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21 Lessons Learned In Relationship Break Ups

Updated on July 7, 2017

Those of us who have undergone breakup(s) have a story to tell. The story isn’t beautiful because of what lies behind it – the pain, the hurt. Nonetheless, we made it through – we recovered from the breakup. In itself it is a miracle to recover from a breakup because some have ended committing suicide while others ended in mentally-ill institutions. Breakup is a situation those who have experienced it don’t want to ever experience again, but somehow some of us experience for a second, third, fourth…

Despite the fact of dumping our partner or us being dumped by our partner, many times we jump into another relationship not having sat up to find out whether there are things we learned from the previous failed relationship(s). We never sit down to examine the reasons why the breakup happened and what lessons we learned. After the end of one relationship we jump to the next one finding ourselves in the same situation – breakup.

Some of us have undergone several breakups and we wonder why we usually end up on the wrong side of the relationships. Nonetheless, if we took time to scrutinize the relationship(s) and the subsequent breakup(s), then we would have learned invaluable lessons. The lessons would have helped us in our next relationship. You see, most of the breakups can be avoided.

Below are the lessons I have learned from my previous failed relationships with some resulting from research. Some of the lessons don’t result in the end of a relationship but they are points in case of which when we engage in a relationship we need to remember them. They matter a lot when in a relationship as they help remind us who we are in a relationship and turn out the best in us.

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First Lesson: Don’t Fall In Love Too Easily

By nature we are loving people – we want to love and to be loved. It is a normal thing. The problem is not in loving a person whom you have developed feelings for; the problem is falling in love too easily. While it is true love is blind as it does not know boundaries, it is as much as true romantic love does choose which person a person would like to fall in love with.

Before two people become lovers, they must be friends. Friends know each other more than lovers do. Friends will help each other because they care for each other more than lovers can. If you don’t know a lot about your friend when the relationship hits a rock it’ll fall into pieces.

Let your eyes not deceive you. Don’t look at the cover of a book and be satisfied with it because it’s appealing. Open the pages contained inside the covers to know more what the book is talking about.

Before you fall in love take good time to know your-to-be-lover. Falling in love too easily and cheaply is the greatest reason for relationship breakups. You fell in love easily believing your partner would be your future husband or wife. Times have changed so has love. Be careful with your heart. Take good care of it. Don’t fall for anyone too easily until you are sure he is the right person to fall in love with.

Second Lesson: Don’t Withhold Important Things

During the initial period of a relationship or before a relationship starts – the friendship stage – it’s important to inform your friend about some things concerning you. When you notice you’re developing feelings for each other, it is important to tell your friend important things about yourself.

If you don’t tell your friend, and later during the relationship he finds out; then breakup is inevitable. Of course, it doesn’t mean you need to tell him everything about yourself. No. If someone loves you then he’ll want to know more about you.

Let’s take an example. You are unable to bear a child for one reason or another. If he finds out, what do you think will be your partner’s reaction? End the relationship. If you tell him early on and he tells you he doesn’t want to be in the relationship with you because you can’t bear children, it is for your good. It signifies he doesn’t love you. You’ll be hurt but it won’t be painful as compared to when you’re strongly bounded emotionally.

Better be hurt early on than in the middle of the relationship when you’re strongly bounded to your partner. Early on, you’ll heal quickly. Later on, it will take time as you will not want to believe your partner dumped you because of ‘it’ for example, you don’t earn a lot of money.

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Third Lesson: Trust Issues

Quoting from the Holy Bible it states that you should put your trust in God not in man. Man will fail you but God will never. Never trust your partner more than you trust yourself. Again, don’t trust yourself too much.

It doesn’t mean you should trust your partner at less than ten percent. It means you shouldn’t trust your partner fully. It is true you love him but when it comes to the matters of heart, you shouldn’t give your partner the whole of your heart. You should reserve a part for yourself.

Even if a breakup will not happen, conflicts which will take place in the relationship will make you to lose your trust in him. Furthermore, you’ll be very hurt since you gave your partner the whole of your heart.

In the absence of trust there is no love. If you love your partner, you trust him. However, it doesn’t mean you need to trust him too much. He might fail you during the relationship. What will your thoughts be when he hurts you when you’re still in the relationship? Give him some doubts.

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Fourth Lesson: Don’t Put All Your Thoughts On Your Partner

The weakness we exhibit when in a relationship is transferring all of our thoughts to the one we love. Family members, friends are put aside as they don’t mean much, never mind they used to mean so much to you but now the story is different.

