When a relationship doesn’t work out, we all have the tendency to agnonize externally over the outcome. What does it mean to “agonize externally”? It often means to pick apart the relationship and, inevitably, play the blame game.
Lesson #5: Have Peaceful Breakups
(1) Things happen for a reason. Looking back at my past relationships, there were times when I felt that I was trying to push a square peg into a round hole. The moral of the story is that nothing good ever comes by way of force. When a relationship does not work out, it is often a blessing in disguise. Think of it as an opportunity to continue your search for the one who’s right for you. This is a good thing.
(2) People do not change. Although people can make minor adjustments here and there, fundamentally, most people do not change. Remember, you must always accept a person as-is or not at all.
(3) Not your responsibility. At this point, you have relinquished your responsibility of making this man a better person. One of the benefits of being in a committed relationship is that you have the duty of helping each other become better people. For many, this is a point of no return. For men, relationships are seen as wood–drop it, abuse it, if it works fine, let’s keep it. For women, relationships are seen as glass–once it’s broken, it’s broken. Even if he is capable of changing, it’s not your job to make him a better man for the next woman. It’s like fattening a duck for someone else’s table.
(4) It’s a small world. It is often said that during the heat of the moment, we often make stupid mistakes–mistakes that we come to regret for years to come. The solution? Stay cool. I know, easier said than done. In most situations, no one benefits from high animosity. It is precisely during the heat of the moment when you must learn to compartmentalize the situation and view it from all angles (including all possible actions and consequences). A breakup can be difficult and disappointing. But it doesn’t have to be a catalyst for other unpleasant events. Case in point–years ago when I was a broker at a large financial firm, I dated a man whose ego was the size of Texas and the relationship ended after a year of extreme ups and downs. At that point, I was devastated and deeply saddened by the ending of what I thought was a relationship worth saving. Instead of acting out a full-on rage and giving him a piece of my mind, I made a conscious choice to recognize the relationship for what it was and appreciate all the good things about this person. I then decided that it was far more efficient and practical to continue my search for Mr. Right. A couple years after our breakup, this man became a client of my financial advisory practice and subsequently referred several of his colleagues to me. Today, we are still good friends. This goes to show that the world gets smaller every day. And, in business, the world is extremely small. You never know where life (and relationships) may take you.
I am glad that my past (failed) relationshps did not work out. If it weren’t for my failed relationships, I wouldn’t be with my Mr. Right. I consider myself very fortunate and thank my lucky stars for the events that have brought me here today.