Relationship Resumes: Things I Now Know Thanks to Failed Relationships

Several months ago, I was hanging out with two friends I’ve known since high school – a close girl friend who moved to Chicago and a visiting male, who also happened to be a former flame and my first real love.

The topic turned to relationships and experience in the field and I mentioned the notion of relationship resumes – the list of knowledge, skills and practice we draw from when dealing with significant others or summon on dates, showcasing prior successes, saving the failures for later. Personally, I look for partners who have their resume filled in a bit, like my own, indicating they are not novices to relationships or love.

Turning to the guy, I said, “Like you; I would use you as a reference as an example of one of my successful relationships.”

My friend interjected, “Well I don’t know if I would say you guys had a successful relationship….”

“Why not?” I asked

“Because, success means marriage.”

 

The idea that a successful relationship means more than “to death do us part” struck me in June right before my break up, in July a few weeks after and again Sunday morning with a re-print of a Chicago Tribune article on relationship myths.

The article reads:

“So many people stay in relationships for too long because they feel if it ends, that is a sign of failure,” said Tim Ray, author of 101 Relationship Myths: How to Stop Them from Sabotaging Your Happiness. “One of the things I work with clients about is to be more psychologically mature and part of that is to realize that people change and things change. The belief that you need to stay together can lead to people staying in an unhappy relationship or marriage despite the fact that they have grown apart and the relationship is no longer working … A relationship can be a success even if it ends.”

While in some ways I wish my hunt for my right person was a lot easier than the twists and turns it’s taken so far, I’m proud of each little bullet point on my resume that has gotten me to where I stand today.

My high school self would perhaps feel a little uneasy that I never found the right match in high school or college, like originally expected. But me, right now, 24-year-old me, can’t imagine anything else. She knows it is not the norm to grow with the same individual through every stage of life; that her growth comes from time alone.

I’ve detailed relationship lessons learned in previous blog posts, but what really strikes me is that there certain things I only could have learned from going through a break up. Things I now know about myself that my friends who have been in the same relationship for most of their life may never know or have to learn.

For all of us who have had to start over, say good-bye or learn the hard way: I think our collection of experiences, from former flames and exes and loves, is sometimes less important than the strength we now have from the scars and scrapes it’s taken us to gain them.

Things Failed Relationships Have Taught Me About Myself: 

  • I know how long it takes me to fully heal from a heartbreak. And more importantly, I know I can heal – that some love can simply cease to exist.
  • I believe break-ups mean something; I don’t believe they can be open threats or taken lightly into on-and-off occurrences.
  • I understand I am not afraid of getting hurt; maybe I hate being wrong about love, but the fear of being wrong won’t keep me from falling in love just like the fear of being alone won’t keep me in a wrong relationship.
  • I know what real work looks like in a relationship – how to productively work to build the foundation of communication, to keep getting to know each other, keep doing nice things to each other. And I know what it looks like when someone isn’t actively participating in the partnership.
  • I can recognize when a relationship is headed downhill. And though I hate the anxiety at the pit of my stomach, I know now there is relief at the end.
  • I know that even if you don’t ultimately get back together, even if your partner doesn’t say it outright, there will always be a point where your ex misses you or remembers your or fears to let you go.
  • I know that there isn’t really a race to the finishing line, to the win. Any ex that will be with someone else just to spite you, isn’t ready to be with someone else. Finding your own match is more improtant than the rate it takes to locate them.

And you know, I think my 16-, 19-, 23-year-old self would be proud.

What do you think failed relationships can teach us?

Lessons Learned from Blogging Fails

Now that Mmm Stories has celebrated its (undeserved yet uncelebrated) one-year anniversary, I felt it was time to step in from my hiatus and act like a good blogger mama and show some love to my baby.

Whether this post is my last forever or my first in a new stream, I’d like my little blog to have some closure on this whirlwind of a year. Because while it hasn’t been heavily documented, it has been one of great self-actualization.

And that includes figuring out why my first year was..well..

kind of a Fail.

So please people: If you’re looking to start a blog – or are wondering why you can’t keep on track – here’s some things to note.

Lessons Learned from Blogging Fails

1. If you’re going to try to fit into a genre, actually dedicate yourself to it.

If you’re trying to show the world that you know what it means to balance life while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle – make sure that you are committed and truly interested in those actions.

I learned pretty quickly that it’s hard to talk about tough workouts, strength gains and weight loss if I’m not really getting in any great gym sessions. And I’m not going to show people how to make a tasty dessert or a healthy snack for a party – if I’m not really into writing down recipes.

So if you have a topic you’d like to focus on: make sure you’re sticking with it in day-to-day life.

2. Sometimes you may not need an outlet.

When I first started reading healthy living blogs, I was afraid to talk about weight loss or exercise or eating right with my friends in real life. Discovering other blogs was like magically finding the missing community I’d been searching for. 

But fortunately, since following my first blogs in July 2010, I have begun talking about all things fit and healthy with my real life friends. We are honest and upfront with our struggles and we cheer each other on with our accomplishments. Having work out and healthy eating partners has meant I have needed to reach out less online.

3a. Make sure you like pictures – editing them or being in them.

It’s going to be hard to document your life if you think every picture of yourself is terrifying.

Even if they are.

3b. It’s going to be hard to star in photos and text about your life – if you don’t really like who you are.

This is really the most important lessons I’ve learned about blogging!

If you’re too uncomfortable with the way you look to take a picture of yourself, but also too afraid of admitting that you’re unhappy with the way you look…you’re going to run out of things to blog about.

There is no hiding your unhappiness when it comes to sharing it all on a blog. So either document your struggles or wait until you’re happier. Authenticity is key because in the end, you’re the star of the show.

Fortunately 12.1 months have taught me a great deal and many ways to overcome previous obstacles. It’s just another one of those examples of when you let go of trying to be a certain way, things start to fall right into place.

I look forward to seeing ya’ll around.