You should realize you have your individual life. No one can fulfill your destiny. You’re the one in control of the steering wheel. Your goals, what about them? Did they die once you fell in love? Does it mean your partner means a lot to you than everything and everyone? If it is the case, then you’re deceiving yourself.

When you put all your thoughts on your partner, you might forget to think about yourself. You will be living a life of pleasing your partner. A mistake, it is. Relationships require commitment, sacrifice of which is true but it doesn’t come at the expense of neglecting yourself. As much as he means a lot to you doesn’t mean you need to forget yourself.

Fifth Lesson: Address Sensitive Issues

During the friendship stage or early on in the relationship, you need to address sensitive issues or else they will have a tremendous effect in the relationship. Does he smoke and you don’t like it? Tell him. Does he drink and you’re not comfortable with it? Tell him. Does she appear domineering, let her know.

Don’t offer yourself false hope he will change once the relationship hits the road. Some regret at the prospect their partners have never changed and their behavior/attitude is affecting the relationship in negative ways.

It is better you address the issues early on before they become troublesome during the relationship. You can tell him if you want the two of you to be together he needs to work out on the behavior or attitude that is wanting. It’s true every one of us has a weakness but if we don’t deal with some attitudes which are wanting they’ll affect the relationship in negative ways leading to breakup.

It is better to let your partner know early on you will not tolerate such a behavior. He needs to change or you will not continue in the relationship. Sometimes we give ourselves false hope he will change. Come marriage, the married life turns out worse. He hasn’t changed. He is still drunkard, still smoking, still flirting at ladies and so on. Better address them early on before they become problematic in your future relationship and marriage life.

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Sixth Lesson: Communication

For a relationship to stay strong there must be strong communication between partners. Lack of communication is one of the factors that lead to breakups and divorces. Effective communication is paramount in a relationship.

However, early on in the relationship don’t communicate for too long or often. Don’t talk or text almost every day. Variation is the key. Moderation is the recipe. If you communicate on a daily basis you’ll become too familiar to each other you’ll get bored of each other.

We all know familiarity breeds contempt. If you are chatting through texts, you should vary the texts you send daily or the response time including calls. Getting used to something or somebody will tend to make you loathe or get tired of that something or that person.

It is not lack of communication that is the problem. It is the effectiveness of communication. How do you communicate with your partner, and which means of communication do you use most? Do you engage a lot of face-to-face? When a problem arises in the relationship, does it affect your communication? If yes, to what degree?

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Seventh Lesson: Looks Deceive

Don’t judge a book by its cover is a saying you have heard for long. The cover will appeal to you but what about the contents? Will they still hold your appeal? It doesn’t mean all beautiful women are deceivers neither does it mean all handsome men are the same. The outside of anything always deceives. What matters is the heart, not looks or physical appearance.

Don’t go after looks. Go after the real person. This means you need to get to know the person before you give him a share of your heart. Don’t fall in love because of the looks of a person. In essence you didn’t fall in love. It was only passion that led you to think you’ve fallen in love with him. Love doesn’t look at the outward appearance of a person but the heart.

Next time you come across a beautiful lady (if as a man you think some ladies are more beautiful than others) first assess her. Then, you can determine whether you want to get into a relationship with her. The same applies to ladies (if you think some men are more handsome than others). Looks deceive is an advice I know you have heard for a long time.

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Eighth Lesson: Money Issues

Be clear to your partner concerning money. Issues arising out of finances can break a relationship. It is imperative you discuss with your partner concerning finances. How will you manage the finances once you get married? How should you divide your salaries to cater for your relationship and-to-be-married life?

If you are not earning much it’s better to let your partner know. If you don’t do so, when you become broke you will know for sure whether your partner loved you because of money or loved you because she loves you. Let her know you don’t earn much if you don’t earn much. If she decides to leave you then you’ll know she doesn’t love you. Love isn’t determined by the length of the riches. You love someone because you do love him not because of something else.

Always be cautious with your money unless you feel no remorse in wasting your money. You might be called stingy but as long as you know you’re saving money for a worthy cause and you don’t want to misuse it unnecessarily; then don’t be discouraged when you’re called that. Sometimes, a person’s view of you isn’t correct as long as you know you’re doing something that is right.

Ninth Lesson: Deriving Happiness

Some people engage in a relationship in order to feel happy. They believe once they are in a relationship they will feel joyful or delighted. This is far from true. You will not feel fulfilled nor will you feel happy when you engage in a relationship.

