Don't let it be a total loss.
Movies and books tend to focus on the good relationships, the one that stick, the happy ever after.
What they neglect to highlight are the forty-plus turds you go out for awkward cups of coffee with before you even meet someone worth seeing again.
They also don’t tend to linger on bad relationships, unless it’s to highlight how awesome the new one they are about to get into is going to be.
Which is a pity.
Because bad relationships help make us who we are. We learn from them. They make us stronger.
Does that stop them from sucking? Absolutely not.
But it’s a silver lining that can’t be denied.
Here are 7 things smart women learn from the worst relationships of their lives.
1. When to leave a relationship
The worst thing about our bad relationships is how long they seem to go on.
They can feel absolutely endless.
That’s because we get caught up in a cycle of emotional harm followed by dramatic make-ups, and confuse that with REAL love.
Once you’ve gotten out of a bad relationship, you know the difference between a rough patch and when it’s time to run for the nearest exit door.
Go through one really horrible relationship, and you know enough not to caught in one for that long ever again.
2. How to argue without ending the relationship
You both might have had perfectly valid reasons to be angry, but in a bad relationship, you don’t know how to express these feelings without resorting to personal attacks.
Once you’re out and in a good relationship, you’ll be careful to always fight in a healthy way, expressing your anger without tearing the other person down and vice versa.
Yelling might not even happen because in a healthy relationship you don’t keep stuff pent up in a passive aggressive fashion.
3. What we deserve in a relationship
Getting out of a bad relationship proves that you know you’re a person who deserves the best.
Now that you’re free from everything you didn’t want, you’re also free to acknowledge what you want and deserve: love, respect, and an equal partnership.
Your bad relationship might have had you convinced these were pie in the sky fantasies.
That’s part of what made it so bad!
4. That we still have so much to learn about relationships
Think about how you behaved in your last three relationships.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that we are never going to become experts in the art of romance.
You might be the smartest person in every room you grace, but that intelligence doesn’t mean you can avoid making bad choices when it comes to love life.
Go easy on yourself, you’ve made it through the worst, and you’ve learned from it.
You’re never going to stop learning.
5. What kind of behavior in a relationship ISN’T okay
In a bad relationship, you put up with him trash talking you. Maybe you put up with him punching walls, or getting too drunk, or making you pay for everything.
Now that you’re in a good relationship you can see this behavior for what it was: bad.
This is great! Because the next time these things crop up with a guy you’re dating you’ll be ready to face them head on.
6. When we should listen to our friends about our relationships
Our friends were there before our relationship started and they will be there when that relationship ends.
If your friends expressed concerns about your last relationship and they were right, now you know just how seriously to take their advice.
Sure, it’s your life, but these are the friends you picked to share it with, so maybe listen up.
7. What a loving relationship SHOULD be
Discovering what a loving relationship should be is like doing a terrible puzzle.
Every bad relationship we’re in is a piece of a puzzle.
Alone, it’s lumpy, bumpy, incomplete and lame.
But the more pieces you fit together the more you’ll begin to see the whole picture.
In this sense, the old cliche is true: It DOES take a lot of frogs to find that prince.