What We Can Learn about Relationships from Our 'Failures'
the balancing act by Kyle Steed Design CC BY-NC 2.0

When I read Tejal Patel’s article 7 Beautiful Lessons You Can Learn from “Failed” Relationships on Finer Minds, I was struck by her insights, especially the first point on her list:

People don’t belong to you.

Simple but brilliant. This doesn’t just pertain to romantic relationships. I can honestly say this applies to every kind of relationship imaginable—with your children, your partners, your parents, your friends, or your coworkers.

So often we subconsciously see the people around us as co-stars in the movies of our lives, but in reality they have their own dramas. Friends and family may have leading roles in our show, but ultimately they’re responsible for themselves. Whether we realize it or not, being possessive of other people means we’re trying to control them, which adds to our emotional baggage, something I work very hard to unpack.

Though written for the end of a relationship, Patel’s advice is helpful for anyone who feels like life has thrown them a curveball. Here are a few more of her insights:

  • You can only change yourself; stop wasting your time trying to change anyone else.
  • Love grows in the place where vulnerability is cultivated, so open up if you want to build and sustain a relationship.
  • We are setting ourselves up for co-dependency issues if we wait for validation from other people. We complete ourselves!
  • As painful is it may be at first, sometimes the main purpose of a relationship may be to teach us how to gracefully let go.
  • The more we behave in an altruistic way, the more self-love we cultivate.

What do you think? Do you believe your “failures” have taught you important lessons?


Rose Caiola
Inspired. Rewired.

Click here to see more of Rose’s tips for healthy and happy relationships


  • Heather Camp
    Posted September 5, 2014 7:05 pm 0Likes

    Love this! I believe that just being open, understanding and willing to learn in your relationshsips, can teach you this and many more lessons, regardless of “failures”.

  • Bob
    Posted September 6, 2014 5:36 pm 0Likes

    Absolutely! Finally recognizing my patterns from relationships that ended opened my awareness to who I was and what my values are. Without these “failures”, I know I would not be the person I am today.

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