I received this message from a guy in my life (who also happens to be a great catch):
Mandy and I broke up, so that’s tough. The distance was getting to be too much. Our personalities were different enough that we always had to put a lot of work into our relationship even when we were in the same place, and the distance only exacerbated that. She’s travelling to Russia this fall, and after that wants to live there for a year, and after that wants to do grad school (possibly overseas) and after that….well, yeah. Needless to say, the timing’s not great. But a ten month relationship is not a failure. It’s just hard.
I so agree. Just because this relationship ended does not mean that it was a failure. Look at all that he learned about himself. Look at all that he discerned. And notice there are no regrets about getting into this relationship. No regrets to ask forgiveness for. No contorting of himself to keep this relationship going.
It ended and it is hard. There were rhythms in his life around Mandy. There was the friendship. There was the extra attention. There was the wonderful knowing that he was the one out of a thousand others. (The Little Prince reference for those lovers of that beautiful book.) There were the dreams of future possibilities.
Yet an ending had to be made. Love was not enough for a relationship to be a good match.
To me the best part is how much this great catch of a man learned about himself. This is why he took the plunge into vulnerability and it wasn’t a failure. He is an even better man because of this.
Nothing about this is a failure. It’s just hard.
What past relationships do you need to reframe in your memories? What can you learn about yourself?
What regrets do you have? What would you do differently the next time? Write this stuff down. You must remember (which is why you are journaling it) and its good to also be able to look back and measure your growth (which is the better reason to journal this). I hope the day comes when you can laugh at yourself for settling for this less of a relationship.
What do you need to ask God for forgiveness for? So those regrets don’t haunt you with shame? Do this hard work so the ghost of this past relationship does not enter into your next relationship.
What did you learn about you in that relationship? You may at first start listing all the ways you hate yourself for your behaviors in that last relationship. This is a good starting point. But also, how did this relationship make you a stronger and smarter person? Write this stuff down too. This is the gold.
Now all of your past relationships are not failures. They are your story that grew you into this great match for someone.
(photo credit: Pexels.com)