24 Valuable Lessons My Failed Relationships Have Taught Me
At my lowest point, and I do mean that literally, I was on my stomach, laid out on the bathroom floor after I found out I was going to miscarry my first pregnancy with the man I loved. It was a double loss for me because not only was I grieving the loss of my unborn baby, I was also grieving my relationship with him. You see, he had ghosted me. Again. I had been through breakups before, but by all accounts, this one was the worst because now I felt the guilt and the shame of being smart enough, wise enough, and old enough to know better.
It was the ending of this same relationship that forever changed my life, for the better. I'd always heard the saying that there's a purpose for pain, but I couldn't have imagined at the time that this single occurrence would be the catalyst for me to accomplish a life-long dream of writing my first book, earning a Master's degree, and creating an exclusive community for breakup recovery and personal development.
I've had some bittersweet moments on my journey to love. And I've come to realize that sometimes what we think is love is actually a lesson. Here are 25 lessons that my failed relationships have taught me.
1. No matter how bad it hurts, you will live through it. You already have.
Chances are, this wasn't the first heartbreak you've endured and it probably won't be the last.
2. Sometimes the people we want don't deserve us.
It's a hard pill to swallow, but a necessary truth to accept.
3. I don't want a boyfriend. I want a partner.
An active partner. An equal partner. A business partner. A prayer partner. A life partner.
4. I don't know if I'm ready for marriage, but I want a commitment. There is, however, a caveat...
I'm also afraid of commitment, but I'm working on that.
5. Heartache comes in different forms.
Like Lauren London, I've lost a partner to gun violence. Like Chrissy Teigen, I've lost a pregnancy. And probably, like you I've lost friends, family members, and this year, I lost my 16-year old Yorkie. I wish I could tell you the "right" way to get over the loss, but the truth is there is no right (or wrong) way to grieve.
It's hard. Sometimes it's so dark you can't even see the light at the end of the tunnel and the only thing you can do is feel your way through it. But I promise you, if you can get to the other side of the pain, love will be there waiting for you.
6. If he's really into you, you'll know.
And so will everyone else. You are too phenomenal to be regarded in any way that feels lukewarm.
7. Going forward, I don't want any kind of relationship where I have to question what we're doing.
If you have to question what you are, red flag.
8. Sometimes we're so caught up in WHO we want that we forget WHAT we want.
There's a difference, you know.
9. It's OK to cry.
This may sound weird, but when you do give yourself time to cry, I suggest giving yourself a cut-off. When time is up, it's time to get back up and move forward.
10. Despite feeling like you're going to die without them, every day your ex goes without calling you proves that you really can live without them.
And along with that, every day gets easier.
11. One thing about them tables...oh baby, they turn.
12. The way a person communicates with you is indicative of how they feel about you.
I said what I said.
13. Don't be confused by mixed signals from a person.
Indecision is still a decision.
14. I wasn't really in love with him. I was in love with what I thought it meant to be with him.
Sometimes, our partners are a reflection of something we lack. In my last relationship, for example, he was an extrovert, the complete opposite of me, but that was what I loved about him. He was like a magnet, attracting people from everywhere, whereas I prefer to be invisible, most days, yet, he saw me.
When we were together, I always felt like people were paying attention to him but he was very always focused to me. It was as if all those people loved him and he loved me, and that validated me in some way. He could have had any woman he wanted and he wanted me… at least that's what I thought.
15. Don't ever blame the other woman.
Like you, her loyalty was with him so the other woman owes you nothing. He does.
16. Men love familiarity so if it seems like he went out and got a woman just like you, he probably did.
Believe it or not, if you had the chance to get to know her, you'd probably realize that the two of you have more than just his penis in common, and you could probably be friends.
17. You can not change a man. And men do not change for women.
They change when they are ready.
18. Therapy after a breakup is money well spent.
When I was going through my breakup, I searched for a place where I could vent without fear or judgment. At that time, I couldn't find one that offered the support I was looking for, so I created my own. Everyone needs a support system.
19. I learned that forgiveness doesn't require reconciliation but reconciliation requires forgiveness.
Read that again.
20. If you're willing to settle for less, that's exactly what you'll get.
The saying is true, you get what you settle for.
