Every relationship I’ve ever had has ended because there were problems or issues. I’m only human, as are my exes, and looking back I can see there’s things we could have both done differently each time. This post isn’t about them, though, it’s about me. In this post, in collaboration with match me happy, I’m looking back at and remembering past relationship mistakes, and talking about the lessons I’ve learned from them.
Not asking for what I need
I had one relationship where, to others, things seemed great. But I wasn’t getting what I needed from him. I expected him to know and be better, and of course he didn’t, because I wasn’t honest. I told myself it didn’t matter when it really, really mattered. Lesson learned: ask for what you need. If you want someone to pay you more attention, say so. If you really need some alone time, tell them, and explain why. If you wish your partner made more effort to plan something nice for you to do together-tell them this is important to you.
Agreeing when I actually disagreed
My first proper relationship was one where he did what he wanted, always, and I let him. If he wanted to change our plans and go out with his friends instead, I said ‘okay, have fun’. When we lived together and he was never home, but thought I was happy because I got to cook his tea and drive him to work, I told him I enjoyed that stuff. Every time he ended the relationship, I would ask him what he needed me to do differently, and then I’d do it. I agreed with him always, I never told him he was treating me badly or that I felt so small. Lesson learned: say no. Tell them when you want to do something else. Point out that no, it’s not right to cancel your plans AGAIN because their friend fancies a pint, and no, you won’t drive them into town.
Letting myself be second best
Again in my first relationship, he once told me I would never be as important as his friends, because he’s known them longer. (When he made a new friend, I said hooray, I’ll be more important then-and obviously he disagreed because he was a grade A idiot) I will never again put myself behind my partner. Fine, there’s some occasions when you should put them first, but not always and not to the detriment of yourself.
Forgetting who I am
In every relationship I’ve ever been in, I’ve put aside things I want, need and enjoy doing, in favour of spending time with them. I need to remember how much I need time on my own, to travel, to write, to read, listen to music and just be. I can’t be with someone 24/7 and I need to make sure they understand that too. I definitely couldn’t settle down with someone who didn’t understand my need to travel alone sometimes, and to disappear off with my camera for hours to get that perfect shot.
This one is definitely more my issue than any of my exes, and it’s something I need to work on whether I’m in a relationship, or single. I need to remember all of the good things about me, the things I’m proud of and the things others comment on, because I have a tendancy to feel grateful when someone wants to spend time with me. I’ve always been that way-with friends, and boyfriends-and actually, I’m a good person, I’m good company, people SHOULD want to spend time with me. I don’t need to feel grateful for that, just enjoy their company back.
Contributing more than my share
When I lived with my ex, I did all of the housework because he couldn’t be bothered. I worked lots of overtime so I could pay my share of the bills and spend money on clothes but ended up spending all of it paying his share of the bills after he spent his bill money in the pub. I was younger then, and I’d like to think that these days I would tell him to get lost long before I did then. My fair share of bills and housework isn’t always going to be 50%, I believe that if one person earns lots more they should contribute more so partners can have similar amounts of fun money, but I definitely shouldn’t have nothing while they have everything, that’s not the right way.
If you’re looking for a new relationship-one where things are good, and you can put into practice the things you’ve learnt from past relationships, you can have a look at a free dating site like match me happy to try and find someone you click with.
What lessons have you learnt from past relationships?
*This is a collaborative post.