I’ve worked with many clients who feel they’ve failed or are a failure because of a breakup or not being in a relationship yet. This mentality tells me a few things:

  • They see themselves as being 100% responsible for the success of a relationship, so they will go to extraordinary lengths to make it a ‘success’, even if it hurts.
  • To ‘make things work’, they were willing to overcompensate for where the other party wasn’t showing up, including hiding their needs. And they’d still be willing to do so if they thought it would lead to ‘success’.
  • Because they see themselves as 100% responsible for the success, they take sole responsibility for the relationship ending or any problems. It also means that they’ll jump through hoops with auditioning behaviour while dating
  • They regard relationships as ‘success’ and ‘failure’. Being in a relationship is an intrinsic part of their self-worth and identity. They’ve internalised programming about what it is to be a successful human and how to have relationships.
  • There’s often a predetermined idea of what relationship ‘success’ looks like. For instance, many people have internalised a target of ‘before thirty’ to secure a relationship. Even though they could go on to have a genuinely loving relationship in their thirties, forties, fifties and beyond, they think they’re ‘late’. This mentality not only creates anxiety and shame but has a knock-on effect on their choices. Next thing, it’s panic stations, settling for crumbs, and the last chance saloon.
  • They are people pleasers who suppress and repress their needs, desires, expectations, feelings and opinions to put others ahead of themselves. They hope their ‘pleasing’ will lead to attention, affection, approval, love, or validation. Or, failing that, they hope being pleasing will help them avoid conflict, criticism, stress, disappointment, loss, or rejection.

A breakup or your relationship status isn’t a reflection of your worth.

You are not your relationships or your relationship status.

A relationship not working out despite whatever efforts you put into it isn’t a failure.

Being single or going through a breakup also doesn’t make you a failure.

If you’ve blamed yourself for a breakup or shamed yourself for being single, check in with yourself. Your thought process highlights where you’ve inadvertently given up too much of yourself in the past. It’s not that you now need to hold back and be closed off. No, instead, it’s recognising that you don’t have to sacrifice yourself and overgive in your relationships.

Healthy relationships are mutual and copiloted. When your relationships are equitable from the get-go because you’re being yourself, the success of the relationship won’t rest on you.

FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites
Ready to make way for the loving relationship you want? Sign up for RELATIONSHIP FUNDAMENTALS classes.
This is default text for notification bar