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Another month, another set of super helpful Mental Health Monday posts to keep you on the road to self-care, self-love, and healthy relationships.
Our guest blogger today, Ellen, is here to tell us about how her failed relationships have all put her on the path to her current one. She starts all the way at day one, with her very first, pre-pubescent online loves, which I found absolutely adorable, and traces her path all the way to the present to show how she really needed to go through all the failed relationships to get to the good stuff.
If you’re not sure what you’re reading, this is Mental Health Monday, a guest-post series aimed at helping people in their twenties feel inspired to take care of themselves and live mentally healthy lives. We cover everything under the sun here, from managing different mental illnesses like depression and anxiety, to tackling troublesome symptoms like depersonalization. Last week, I talked about the pros and cons of online therapy, which has proven to be a hot topic among millennials lately. If you want the full story of MHM, click here!
Before I’ve talked your ear off, I want to let Ellen of Zyrakuma talk to you about her failed relationships. Not like how your friends talk about them over brunch! Ellen has learned some valuable lessons from her failed relationships, and wants to show you how each of them has led her further down the path toward the healthy relationships she is in now. I hope you enjoy!
Sometimes failed relationships can be the catalyst for really scary mental health situations. If you’re feeling particularly down over a breakup and are struggling to get through it on your own, these resources I’ve compiled will get you the help you need. This free mental health resource list is full of hotlines for lots of different situations including substance abuse and trauma, as well as online counseling options through BetterHelp. BetterHelp is a great option for people who are struggling but don’t have enough time or money to visit a therapist’s office. Check it out and get a free 7-day trial with this link. And don’t forget to claim your list below!
I’ve encountered many failures even though I haven’t reached my older stage of life. I have failed tests in school, failed at how I reacted in certain situations and mostly, I have some failed relationships. That’s right. Pretty much everyone has felt the same way once or twice— failing at becoming that one “perfect couple.” Here are my stories about how my old relationships failed, but helped me learn so much for the future:
Ellen’s Failed Relationships: The Pre-Teen Years
The first of my failed relationships was with Jonathan, who I met on a video game. Immature and innocent me was curious about what it was like to be in a relationship, even though now, I’m not even sure if I could count it. I thought relationships were icky and awful with all that “lovey-dovey” stuff. On the first day, he called me “babe” and “baby,” and I told him to stop calling me those nicknames because it sounded gross. I never actually had feelings for this dude. Like I said, I was just curious!
Skip a few days. Jonathan breaks up with me because he has feelings for someone else. I replied with “ok,” and went on with my life like he never happened. My first relationship lesson was not to date someone I had no feelings for! No spark, no reason to keep things going.
The next of my pre-teen failed relationships was with Jason, from another video game. He was anything a young girl could wish for. Until I introduced him to my best friend. I’m sure you know where this is going! They started texting behind my back! I was devastated. How could he do this to me? He was the love of my life! He gave excuses about how he couldn’t handle long-distance. I had a mental breakdown and was literally posting all over Facebook about how unfair life was, how I missed him, how I wanted him back, and all the things kids say when they break up. Now that I’m much older, I hate thinking about those things I said! Lesson learnt: don’t post your failed relationships all over social media.
Ellen’s Failed Relationships: The Teenage Years
Time for the days where I was a rebellious teenager. This guy, Calvin, was a guy I dated in real life. He was my brother’s best friend. We texted each other over FB but we don’t talk much in real life because we were shy. (can you relate?) As time flew by though, I got the courage to ask him out. We dated for six months, and I was very much in love. He was my first kiss, he snuck into my room to cuddle with me, and I was constantly talking about him to my friends.
But then around the six month mark, depression came into my life. I was angry and sad all the time, and all these emotions were hitting me like I got smacked with a fish. Even now, I never want to remember those days. I started getting more and more angry at Calvin for nothing that he had done wrong. And yet, I was so attached to him that I never wanted him to leave my side. I noticed that he wanted it to be over with me and I begged him not to leave. I even threatened to end my own life. Of course, we broke up anyway because that’s not a healthy way to have a relationship. Lesson learnt from the third one of my failed relationships: Don’t take emotions out on your significant other, and making them stay with you out of guilt is not healthy.
A few years passed, and I focused on my schooling and my mental health.
which was getting worse by the day. That’s when Jason came back into my life by an old friend. We had both matured, or so I thought, so we decided to give dating another chance. Feelings came back, and we became close again. He asked me out, and I told him yes. We talked so much, until deep into our relationship, his dark past came up, which I knew nothing about. This brought out my own darkness, and I was already in a bad place, so I felt angry and betrayed. I couldn’t forget about it, but I didn’t want to accept it and move on. So we were stuck, and it was hurting both of us emotionally.
I was becoming more distant, and he was focusing on other stuff. I felt that if I left this relationship, I would never love someone else ever again. So, I stayed. I stayed and got more hurt along the way and I hated that feeling. I tried so hard to leave but I would always make up excuses to stay with him because I felt lonely and scared. And so, I took the courage to break up with him and end the fourth of my failed relationships there. It hit me hard, but I knew it was the right thing. Lesson learnt (again): don’t stay with someone you don’t have feelings for. Loneliness will pass, but scars from people who don’t treat you well can last a lot longer.
Ellen’s NOT Failed Relationships: Devin
While I was dating Jason but still feeling lonely, I messaged one of my good friends that I hadn’t messaged in a long time. His name is Devin. He was also dating someone else at the time, but both of us were miserable in relationships we hated. Eventually, he broke up with his ex (on Valentines Day!) and as you know, I broke up with Jason. So, we decided to be together.
Throughout our relationship, we have always been there for each other through good and bad times. We talked about our pasts but this time, I was able to accept the past as the past and leave it behind. Our relationship is healthier than with any of the other guys I’ve dated. We have different opinions and things we like. Even still, we support each other. He comforted me when I told him about my depression, and promised he would always love me and help me through tough times. We also make space for each other to do our own things, and he lets me know he loves me even without saying it every day. We’ve been dating for 8 months at the time of writing this, and I couldn’t be happier in my life!
Everything I learnt from my failed relationships has shown up in this current one. If you’re losing hope about finding the love of your life, focus on the lessons you may be missing from the things you’ve been through. Everything you’ve been through is helping you get closer to learning what you really need, so be patient on finding your true love.