially after having been through one myself.
What is the Definition of a “Failed” Relationship?
According to Professor Jim Davis from Psychology Today, he stated that a failed relationship is one that “leaves you feeling as if you’re worse off for having known that person”.
In his article, he talked about how many people tend to label relationships that ended as “failed” relationships. However, he finds it unhealthy to think of them that way.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: A Better Way to Look at “Failed” Relationships
2 Reasons Why We Face Failed Relationships
To begin with, I want to briefly talk about the top 2 reasons why we face failed relationships in the first place.
1. LACK OF COMMUNICATION
This one is a killer.
According to Huff Post, 100 mental health professionals found that communication problems were the most common reason why 65% of couples split up”.
Without healthy communication, a relationship is unlikely to be successful. Do not be afraid of addressing an issue with your partner. It is important to discuss problems openly and solve them together rather than keeping quiet just because you do not want to hurt their feelings.
2. LACK OF TRUST
This is another major killer in relationships. Without trust, what is the point of having a relationship?
If you are upset with your partner about a situation, talk it out. Always be sincere and allow your partner to clarify the situation in detail to you. It is very important to always think before you act.
This will create a stronger bond between you and your partner and prevent any unnecessary misunderstandings.
2 Life Lessons Learned From Failed Relationship
With the reasons behind our minds, I want to share with you 2 life lessons that I found were most important and helped me cope with the situation better back then.
1. DO NOT GIVE TO RECEIVE
Wanting to be loved is never wrong, but expecting the love to be given to you just because you showed the same is not going to work. Men and women are different. The way one expresses love might not be the same as the other.
According to Psychology Today, it stated that “People tend to give to one another the way they like to receive, but that is not giving”.
THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES
Now, how many of you have heard of The 5 Love Languages?
I believe in The 5 Love Languages and have used it many times to improve my relationships with people around me.
For those of you who have never heard of it before, the 5 Love Languages are:
1. Words of Affirmation
Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words “I love you” is important. Hearing the reasons behind the love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and not easily forgotten.
2. Acts of Service
Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely!
Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear are “Let me do that for you”. Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language that their feelings don’t matter.
3. Receiving Gifts
Don’t mistake this love language for materialism. The receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty and thoughtless gift would be disastrous, so would the absence of everyday gestures.
4. Quality Time
In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says “I love you” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there – with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on stand by – makes your partner feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially harmful.
5. Physical Touch
This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary love language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder or face can be ways to show excitement, concern, care and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect and abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.
THE 5 LOVE LANGUAGES – CONCLUSION
Use them to understand, find out and show your partner’s love language, while still expressing yours so that they know what your love language is. By showing your partner’s love language, they are more likely to express your love language back to you, and that will strengthen your relationship with one another.
2. YOU CAN ONLY CHANGE YOURSELF, NOT YOUR PARTNER
The difference between couples that stay together and the ones who split up is the way they handle conflict.
Dr. John Gottman, a psychological researcher and clinician from The Gottman Institute, stated that “the masters of relationships take responsibility for their role in the issue and change their behavior.”
Instead of trying to change your partner, be the change you wish to see in your relationship.
Dr. Gottman also stated that “When you focus on changing your partner, you miss the opportunity to work together to come up with a solution. You are no longer on the same team.”
Therefore, when you face issues in your relationship, focus on it at hand and justly solve the issue so that both of your needs are met.
Most people look at failure – be it in love or business – as a negative thing. However, if people can turn their mindsets around and look at it from another perspective, all these failures are essential and are springboards to the success that we have today.
Have you been in a failed relationship before? What did you learn from it? Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear them!