Realizing Your Failed Relationship was Actually a Success

Ask anyone who's ever dated, and they'll tell you about their unsuccessful relationships.

"My past relationships were unsuccessful." 

"I always seem to fail in love."

"I'd like to be in a successful relationship that actually lasts."

What does it mean to be in a successful relationship? And how do we define it? 

For some, the term “successful” is saved only for those partnerships that end in life-long marriage—’til death do they part. But who is to say that marriage (or a long-lasting marriage) is the only qualifier for success?

What happens if we change the way we define a successful relationship to mean any relationship that resulted in a better, stronger, smarter you?

A 3-month relationship, where partners learn about their sexual desires and preferences is a success.

A 5-year relationship, where you now more clearly understand of the qualities you need in a long-term partner is a success.

A 20-year marriage that has ended, where you’ve learned to love and let go, leading to more self-discovery and resilience is a success. 

I have clients who tell me they’ve had “no successful relationships,” and after a little more conversation, I can see that they’ve had many successful relationships. While those relationships have now ended, the amount of information they’ve learned about them is amazing.

The ability for my clients to reframe their relationships experiences is empowering.

Let’s take back this phrase "unsuccessful," and redefine what success looks like in relationships of all kinds. Every relationship—no matter how short or long—teaches us something about ourselves and desires. They help us prepare for future relationships, and that’s what success looks like!