I know it’s cliché at this point, but failure is an opportunity to learn and grow.
Easier said than done sometimes, especially when you’re going through a fresh breakup.
Because when a relationship ends, not only do you grieve the companionship and the life you had with that person, you also grieve all the possible futures you had with them that have now been cut off.
But with time, you’ll get to a place where you can reflect more deeply on what’s occurred.
In my work as a dating and relationship life coach in Toronto, I’ve found there are few experiences in life as full of opportunities for growth than our past relationships.
That’s true both with romantic relationships and with friends and family.
As painful as it is to see a relationship end – even if you know deep down that it’s what’s best for you – you can use it as a springboard for growth.
Let’s take a look at how.
You Have To Love Your Partner For Who They Are
Sometimes when we fall in love with somebody, what we’re actually doing is falling in love with the idealized version of that person that we have in our mind.
When you react to a partner who steps outside of what you expect this idealized person to be, it can be one cause for why you keep fighting with your partner.
These expectations are completely unfair, because often your partner isn’t even privy to them – they’re just a fantasy in your own mind.
Each of us has things we need to get from a relationship, and in the perfect relationship, you’d get all those needs met all the time and so would your partner.
But of course, no relationship is perfect.
Remember what your partner is and isn’t capable of giving you, and understand that loving them regardless of their imperfections is the only way to create a lasting relationship.
You Can’t Change Your Partner
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. People know themselves much better than you do. That’s why it’s important to stop expecting them to be something other than who they are” – Maya Angelou
Similar to what’s above, don’t expect your partner to be somebody different than who they show you they are.
Strong relationships are relationships where both parties feel the room to grow, but you can’t force somebody to do so.
If your partner has a short temper, or abandonment issues, or a fear of intimacy, that’s going to be a factor in their life – and the life of anybody they’re in a relationship with.
That doesn’t mean people can’t work on themselves and improve – they absolutely can.
But you can’t force them to.
Think of the times in your life when you’ve managed to pursue a great transformation.
Did you do those things because somebody told you to?
Maybe, but in most cases people change because they’ve made a conscious decision to themselves.
If your partner doesn’t want to change, there’s nothing you can do to make them change.
So when going into a new relationship, learn to pay close attention to the traits you disliked in your past relationships.
And remember that your options are to forgive your partner for these traits and love them not only in spite of them, but because of them, or to move on.
The Honeymoon Phase Will End
You know what it’s like.
It’s the first few months of a relationship.
You’re really connecting with this new person.
You’re getting to know each other better, and you like what you see.
The sex is great.
You’ve met some of their friends, and you all get along.
There’s a whole lot of excitement happening.
You stare at them, gaga over this person, amazed that you’ve landed such a catch.
This will last for maybe a year, maybe a bit more.
But usually, this honeymoon phase comes to an end.
When we first begin, we focus on the best in our partner, and we show up as our best self.
So do they.
But as times goes by, we start seeing more and more imperfections and weaknesses in our partner.
We all have imperfections and weaknesses, be they physical or mental, and sooner or later both yours and your partner’s will be revealed.
Enjoy the honeymoon period – it truly is magical.
Remember this feeling and focus on carrying it on for as long as you are in this relationship.
But be mindful of your partner’s imperfections as well.
And be realistic about how those imperfections affect you.
The things you find cute and quirky right now might be a source of significant conflict a couple of years down the road.
Remember The Platinum Rule
Have you heard of The Golden Rule?
Just about every major religion has it in one form or another.
It’s the idea of treating others the way you want to be treated.
And it sounds nice, doesn’t it?
If you want to be treated with kindness, treat others with kindness.
And yes, it’s a great place to start.
But there’s a problem with The Golden Rule.
When you treat people the way you want to be treated, you’re necessarily treating them through the lens of your own experience.
Everybody has their own experiences, traumas, privileges, and blind spots, so what feels good for you might not feel the same way to others.
If your partner is a different ethnicity than you, this might look like different cultural expectations for respect and courtesy than what you’re used to.
If your partner has abandonment issues and you need space after an argument, your giving them space might trigger those feelings of abandonment.
Consider where your approach with past partners might have run afoul of this, regardless of your intentions.
And next time, communicate openly and honestly with your partner, and commit to understanding what they need from you.
Book Your Appointment With Evelina Hovich Today
Breakups can be messy.
There’s nothing that can tear you down quite like a particularly nasty one.
But breakups are also an opportunity for self healing, self improvement, and massive growth.
If you’re processing the end of a relationship, or you’re just starting to wade back into the dating world, it can feel vulnerable and overwhelming.
I’m Evelina Hovich, a Toronto life coach, and I can help.
Book your appointment with me, Evelina Hovich, today, and let’s start manifesting the partner and relationship of your dreams.