Have you ever fallen in love with the perfect pair of shoes, only to try them on and find that they don’t quite fit? From a distance, through a perfectly curated window display, those shoes may have seemed to be the answer to every problem in your life. Up close, however, the flaws are blatantly obvious and undeniable.
Some people, despite every indication to the contrary, might continue with the purchase. This is how beautiful shoes wind up at the bottom of the closet, or worse, the bottom of the donation pile. While it’s painful to walk around in a pair of shoes that are too tight, finding “the one” can be comparably disappointing.
Don’t let the fear of not finding a fit dissuade you from “trying them on” so to speak. Don’t build a wall around yourself and completely ward off all opportunities to date possible future partners. It may seem easier to give up on dating altogether, however, that may be a response to an irrational fear. Often breakups leave us feeling so defeated, that in order to protect ourselves, we intuitively become more afraid and defensive.
But what does it really mean when you keep going through relationship after another like they’re last season?
What it doesn’t mean:
It does not mean that you’re destined to be alone for the rest of your life. Every breakup can eat at your confidence, making your self-esteem wither. However, you may know from experience that forcing shoes that do not fit will never change their design, no matter how hard you try. Similarly, forcing a relationship with someone who you aren’t compatible with can do more harm than good. Finding “the one” is less about chance and more about trial and error. The more you put yourself out there and try through dating, the higher your possibilities of finding a relationship that works.
What it means:
Breakups, while uncomfortable at best and gut-wrenching at worst, are all learning experiences. It means you have the opportunity to be self-reflective which will bring you one step closer to finding “the one.” If Adele was able to make a career out of her misery, you too can benefit from dating someone who turned out not to be “the one.” Keeping an optimistic attitude will help turn those lessons into something practical. It’s a process.
After you decide a relationship has run its course and you’ve let go, spend some time asking yourself the hard questions:
- Has this relationship revealed any areas in which you need to grow?
- Is there anything you can do differently in your next relationship?
- What incompatibilities made this relationship particularly difficult?
- What has this person taught you about your strengths?
- What did this relationship teach you about your weaknesses or vulnerabilities?
Answering these questions can prove to be cathartic. The truth is, once you’ve grieved a failed relationship, there is so much insight you can gain about yourself and your future lovers. One of which will turn out to be “the one” and will be very thankful to all the ones that came before and didn’t fit. It is only then that you’ll be able to look back and truly appreciate the process and journey that led you to each other.