This post has been sitting in rough draft form for a few weeks. To be honest, I wasn’t really sure if I would ever have ‘The Cajones’ to let anyone see it. I know that once I press that magical publish button, my private affairs will be aired for everyone to see.
At the end of the day, I’ve come to realize that this site is about personal growth. And if I’m afraid to be honest about everything in my life then I’m just another phony person. To grow as an individual you sometimes the times when you screw-up.
Also I’m a little nervous because some of things that I’m about to discuss won’t make me a very ‘likeable’ person. But I’m willing to risk not being liked in order to connect with the people who’ll resonate with this message.
Okay with that preamble out of the way, let me talk about something that’s had a huge impact on my life during the last few months…
The End of a Relationship
During the past few weeks I’ve made a few references to the end of my 14 month relationship with a girl— to protect the innocent we’ll call her Ms X.
Now I’ve gone through a few break-ups before (even a divorce), but for some reason this one has been the hardest to overcome.
In order to be fair to Ms. X, I won’t go into the details of what happened. Suffice to say, we had the very definition of what you would call a toxic relationship.
What’s funny thing about this whole thing is we both recognized that the other person was completely miserable.
Unfortunately we kept coming back to each another like a heroin addict looking for that ‘last fix.’
During the last month and a half, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out how I ended up in such a shitty relationship. At the end of the day, I’ve come to the conclusion that it was because of specific decisions that I either made or allowed to happen.
They say that 90% of your happiness in life comes from your choice of a romantic partner. You pick the right one and your life is great. On the other hand, the wrong choice can bring you a lot of misery.
So if I’m completely honest with myself I have to admit that I’ve been incredibly miserable for the last year.
With that said, I truly believe that often the worst situations can provide the most important lessons in life. And as I sit here reflecting on what happened during the last year, I’ve come to realize that I’ve grown a lot because of this failed relationship.
Here a few lessons I’ve learned:
Lesson #1- Be Careful What You Ask For…
“Be careful what you ask for because it just might come true.”
For most of my life, I’ve always dated the highly intelligent, bookish type of girl.
So about a year and half ago, I decided to start dating girls with more ‘passion.’
With Ms. X, I had lots of passion. I also got a ton of not-so-nice qualities related to passion.
For over a year, I could never predict what would happen next. At first this was a very intoxicating feeling. But after awhile it brought a lot of negative experiences into my life.
I still feel that passion is important for a relationship. But it should be coupled with other positive traits. Like intelligence, reliability, temperance, and honesty.
In my opinion, the perfect romantic partner should engage you on a number of levels. You should be mentally and physically attracted to this person. And most importantly, this person needs to be someone you can completely respect.
Lesson #2- Love Isn’t Everything…
Right now, I can honestly say that I’m still in love with Ms. X and I’m sure she feels the same way about me.
The problem with love is it’s not enough to make a relationship work. I spent the last 14 months with the mindset that “love conquers all.” The problem is we allowed love to keep us in a relationship that should have ended a long time ago.
I can thank The Beatles for teaching me the misguided notion that ‘All You Need Is Love.’ You can’t build a relationship with just love—Especially if you fundamentally disagree with the other person’s actions.
Being in love is a wonderful feeling. But there’s also business aspect to a relationship…like a partnership. At the end of the day, you have to be able to rely on this person. If you can’t completely trust this person, then love doesn’t matter.
Lesson #3- Admit Your Mistakes, Then Move On…
Too many people spend their lives looking in the rear-view mirror. They allow past hurts and mistakes to impact their future. Even worse… they play the blame game where they spend all their time talking about how their life sucks because of an ex.
To grow as an individual it’s important to reflect on your past. Often this means admitting your mistakes—to the other person and to yourself.
As I look back on the last 14 months, I have to be honest and say I screwed up a bunch of times. I could point my finger at Ms. X and say everything was her fault. But the truth is there were a lot of mistakes that I made.
The lesson here is to admit your mistakes then move on.
I’ve apologized to her for everything that I did wrong. And to give her credit, she’s admitted her mistakes.
But once you get past the apologies it’s important to focus on your future. Sure there’s going to be some lingering pain, but you need to move on.
Come clean with your mistakes, learn the lesson, and then focus on the next phase of your life.
Lesson #4- Short Term Pain Is Good…
I won’t lie and say that I’m completely happy. In fact, I go through days where’s it a struggle to not pick up the phone and try to patch things up.
What gets me through each day is I’m completely sure that I’m making the right decision.
Sometimes you have to be willing to go through the crappy times in order to get to the really good stuff.
I know deep down this relationship will never work. So this gives me the motivation to move on and see what else life has to offer.
Lesson #5- Refocus Your Life…
No matter what, I feel like I gave my heart and soul to this relationship. Unfortunately things didn’t work out the way I planned.
The problem with a failed relationship is it leaves a void in your life. And to fill this vacuum, many people do self-destructive things like drink heavily, have lots of casual sex, and generally wallow in self-pity. All of these are actions that I’m going to avoid.
In a way, I feel this experience has made me recognize all the opportunities that I’ve been missing. As a result, I’ve now refocused my attention elsewhere. For instance, I’ve done a number of things in the last few months:
- Created this website which will be my online business for the next few years
- Reconnected with old friends that I’ve lost touch with
- Made a commitment to spend more time with my family
- Planned two trips which should be amazing experiences
Notice I didn’t say anything about dating. Since I can admit that I’m not over Ms. X, I can also admit that I’m not in the mental state to date anyone else. I’m fine being by myself and don’t really need go through the motions in order to feel fulfilled.
For the most part, I wrote this article as a cathartic way to examine some of the emotions that are running through my head. Like I said, I wasn’t sure if I would post this on my site. But my hope is maybe someone out there will get value from this experience.
And if nobody likes this post? Well, that’s fine with me. I feel like it’s important to sometimes write for yourself rather than for an audience.
I tried to be clever with my title of “How to Lose a Girl in 14 Months.” However the truth is I didn’t lose her. We lost each other a long time ago.
Anyone who reads this post will have a different romantic situation. Some will be happily married. Others will be un-happily married. A few will be in great relationships—While some will be seeking that special someone.
No matter what situation you find yourself in, I hope you gained a little bit of value from this post. Instead of bitching and moaning about this failed relationship, I choose a different path— a path that’ll help me grow as a man.
The “take-away” from this post is to embrace the importance of self-growth. When faced with a painful experience you have two choices: You could choose to live your life or… you could let it destroy you.
What is your choice?Take Action. Get Results.