Happiness comes from within you – your heart. If you don’t feel happy on your own, you won’t feel happy when you’re with someone else. If you’re not happy because of who you are – yourself – then how can you be happy when you’re in a relationship.

Don’t look for happiness in a relationship. You don’t chase after happiness because you have it with you.

People And Relationships; The Greatest Lessons Ever Learned

Tenth Lesson: Don’t Depend Emotionally

I fell into this trap. I really do regret having totally depended on my ex-friend. It feels good when you depend emotionally on your partner. You end up telling him each and everything when some things you’re supposed to keep to yourself. Again, it is true we should be open with our partners when in a relationship. Nevertheless, it has its restrictions. You cannot be open to your partner in each and every thing.

You cannot always depend on him to solve all your problems. You need to solve some of the problems you feel you can solve on your own. It might as well be said you’re a robot when you depend on your partner for almost everything. At times you need to show you’re also a partner in the relationship. Not a device to be directed to do this or to do that.

What if the relationship comes to an end? Who will you depend on emotionally since the one you were depending on has dumped you? Learn to be on your own in the relationship as you share your life with your partner.

Eleventh Lesson: Compatibility

How compatible are you with your partner? If you’re not compatible don’t expect the relationship to flourish. You must match in almost everything. Of course, you cannot match in everything. At least, the percentage should be over fifty.

If the things you share in common are more of differences than similarities, how are you gonna get along with each other? It will be impossible. This is why during the friendship stage you should know whether the two of you share most of things in common.

Hurt
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Twelfth:The Pain Doesn’t Last

I learned pain doesn’t last for long. It might feel like the ‘wound’ created in my heart will never heal but the fact is, it will heal. It is hard to articulate in words how it feels when the person you gave your whole heart hurts you. Everyday seems like the pain keeps on increasing. However, if you do all you can to ensure the healing process has begun; you will heal from the hurt.

The pain taught me to be careful with my heart if I don’t want to be hurt again. I should be cautious the person to whom I want to share my heart with. In addition, the pain taught me that I should not take for granted someone’s love for me. I should take advantage of her love and he trust she has in me. I should realize it’s something special and is a privilege in itself.

Thirteenth: Pain Is Inevitable

As long as you alive in this world, you cannot avoid hurt in every direction. This is especially true when it comes to relationships. Even the near-perfect relationships will not miss hurts. It is inevitable. What matters most is not whether you will be hurt but how you respond to the hurt. If you respond negatively, you will only make it worse than it is. Learn how deal with hurt because you cannot forever run away from it. Find healthy ways of dealing with it.

Fourteenth:Forgiveness Is Power

Some breakups happen because what destroyed the relationship is something that could have been solved. It only required one partner to forgive the other one who hurt her. Some partners were meant to be together but due to lack of forgiveness, each went on his/her own path ending up being in a relationship with a person they were never meant to be with.

I learned forgiveness isn’t a sign of weakness. It is a sign of courage because you’ve to take the hard step of forgiving your ex who hurt you. Once you forgive, you gain the inner strength, peace reigns in your heart and mind. More so, the hurtful emotions will no longer have control of your mind because you’ve forgiven the offender.

Forgiveness is for your own benefit. When you forgive it doesn’t mean you’re offering the offender another chance to hurt you. It signifies you will not allow the offender to keep hurting you because you’ve decided not to forgive him. As long as you don’t forgive is as long you’ll feel the pinch of hurt increasing day-by-day.

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Fifteenth Lesson: Change Is Necessary

While it is true breakups suck because they’re painful, there’s a lot benefits derived from breakups or lessons we can learn. One of them is making the necessary changes required. If there were some behaviors or attitudes you exhibited during the relationship that weren’t good, you need to get rid of those behaviors. If you don’t, then there is a high chance in the next relationship you’ll engage in will end in the same situation you’re in now – breakup.

Were you smoking and your partner didn’t like? Stop. How were you treating your partner? How were you reacting to some situations in the relationship? Were you the one always in control of the TV remote control? Change is hard but it is for the better because it is for your own benefit, nobody else’s benefit.

Sixteenth: Don't Change Your Partner

No one can ever change another person. As much as you try you will fail. A person has to be willing to change his/her behavior. If there is no willingness no matter how much you try you will fail. The best you can do is to suggest.

You’ll end up frustrated when your partner doesn’t change. You will loathe your partner and be angry at him. Don’t try to change your partner because it is futile trying to do so. Even if he changes because of your wanting to changing him, then realize he is faking it so you won’t be discouraged he has not changed his behaviors which are affecting the relationship negatively.

