I often see memes on social media asking what you learned from your past relationship(s) and I have to laugh because I don’t think I’ve really learned anything. I mean what’s to learn? You know you don’t like infidelity, lack of communication, passive-aggressive behavior, low emotional commitment, and any other behavior that affects you negatively. So, you can name the things that upset you in your past relationships, but how do you protect yourself from them in the future?
When you meet someone, you don’t interview them with a checklist and rate their answers.
· Are you a cheater? (Scale of 1 – 5)
Is someone actually going to tell you they don’t have the ability to remain loyal?
· Are you a manipulator? (Scale of 1 – 5)
Is anyone going to say, “Absolutely”?
If you really did ask these questions and someone answered them truthfully, or more likely what they perceived to be the truth, you still wouldn’t know what you were getting into. Many people don’t have the objectivity or awareness to even realize they have harmful behavior, except for being unfaithful, of course.
We also talk about red flags and that’s great in retrospect, but if you were to run at every red flag you see, you will never be in a relationship. None of us is perfect and each relationship is different. If you don’t point out something that upsets you and see how the other person responds, then a good deal of the responsibility for a bad relationship falls on you. In the beginning, everything is so exciting you can’t see beyond your own happiness and desires. But when the fairy dust starts hitting the ground, then you start to see the truth, whether good, bad, or both. It’s up to each individual to determine what they will accept and what they won’t, and then act accordingly.
So, what have I learned from past relationships? I’ve learned the things I will not tolerate, but I’ve also learned that some of those things do not reveal themselves until a long time after a relationship begins.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for reading.