“I thought he was the one, you know? But it was a waste of time. So much heartache and effort, and for what?”
Joss looked at me, doe-eyed and tearful as yet another relationship hit the rocks.
“Well, you probably learned what not to do next time, and that made it worthwhile,” I quipped, trying to cheer her from the doldrums.
And, it’s true. All relationships, maybe even the one you’re in now, are precursors to something better.
“What did I learn then?” She rolled her eyes skyward. “I can’t make head nor tail of what happened yet.”
Indeed, the first days, or even months after a break-up, you may not see past hurt, blame, and regret.
Later though, when the storm’s over, you can pick gems of wisdom from your memories should you so choose.
After two months, the dust settled and Joss set her sights on finding a new guy declaring “I’m looking for someone tall and gorgeous to sweep me off my feet.”
“Hold your horses!” I slammed a metaphorical barn door in front of her words, fearing more nonsense would bolt from her lips.
“Isn’t that what you said last time? And the time before?”
She frowned. “Exactly, and I won’t stop until I find what I want!”
I needed to tell her to stop looking for a fairy-tale prince or make one of her must-haves about height.
Instead though, I sighed, and she repeated the sorry scenario again.
Joss met a tall, good-looking, attentive man who turned out to be far from Prince Charming. He cheated on her and dumped her faster than you can say Bob’s your uncle.
“Bad, bad friend,” I thought. “You should have told her she was about to make a mistake.”
So, next time around, I did the decent thing.
“Joss, you’re stuck in a relationship pattern and need to re-evaluate,” I advised.
“Hmm.” That’s all she said, but at least she didn’t get upset, and I continued.
“Could your lesson be not to go for the same old partner-qualities and try something new?”
She looked eager. I had her attention, but wasn’t sure what to say.
“Erm, well. Maybe real guys aren’t perfect. Perhaps the right one for you isn’t six-foot three either.”
She stared at me, startled.
“I guess I could lower my standards.”
“Or just change them,” I mouthed.
She did as I suggested and was to enjoy a two-year relationship with a great guy. It was another learning experience instead of ‘the one,’ but at least she didn’t repeat old mistakes and made fresh ones.
Some relationship lessons aren’t about the criteria that determines who you select as a partner. They involve noting ways you behave that ruin your success or what you put up with that makes you unhappy.
When you recognize these problems, you have the power to do something about them. Occasionally, you can save your current relationship.
Even if you don’t solve difficulties now, however, learning from them will put you in good stead to get things right in the future.
Copyright © 2019 Bridget Webber. All rights reserved