"What's the best advice you can give to someone who's scared of being in a relationship due to their bad experiences with them in the past?"
Change your Expectations.
Most of us have the misunderstanding that relationships are about making our lives more fun.
We imagine that relationships should give us security, stability, a feeling of being loved. Someone to chat with when we’re bored, someone to help with the housework.
And, of course, sex, whenever we want it.
And sure, sometimes, we get those things from our relationships. But virtually no one can say that “this is what a relationship is always like.”
The truth is that relationships are hard work.
They’re a big investment of time, energy, and money that sometimes pays great dividends, and sometimes doesn’t.
So, Why Be In a Relationship?
OK... but, if relationships aren't all about good times then, what's the point?
Relationship are great, because they help us to grow.
Think back to those "bad" relationship experiences you’ve had. Were those relationships 100% bad?
Almost certainly not, or you wouldn’t ever have started them.
Let's investigate that, in your own life.
Choose 2 or 3 relationships which you felt unhappy about. Often we see these relationships as failures, and feel sadness, anger or resentment whenever we think of them. Often we never want to see that person again.
We're going to see how true that is, and take a more honest look at those memories and emotions.
Sit down with a piece of paper - one for each relationship - reflect deeply, and write the answers to these questions…
- What did I really enjoy about this relationship?
- What were my 3 favorite memories, and what did I like about them?
- What were my 3 worst memories, and what did I learn from them?
- How have I improved as a person as a result of this person & relationship? What good new things have I added to my life, or what bad things have I removed from my life?
- What do I now know about myself that I did not know before?
- What do I now know about relationships that I did not know before?
- How has this relationship changed what I am looking for in a long-term relationship?
If you are reasonably honest with yourself, you’ll realize that none of those relationships were “bad”.
They were growing and learning experiences for you.
They helped you discover what you want in life, and what you don't want.
They helped you learn about your own personal core values.
They helped you learn about people, their strengths, and their weaknesses.
They helped you appreciate the good things, and the great memories, that sometimes come your way.
Your relationships helped you discover yourself.
And your future ones will challenge and grow you too.
Embrace that, and find joy in it.
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