August 31, 2011 • 8:00 am
“Do you have any advice for women in a relationship (or married) based on what you've learned from your break up with Ed and why it didn't work out?” –Judy
Thank you for this question Judy. I haven't opened up much since my breakup with Ed and I’ve really avoided talking to the media about it but today I want to be perfectly candid and give you guys a little background. I think everyone knows that Ed and I have tried very hard to remain friends but rest assured this has not been easy. Our situation was very different than most of you, as we were stuck right in the middle of a storm we had no experience with and we really let it mess with us.
For us (as with many breakups I’m sure) there were many reasons why it didn’t work. We spent every waking moment with each other for a year, and as much fun as we had, after a year we were both pretty overwhelmed and “over” the whole situation. We didn’t have any breathing room in the relationship, which is really important. Overall though, I would say that the experience of being engaged so quickly and publicly was the biggest factor in our breakup. People say we couldn’t actually have been in love, and I don’t think that was the case– our hearts were in love but we didn’t give ourselves enough time to ease into the relationship. So ladies and gentlemen no matter how crazy you are about someone take your damn time!
Certainly the attention didn’t help us much either. I admit all the attention random girls gave Ed was hard on me. He loved the attention and that isn't easy on a relationship that is supposed to be so serious, yet is still so fresh. The more insecure and upset I became, the more he loved the attention and it became a really slippery slope. I lost trust in him and in the end we both really lost interest in making it work. Was it avoidable? Who knows, but I am a firm believer that what's meant to be will be.
So now that I explained a little about our breakup, here are some specifics lessons that I learned through our relationship and breakup.
You Can Only Control You
Well, the first important thing our relationship taught me was that we can never change other people and we are only responsible for ourselves. If you don’t trust someone, if someone isn’t dependable or doesn’t quite measure up when it comes to making you feel like a million bucks... chances are (I am so sorry to say) that won’t change. Us hopeless romantics cling to those stories of the bad boy turning over a new leaf and becoming prince charming but unfortunately bad habits are hard to break. And ultimately, it’s not worth worrying about changing the other person because as I said above, all we really have control over is ourselves.
It Takes Two
Another lesson I learned is that regardless of the direction a relationship is headed, it takes two. Whether a romance is headed nowhere fast or really growing in a beautiful way, it’s a result of two halves and their effort and work. There’s no way to avoid love being a two way street.
Pick Your Battles
Life is short and this person is supposed to be your best friend. Just when you want to snap back at your loved one, think about how you would react if it were your BFF… your reaction should be the same. Also, whether you’re the male or female in a relationship, if you’re going through turbulence, treat it like the first time you first fell in love: be kind, be sweet and be patient. Fighting is a losing battle and no one is perfect. And after all is said and done you can fight your way to be “right” but you can also fight your way to loosing a person you love forever, all because of your irrational pride.
Trust Your Gut
I’ve learned that no one in the world is worth loosing yourself and your securities for. Turn off your heart for one minute and really ask yourself “is this person really able to make me happy?” You’re smart, and you’ve been blessed with instinct so always follow it. If you DO feel that this person is your one and only and able to make you happy then you can depend on a little patience, backing off and time to solve your issues.
Give All Your Trust
The biggest thing I think I learned was how to trust. The thing is, trust is less about the other person and more about you and your emotional availability and confidence. If it turns out that he actually is untrustworthy you’ll find out in due time and know that you always did your best to support the relationship. Though it’s hurtful to have someone deceive your trust, investing and trusting people is always the right way to go because you’ll never get anywhere in a relationship if you don’t dive in 100 percent. So when it comes to trust in love I learned to give it all; you’ll come out in a good place either way.
So I’m curious: what’s one lesson you learned from your last relationship? Share it below!