After the end of a relationship, it can make us feel rejected, sad and undervalued.
The key aspect to reflect upon is this question...
During the relationship did you fully accept your ex partner for who they were?
Did you make them feel bad when they didn't meet your expectations?
saying "Oh you never bother booking a date night/holiday/weekend trip!"
or "You never look at me when I'm talking"
Did you wish they were different?
saying "Why can't you be like Jeff who helps Sarah in the house?"
or "Why can't you be more fun?"
Did you complain to others about them often?
saying "He gets on my nerves and just sits watching TV all day!"
or "All he talks about is football"
It’s common for partners to put demands on each other and expect certain things. But when this gets out of balance, your relationship can break down and as you're reading this, I'm guessing it did.
And here you are now having gone from a We to a Me, perhaps feeling guilty for what was said in the past and wondering if your next relationship will result in more disappointment.
Let's look at what you can do...
Grab a cuppa and your notebook and pen. Take some time to sit and write down what you wish for and need in a relationship.
What do you wish for and need from your partner?
This is particularly important because when you meet a new potential partner, you'll be able to share your wishes and needs so they have clarity on what you truly desire.
As you consider a new relationship, think about whether you will be able to accept your partner even if they’re not as focused, motivated, talkative, etc as you would like?
Would you be able to extend unconditional love?
Or focus on the things you love about them?
Reflecting on the past, can you take on board that complaining and nagging doesn’t change anyone’s behaviour. In fact, it usually just drives a wedge into the relationship. If there is something you don’t like about your partner, it’s better to have a heart-to-heart conversation about the issue rather than constantly nag.
Maybe they don’t want to change their behaviour and go to a restaurant where it's over £75 a head, when they're more comfortable going to the local carvery at a set price. Maybe they like chewing with their mouth open or wear the same vest top every summer holiday, that you hate. Perhaps they don’t want to put their shoes away.
Do you feel you could accept a new partner for who they are?
Compromise and acceptance are important in a relationship. If you want a relationship to thrive, learning how to accept a partner for who they are will serve you well. Yes, sometimes change can occur and if both of you are willing to give when it comes to meeting each other halfway, then you’re more apt to experience bliss in your relationship.
There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship, so learning how to navigate yours through unexpected twists and turns is advisable. When you can view your relationship as an opportunity to learn and grow, you’re more apt to sit down and discuss the various obstacles that pop up.