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4 Healthy Changes that Come from Ending a Toxic Relationship

4 Healthy Changes that Come from Ending a Toxic Relationship

A meaningful relationship tends to plant its roots very deep in the lives of two people, and it doesn’t stop there, because its influence also extends to families and social life. When those roots are ripped out of the little universe these two people tried so hard to create, things can get really messy.

Ending a long relationship is ugly, no matter what kind of person you are. In my case, it was six years of love and sharing and a bonus year of hatred and hurt. There were dark moments after our breakup when I thought it wasn’t worth it because it was too much anger and frustrations in the end, and both of us were left with deep scars that still haven’t healed.

Although I didn’t believe this – time does heal, and for some, it may take longer to get back on their feet, but it does happen eventually. However, it won’t happen on its own and it’s not simple – it involves a lot of hard work and you need to do it by yourself, because no one else will.

1. Back to Independence

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    Sharing your life with another person can be very beneficial for both sides – managing incomes, planning the future and helping each other out is a wonderful thing, but it does imply mutual trust and that you’ll depend on another person. Both have a tendency to fade out when a relationship has ended.

    Fear is a great factor when the relationship comes to an end – at least it was for me. I completely lost all faith in my skills and my confidence was in the negative spectrum for longer than I’d care to admit. That being said, my decision was impacted by me being afraid that I’m not capable of being on my own.

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    Naturally, that isn’t something I realized right away – it was buried somewhere in my subconscious. Therefore, the very first piece of advice I’d like to give to anyone who’s ending a relationship that became poisonous for both parties is not to run away from solitude and treat it not as being alone but as being independent.

    I’m sure you must remember how excited you were when you first left your parents’ home to make it on your own. Well, this is a chance for another fresh start. Besides, if you can’t trust yourself, chances are you can’t really trust anyone.

    2. Introspection and Growth

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      I was able to see some clarity just before we decided to take different paths in the very next intersection because a single thought filled my mind. I don’t know if I read or heard it sometime earlier, but it came to my memory in the right moment – I won’t get anywhere if I continue repeating the same actions and continue expecting different results.

      The thing is that I did everything in my power to save what we had, but that still wasn’t possible because we were so deep in a rut that we couldn’t help each other out, no matter how much we tried. I was constantly angry with him, and me as well, because it wasn’t clear to me how two smart people who love each other very much can be that helpless.

      The worst feeling I ever experienced is having my hands tied. It seemed like anywhere I move and get my hopes up just for a bit, and it turns out I’m actually going two steps backward. That’s just frustrating, to say the least.

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      Unfortunately, I know a few couples who happen to be my close friends, who have gone through the same things and I had their example (not) to follow. Some of them became impossibly ignorant to the world around them and being unable to realize that their disappointment made them dull, while others fell into despair and started questioning everything because of their insecurities.

      Instead of doing any of those two extremes, I tried to turn to developing introspectiveness. That’s a lie actually; during the first period, I was all about not thinking about the relationship at all, because that made me feel depressed. After that was over, I started thinking about what actually happened. What were the events that lead us to the point of no return?

      I’m not speaking about nostalgia and crying over spilled milk – I tried to use retrospection to my advantage and learn from my own mistakes so that (hopefully) I never have to repeat them again. I’d say this method was fairly successful and that I was able to grow as a person.

      3. You Become Stronger

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        Which brings me to my next point – co-dependence implies weakness. I understand that this might sound a bit bitter, but I have my reasons to be resentful and question this whole philosophy that stands behind monogamy and everything that goes with it.

        My ex and I made a mistake in the very beginning because we started a relationship where there were no adults – we were just a couple of immature children, nothing more. I wouldn’t even dare to deny we had a couple of golden years when we worked as a well-coordinated team and when every problem we encountered was simple to solve. We were each other’s gravity and just being able to feel that kind of connection makes everything that came afterward worth the trouble.

