Sometimes when a relationship ends you know the reason why.
It could be that you had been drifting apart, one of you met somebody else, you were fighting a lot or you simply fell out of love. Heartbreak is never easy. However you can look at your break up to try and work out how you can do better next time. Do an autopsy on your relationship.I have had friends who have broken up with men and said he had felt like a brother in the end, while others have told me their breakup was because of a lack of friendship and that their sex life was still electric. Then of course there is the huge number of relationships that fall somewhere in between.
In some cultures arranged marriages are there to try and put two people with a lot in common together as there is sometimes the belief that 'romantic' love is not real anyway and when it disappears there will be no foundation for a relationship left. I have also heard people say the opposite that if there is not an electric spark at the beginning, the relationship is doomed.
So what is the answer? Sorry to be predictable but I think you need a bit of both. Of course you need to love the values of the people you are in a relationship with. But then you also have to have your heart skip a beat. Relationships do change over the years, They cannot sustain those first date feelings.
Would you really want them to?
At the same time a certain unconditional closeness can only come after a long period of dedication. Part of the butterflies at the start is the fear that you might not see them again.
A person I know lost his wife after over 30 years of marriage and he said he had taken her for granted. However isn't that what love is? Knowing and expecting that person will always be there, will always have your back?
Yes romance is important! Kiss, cuddle, be romantic and laugh. But also, be their best friend, talk, listen, cry and support each other.
Another big secret to great relationships is to never stop flirting. Be grateful for that special someone and argue nicely.
A harsh word can cut. deeply. It is possible to disagree with someone and still love them.
Unless you are very new to love and relationships, most people have had a relationship that didn't work out. When I look back at all my relationships whether it was me who did the dumping or even if I was dumped, way before the end, I have always had an inkling that it wasn't quite right. I won't go into particulars, but I would say in every past relationship there has been a moment where the bubble burst, where I went from madly in love, to how could they do that? I would say in every relationship I have been let down in one way or another. Be it excess partying, unfaithfulness, nastiness or selfishness, each and everyone did something that I knew was a deal breaker.
For a while after we broke up, I would kick myself for having stayed when I had seen the signs earlier. Perhaps I have an attitude of once you have put so much effort into a relationship, you should stick with it. There were definitely times in all my relationships when I had all the power and there were times when THEY have had the power, and I don't really know why that power swings back and forth (but it does). In most of my relationships, I had a point where I was going to leave, but I didn't. When I think about why I didn't, it was different each time. Some men begged me not to leave, some I thought I was still in love with and I thought that was more important than our differences, some I considered friends. In hindsight, I think most men were unfaithful, but that was not the cause of the break ups. I believe that is a symptom of a broken relationship.
Anyway I think it is important to identify when you are with Mr or Mrs Wrong, ask yourself these questions:-
1. Do I love them?
2. Do I like them?
3. Do they love me well?
4. Do they like me?
5. Do we support each other?
6. Do you both want the same big things? travel kids etc. ?
7. Do they make me feel good about myself?
8. Do you treat each other well through tough times?
9. Do you only have eyes for each other?
10. Are you friends?
If all of these are Yes, then I say stick with it. The real test is would they honestly answer yes to them all too? Good luck in finding Mr and Ms Right and dodging the wrongs.
When you are heartbroken the pain can be immense. Your heart literally aches. It is a horrible feeling and yet it passes. In each heart break I have had, I would say that time (the immediate days and weeks following) is the most painful. I remember one particular break up where I was aware of this. I wished myself 6 months forward to when I knew I would feel better. It is true, the pain does not stay with you. You do get over it. You will be happy again. You will meet someone better! I think you need to talk it out when you are heartbroken, but you also suddenly have lots of lonely time on your hands- what should you do with all of this time? You should do things that make you happy. Things like:-
get a massage
write a poem
focus on work
plan a holiday
take up a hobby - creative?
learn to cook
do things that your ex didn't like but you do
watch B grade movies
laugh at yourself
think how things could be worse
list the things you won't miss about your ex
have a mantra like 'I am strong' or 'this is his/her loss"
learn a language
talk to a friend
do cultural things
There are so many other things you can do for pleasure. Now is your time to shine and do them! Enjoy your freedom, cherish it and relish it! Time heals but it also flies, so embrace it and let your heart run free until you meet someone better!
When you don't get what we want it is just the universe saying it has something even better waiting for you!
