Every time you replay a painful memory from your past relationship, you give it power and control over your life. We coddle the sadness we feel after having our heart broken and use it as love repelled, killing off the idea that real love exists.
Post break up is not always the appropriate time to give the, “you love and learn” speech, but at some point, it’s imperative to drag yourself out of the slump, disconnect from the hurt and devastation of your relationship ending and give attention to the healing.
Instead of rejecting love entirely, offer this as an alternative: self-reflect on your past relationships and uncover the lessons. Here are some valuable lessons that heartache can teach us:
How to recognize warning sign
Self-exploration demands a certain amount of honesty. You have to be willing to look at your choices and acknowledge the role you played in your own destruction. When I stopped being angry and resentful toward my exes, I was able to admit that I willingly walked down a leery road despite the many warning signs.
When your relationship ends, ask yourself a few questions. Did I see signs along the way that raised caution? Did I know better than to engage with this individual?
Tip: Let past experiences teach you to get in tune with your intuition. Be attentive to your gut instincts. If all the signs say, “proceed with caution” or “do not enter,” then obey!
The importance of knowing your worth
Relationships in the post honeymoon phase are bound to go bad if you had to lower your standards in order to be with that person in the first place. It only takes getting into a relationship with one person who was not on your level to realize how detrimental that can be to your progress.
Tip: A healthy relationship is capable of elevating both partners to unimaginable levels. There is a fine line between compromising and settling. As you prepare to open yourself up to love again, hold tight to your requirements and non-negotiables.
What you need to be successful in a relationship
Infidelity and abuse are deal breakers for me. My past relationships have taught me enough about myself to stand firm on what I will and will not accept. Heartache will connect you with the principles that are most important to you in a relationship. For some, humor and adventure are mandatory. For others, financial security and religious preference are of utmost importance.
Tip: Ask yourself what things were absent from your past relationship. What behaviors can’t you tolerate in a partner? Learn your turn-ons, your pet peeves, your communication style and the qualities you desire in your partner. The more you know about yourself the easier it will be to teach someone else how to love you.
How to love yourself
Nothing pressures you to fall in love with yourself like the ending of a relationship. Shift your focus from heartache and redirect that energy. Be attentive to your healing. Too often we look to outside people for emotional fulfillment.
How can you offer another person patience, kindness, forgiveness and peace when you are incapable of giving those things to yourself? Spend some time falling in love with yourself before jumping into another relationship. You want to make sure the next person who comes into your life is an enhancement and not an attempt to fill a void.
Tip: Self-care is a continuous process. Make your mental, emotional and spiritual maintenance a ritual. Making yourself a priority is essential for restoration after a heartbreak.
How to not fall victim to false love
Breakups can leave you vulnerable to individuals who prey on people who are emotionally weak. In a hurt state, it’s easy to open yourself up to anyone who can distract you from the pain you feel. If you don’t learn anything else from your heartache, learn to recognize what real love looks like. Protect your heart by being attentive to who you make yourself available to.
Tip: Be slow to move after a breakup. You need to make sure you are in a state to differentiate between what sounds good and what is real. Your mind can be blurry after a relationship ends. Wait until you can think clearly before attempting to connect with someone else. Don’t make yourself a target for false love.
Holding on to the past renders you helpless and leaves you emotionally paralyzed. Time heals and while you may never forget some experiences you’ve had, especially the one that hurt you, remember to never walk away from a situation without learning your lesson. Every love affair going bad is a chance to connect with ourselves on a deeper level. The more we know who we are, the more we can offer our life partner.
BMWK, what lessons have you learned in heartache?