We all have been in relationships that we’d prefer to forget ever happened. Whether they were bad from the get-go or ended poorly, there are some things we’d prefer to leave in the past. However, we also have much to learn from these relationships, even if the memories are painful.
We often regret our choices in partners, whether it was just a hook up or a long-term relationship. These so-called mistakes are what we need to pay attention to so that we don’t continue down the same path of making poor relationship choices.
Here are four ways to learn from your past relationships so that you can be ready for when the right person comes along.
You know what qualities you don’t want in a partner.
Perhaps your past relationships have been filled with jealousy, anger, miscommunication, and mistrust. Moving forward, try making a list of qualities you do what your potential partner to have. These qualities will stick in your brain, but you also actually have to start dating people with those qualities, too!
- Past relationships can allow you to understand your own motivations, actions, and choices. You might have felt stuck in a past relationship, only to feel as though a weight has been lifted once that person is out of your life. We change based on who we date and what they need; sometimes we lose sight of who we are and what we really want. Work on how and why you change in relationships and what your motivations are for doing so.
- Past relationships can show you when to walk away. Sometimes we feel as though something isn’t right in our relationship, but we aren’t convinced enough to leave. We can have a sinking feeling in our gut that the relationship is over, and yet drag things on for months or even years. Start listening to your instincts and start to pay attention to when you should be leaving a harmful relationship. Don’t waste your time on the wrong people!
- Move past the honeymoon stages into the real relationship. Some people are only comfortable being in relationships during the honeymoon stage, when attraction is high and you’re excited to learn everything about this new person. However, once that period ends and things start to settle down, people can get bored and feel stuck. This is the point in a relationship where you need to learn how to love your partner, even if you aren’t always attracted to them. This is a normal stage in a relationship, and it passes. This period of time is a good learning opportunity for knowing if this partner is meant to last.
Love is complicated, and it can be hurtful. You should always seek to learn from your past relationships so that you can move forward in health, happiness, and love.