“Don’t settle for a relationship that won’t let you be yourself.” – Oprah
When it comes to romantic love, I’ve made a lot of mistakes.
I’ve pushed people away. I’ve destroyed my relationships. I’ve let other people bring me down. I’ve done just about everything you shouldn’t do when you’re in love (or in a relationship) and I want to share my learnings with you in the hopes that you won’t make the same mistakes.
Here are 11 mistakes I’ve made in love, and what they taught me about life:
1.) Trying to “save” my partner
This was always an epic disaster (and yes, I’ve tried to do it multiple times). People don’t change until they’re ready and willing to, and once I realized this I realized my energy is better spent growing myself.
2.) Trying to find a partner to “save me”
For a period of time, I thought I’d find my purpose in my partner. This wasn’t the case. And I realized I was putting off who I thought I ought to become because I thought someone would bring that part of me to life.
The lesson? Prince charming never came, and I realized I needed to be my own hero.
3.) Trying to be someone I’m not to please/impress a partner
Like a chameleon, I’ve attempted to be someone I’m not to impress past partners. I’ve done everything from pretending to have interests I really don’t, to acting differently than I felt.
When I was “pretending” I was never happy and wasn’t honoring myself. I learned the people I have to pretend for aren’t people I want in my life.
4.) Sacrificing things that were important to me to appease the other person
Ugh. This is a TOUGH lesson to learn. Heed my words — NEVER sacrifice things that matter to you to appease your partner. A supportive partner would never ask you to sacrifice your morals or priorities to cater to them. Trust me.
Your dreams, your family, your priorities etc. should not take a back seat when you’re in a relationship.
5.) Holding my tongue when I should have spoken up for myself
There have been countless instances in the past when I allowed a partner to talk negatively (sometimes evenly verbally abusively) toward me and I didn’t speak up for myself.
Accepting this bad behavior was destructive to my self-esteem, and disempowered me.
These days, I never hold my tongue when I know I need to stand up for myself because I know I am worthy and am no longer willing to be disrespected.
6.) Holding grudges
Yikes. The good ‘ol grudge hold. I used to do this a lot, and generally, it would follow #5. I wouldn’t stick up for myself, and then I’d hold an internal grudge for days, weeks, or even months.
Talk about destructive. I’d have all of these angry feelings boiling up inside of myself about my partner (completely unbeknownst to that person) and become consumed by negative thoughts and feelings.
Now, I speak openly to my partner and release any negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions so they don’t negatively impact me or my relationship.
7.) Picking fights for no reason
I’m not proud to admit this, but it’s true. I’ve definitely picked fights with past partners for no logical reason. I’m assuming this urge stemmed from internal tension and anger I had about my life or my partners, but regardless it was destructive and unnecessary.
These days, I don’t let the little things get to me, and I’ve learned to talk through issues as they arise so they don’t become big blowouts.
8.) Bringing up my past relationships
Oh boy, this one was something I used to do A LOT. In past relationships, I’d always reference my former boyfriends (and what I liked about them) especially during fights with my partner. It was an easy way for me to get under my partner’s skin, and make him squirm.
My advice? Don’t do this. It will make your partner feel bad, and may even ruin your relationship.
9.) Bringing up my partner’s past relationships
Yep. I did this too. And it would drive my partner CRAZY especially if there were things they regretted about the relationships (like cheating, or how things ended). It made them feel like they couldn’t escape the past and start anew and tainted our relationship.
I’ve realized the past is best left in the past unless of course, your partner did something you can shake — in which case it’s probably best to exit the relationship.
10.) Comparing myself to my partner’s past partners
“She’s prettier than me.”
“Why did he leave her? She seems perfect.”
“What does he want with me?”
I’ve been guilty of cyber-stalking my partner’s past partners on social media, analyzing what I found and then comparing myself to the images. Not only was this energetically draining, but it also put a strain on my relationships.
The reality is, there’s no point in comparing yourself to anyone else. We are all different, and that’s what makes us beautiful. When I realized this, I embraced myself and stopped comparing myself to other people.
11.) Comparing my partner to my past partners
When entering new relationships, I often found myself comparing my new partner with my previous partners. I would cherry-pick the elements I liked from my past partners, and expect my new partner to embody those attributes.
The problem? I set my new partner and new relationship up for failure. And I blinded myself from seeing my new partner as an individual.
These days, I focus on letting people be who they are without comparing them to who and what I think they should be.
I’m grateful for these 11 mistakes because each one has taught me a valuable lesson about life, relationships, and love. I hope you’ll be able to learn from them too.
What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made in love? Let me know in the comments below!
Feeling lost? Grab a copy of my new eBook From Broken to Awoken: a step-by-step guide to personal happiness, success, and fulfillment and start improving your life today!
Click here to order yours!
About Antasha Durbin: Antasha is a spiritual writer, life-long student of the universe, and psychic tarot card reader. Her website, cajspirituality.com, is dedicated to casualizing the spiritual experience and making it attainable for anyone, anywhere, anytime. Follow her for free, easy-to-digest and highly actionable advice on spirituality, mindfulness and empowered living.