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A Bad Relationship is a Terrible Thing to Waste

“You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.” – Epictetus

*  *  *

I have a client who just broke up with her longtime boyfriend, and even though she’s heartbroken, she knew it had to end. The relationship wasn’t healthy, nor was it empowering her emotionally. For reasons having mostly to do with her own attachment issues and codependency, she ended up overstaying her welcome, and not leaving when she should have.

After a “come to Jesus” moment with herself (and tough love from me) she managed to break it off. But unfortunately, she’s now left feeling shame, anger, and regret.

Her self-recriminations were swift and stern:“Why did I stay so long? What was I thinking? Why didn’t I see it earlier? How could I have been so stupid? What’s wrong with me?”

There’s a million questions she could’ve asked herself, and a million ways to kick herself, but there’s only one thing she really needed to do: Understand the lesson in it all.

A bad relationship is a terrible thing to waste if:

  • There were no takeaways.
  • You didn’t take responsibility for your part.
  • You didn’t take time to heal.
  • You forgot about compassion and forgiveness.
  • You didn’t recognize possible patterns.
  • There was no growth or reflection.
  • You chose another bad relationship right after, OR
  • You take the anger from your last relationship into your next one.
street-art-mural-diogo-fagundes

Beautiful things can come from bad relationships. Photo credit: Diogo Fagundes

A bad relationship can undermine your confidence and wreak havoc on your self-esteem, but if you grew and evolved because of it, or if there was something redeeming in it, then it wasn’t a waste at all.

As blogger Jessica Wildfire says:

“Every relationship trains you for the next one.
We like to write off failed relationships as a total loss. Kick ourselves for wasting time on something that doesn’t work out.
Someone who wasn’t good for us after all.
Someone who took advantage of us.
Someone who never loved us. Or just thought they did.”

I was single until I was 51, and had lot of relationships during that time—mostly good, but some bad. And by bad, I mean they didn’t go anywhere, no matter how hard I tried. Think square peg, round hole and you get the picture.

When I think about how much time I wasted on these go-nowhere relationships, I could kick myself, but I’m not going to. Instead, I’m going to congratulate myself. I managed to get through them all while learning a ton about my self-worth in the process.

Failure became my best teacher, and it can become yours too if you look at it that way.

Bad relationships may break you, but not for long. Photo credit: @anniespratt

After a bad relationship, you will feel shame, anger, and heartbreak.  You will hate yourself and your ex (or maybe still love them?) and be in so much pain you wish you could go to bed and wake up in six months like it never happened.

Hard knocks are inevitable in life, but hard feelings towards yourself are another thing. Accept that you screwed up, or got played, or made bad decisions, or stayed too long, or chose the wrong person, and be done with it.

And if you’re going to kick yourself, at least kick yourself in the right direction.

Let bad relationships guide you, not define you. Let them train and prepare you for the love that comes next. Let them build resilience, and improve your emotional fitness, because you WILL bounce back and be in better shape for it.

Then one day when that bad relationship is over, and you’re healed and healthy, happily single or partnered up, looking great and feeling strong, you’ll realize that it wasn’t so terrible after all. That bad relationship, and all the bad ones that came before it, could have actually been worth it.

 * * *

If you need help navigating the dating world, conquering single life, staying empowered, or moving forward in life, check out my private coaching services. I’m an ICF-certified life coach/dating coach with all the tools and strategies you need to achieve your personal best in life and love. Contact me here and let’s get to work.

For faster wisdom, follow me on IG @trevabme.

A Bad Relationship is a Terrible Thing to Waste

“You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.” – Epictetus

* * * * * * * *

I have a client who just broke up with her longtime boyfriend, and even though she’s heartbroken, she knew it had to end. The relationship wasn’t healthy, nor was it empowering her emotionally. For reasons having mostly to do with her own attachment issues and codependency, she ended up overstaying her welcome, and not leaving when she should have.

After a “come to Jesus” moment with herself (and tough love from me) she managed to break it off. But unfortunately, she’s now left feeling shame, anger, and regret.

Her self-recriminations were swift and stern:“Why did I stay so long? What was I thinking? Why didn’t I see it earlier? How could I have been so stupid? What’s wrong with me?”

There’s a million questions she could’ve asked herself, and a million ways to kick herself, but there’s only one thing she really needed to do: Understand the lesson in it all.

A bad relationship is a terrible thing to waste if:

  • There were no takeaways.
  • You didn’t take responsibility for your part.
  • You didn’t take time to heal.
  • You forgot about compassion and forgiveness.
  • You didn’t recognize possible patterns.
  • There was no growth or reflection.
  • You chose another bad relationship right after, OR
  • You take the anger from your last relationship into your next one.
street-art-mural-diogo-fagundes

Beautiful things can come from bad relationships. Photo credit: Diogo Fagundes

A bad relationship can undermine your confidence and wreak havoc on your self-esteem, but if you grew and evolved because of it, or if you were able to redeem something from it, then it wasn’t a waste at all. In fact, it was an opportunity.

As blogger Jessica Wildfire says:

“Every relationship trains you for the next one.
We like to write off failed relationships as a total loss. Kick ourselves for wasting time on something that doesn’t work out.
Someone who wasn’t good for us after all.
Someone who took advantage of us.
Someone who never loved us. Or just thought they did.”

I was single until I was 51, and had lot of relationships during that time—mostly good, but some bad. And by bad, I mean they didn’t go anywhere, no matter how hard I tried. Think square peg, round hole and you’ll get the picture.

