May 20, 2023
David and I broke up last night.
Am I devastated? No. I’m sad.
Why is it different this time? Why am I not laid out flat in despair? So many reasons.
It’s easier to accept this time. I can truly embrace the belief that things happen for good.
Here’s what I’ve learned about failed relationships. This is clear evidence of how far I’ve come, how much I’ve healed.
I’ve learned when not to compromise
Compromise is a good thing, something I’m always willing to do, if it contributes to the development of healthy intimacy in relationship. Compromise is not good when I spend an inordinate amount of time attempting to talk myself into it. If it’s not clear the compromise is going to make me more and make the relationship more, I can’t do it. I won’t. I might spend a bit of time trying to make the compromise fit with who I am, but eventually, I’ll succumb to the facts. I will not be less than who I am. I’ve worked too hard and come too far to go back to behaviors that are not self-honoring.
I want a partner who is able to express love verbally and physically. I tried to forego that with David, I tried to make allowances for his personality. And he was trying, I could see it. But we were stuck. Things weren’t progressing. I’ve had relationships where my needs for loving words and affection have been met, so I know how fulfilling it is to have a partner want me — all of me. I’ve come to understand it’s not a want, it’s not a preference, it’s a need.
I’ve learned love does not conquer all
There’s a pervasive message in our culture that if you love someone, nothing is insurmountable. And that is just so much bullshit. Love is a wonderful thing that can lay the groundwork for many good things, but love is not enough to ensure the health, success, and longevity of a relationship. There are so many other requirements which are critically important — like having common values, compatible relationship goals, and complimentary personality traits.