Don’t let your past relationships ruin your future relationships. Let me rephrase it and say it again … Don’t let one failed relationship keep you from having successful relationships in the future. There are a lot of things that you can not control in life (such as your ex.) But the one thing you can control are your actions. You have the power to take the very painful experience of a break-up and turn it into an opportunity for growth and into something that makes you stronger. Or, you can continue to be the victim by making decisions and taking actions that not only hurt you, but hurt others around you.
Having successful relationships takes work and requires you to make better decisions for your life. It’s time to grow up! Check out 20 Mistakes You Better Not Make After a Break-up. And I’ll let you know which ones I regret doing.
1. Going back to a bad ex. 1 of 20
This person was no good for you back then, and the same holds true now. But, because you don't want to be alone, you'll settle for what's familiar, even it if is not good for you.
Photo Credit: Andy Dean
2. Mistaking "living" for "bad behavior." 2 of 20
After years and years of being in a bad relationship, it's time to live it up. You want to see the world, date, and get involved with activities. But now is not the time to lose your moral compass. Now is not the time to do something that you will end up regretting.
After spending most of my 20s in a bad relationship, drinking and messing around with men I had no business messing with was my initial cure for the pain I was experiencing. It did not numb the pain and caused more problems for me. Thank God I got it together.
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3. Hurting others because you have been hurt. 3 of 20
You know the saying "Hurt people hurt people." Don't hurt other people because you have been hurt.
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4. Losing your job. 4 of 20
Relationship pain can be excruciating. But, losing your job is only going to add to the pain. If you are truly distraught, then call out sick or ask for leave (following the proper procedures.) If you don't have leave, then you need to pull yourself together and take care of your responsibilities.
This is one I would never do. I would pull it together at work during the day and save that crying stuff for the night when I was home. I might have been out of my mind with pain ... but I was not crazy and my bills were going to get paid!
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5. Getting into financial trouble. 5 of 20
Losing your job or "balling" out of control because you are free, are both things that will get you into financial trouble. Running out and buying new clothes, cars, and houses to prove a point to your ex will also get you into financial trouble.
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6. Not making sure it is truly over. 6 of 20
This one is important for all couples, but especially important for married couples. Before you go off and do something that you cannot take back (like sleeping with someone else or getting someone pregnant), make sure your relationship is truly over by taking some time to really reflect on the relationship and work on the issues.
I had a friend who left her husband and started a relationship that only lasted for a few months. By the time she realized that she wanted her husband back, it was too late. Too much damage had been done.
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7. Trying to avoid the pain. 7 of 20
Author and speaker Zara Green said it best: "Growth happens during the storms of life." Give yourself the opportunity to process the pain and move through this stage in life. There's growth on the other side of this pain.
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8. Going back because it hurts too bad and you don’t want to be alone. 8 of 20
You're afraid of the pain, you are afraid of what the future holds for you, and you do not want to be alone. Stop running back to your ex because you are afraid. You'll never take advantage of the wonderful opportunities that are awaiting you, if you keep going back to the same old thing. As, I stated before … give yourself the opportunity to process this pain and to move through it and on to the better things.
I did this one too, until I realized that nothing was changing. I was in pain in the relationship, as well as out of it. So, I decided to try something different...giving myself time to heal from the pain instead of running back to a bad situation.
Photo Credit: Westa Zikas
9. Going ham! 9 of 20
Don't let your friends (or your inner voice) talk you into doing something foolish. " Yeah girl you ought to go over there and slit that fool's tires." Going ham, ballistic, and/or crazy will not solve your problems and could potentially lead to a lot more serious legal problems.
Photo credit: Pavel Losevsky
10. Romanticizing about the good times. 10 of 20
I am quite sure that you and your ex had some good times together. But, let's keep things in perspective: there's a reason why you broke up.
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11. Sleeping with people you should not be sleeping with. 11 of 20
Being promiscuous or sleeping with other people's spouses are bad ideas. And it is not safe behavior. Don't risk hurting yourself through risky behavior. Also, as I stated previously … just because you are hurting doesn't mean you should hurt others.
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12. Not forgiving. 12 of 20
Forgiving does not mean forgetting or that it absolves your ex of any wrong doing. But forgiving will allow you to move on. It will allow you to release the pain and anger and move towards healing.
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13. Not forgiving yourself. 13 of 20
Sometimes it's necessary to forgive yourself for transgressions or, for allowing yourself to be a victim for too long. Forgiving yourself is also necessary for healing. Acknowledge your mistakes, learn from them and then move one.
I think it was harder for me to forgive myself than to forgive my ex. Why did I stay for so long? Why didn't I want better for myself? But, my mama told me, "when you know better, you do better." So, I decided to forgive myself and do better for myself.
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14. Putting your business on Facebook. 14 of 20
Please refrain from venting and putting your business on Facebook … it's just plain messy. If you need to vent, call a trusted friend.
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15. Stalking your ex. 15 of 20
I know I don't have to explain to you why stalking your ex in-person or on social media is just plain wrong. Don't become obsessed with what this person is doing. Instead, focus on yourself.
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16. Stalking your ex’s new friend. 16 of 20
Again, stalking you ex's new love interest on Facebook is not cool … and kind of creepy.
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17. Stopping your progress when you go back. 17 of 20
It is not uncommon to reconcile with your ex, especially if you think there has been positive change. But while you were apart, you made some significant accomplishments in your personal life. You've invested in yourself, you're eating right, you've joined organizations and/or church, and you've reunited with friends. Don't throw that all away when you reunite with your ex. If he/she want's you back … then they'll have to accept the new and improved you.
Yep, I did this one too. I had started going to church and volunteering there. I was exercising and losing weight. And the minute I went back, I stopped it all. And it wasn't long before I was right back in the same unhappy predicament. Whether you are in a relationship or not, you have to find time to invest in yourself and your own happiness.
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18. Wallowing in the pain for too long. 18 of 20
After you feel the sting of the initial hurt, you have to find some courage and some strength.
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19. Isolating yourself. 19 of 20
Relationship expert Dr. Gary Chapman says: "Don't court loneliness; instead, reach out to people. If no one is reaching out to you — half the world doesn't reach out to anyone — you be the one who reaches out. No matter what the relationship, take the initiative to be with people. Chances are, you'll not only deal with your own loneliness, but you'll also enrich the lives of those around you."
Photo Credit: Westa Zikas
20. Not looking in the mirror. 20 of 20
What are you going to learn from this experience? What role did you play in the demise of the last relationship? Take some time to discover some things about yourself that may need to change. Working on yourself is the best way to set yourself up for better relationships going forward.
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