WHETHER you are a teenager who lost your first love or a recent divorcée who watched several years of marriage slip through your grip, your journey through the often dark break-up period can be quite difficult. Fortunately, while at face value the break-up experience may feel like a long, unending abyss, it also provides a moment in which you can grow and the lessons to be learnt are enlightening.
So if you are going through a break-up and are not quite sure what positives you could actually garner from the experience, relationship counsellor Wayne Powell has shared 10 lessons that you are likely to learn only after getting your heart broken.
1. You should not ignore the red flags before you concretise the relationship
They say love is blind and the truth is that it is just that. You knew about the person's faults, you saw the red flags, but you chose to ignore them in the name of love — and because you were so desperate to believe the person would change. So you don't need to blame yourself for ignoring the signs, but you must learn not to make a similar mistake in future.
2. Not all that glitters is gold
Sometimes if it looks like it is too good to be true then it usually is. The problem is, not many of us take the time to fully explore whether or not this is true because we immediately fall head over heels with our “catch”. So in future, take all the time you need to learn about the individual and what he/she presents; after all, a person can only wear a mask for so long.
3. It is not worth it to choose a partner just because you are desperate for companionship
Sometimes loneliness can drive us to scary places and one of those unfortunate places is in the arms of desperation. A desire for a companion will make you choose someone at random simply because it will mean that you have a partner. Unfortunately, the painful lessons are more than likely going to come, whether it is from your own self-actualisation or all the undesirable things you will notice in your partner. Also, you will learn to appreciate that you can be genuinely happy on your own.
4. Being the 'side chick' can be a lonely experience
Being the “side chick” in a relationship may seem like fun to some women initially — you have no responsibilities and you will seem to get the good treatment, from dinners, movies, vacations and top-class events, bills paid and getting attention and affection. However, as much as this initially may seem great, you will eventually realise how lonely you are because there are some levels that your partner is not likely to reach with you emotionally. And this will result in loneliness.
5. You need to place more value on yourself and always say 'I deserve better'
Many times we find ourselves placing our partners at the centre of your lives, doing everything to please them. You automatically make yourself a subordinate and sometimes the break-up is a wake-up call that you need to recognise your worth and know when to demand more because you deserve better.
6. It's never a good idea to get involved with someone without knowing if they are eligible
Sometimes you will make a decision to become involved not because you know that the person is eligible, but because they're available. You are likely to recognise that choosing a partner using this criterion alone will often spell doom because many times your dreams, visions and aspirations are not in sync.
7. It is never a good idea to get into a rebound relationship
Sadly, many of the people exiting a relationship are so desperate for love that they move straight into another relationship without giving themselves adequate time to heal, and in many cases time to know the person they are getting involved with. If you don't take the time to heal you can hurt both you and the new partner and you may find yourself ending another failed relationship because your plans were not thought out.
8. Once an abuser, always an abuser
Many people who are victims of abuse tend to want to wait it out to see if the partner will change. However, often after years when things don't work out, they will wonder why they allowed themselves to be subjected to abuse. Many times, it's the heartbreak more than anything that triggers these thoughts.
9. Sometimes it's best to listen to the advice of your family or friends
When you are “madly” in love there are things that you will fail to see because you are so obsessed with or believe in your partner. You are logic-deprived and sometimes you decide against listening to family and friends because you feel they want to steal your happiness. A voice at the back of your mind may be agreeing with them, but you are too delusional to admit it and so it sometimes takes a break-up for you to realise this.
10. It's a good idea to use your head and not your heart, even in affairs of the heart
Naturally in affairs of the heart if you allow your emotions to dictate your next move, it is likely that you will end up choosing “love”. You will eventually learn that if you are looking for a rational decision then there is no way that you can look anywhere but to the sober mind.