6 Hard Lessons I Learned From My Failed Relationships

Ahh romance. It is ironically filled with irony.

It’s not all unicorn and rainbows. It comes with pain, struggle and a lot of lessons.

The cynical ones out there might even say that true love doesn’t exist, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves here.

You can learn a lot about people, romance and yourself in relationships, especially when they fail.

Here are 7 hard lessons I learned from my failed relationships:

  1. People are not what they seem

I remember my first ever relationship with a girl whom I met in church.

She was really steadfast in her Christian values, so much so she didn’t allow me to drink, party or have sex with her.

She ended up cheating on me with her ex, whom she had slept with before. Through manipulation and plain not caring about my feelings, she managed to do all of that.

It made me learn that people are truly not what they seem. We’re so used to attaching labels, and hence judgement on people based on what they are on the outside that it comes as a shock to us when we find out who they really are deep down.

So don’t judge people, not too much at least. You never know what you’re going to get.

2.  You might drop your values, beliefs and principles because of emotions

When you’re in relationship, emotions get heightened.

Typically, you’d be really in love with your partner and thus would, above all else would want to be with him or her no matter what.

But alas, because of emotions, things may go wrong. You may end up acting out of the ordinary and even do something you thought you never would.

I remember being in arguments where I knew I was wrong, but I let my ego take control instead. I started making up excuses and throwing in everything I could to have the last word in. It was very immature of me.

It made me learn that when emotions are involved, it can be extremely hard to actually do the right thing. Hence, you’d surprise yourself with the things you might do in a relationship.

3.  Some people just don’t care

I remember being with a girl who, despite being together for a long time decided to disappear at the end.

Yep. Into thin air.

It’s easy to think, “How could someone do that?” or “Why couldn’t they do the simple, common-sense thing?”

But alas, as hurtful as it sounds, some people just don’t care, even if they loved you at one point or another.

When this happens, it’s honestly best to decide to let go and move on.

A relationship needs two hands to clap. When one party isn’t putting in effort, the relationship is bound to fail.

4.  People change and that may hurt

Yep. People change. Even you do.

And sometimes, it’s for the worse, in the sense that it’s not something you can keep up with.

This is when you see your partner change completely from the first time you guys met. It’s very hurtful as you wonder what the hell happened and where did she or he go.

It’s also very hurtful when this change means leaving you behind as you’ve no place in their new way of life.

My best advice here? Stop waste time or energy wondering what happened. That’s not going to change anything. That’s literally trying to live in the past.

Try to work things out or move on already.

5. Things ALWAYS happen when the least expected

Thought that things were going well? She may decide to disappear out of nowhere.

Thought you knew everything? He may be cheating on you all along.

You just had an awesome date? They may text you they want to break up later on at night.

The bottom line: You’re never going to be prepared.

That’s really scary, but nothing can really prepare you for the ups and downs of romance. It’s a roller coaster where you can’t see the tracks.

A meaningful quote I learnt from a book is apt here: Love is just a crazy energy that comes and goes as it pleases. So don’t be too surprised when it falls into your lap for seemingly no reason. Yet, don’t be too hurt when it leaves too.

Which brings me to my last point…

6. Your happiness is your responsibility, not your partner’s

Believe it or not, your happiness is entirely up to you.

The path to self-improvement always falls back on you. You can’t rely on others, even if you love them. In fact, in a sense, that’s only setting yourself up for unhappiness.

Relationship and romance can be a wonderful thing in life, but always remember to work on yourself too.

You’re on your own person.

If you want to be happy, then work on yourself.

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Alden Tan keeps it real at his blog and writes about motivation in unconventional ways. His two main passions are Bboying and writing. Check out his free report12 Things Happy People Don’t Give a F**k About! 


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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