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        However, growing into an adult isn’t easy when you should be one already, and taking responsibility for things that happened in your life feels like being cornered. Obviously, it’s necessary for you to give yourself time to mourn the possible future that’s never going to happen, but you also need to realize that it’s not like anyone died.

        So, you have two different choices here (although only one of them is the right one) – you can either spend the rest of your life as a shadow of a real live person, or you can come out of this stronger and more powerful than you ever were. A variety in experience makes us tough; I know this doesn’t sound very comforting right now, but the fact is that you can learn from this and go into the next relationship prepared for whatever’s coming.

        I read somewhere recently how a significant percentage of relationships are doomed to failure because the two people involved in it spend way too much time and effort working on their other half and thus they neglect themselves, their future individually, and the plans they made as a couple. In order for a relationship to work out, two people need to stand firm on the ground before entering a serious relationship – you shouldn’t be each other’s project, you know. The only project you should be working on is building a future together.

        4. Time to Work on Yourself

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          And now, I’d like for you to be realistic and ask you this one question – what would your future be like if you stayed together? Many couples fool themselves by taking drastic measures in times of despair, like moving in together, getting married and even having kids, in the hope that they will solve their problems.

          All of the aforementioned are temporary solutions which can create an illusion of happiness for a month, a year, or a couple of years at best. If you do have a good reason to break up, something that simply makes you unhappy, you shouldn’t try to cover it up with life changes.

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          Being uncertain of yourself and the decisions you make will reflect on your relationship sooner or later, and trying to sweep the dirt under a brand new carpet doesn’t mean that the nasty will go away. As a matter of fact, it will only multiply and become even more difficult to clean up in time.

          Whether you decide to treat it as a gift or a curse, you are now single and you should use this time to become everything you always wanted to be. Your focus is now on you and you alone, and the vision of your future self is yet to be fashioned; this is something terrifying, difficult and exciting, all at the same time.

          A breakup shouldn’t define who you are, nor should it control your future. Relationships past should be there to make you learn what you really want and teach you not to settle for anything. Be that partner you want for yourself and the pieces of the puzzle will fall in their place eventually.

          Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/fk3XUcfTAvk via pexels.com

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          Last Updated on November 5, 2019

          12 Powerful Habits of a Lifelong Learner

          12 Powerful Habits of a Lifelong Learner

          Formal education is something everyone has to go through to a certain degree, and the knowledge it offers isn’t always that practical in real life. Life long learning is how you improve as a person, bit by bit and day by day.

          Life long learners recognize the importance and joy of growth so they never settle for what they currently know and always seek for improvement.

          Here are 12 habits of people who value lifelong learning have in common – see how many of them you recognize in yourself.

          1. They Read on a Daily Basis

          Whatever problem or dilemma you currently face, there’s definitely at least one decent book that discusses it and presents a variety of solutions.

          Reading is a great way to open up new horizons, train your brain and revolutionize your life. I can’t even count how many times books completely transformed the way I view the world, and it’s always a change for the better. Through reading, you can connect with successful people and learn from the lessons they share.

          Life long learners love to get lost in books and do it regularly. Bill Gates knows that reading matters a lot; on his personal blog, he reviews plenty of game-changing books.

          Due to technology, you can access a bookshelf of the wealthiest entrepreneur on this planet.

          2. They Attend Various Courses

          Whether it’s online or offline, there are countless courses you can participate in without spending a dime on it. These are great opportunities to connect with clever and like-minded people and learn from them.

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          Because of the advanced technology, you can now gain knowledge from online programs, starting from coding through self-improvement to programs from top universities.

          There are literally endless ways to thrive. What life long learners have in common is squeezing as much as possible out of these opportunities.

          3. They Actively Seek Opportunities to Grow

          Instead of spending your free time laying on the couch and watching TV, you prefer doing something creative and practical. You know every wasted minute is gone forever.