It is a common thing for people to confuse these two things. Lust is a very real and an all consuming feeling. When you are lustful toward someone, it can sometimes feel like love. Heart in the toilet is often sent dilemmas about feeling one and not the other. I remember one lady was in an arranged marriage and her culture had suggested people will grow into love. There have also been many people say they have fallen out of love, that they are not attracted to their partner anymore and that the lust has gone. Familiarity breeds contempt. It is up to every couple to keep it fresh and new. It is up to every individual to wake up every day and make their partner in life happy. Yes we have off days, yes we have work, life and children that seemingly 'interrupt' our opportunities at having relationship bliss. But it is possible. When you flick through a magazine, you might find many of the people you see attractive, you may lust after them, but rarely do we confuse that feeling of attraction with true love.
Years ago when a partner betrayed me, I remember a lady I worked with said "he just needed an ego boost". Another friend said "a relationship that has started by breaking up another, will never last". I guess most of all from being cheated on, I realised I was with the wrong person. No one cheats if everything in a relationship is going well. At the same time, I do think some couples can recover from infidelity. It is a sign that the relationship is ill. You need to tend to relationships like a lush garden. Give them plenty of water, sunshine and maintenance. You must care for your coupledom, it won't take care of itself. Love must be nurtured and lust is just an added bonus, like a beautiful frangipani, fragrant and irresistible, but not always in bloom.
The death of David Bowie made me think about the celebrity relationships that have lasted. David Bowie was of course married to Iman, the stunning supermodel. They seemed totally in love and devoted. Iman put it down to "Family is first, everything else is secondary… knowing what your priorities are when you get married," They seemed the perfect mix of beauty and talent. We don't know how they really got along. From the outside it looks like they were in love. David had had relationships before and I am sure when he was with ex-wife Angie, he really loved her too. Maybe he was too young, or she was just not the right woman for him. Maybe it was his lifestyle. Maybe he didn't grow up until he met Iman. Of course I am merely speculating.
Some other celebrity relationships that seem to have lasted Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson have lasted. Hugh Jackman and Deborah Lee Furness. There are some couples that just seem so in love.. Brad and Angelina have lasted so far and perhaps will continue. (Angelina certainly had a past and seemed to become bored of lovers quickly, but perhaps children have changed things for her). The Beckhams, Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick. There are many who have lasted. For a relationship to work, (I have been advised) it takes two people who wake up every day wanting the make the other person happy. I think this is true. Sure you have days where your other half annoys you, or isn't being exactly who you want them to be, but if you both have the same intention, to make the other happy and your actions generally fall into line with that, then the result should be a long, harmonious relationship.
Feeling fulfilled is not just about being in a relationship. A friend of mine used to always talk about having the trifecta, which meant having the perfect:-
2. home &
I do believe love is a huge part of happiness, but that love does not have to be romantic. You can love your friends deeply and also you can love your work and hobbies. You can be extremely happy and fulfilled through your platonic friendships and family relationships to the point where you don't NEED a romantic love. I think it is good for you at times to be single.
In my adult life, I haven't really spent that long being single, maybe a couple of years max and not all together. However during those times, I do have to say my friendships were very strong! I had two gorgeous girlfriends and we would go out dancing. In the end I didn't want to meet anyone when we were all out, I just loved hanging out with them! Of course when you are happy to be single, you suddenly attract lots of people. It seems your aloofness draws people in.
The other thing that can eclipse relationships is when you have a creative pursuit of some sort that becomes a working passion. When you love what you do, it no longer feels like work and you can become totally absorbed in it. However I think love is better for you than a work obsession.
A pleasant home and cool flatmates are also important to overall happiness. You should love your space, your room, your kitchen and your bathroom. Your home is your retreat, where you sleep and are nourished. You should surround yourself with beauty and the things you love. One of my fave places I ever lived had a spa out the back and we spent most of our time sitting outside. It was great, I enjoyed living there and had a cool laid back housemate. It is important to be happy at home.
So there, it is possible to have the trifecta without romantic love, but love is still part of it. If you are happy, you will attract lots of people and if you know yourself really well, you will attract the right person.
