Failure is a great teacher and relationships are certainly no exception. These folks shared the lessons they learned from their last breakup, and they make a lot of sense.
Gerdaandemail asked: What did you learn from your last unsuccessful relationship?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
Read between the lines.
If someone acts like they don't care, it's because they don't care.
Sounds like my ex-girlfriend the last three month of our relationship. I think she didn't end it there is because at the time we were in at the end of the semester. Well, it sucked anyway, but if she did that for the reason I stated, I still appreciate the thought.
He's just not that into you.
THIS. I'm literally the only girlfriend in my group that will be straight up with the others. He didn't show up when he said he would? He's not that in to you. He didn't call/text when he said he'd solidify plans? He's not that into you.
When another person simply doesn't follow through when it comes to you, THEY. DO. NOT. CARE. Also, this will not change. When someone is into another human being, they will literally move mountains to get to them/make things happen. I promise. And you're worth that kind of person, but you have to decide you won't settle for less.
Maybe you're meant to be friends, and that's okay.
Accepting that life happens and sometimes two great people are not great for each other.
As an addendum, friendship is still valuable, and breaking up doesn't mean parting ways.
I was broken up with yesterday for basically this reason. After 2.5 years things just weren't clicking anymore between us and he decided to end it, and I kind of saw it coming. All he kept saying throughout was "You're such a great person, please remember that." And of course I still think he's amazing, so this is a tough one to swallow
Don't try too hard to change people.
People are who they are, not who you wish they would be. Loving someone and wanting a future with them won't stop them from being a toxic person. And the only good option with toxic people is to get them out of your life. Even if it hurts
Yep. When I dated my ex I had a long list of things that I was waiting for him to change before we got married or had kids. I was waiting for him to stop smoking, stop doing drugs, get a full time job, stop selling drugs, etc. In retrospect even though he constantly promised he was going to do those things he literally never intended to do them and I was just spending my life waiting.
I mean thank God we didn't get married or have kids, but don't wait for people to change. Things are either good enough or they aren't.
When you give everything, you risk ending up with nothing.
Dont put the rest of your life aside, when they leave you are then left with nothing.
I did this... I pushed everyone away for her and gave her my all. Thought she was the one and spent every second with her. When she broke up with me saying she wasn't ready to settle down I was left with nothing. I lost my best friend he won't even talk to me anymore and most days i just sit and stare at my screen trying to pick up the broken pieces of my idiotic actions.
Love is not all that matters.
You can love each other as much as you can but if you're not compatible when it comes to kids, future goals, etc it's just not going to work out.
That was my big one.
An ex is 5 years older, near 40 by now. At the time we were dating she was already dead set on no kids. I wanted kids, we decided to end it before we got in too deep.
Other one. We talked, made plans, got serious, started to plan to "settle down," then she decided to quit her job and travel the world. Ended up getting a job as a flight attendant and is "home" about 3 months out of the year.
Reaching your 30s is rough. I'm just glad my SO and I reached "omg wtf" at the same time. So instead of breaking up we both relocated to a new country. Still hard, and shocking to a lot of people, but I feel so fortunate we jumped ship together
We're Canadian and love Canada btw. We just needed more experience.
Gah, I went through this last year. It's rough because you feel like neither of you did anything wrong, you both still love each other, there's no good reason to break up. But a strong relationship requires committing to each other, and sometimes you have other commitments that matter more than each other.
Allow access to the full you.
If you start the relationship by editing yourself and hiding the parts of you that you think they won't like, it's a trap and you'll never be able to be yourself. Tears will follow. Do yourself a favor and at a reasonable point in the early relationship, be vulnerable and tell them all the things about yourself you are afraid of admitting. They'll find them out eventually anyway....
This is so important. I try to remember that if it's not truly me, being my authentic self, that they like, they don't actually like me anyway. So it's better to just be yourself because then al the love you receive is truly for YOU as you are. And then you don't have to doubt it, because it was all based on your authentic self.
That's what love is about. To feel safe with your partner so that you can be vulnerable. Not to be "on" all the time.
Depression is not cured through love alone.
You can't love away the depression. She self medicated with alcohol, and my love wasn't enough to make her stop drinking.
Indeed, everyone are responsible for their own issues.
That and "Don't burn yourself alive trying to warm someone." My ex... let's say she needed A WHOLE F*CKING LOT of warmth and I exhausted myself trying to support her. But some people are just too heavy to carry and better let them deal with their own issues than try to solve it for them.
Don't worship your partner.
Dating someone you like won't help you get over someone you still worship.
I've never met a man who truly loved a woman he "worshipped." And Vice versa. They all get divorced. I've been married 20 years. They ALL get divorced.
You can "worship" someone's body when having sex. You should, in fact, worship your partner's body regularly. You can defend your partner and tell everyone how much you think they are the sh*t. But don't worship the person. Love isn't about that. It involves seeing them as a human being and growing together.
It makes you unable to see them. You are really just looking at yourself and all the pressure you've put on that person to be what you expect them to be.
Find a person who helps you build. You want someone who sees YOU. No one will ever be perfect. Don't look for someone you worship. Look for someone you see.
Accountability and communication are super important.
Cheating is a non-negotiable red flag.
Refusing to take responsibility is a red flag.
Ignoring your s/o is worse than arguing against your s/o which are both inifinitely worse than communicating with one another about the topic at hand.
And the best one: you have to love yourself more than you love being in a relationship.
The cycle can continue.
Just because you both grew up in abusive households doesn't mean the other person will be reluctant to abuse you.
This so much!
I dated a boy who came from a family similar to mine. Same patterns of abuse. We talked a lot about it and swore we would not pass that shit down.
We were dating in grad school. No real obstacles, real life was still some distance away. But I began getting a feeling that if I married him, it would be the same kind of abuse. I began having nightmares about it. I had no facts to justify it, because he was very nice and kind. But I couldn't take it anymore and I broke it off.
I felt like an idiot for the next few years as he met someone else pretty soon after, and married her, and I didn't meet anyone good. Eventually I met someone and married them as well. Years later, we met, and got talking about our marriages. His wife and his dynamic was the same dysfunctional one as my parents' and his parents,' and his wife had had enough. And he, just like my father, refused to seek therapy and the abuse just kept going.