We all have heard the breakup excuse, "It's not you, it's me." Or what about my personal favorite, the disappearing act. Suddenly, the person you are dating no longer picks up your calls. If he/she is polite enough, they may follow up and give you the classic, "I'm just not ready for a relationship" excuse.
But no matter how crafty or creative a person's breakup excuse, we can always tell when it's a way to spare our feelings or to make the person ending the relationship feel better about themselves.
As a person who has experienced more breakup excuses than I can even remember, I decided to make it my mission to find the truth behind the excuses. I knew if I could uncover the truth, I could course-correct my relationship pitfalls and help others do the same.
Here are three incredibly common reasons relationships don't last, and what you can do avoid them in the future:
1. You didn't fully live life as your true yourself.
Have you ever been in a relationship where you went out of your way to please your partner, constantly looked for their approval or lost touch with the things you loved before you met them?
When you are in a relationship that causes you to become unsure of your true self and your needs and desires, you impose unnecessary limitations on your own life. You try to blend yourself into your partner's life by trying to mold yourself into who you think they want you to become.
What most of us fail to realize, at least consciously, is that this behavior is learned as a child, likely when your parents unknowingly pass on the notion that there are unacceptable parts of you.
For example, maybe you loved playing in the mud as a child, but were told getting dirty was unsafe and bad. In this instance, you learned the part of you that loves mud was unacceptable.
In order to be loved and accepted you learned to hide these parts of yourself and over time lost touch with them. Unconsciously, most of us develop this pattern of looking to others to tell us what is and is not acceptable.
It's totally natural to carry this pattern into your intimate relationships by looking to your partner for validation. But because of this, it's essential to create a practice of getting in touch with your authentic truth, whatever that means for you. Pursue your passions, cultivate your friendships, develop a self-care routine. Allow yourself to be and express every part of your truest, most essential self.
2. You don't emphasize the importance of strong boundaries.
Weak boundaries run in the same family as losing touch with your true self. But weak boundaries tend to be a deeper sign that you believe your wants, desires and needs are not as important as someone else's.
Instead of doing what is right for you in a given situation, you do what you think will make other people happy. You say "yes" when you want to say "no," you make plans with your partner when you want alone time, you agree with something you actually disagree with.
When a person knows you will always go with the flow, you send a clear sign to your partner that you don't fully value yourself, which subconsciously makes them believe they shouldn't value you either.
It's not fair to assume that anyone is a mind-reader. That's why it's essential to make clear what boundaries are important for you. If you assert your needs, you increase the chances that your partner will respect your needs. And if they don't, then you know that the problem isn't your lack of self-respect, but something that has nothing to do with you.
3. You didn't take time to heal the past.
There's a good chance you have had a past relationship that didn't work out. And in the cases when we are especially obsessed with convincing ourselves (and others) that we're over a painful breakup, we usually aren't.
The residual effects of this unhealed pain will show up in your next relationship. It can cause things such as arguments, feelings of distrust and many other negative factors that ruin relationships.
If you have a tendency to jump from relationship to relationship without taking time to grieve, heal and develop into an even better version of yourself, then I can guarantee you are still carrying around wounds from the past.
Think of a torn muscle, a broken bone, or a cut. These things need time to heal. So to does your heart. So give it time, cultivate patience, and do things in the interim that will provide you joy and a supportive environment to feel and express what you're going through.
If you are anything like me and have experienced multiple failed relationships, there comes a point when you know it's time to make some necessary changes. Your happiness is in your hands: you can create the healthy, lasting relationship you desire.
I invite you to join me for my free webinar, where you will learn how to release the fear and anxiety and change the bad habits that sabotage your relationships.