21. Forgiveness isn't about letting someone off the hook.
Forgiveness really means that you are holding them accountable for how they hurt you but releasing the memory of it so it no longer triggers you. Now that's what you call peace, baby. Getchu some.
22. It's OK to be a little selfish, sometimes.
It's called setting boundaries.
23. You shouldn't be afraid to voice your opinions to your partner for any reason.
If you're afraid that he won't respond the way you want him to or he won't respond at all, that may be a red flag.
24. Pain is our body's way of telling us something is wrong. If your relationship is causing you pain, then it may be time to reconsider some things.
Contrary to popular belief, love doesn't hurt.
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Also known as The Real Black Carrie Bradshaw for her relentless love of shoes and emotionally unavailable men, DeJa K. Johnson is unapologetic in her pursuits to find love, happiness, and orgasms. A graduate of UA Little Rock, DeJa earned a Master's degree in Applied Communication with an emphasis on Interpersonal & Romantic relationships. She is also the founder of TheBreakupSpace.com, a safe space for men and women who need help getting over the loss of a romantic relationship. To connect, you can find her on all social media @TheRealBlackCarrieBradshaw or send her an email to love@TheRealBlackCarrieBradshaw.com.
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Reginae Carter Opens Up About Dating And Why She Puts Herself First
Actress, reality star and entrepreneur Reginae Carter has demonstrated that she isn't afraid to speak her mind on a wide range of subjects, including dating and relationships.
In the past, the reason why Carter, the daughter of Dwayne "Lil Wayne" Carter and Toya Johnson-Rushing, has been vocal stems from her numerous high-profile unions—the 24-year-old previously dated rapper YFN Lucci on and off from 2018 to 2021. In recent years, Carter has been romantically linked to YouTuber Armon Warren.
To date, the current status of her relationship with Warren is unclear because Carter has since removed what appears to be all the posts, including the singer, on social media. Despite that, Carter was open to discussing dating and the topic of placeholding when she recently sat down with Revolt's Black Girls Stuff hosts.
According to Goalcast, a placeholder occurs when an individual non-exclusively dates someone for an extended period as they "wait for the one." In the May interview, Carter shared her insights on celebrity relationships and why she refuses to settle.
Reginae On Relationships
During the conversation, Carter shared that many people view placeholding as a way that benefits one person.
The Boxed In star claimed that despite the difference of opinion, she considers it beneficial for both parties in terms of celebrity dating because the couple could be placed holding each other for a come-up.
"Some people are looking at placeholding as if like you know you're benefiting off of them or they benefit off of you. Like, say, many celebrity relationships, I feel like they placehold each other to get up or get on top or clout chase," she said.
However, Carter added how "industry relationships" could be detrimental to the person being used as a placeholder. Carter revealed that the individual being used may feel like their time was wasted.
"It's a lot of industry relationships where they go to the 'it' girls when it's probably like a girl they've been messing with for a long time," she stated. "That girl may feel like, 'Damn, I was placeholding, just for you to go get a more lit b--h.'"
Reginae On Being A Placeholder And Not Settling In Relationships
As the discussion transitioned to if she ever had someone in a placeholder position, Carter said that because she is "a fairy tale lover," the only people she has been romantically linked to are those she considered special.
"I don't think I placehold. I'm like a fairy tale lover, and I just love. So I feel if you ever came close to even getting a place to hold, I guess, you are really something," she explained.
When the topic of men having placeholders out of fear of being alone came up, the Terror Lake Drive star expressed that although she doesn't believe that all "men cheat," she shared that some have placeholders for specific things like sex and companionship because women allow it.
"My opinion is, I feel like not every man cheat. But I feel like every man got a little placeholder that they can call up, and they holding some place," she said. "They might be holding the ‘Oh, I just sleep with you place.' Or they might be holding the wife one, because we allow that. We allow men to do that."
Carter wrapped up the interview by saying that she refuses to be in that predicament because of the amount of love she has for herself, and if it ever happened to her, she would leave.
"If somebody makes us mad or we find out, like 'no baby, you gone, bye.' I know me. I'm not about to keep letting you come... It's too much. I don't play about me.
“So it's like, I know you sleeping around, I'm not about to let you sleep in this bed," she stated.
Reginae Carter on Relationships, Placeholders, and Growth | Black Girl Stuff
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