Many of my friends are still single and dating. I only ever went on one date as a result of Internet dating and that was many years ago. I have never used Tinder and from a far it seems a bit cold. The thought of someone just callously swiping you away, somehow seems like the scene is very much based on appearances and not so much personality. Don't get me wrong, I know attraction is very much a physical and chemical thing. But a picture on a screen does not establish a chemistry either. When I look at most male models, while I can see they are attractive and have ridiculously good bodies, I rarely fall in love with them. Even as a teenager reading Cosmo or Cleo, the descriptions didn't make me fall in love either. Wow they might have a compatible star sign or be into Prince like I was. It does not mean that if we met, it would be a fairy tale. Friends have told me that often internet dating is about a guy who is after just one thing and there is also the fear that they are still dating heaps of other people after you meet - they have a whole cattle market to choose from after all.
Relationships to me are about everything, chemistry, friendship, excitement, caring, physicality, humour, loyalty, everything. I think some elements without them all, would somehow feel quite empty. I know some very powerful relationships have begun on the internet and I guess my main point here is it doesn't really matter how you meet, it is about what happens when you do. My friends are too old to play games, but then don't want to have to cut straight to the chase and scare them away when only dating someone for just a couple of weeks. There seems to be a plethora of guys in their late 30s/early 40s who have Peter Pan syndrome, or maybe they just haven't met the right girl. When you really fall for someone, you don't stop and ask "Am I looking for a relationship?" or "Hang on this is getting to serious" like a fast sweeping river it takes you along and you have no choice, but to follow that current. Love is all consuming and all accepting. Tinder is the new personals column, but with much easier and instant mass access. I think love is better the old fashioned way, but maybe that is just me. My advice to singles, is to go out, have fun, meet eyes across the room, laugh, be merry, be happy being single - that's when I have always seemed to meet someone.
I was thinking about love and what it actually is. In countries that believe in arranged marriages, they think romantic love is deceptive and short-lived - and that two people should grow into love for it to be true and authentic. Pop songs and film make you believe that love is the butterflies, chemistry and sexual attraction you feel when you are first together. Also some poetry/songs make out you don't even realise you were in love until it is gone = see Roxette "Must have been love". Does this mean love is transient and unattainable? Perhaps. What about the platonic love you feel for friends and family and pets? It is definitely not as passionate as romantic love but you could argue it is more solid or stronger. I do think love can come and go and I also think there is eternal and fleeting love. I have definitely thought I was in love in the past - many many times, on looking back maybe half of them I did love and not ever really in every way. I perhaps loved the idea of them, their company, their looks, their friendship, bur perhaps not everything at the same time. It is also said you cannot love another person properly until you fully love yourself. I would somehow agree with this, but then you do have to learn to love yourself and only through experimenting with love do you realise what you will and won't accept in a partner. Falling in love is breath-taking, yes that is why all the songs are written about it, but staying in love, that takes real skill, perseverance, work, patience and luck.
Talking to girlfriends the other day we discussed our exes. The good, the bad, the long ago, the recent. We laughed, we talked about who we really loved and who we didn't. The ones that ended badly, the ones that we still thought of fondly. We also talked about what we learned from them. It turns out we learnt a lot. It taught me personally that there are many ways of seeing the world. Some were arrogant, some were nice, some creative, some scientific, some soppy, some mean. They all had something that drew me to them in the first place and that positive thing does not cease to exist just because your relationship did not work out. I think it really teaches you what you don't want and it also taught me that there are vital things you must have. You must love each other as friends, you must want the same kind of life and you must have your own interests. Of all of my exes, we had little pieces of this but never all. Looking into the past is not always a bad thing. It can teach you what you need to know. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said "Men (and women) succeed when they realize that their failures are the preparation for their victories."
Many years ago I met a beautiful lady, she was 98 and had an amazing life story. When she was 20, she lived in New Zealand and was engaged to a man. Her family moved to Australia for business and she was torn apart from him. They wrote letters for many years, but this was before planes and before it was easy to travel back and forward. My friend told me she was still angry with her parents for not letting her marry him. She had an 80 year regret and cried even at 98 about this sad outcome. She married someone else and had a family, but still loved this man. When I met her and heard her story, I thought life is too short to have regrets like this. I think it was a different time. At 98, this lady longed for a love she was denied. I often think about what would have happened if she had been allowed to fulfill her dreams of perfect love. Would he have been as perfect as she imagined? We will never know. Besides being sad, I think this story is a strong recommendation to not have 'what ifs?' or regrets and to simply follow your heart. You only live once and you may love many times, but make sure you live and love fully.
Many people will contribute to this blog - it will be advising you to fill the gap that is left in your heart after a break up with love for yourself until you radiate!