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5lessonsIlearnedfrommypastrelationships

5 lessons I learned from my past relationships

During my childhood, I always thought that the society is based on the feeling of love and that love is the only thing we should strive for. That’s at least what I learned from my mum’s behavior and my close surrounding. All you need is love. There a person there waiting just for you. Etc. Fairy-tales. Well, after I gained certain real-life experience, I realized there’s something deeply wrong with this postulate. To a certain point it is true – don’t get me wrong, I am an altruist and I deeply understand the true importance of empathy. But, when it comes to relationships and finding a partner you would like to spend your life with, well, in my humble opinion, there are things apart from Love that should play a very important role, too. My experience thought me these are called Reason, Self-Awareness, Personal Growth and Wisdom. And I stick to a belief that these life lessons are the best things that have ever happened to me. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?


L 1: Love – Falling in love vs. Loving        

I fell in love so easily when I was a teenager. To me, falling in love was the most important thing in the world. It proved I was alive. Of course, being all so naïve, I had to learn the hard way that love is not just stars and butterflies. It so happened that me and my first boyfriend shared the same romantic soul and a tendency to idealize a partner. After two years, his fantasies first melted, and the moment he stopped feeling the butterflies, he panicked and broke up with me. I was so devastated and hurt! But this pain I felt taught me such an important lesson – falling in love is definitely not enough. It’s not even necessary! It just means you want your desire to be fulfilled. And this is not so mature, you’ll agree. Love needs to be empowered with trust, understanding and tolerance, and these feelings ask for a pinch of reason and wisdom as well. So, let’s step to Lesson 2.

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L2: Reason – Ideal partner – What a waste of life

I didn’t like the idea of being called a reasonable person. Growing up was, for me, incredibly scary. I didn’t want to grow up – that would mean giving up my dreams, getting old and having to pretend to be an adult. Searching for an ideal life partner goes in the same basket with the ideas of growing up I just mentioned. It’s not real. What’s even worse – it’s not healthy. It immediately reminds me of Miss Havisham from Great Expectations, who wore the same wedding dress for years, waiting for her dear one to come back. “Ideal soul mate” doesn’t exist.  Sad, but true. So, stop searching for him/her or you’ll end up being unhappy all the time. I realized I need to learn how to get to know a person I liked in the first place. And in order to do that, I first needed to get to know yourself – which leads us to step 3.


L3: Self-awareness – Who are you?

Breaking up and being left on my own was a frightening idea. For some time after a long relationship I quickly changed partners in order to get rid of that fear. I tried to stop the emotion by walking on clouds. But, “despair is the price one pays for self-awareness”1. It took me awhile to understand that uncertainty is a welcoming idea and that being single can truly be awesome. Why? Because you have time to get to know your own fears and accept them. Accept who you are, with all the mistakes you made. Accept your own demons. Only then you can confidently stand in front of the others. And you won’t need anyone else’s appraisals.


L4: Personal Growth – You can’t save others if they don’t want to be saved

Once I stepped into marriage for the first time, I had enormous amounts of energy, love and dedication, romantically and somewhat desperately wanting to succeed. I was so sure I’d be able to change my ex-husband’s inertness and lack of self-confidence. I was a dedicated psychotherapist, a wife, a lover, a cook, basically, I took over the roles in order to save the marriage that was doomed to fail. Because it takes two to tango. I embraced the idea of personal growth wanting to teach my partner the lessons I learned. But, after some time, I stopped trying and decided to leave. And that was the best step I have taken for myself. That was my growth.


L5: Wisdom – Learn to let go

I feared I won’t be able to cope with the divorce and all the ugly steps. However, with no kids, I quickly found the best way of how to file for divorce in Oregon, where I used to live, and everything went smoothly. I moved and I left enormous burden behind me.  I took a while to get over the feeling of failure, but letting go was a life-saving step that made me feel alive again.

I like thinking that it’s in man’s nature to constantly search for beauty, harmony, fulfillment – in short – we constantly reach for love and emotion. The way we’re going to achieve this do is entirely up to us. And the consequences and results are, thus, also, our own to bear. Follow your heart, but choose wisely.

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6 comments

  • chenal19
    12mo ago

    This is such great advice for any age. The hardest thing is to learn to love yourself, flaws and all. It's too easy to be your own worst critic; the key is to learn self-compassion and respect for your own needs. I'm glad it worked out for you, and I hope that life continues to serve you well.

    This is such great advice for any age. The hardest thing is to learn to love yourself, flaws and all. It's too easy to be your own worst critic; the key is to learn self-compassion and respect for your own needs. I'm glad it worked out for you, and I hope that life continues to serve you well.

  • Bethany Heinrich
    Bethany Heinrich Mogul Influencer
    12mo ago

    Such important advice that's really important. It's so funny how these lessons seem so obvious and easy to grasp with the head, but due to emotions, can be difficult for the heart to accept. It definitely takes time.

    Such important advice that's really important. It's so funny how these lessons seem so obvious and easy to grasp with the head, but due to emotions, can be difficult for the heart to accept. It definitely takes time.

  • Maddy Bernstein
    12mo ago

    Learning to let go is so key. I finally had to cut someone off so I could be open enough to let someone else in.

    Learning to let go is so key. I finally had to cut someone off so I could be open enough to let someone else in.

  • BeverlyZara
    [deleted]
    12mo ago

    [deleted]

    [deleted]

  • BeverlyZara
    12mo ago

    Hey Chloe, thanks for sharing this. I am going through a similiar thing in Oregon. He won't let me go, his grip on me is crippling and it's so hard. I know I have to leave but he's making it so hard for me, he knows he can't have me and he's behaving like a small child that won't let go of a small toy.. I'm concerned he's trying to sabotage my chance of happiness with someone else- actually I know for a fact he is. It's a mess and I want so badly to navigate out of it. I am trying to close some doors to leave room for new things to grow but I'm feeling like no one gets what I am going through with this or how trying it is to get him to let me go.

    Hey Chloe, thanks for sharing this. I am going through a similiar thing in Oregon. He won't let me go, his grip on me is crippling and it's so hard. I know I have to leave but he's making it so hard for me, he knows he can't have me and he's behaving like a small child that won't let go of a small toy.. I'm concerned he's trying to sabotage my chance of happiness with someone else- actually I know for a fact he is. It's a mess and I want so badly to navigate out of it. I am trying to close some doors to leave room for new things to grow but I'm feeling like no one gets what I am going through with this or how trying it is to get him to let me go.

  • Kelly Hudson
    12mo ago

    Love this. I get so confused though. Is it better to be in love or to love. I guess the to love is the more lasting one. I've heard both angles.

    Love this. I get so confused though. Is it better to be in love or to love. I guess the to love is the more lasting one. I've heard both angles.


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