Learning from past relationships to focus on better outcomes

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Alyza LeBlanc

Have you ever met a special someone and were convinced this person was "the one". Perhaps you just clicked and everything just fell into place without having to work at it. This person checked all your boxes and you could envision spending the rest of your days together. I was recently talking to a girlfriend about relationships and trying to key in on what was the secret sauce that initiated this feeling.

What happens when you meet the seemingly perfect mate but the relationship doesn't last? Is it a sign they were not the perfect mate after all? Are your chances for an ideal relationship now a pile of ashes from the once fire? Is there even such a thing as a "perfect mate"?

Certainly we all have a specific tastes; features, personalities, and characteristics that are appealing and seem suit us well. This may narrow the field of prospects but in my mind does not mean there is one and only one determined for you and all others are doomed to fail.

In fact, with evaluation and self awareness, from each relationship we have the ability to learn and grow. While you may have met someone who appeared to have all the right traits, perhaps the timing was bad, or they crossed your path not to be your life partner but to help you to identify a behavior you exhibit in relationships that is detrimental. Addressing these behaviors will serve you when you do find the person you want to life with.

There may be a characteristic in your partner that you realize while attractive is not a good match. Sometimes we find a difference between what we think we want and what we actually need in a companion. Taking time between relationships to breathe, reflect and regroup can allow you to make different choices, rather than repeating mistakes by jumping into the next the best thing.

I have learned much about myself during this pause. I have recognized and dealt with some of the sabotaging I unwittingly created. I am a big personality, who lives big, experiences big, loves big and feels big. I understand that is not for those who choose not to be in touch with or have the ability to express emotions. I embrace who I am and have a clear picture of how that relates to a partner who can love what I offer.

With these important life lessons, the odds can be defied and an authentic partnership blossom. When I see the mass majority of unions unhappy and broken, I don't want a warm body, I don't want just okay, I don't want to make excuses for what is not working. Genuine connection, passion and someone who I simply enjoy and accept who and what they are is critically important to me.

I appreciate and hold dear each relationship that has crossed my path, for I have given and received beautiful expressions of love, I have learned about myself, I have experienced deep and life changing friendship and I am grateful for how all of them have transformed me.

*This nonfiction piece is based on observation and research. I do not claim to be an expert in areas of public health, academia, mental health, or science, nor am I providing professional medical or legal advice. Opinions shared are expressly drawn from personal experience.

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