3 Things You Can Learn From My Failed Relationship


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I was thrust into the big bad world of dating about 15 years ago.  And well, it’s been one big blur of craziness ever since. Um, but can you stop dwelling on the fact that I just said I’ve been dating for longer than most of you have been walking and move on already? Gees.

Since I was never much of a casual dater or hooker-upper, I have been in a good amount of lengthy relationships. I’ve never been married, but I’ve had some very close calls – in fact, I ended my engagement last fall. I’m sure your first thought is probably that I’m too picky or too independent to settle down, but alas, my beautiful darlings you have never been so wrong.

There are some very basic, but paramount things that my failed relationships have taught me. But trust me, even though I knew these things to be true, I still ignored them with every new relationship. However, I think it has finally sunk in.

1. Doubt means don’t.

I believe I once heard these words uttered by someone on an Oprah show and I have found it to be annoyingly true. We all have intuition. We get those “gut feelings” – women especially. We have that tiny, nagging thought deep inside that something just isn’t right. Or maybe something just doesn’t “click.” And we feel like maybe we’re being too picky and this person has a lot of good qualities so we just need to overlook the fact that they don’t quite fit. Or perhaps you’re frequently doubting whether or not this person is really into you. Maybe you feel the need to stalk their whereabouts because you just aren’t quite sure how up front they are being.

Um, I can tell you from experience (I once accepted an engagement ring although I had tiny doubts that we might not be the best match) that when it’s right, there won’t be any doubts. You can ignore those feelings all you want, but sooner or later they will take over and you will be in so deep that you don’t know how to get out. Bottom line: you shouldn’t have doubts about your significant other, and he or she shouldn’t have doubts about you.

2. Passion is key, but it’s not THE key.

Alright. This is a particularly tricky one. We all want some passion in our lives. I’ve been in relationships where there is nothing BUT passion, and I’ve been in ones where there is almost no passion. Looking back, I can honestly tell you that there needs to be a balance between the two extremes.

Passion can fool you especially in the beginning. It can give you a false sense of connection, when really there is nothing there besides a lot of physical chemistry. And that proved true in a few of my relationships. But then, there were the relationships that had zero passion and that didn’t work either because we were more like friends.

So, I will tell you that I believe there MUST be a certain level of attraction and passion for whomever you are dating. However, don’t think that just because you might have had more passion with someone else that this is not the right relationship for you. Passion fades with time and even the most passionate relationships will dull down after years. It’s important that you have that foundation, but there are so many other important aspects you need to have.

3. If you have to force it, you’re doomed.

Easy is the key word. There should be no worrying about whether or not your main squeeze wants to spend time with you. You shouldn’t have to ask for a commitment. You shouldn’t have to hunt anyone down or spend countless hours wondering why you haven’t heard back. Your plans should never be cancelled unless someone has tragically died in a rowing accident or something of that sort. There should be minimal fighting.

From flirting to full on relationship the process should be easy – like, breathing. If it seems like too much of a struggle, it’s most likely not the right timing, not the right person or not the right anything.

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