Seventeenth: Some Relationships Don't Work Out

Some relationships were never meant to be. There are different factors which might make a relationship not to work out. One of the reasons as we’ve seen above is when we engage in a relationship with someone who isn’t compatible with us. Sometimes, some relationships don’t work out for various reasons which we can or will never know why. It seems the two lover birds were never meant to be together.

Sometimes, it is hard to pinpoint why some relationships never work out. Breakups happen for a reason. The reason might be obvious or not. There are situations whereby none of the exes know why they broke up or why the relationship came to an end. They are unable to locate the reason.

Some relationships were meant to be while others they were never meant to be. It is a fact you need to accept if yours didn’t work out, and you’re sure it will never work out even if you reunite.

Eighteenth: Revenge Isn't Profitable

Revenge never pays. You will feel good but not for long. In the long-term you will regret at the action you undertook. In any sphere of life revenge never helps as much as many people say revenge is the best you can do to someone who has wrong you. It is a sign of cowardliness as it is not a wise decision to undertake.

The best form of revenge is to forgive your ex and move on with your life. Your revenging against your ex is the same as murdering someone. You will be happy you revenged but the thoughts of murder will always hunt you.

Nineteenth: Your Identity

Never lose your identity. You are unique in your own ways. No one can ever replace you. Don't allow the failed relationship to pull you down. Don't let your ex diminish your worth. Never lose the real you. Furthermore, as stated above, you shouldn’t lose your identity in the relationship. Realize you have a life of your own even if you share your life with your partner. You shouldn’t share your whole life with you partner. If you do so, then you will never enjoy the relationship nor will you enjoy your life which you’ve neglected. Never forget yourself when you’re in a relationship. If you’re the one who was in the wrong ask for forgiveness and do the best to change your negative behaviors for your own good.

The last lesson I learned is some people love to be with somebody not they love that somebody. It’s tragic when someone loves to be with you. This indicates she doesn’t love you. The joy of being with you is satisfactorily. True love is when somebody loves you not she wants to be with you. Be careful you don’t fall in love with somebody who wants to be with you. Don’t expect the relationship to survive.

I had forgotten one last important lesson.


Final Lesson: First Flames Are Dangerous

The first days or weeks at the start of a relationship is not the determining factor the relationship will endure through thick and thin. When people fall in love they cannot contain the feelings they have for each other. People will say you’re suited to each other and they’re sure you’ll get along with each other. However, the first flames of love you have for each other are not true indications you are in love. You will know the real person when the initial flames of love die away. When the relationship is faced with difficulties you will know whether your partner does indeed love you. Beginning is not an indication, don’t count on it.

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    • profile image

      Yann 6 weeks ago

      Such a helpful article! I will remember every word of it and make myself out of the recent breakup and learn the lessons. Thank you!

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 7 months ago

      "We never sit down to examine the reasons for the breakup and what we have learned from it. After the end of one relationship we jump to the next one...." - Very true!

      I believe one of the reasons for this is because we seldom take responsibility for (choosing) our mates. We act as if something "happened to us" or we buy into the romantic notion of "You can't help who you fall in love with.". Essentially many believe in destiny!

      Each of us gets to (choose) our own friends, lovers, and spouse!

      We get to (choose) who we exchange contact information with, go out with, kiss, have sex with, and spend large amounts of our free time with.

      Therefore it's a little disingenuous when a relationship fails for us to blame it all on the other person or fate/destiny.

      Until we take the time to do some serious introspective thinking to figure out why we said "Yes" to this person we're likely to be doomed to make the same mistakes if presented with similar circumstances.

      The truth of the matter is most people have never developed a "mate selection screening process" by where they analyze a potential mate's actions, responses, goals, and desires to see if they are in alignment with their own. In fact may people subscribe to the philosophy of:

      "Follow your heart."

      Never separate your mind from your heart when making relationships decisions. The purpose of the mind is to protect the heart.

      The goal is to find someone who shares your same values, wants the same things for the relationship that you do, naturally agrees with you on how to obtain those things, and last but not least have a mutual depth of love and desire for one another. Compatibility trumps compromise!

      "These lessons will help in avoiding another break up in various ways. "

      - Untrue

      The reality is it takes two people to make a relationship work but it only takes one to end it. The only person you will ever be able to control is yourself!

      If someone wants out you can't force them to stay.

    • Aashiq Hnafi profile image

      Aashiq Hnafi 7 months ago

      This page very nice