          That’s why you’d rather practice your language skills with a native-speaker you’ve met, engage in local meet up or attend a class that teaches something you always wanted to learn.

          Life long learners stay up-to-date with growth opportunities in their areas and participate in them frequently.

          4. They Take Care of Their Bodies

          “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” — John F. Kennedy

          A clever mind combined with a body in a great condition is the best asset you can have. Our bodies were designed to run, walk, jump, swim, lift and much more. Leading a sedentary lifestyle harms both your physical and mental sphere.

          Life long learners know the body is your temple. In order to make it flourish for as long as possible, they train regularly, move a lot and eat healthy.

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          5. They Have Diverse Passions

          Among Steve Jobs’ wise quotes, there’s one I like especially. It’s about connecting the dots:

          “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” — Steve Jobs

          Each dot is some event or skill in your life, and it’s only when you go through these elements that you know how to combine them into something great.

          Having a variety of passions indicates that you love to progress. By practicing different skills, you give yourself an advantage over the rest of the people. During hard times, you are more likely to to act intelligently and solve your problems with less effort.

          6. They Love Making Progress

          If behind the efforts, there is passion and a deep desire to grow, your chances of success are way higher, compared to when you are forced to learn.

          Life long learners love to experience the constant growth and improvement. The breakthrough moments help them to notice the impressive change that took place because of the learning process. Any milestone serves as a driving force for further headway.

          7. They Challenge Themselves with Specific Goals

          In order to keep growing, you clearly define your goals. Smart goal setting is one of the tools to ensure constant growth.

          Since you love challenges, a difficult goal doesn’t scare you. Quite the opposite, it keeps you motivated and engaged.

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          Research showed that precise and ambitious goals increase the performance of an individual. As we already agreed, life long learners are people who care about their performance, hence they never stop improving.

          8. They Embrace Change

          A complete change can lead to incredible results. This is especially visible on the example of successful companies.

          Oftentimes, it’s that transformation which created space for their so-called overnight success. Twitter was originally created as an internal service to serve Odeo employees. Currently, it has over 300 million monthly active users and is considered the second biggest social network.

          As a life long learner, you know a change can lead to extraordinary results so you welcome it and stay open minded about making a shift.

          9. They Believe It’s Never Too Late to Start Something

          Some people tend to think after a certain age, they are no longer allowed to start something and become successful. The truth is, it’s just a lame excuse not to leave the comfort zone.

          Opposite to common misconceptions, there’s no wrong age to begin something. Henry Ford was 45 when he invented the Ford Model T car, which is considered as the first affordable automobile.

          Sure, for some domains like becoming a professional athlete, starting early is required. However, to learn and improve for its own sake, you are never too old.

          10. Their Attitude to Getting Better Is Contagious

          “We now accept the fact that learning is a life long process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.” — Peter Drucker

          There’s nothing better than to see your surroundings getting involved in what you actively participate in. Oftentimes, the best way to achieve that is to inspire them and be the example. As Gandhi would say, you need to be the change you want to see in the world.

          As a life long learner, you are extremely passionate about the constant growth and people around you can sense that positive attitude. As a result, they start acting similarly.

          11. They Leave Their Comfort Zone

          Is it really better to step out of your comfort zone? The answer is always yes.

          You always embrace discomfort as you know the path to success leads through hardship and countless obstacles. Instead of being afraid of facing them, you challenge yourself to overcome more and more difficult handicaps.

          Every time you get out of your comfort zone, regardless whether you win or fail, you learn something new. That’s the part you love the most!

          12. They Never Settle Down

          “Knowledge is exploding, so you need to commit yourself to a plan for life long learning.” — Don Tapscott

          A sense of being clever enough is something you don’t experience. Without a doubt, you appreciate what you already know, but that’s never a reason to stop. You just know once you stop learning, you lose the amazing privilege humans have, namely an ability to a never-ending intellectual development.

          More About Lifelong Learning

          Featured photo credit: Christin Hume via unsplash.com

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