Taking inspiration from the wise words of Rumi, who guided others to…
‘look for the answer in your question’
We get a glimpse into one of the best ways of overcoming heartbreak and the painful reality that a breakup can bring. Every kind of relationship has a lifecycle, some last longer than others, some are more exciting, fulfilling, loving, energising and the list goes on! The sad news and this isn’t typical, but they can end at any point. Which if you’ve searched and are now reading this article you’ve probably already experienced. However, it isn’t all bad, there’s actually a lot to be positive about because every past relationship really does hold valuable lessons. Think of them as golden nuggets like the wise words of Rumi that can teach each of us so much more than if we hadn’t of met that person aka the Ex. The most crucial part is understanding your role in the process of what happened as these learnings can offer a head start when it comes to the next serious relationship you decide to embark on.
The key though to finding the answers you need to help you overcome and flourish after a breakup can be found in the questions that you ask yourself during that all-important alone time. Asking quality questions is one of the most powerful ways to help you come to terms with the uncomfortable truth that the relationship has ended. It might sound simple, but when there is a strong mix of ideas, experiences and emotions like anger or sadness these really can get in the way and even distort the whole breakup story. That’s why we thought it would be great to give you a helping hand, pointing you in the right direction so you can start to make sense of what really happened, why and how not to repeat the causes of the last breakup in future.
To get you started we’ve put together a few questions you can ask yourself that should help reveal more…
1 – How well did you communicate with each other?
Communication is crucial to every form of loving relationship and for that reason, it is a great place to start. We encourage you to take the time to work out whether you had the kind of communication you wanted in your past relationship. A great way to test this is to look back in general over the time you spent together and see if you felt safe to express exactly what you were feeling at the time. If you believe it was the opposite and you had to think carefully about what words you said or even made an effort to avoid bringing up certain subjects then start making notes. Also, think about whether you really felt listened to and heard when you spoke about something important to you. Did you find that your Ex was listening or was they caught up in their own agenda? From this, you can then pick out a clear example, one that occurred frequently and start by asking yourself ‘WHY?’ If the answer isn’t immediate don’t try to force it, simply follow the breadcrumbs and look at the example from different angles to help you get to the actual truth.
2 – Did you take each other for granted?
Let’s be honest, relationships take effort, care and love if they are to grow and become stronger with time. In contrast to the first question, this one requires that dreaded but essential moment of dropping the guard and defences to have an honest, sometimes brutally uncomfortable conversation with the person in the mirror. When you do muster up the courage to finally ask if there is an abruptly quick ‘NO!’ response, take a moment to recompose yourself and ponder the thought a little further. Another way to test this is by measuring your reaction when you recall whether you or your partner felt lucky to wake up together every morning and understanding more about what you expected from each other – was it a little or a lot. These are all ways of helping you to understand whether you took each other for granted and possibly the demands you placed on each other’s role in the relationship were drastically unrealistic. Either way, understanding the truth here can be quite freeing so again muster the courage and have that conversation.
3 – Did your reasons for being in the relationship match up?
Third, but certainly, not least is working out whether you were both together for the same reasons. All too often people start out on their journey to finding love without first realising why and what they want in a relationship. The pain of a breakup can be eased when you delve into the all-important point realm of whether you were both wanting the same things from the being together. Looking at whether you trusted your partner to always put the relationship first is a good place to start building some momentum. What about promises… can you count the number of times they were broken on one hand or did you stop counting after you lost confidence in them? If you’re still in the confused, trying to make sense through the clouds of emotions point. Then working out whether you felt confident in the relationship from the start will help to bring a clearer perspective on whether you were both there for the relationship or had completely different intentions.
The power of these three simple questions is to centre your efforts for understanding and ultimately heal the heartache. Discovering the truth behind why a past relationship ended will help you glean whatever it is that has to be learnt from the whole experience. Remember, there are golden nuggets that can offer new understanding on how to choose better and date better in the future. You’ve now got your questions to get you started and remember “actions of others speak louder than words, this is true, but understanding our own actions is even better”…
Love Patsy x
Relationship & Wellbeing Director at PerfectCombination. Dating therapist specialising in relationships and wellbeing. Patsy has been fortunate to cultivate a wealth of relationship and wellbeing experience drawn from her many years of coaching and treating a vast number of clients.