Recycle Plastic, Not Relationships


Five Mistakes People Make in Relationships

I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend emerge in the dating world lately. More people recycle through relationships than I recycle plastic and aluminum at home. And I recycle a lot! Dating has become some sort of a game where you can find all kinds of instant gratification BUT true love and happiness. It makes you wonder what people do wrong that causes this high level of partner recycling. Here I will share the five most common mistakes people commit in relationships.

The Illusion of Completeness

There was a time in life when my definition of true love was finding someone who completes you, kind of like finding the missing piece in the puzzle. When I met my first boyfriend, I was so eager to jump into a relationship that somewhere along the way instead of finding true happiness, I lost my identity altogether. All I cared about was satisfying his demands. If he was happy then I was happy. In my mind I thought I was doing the right thing because I believed he was my other half and I needed him in order to function properly. When the relationship ended I was so lost that it took me a good bit of time to recover. I realize that what I created was an illusion of completeness. No one could ever make you a whole because you ARE already a whole. You have to remember that truth about you before entering your next relationship.

Losing Your Self-worth

I have a few friends who constantly complain that the opposite sex doesn’t respect and value them. They feel taken advantage of one way or another. When we get into a deeper conversation about their relationship, I begin noticing that it’s not their partner who mistreats them as much as they allow that partner to get away with bad behavior. When you lose your self-worth and allow another to define you as they please, you surrender your life in their hands. The problem with such mindset is that it creates the perfect ground for an emotionally-abusive relationship. If you have a clearly defined sense of self-worth, you would never give a partner who doesn’t deserve you the time of the day. Begin valuing yourself so others will value you too.

Stuck in the Past

For other individuals living in the past seems more appealing that embracing the present. At a point of their life they met someone who they fell in love with head over heels. The relationship didn’t stand the test of time and dissolved after a while. Their partner moved on with their life while they seem to be re-living the past, wondering how they could have changed things. The truth is that not every relationship is meant to last a lifetime. Some of our partners cross our path to teach us a specific lesson. When that lesson is taught, they must leave and continue their own  journey. Unfortunately, many times we are so preoccupied with the pain of their departure that we miss the lesson. It’s essential to make peace and let go of the past so that new experiences and relationships will have the opportunity to unfold before us.

The Pursuit of Perfection

There is no such thing as a perfect human, let alone a perfect relationship. That’s one of the most important lessons you will learn in life. Relationships require acceptance and willingness to work together. In the process you evolve individually and as a couple. When you set up unrealistic expectations, you hinder that natural evolution. Consequently, you are faced with nothing but disappointments. I’ve known a few people who suffer from this problem. To others they had an amazing relationship; to them nothing was ever good enough. They took for granted the everyday blessings in their lives. On a deeper level, people who relentlessly pursue perfection actually try to compensate for the lack of self-love. Sadly, for them the flower of true love may never be found because they won’t allow it to flourish in their garden.

Non-stop Searching

Three years ago when my long-term relationship ended unexpectedly and painfully, I was on a mission to find a replacement as quick as possible. Instead of giving myself time to heal I jumped right back into the dating pool. I kept on having bad dating experiences but that didn’t diminish my determination to find my next boyfriend. One day I got so tired of the searching game that I simply gave up on my goal. A year passed without going on a date and two without a relationship. That is when Mark came into my life in the least expected way. Ironically, neither he nor I were looking for a relationship at the time. We just stumbled into each other on Myspace and became really good friends in a short period of time. Little did we know, a year later we would be living together and expecting our first child. The point of my story is that you have end the ongoing search and let love find you. The higher number of dates does not correlate to a higher chance of finding the One. It is exactly the opposite.

It took me a long time to figure out those five mistakes. During the learning process I was not even aware I was doing something wrong. But that’s how one evolves. Each person, each relationship, each interaction plays a role in finding out who you are. In that sense, there really are no mistakes. However, if you keep repeating the same pattern of behavior, fully knowing it’s not working, then you don’t evolve. You regress. And you continue recycling through yet another relationship.

© 2009 Zoe Vaklinova – All Rights Reserved

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2 thoughts on “Recycle Plastic, Not Relationships

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  1. This is incredibly insightful and so accurate as I found myself living through many of the same things in my past relationships.

    What a wonderful surprise you found in mark!

    I too have been blessed to have Steve in my life. Much like you neither of us was looking for a relationship. He really is a true blessing and I am grateful to have him in my life!


  2. Zoe: “One day I got so tired of the searching game that I simply gave up on my goal.”

    How True!

    Agree with everything you’ve said, Zoe. Relationships appear to be the perfect mirror for us to see things in our own selves that either irritate us or cause us to run the other way.

    I guess attractions, infatuations, physical illusions, etc., are all fleeting faces of something almost inexplicable natures of the many faces of love.

    Real love can love anything, anytime, in any circumstance. Externally placed love can only last until the party’s over. Trying to find love signals a scarcity of love in the first place.

    The letting go, as you said, just may be the key to everything in life, including love. When we love ourselves completely, and unconditionally (as set thru example, or lack thereof, from parental love), its easy to forgive and remain in the field of love.

    Perhaps this is the purpose of all of life – to find love toward ourselves by seeing it in everyone and everything around us – total connection! And I think all this social networking/twittering is still only the beginning. People don’t want to work… they want to connect! Where the hell is that garden again? lol

    peace… keep up the great ‘work’ you do by spilling all the beans you can.

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