How To Truly Learn From Your Past Relationship Mistakes So That You Never Make Them Again

We all have at least one past relationship that makes us cringe whenever we think about it. Hey, that’s what the past is for, right? To teach us things and to change us for the better. We all mess up in the world of love and that’s nothing to be ashamed of… as long as you truly learn from your mistakes and make it a point to never repeat them. Here are some tips for how you can avoid treading the same old paths in the future.

  1. Stay true to yourself. Heartbreak sucks but it can also really help you find yourself. We learn a lot about who we are, who other people are, and the kind of love we really want through bad relationships. Use the pain and regret you might have from your failed relationships to always remind yourself of who you are and what you want in life and in a future partner. Don’t compromise yourself or let things slide that are important to you just so that you can make a relationship with someone work. That’s how the past relationships went south. Stay true to who you are and your relationships will be so much better for it.
  2. Demand respect through your personality. If you’ve been cheated on before or used in past relationships, one of the best things you can do for yourself now is present yourself as the kind of person who does not tolerate that behavior anymore. You don’t have to be tough or cold to give off this vibe, you just have to carry yourself as a woman who knows her worth and has the confidence and the self-respect to turn down anyone who doesn’t see that worth. Hold your head up high and be kind to yourself. People see these things and feed off of that energy. Potential partners will see you in that light as well and you won’t be taken advantage of again.
  3. Don’t let the past jade you. It can be hard to trust again or to be open to falling in love after a string of bad relationships, but you can’t let the pain from your past destroy your future with someone else simply because you’re scared of being hurt again. There’s no guarantee that the next relationship will work out, there are a lot of things that are out of your control, but what you do get to control is the way you deal with things this time around. Let your past mistakes guide you in your future relationships. Learn from them and know that you will find someone that is suited for you, you just have to be open to it.
  4. Avoid the type of people who haven’t worked out. This one can be a little tricky because you don’t want to write someone off automatically simply because they have similar qualities to one of your exes but, you should be aware of the things that haven’t worked out for you in the past. If someone has certain personality traits that have been difficult for you to mesh with before, you might be setting yourself up for another heartbreak, so just be on the lookout.
  5. Don’t ignore red flags. Once you’ve been through some less than ideal relationships, you develop a pretty good knack for spotting red flags early on. Don’t ignore red flags or let yourself be in denial about things that bother you just because you want the relationship to work. Those things will not go away on their own and avoiding dealing with them is just going to make the situation harder. You’ve been through enough bad stuff. Don’t make yourself go through more. If there is an issue you spot with a potential partner, nip it in the bud.
  6. Confront issues with maturity and grace. Successful adult relationships are built on mutual trust and respect. When you and your partner develop conflict or disagree about something, don’t brush it under the rug, don’t let your frustrations build and cause resentment. Deal with the issue head-on by communicating with each other and respecting each other’s feelings and opinions. You absolutely can have a great and happy relationship that contains conflict, it’s all about how you handle it. Don’t let small arguments destroy a relationship like they may have in the past because they were confronted properly.
  7. Exercise the love languages. Everyone has a different love language that they enjoy receiving the most and once you get to know your partner, you’ll start to learn what their love language is and that is how you know how to really satisfy all of their needs. They should also learn your love language, of course – that way you both feel content and satisfied with the relationship. The more you learn about the way both of you give and receive love, the more you will feel connected and in sync as a couple where you may have been lacking it in past relationships.
  8. Voice your opinions to your partner. Sometimes in relationships, especially when they’re new, it can be scary or difficult to voice your frustrations and opinions on certain matters. Being open and talking to your partner about everything that is weighing on your heart and mind is important and if you can’t speak your mind, it could cause issues in your relationship down the road. You could grow resentful of your partner or there could be a lack of trust between the two of you. Don’t let your fear of being forthright with your partner keep you from speaking up. If they love you, your opinions will be something they want to hear.
  9. Love the way that feels right to you. The right person for you will receive all of the love you give to them with open arms and overflowing gratitude. You might feel as if you had to repress or contain your love or excitement in past relationships, or maybe you had an incredible amount of love to give and your partner wouldn’t give it back to you. Whatever the case in the past may be, in all of your future relationships, you have to be yourself and let your heart love the way it wants to love.
Shelby is a journalist and fiction writer raised in the South but built for the big city. She's a book nerd (well, an overall nerd, honestly) and coffee addict and obsessed with all things leather and lacy.

She has a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies from Sam Houston State University and worked for her university newspaper, The Houstonian, as well as serving as a producer and part-time entertainment anchor for Cable 7 Huntsville. You can follow her on Twitter @shelby777.