It all started with long night phone conversations, the hourly update on each other and were inseparable most of the time. Just like any romantic relationship, this is how ours started. It was all pure bliss and excitement. Everything seems to be okay. We feel nothing but love for each other, and everything in-between becomes indefinable. As long as what matters most was our happiness. It’s true what Meredith Hansen, PsyD wrote – “Healthy adult love exists when both partners are emotionally interdependent; meaning that both partners love one another, care for one another, desire physical closeness with one another, but respect each other enough to have their own identities as well.”
That time, everything was ideal- from celebrating important occasions to going on a movie date, attending Sunday Church and visiting families. Indeed, it was a perfect match made in heaven.
However, life has its way of testing the waters. What seems to be an ideal relationship became the opposite of everything. As our relationship went on, things have changed gradually. The world that we made exclusively for each other slowly fell apart; until one day we realized that we were already living life out of that world and could no longer recognize each other as to how we were before. That time, we decided to let go of each other so as not to cause further pain and frustrations.
“As much as a new love can pare bad habits, it might cut away some good qualities, too. New research suggests that sometimes being in a romantic partnership means losing favorable aspects of the self.” – Theresa E. DiDonato, Ph.D.
Time Heals And Teaches
Three years in a relationship have come a long way for me to realize everything, at first it was all regret consuming my entire being – asking myself why it has to end, why beautiful things never last. Acceptance and moving on were tough battles, but I had to hold myself together for I can no longer afford to feel broken again. I am grateful for the gift of time for it has allowed me to accept the truth, feel the pain and pick up myself again, the time has healed me. I experienced the emotional torture day by day until the remorse I have been nurturing for entirely some time has turned into a realization of what has transpired from my failed relationship.
It was the expectations that ruined our relationship, i.e., expecting things would never change and hoping more of what is given in the relationship such as time. Unmet expectations heated up frustrations that led to constant misunderstandings, which eventually ended the relationship.
It was too late to recognize that, if only I appreciated his efforts of making time for me out of his busy schedule, maybe I would not have demanded more of his time. If only I have come to appreciate myself with all the care and love I have given him, maybe I would not see myself inadequate and incapable of loving him. Lastly, if we only tried to appreciate everything in our relationship especially on how much we decided to save our relationship, maybe we could have salvaged it. However, we were both consumed by our expectations with each other that it made us hard to appreciate both our efforts as we try to fight for our relationship, we end up fighting against each other. I know it was too late now; nonetheless, I am still thankful that I have come to realize what went wrong with my past relationship, for this will be the lesson I am bringing as long as I live.
Moreover, if fate permits that I may find myself falling in love again, at least I have now in me the key to having a lasting relationship, and that is appreciation. Because appreciation teaches us to become satisfied with what is given to us. Appreciating your partner’s effort to fetch you despite arriving late is better instead of ranting over why he was late. “Appreciation matters. Those who express appreciation with their partner are more committed to them and more likely to stay in the relationship,” says Ryan M. Niemiec PsyD.
Feeling thankful for a quick lunch out because of a tight schedule rather than not having lunch together. These are just some of the little things that when appreciated will make each other see the efforts being made for the relationship. Expectations will fade away when appreciation glues the relationship.