In this post we will be covering the questions you should ask yourself when a relationship ends. By the end of this post you should have gained some valuable knowledge about yourself. These in turn will help you in moving on and creating more successful future relationships.
Give yourself time to heal and then ponder upon these questions. Most importantly, don’t go into a new relationship until you have answered these.
It will be a great exercise to write down the answers to these questions. Grab your notebook, dedicate a page to each of these questions and write down everything you can think of. Come back to them each day and fill it out even more.
Having them in front of you in a notebook has benefits that we talked about in my first post, Relationship Red Flags, please give it a read and get a notebook to dedicate to your relationships.
This exercise will give you some perspective, while also allowing you to learn from your mistakes and avoid them in the future. It also won’t let you forget the lessons.
Let’s get started.
1. What did I learn from this relationship?
Did you achieve self-knowledge from the way you were treated or how you acted in your relationship?
Go back to the things that didn’t go well. Question your actions and responses. See if you notice any patterns.
In my experience, my ex-partner was uncertain about his feelings about me- he wasn’t sure if he wanted me. This is completely okay as we are not everybody’s cup of tea, and people are allowed to change their minds. But we have to see what kind of actions their feelings manifest.
In my case, he hid this fact from me for a while and when he told me about it later, he wanted me to wait around until he made up his mind. Well, that means he had little respect for me and my time.
I wanted to make things work after I found out about his true feelings, and that shows that I had little self-respect.
It took me only a little bit of time, but I learned to respect myself enough to leave a relationship in which I wasn’t wanted. I learned to put myself first.
What are some of the things you learned in your relationship?
2. How did I grow as a person?
What does growth mean to you?
To me it means developing myself in order to be happy and successful.
In my latest relationship I achieved the most amount of growth compared to all my life combined. I am thankful for this growth that resulted from an unsuccessful relationship.
I realized what I needed in a relationship in order to be happy. That is self-awareness, the art of knowing myself enough to know what I want and need.
I didn’t have this self-awareness before. I usually tended to stay in a relationship even if I was deeply unhappy, rejected, or mistreated. The self-respect that I gained for myself meant that I no longer allowed anyone to treat me the way I didn’t deserve.
Can you think of any ways you grew in your relationship? Did you do anything that helped you become happier as a result?
3. What did I do right?
When your relationship ends, you must question what you did right.
This will help you if you are blaming yourself for the failure of the relationship. Also, it will give you some insight for future relationships, because you want to repeat these.
In my relationship, the best thing I did was that I was very good at listening. This was one of the things my ex really appreciated about me. I loved it too. I love listening to people talk. It’s meditative for me and is also something we all need- to be listened to.
In a future post I will cover the art of listening that will bring magical changes to all your relationships.
What are some things you did right in your relationship? We can all learn from each other, so share them in the comments. Let’s chat. I’d love to hear from you.
4. What mistakes did I make?
We all make mistakes in relationships. So, don’t blame yourself.
The important thing is to recognize them, so we don’t repeat them.
My mistake was that I tried really hard to impress my ex-partner. It was mainly because I really liked him and wanted to keep him around. But he seemed very detached most of the time. I thought it was in my power to change that.
Throughout this process, I wasn’t being entirely myself. That was a big, exhausting mistake.
From now on, I will be myself. I will not trade that comfortable feeling with anything else. The right person will stick around.
5. What do I value in a relationship and in a partner?
We talked briefly about your values and needs in a relationship in the balancing relationship pros and cons post.
These are things to keep in mind before entering a relationship. But sometimes, after a breakup we learn that we value things that we hadn’t even thought about before.
It’s good to make and keep a list of your values, keep updating them as you gain more self-knowledge.
So, grab your relationship notebook and start making a list of all the qualities that matter to you. Taking a look at our relationship green flags post can help you get started.
6. What can I do differently in my next relationship?
We covered all these questions about all the things you learned, did right or wrong in your relationship. We also covered your values and needs. Put them all together and see what you need to do differently in your next relationship to make it last.
Think about your values early on before emotionally investing in someone. Make sure you continue doing what you did right in the past. And don’t repeat your mistakes.
Be sure to always keep learning. Life is a learning process and growth never stops.
7. What do I need in order to get closure?
It can be hard to move on if you never got closure with an ex. My take on this matter is that needing closure is a personal choice. It has to do with how significant this relationship was and what it meant to you.
The more important the relationship, the higher your need for closure.
It is something you need to sit down and think about. Ask yourself these questions: Do I need closure? and if yes, in what form?
I put a lot of significance in my last relationship and it was important to me to get closure. This is because I had a lot to say and needed to get them out of my system, otherwise I would forever think about them. After I talked to him, I stopped thinking about them. I needed that.
What do you need to get closure?
8. What are my plans now?
This is where you ask yourself what you want out of your life. Is there something you’ve been putting off? It is best to go after what you want and be well on your way of achieving it before entering a relationship. This is good because it gives you peace of mind.
I want a career that I’m happy about. That, for me, means writing. I want to write. I feel complete joy in my soul when I write here. And I am building the blocks of a stable career.
Until I do that and am completely satisfied about where I am in my life, I don’t want to think about a serious relationship. This is because I want to have something to bring to the table. Also, I want to feel that I have my life together before I can think about someone else.
Some of you might be on board with me. Others might want to have a partner to be on your journey with you, to help you and motivate you. That is fine too. But be on your way of getting what you want from life- with or without a partner.
What is your take on this matter?
Now that we’ve pondered upon these questions, you are steps closer to fully moving on.
You learned more about yourself, your values, how much you grew, what you learned, what you did right and wrong. It’s important to learn from the past, take what you need and then put it all behind where they belong.
As always, let’s chat in the comments and talk about these questions. I’d love to get to know you.