When I think about how much time I wasted on these go-nowhere relationships, I could kick myself, but I’m not going to. Instead, I’m going to congratulate myself. I managed to get through those relationships while learning a ton about my self-worth in the process.

Failure became my best teacher, and it can become yours too if you look at it that way.

Bad relationships may break you, but not for long. Photo credit: @anniespratt

After a bad relationship, you will feel shame, anger, and heartbreak.  You will hate yourself and your ex (or maybe still love them?) and be in so much pain you wish you could go to bed and wake up in six months like it never happened.

Hard knocks are inevitable in life, but hard feelings towards yourself are another thing. Accept that you screwed up, or got played, or made bad decisions, or stayed too long, or chose the wrong person, and be done with it.

And if you’re going to kick yourself, at least kick yourself in the right direction.

Let bad relationships guide you, not define you. Let them train you, and move you forward. Let them prepare you for the love that comes next. Let them build resilience, and improve your emotional fitness, because you WILL bounce back and be in better shape for it.

Then one day when that bad relationship is over, and you’re healed and healthy, happily single or partnered up, looking great and feeling strong, you’ll realize that it wasn’t so terrible after all. That bad relationship, and all the bad ones that came before it, could have actually been worth it.

* * * * * * * * *

If you need help navigating the dating world, conquering single life, or staying empowered and moving forward, then check out my private coaching services. I’m an ICF-certified life coach/dating coach with all the tools and strategies you need to achieve your personal best in life and love. Contact me here and let’s get to work.

Post-COVID Dating: The People You Still Need To Avoid

There’s going to come a time when life gets back to normal, and normal dating will resume. Other than still practicing some social distancing and washing your hands every five seconds, chances are, you’ll still be the same person you were before the pandemic, and so will the people you’ll be dating.

Except you might be feeling a little more desperate. Or lonely. Or starved for affection and human contact. And who could blame you? The problem is, these feelings might lead to making hasty choices.

How much a pandemic changes people, we don’t know, but what we do know is that coronavirus or no coronavirus, there are still people you need to avoid dating, no matter how horny or deprived you are.

I just read a great article by James Michael Sama about the five types of people you should avoid dating:

The Control Freak:
The person who tries to mold you into the person he/she wants you to be.

The Constant Complainer:
Someone who drags another down emotionally.

Silly Putty:
Someone who doesn’t have their own identity and relies on you for every decision.

The Center Of The Universe:
Someone who is so self-absorbed that everything needs to revolve around them.

The Ultra-Materialistic:
Someone who tries to use you for what you have, or someone who tries to use what they have to “get” you.

All of these are excellent, and I wholeheartedly agree with each one of them. If you’re going to be dating now or anytime in the future, stay the fuck away from the aforementioned types of people.

While you’re at it, here’s a few more types I came up with that I highly recommend staying more than six feet away from until the end of eternity:

The Person Not Over Their Ex:
If you thought COVID19 made you miserable, try dating someone who’s not over their ex. This type might physically be there, but their heart and minds aren’t. This person will keep you a secret, keep you guessing, and keep making excuses as to why they can’t be fully present. No matter how hot, smart, brilliant, cute, sexy you are, the ex will loom over your relationship, and you’ll either be forced to compete, or take a back seat. The worst part is, they’ll never admit they’re still hung up on the ex. They’ll just wait for the situation to become so untenable, you’ll have no choice but to leave. And good for you if you do.

The Person Looking To Be Needed, Saved, Or Has Attachment Issues:
Unless you like a damsel in distress or a wounded bird, avoid these types like your life depends on it. I know men and women who live to be needed; it gives them power and pumps up their ego. People with “savior complex” come in like white knights to save the day, and it’s all very noble and chivalrous until it becomes co-dependent and weird. Neediness is never sexy. Attachment is not love. Put your mask on and go find someone that doesn’t need saving, fixing, or rescuing.

The Chronically Bitter/Angry Person:
When you date someone who’s chronically bitter or angry, it’s always a fight: either with you, or with themselves. And if someone’s anger and bitterness is really entrenched, it becomes like a third person in the relationship who won’t go away. NEWSFLASH: your love will never soothe a person who constantly bitches or seethes about past disappointments, slights or failures. But good luck trying. Oh, and did I mention the walking on eggshells part? Good luck with that too!

The Crazy Person:
I don’t care how great the sex is, when you date a crazy person, you’re asking for trouble–and chaos, instability, inconsistency, and drama. Do you really need that after a pandemic? Like you haven’t had enough stress? How many refills of Xanax can you get to keep adding more anxiety to your life? Even after the coronavirus, you’ve got to keep practicing good habits, which starts with staying the hell away from crazy people.

The Newly Separated/Divorced Person:
If the word “Rebound” gives you a dry cough and shortness of breath, your body is telling you something: STAY AWAY FROM NEWLY SEPARATED/DIVORCED PEOPLE. More than likely, you’ll be a rebound after their relationship ends, and it won’t end well for you. Dating this type has serious side effects including general pain, suffering, frustration and fatigue. If you happen to meet one of these highly seductive creatures, lock yourself down immediately.

What’s the post-COVID dating prognosis? Until there’s a test that tells you what type you’re dealing with, you’ll just have to depend on your own good judgment to stay safe and healthy. But if you start getting symptoms, or suddenly feel lousy, you’ll know you’re dating the wrong person. Avoid them like the plague.

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Want more dating advice and wisdom from someone who’s been around the block? Sign up for my newsletter at www.trevabrandonscharf.com and follow me at @trevabme.