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Why You’re Better Off Viewing Your Next Relationships As An Experiment

Why You’re Better Off Viewing Your Next Relationships As An Experiment

BY Joshua Eferighe

Why You’re Better Off Viewing Your Next Relationships As An Experiment

I wish when people broke up they’d remember the inception of the relationship. That inescapable euphoric feeling that swept over them. The newness of getting to know someone on an intimate level. The bliss of knowing you can trust someone infinitely.

It seems that breakups wipe everything that was initially established and what we first found redeemable about someone has suddenly becomes tarnished, if not just completely forgotten.

Now, there are cases where individuals mislead and put on false personas, even live double lives. In these cases, of course, deading all communication and washing yourself clean of their lies is completely justifiable.

But what about the cases that simply did not work? Like, the relationships where no one really did anything wrong to each other per se, but it was just an instance of bad timing or growing apart. Are we then, too, going to give a pass at booting said individual out of our lives?

According to an Associated Press-WE tv poll last year, six in ten people think cutting off contact with an ex is very helpful for getting over a breakup, and about the same percentage say it’s usually not worth it to try to stay friends with an ex.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying breakups are not supposed to hurt. Inevitably someone’s going to get the short end of the stick when it’s deemed that a relationship is not going to survive. And yes, there is a healing process that must occur.

But there is something to be said that although we say we rather rid ourselves of our exes that 38 percent of us have remained friends with at least one former flame, over four in ten have broken up with someone only to get back together again, and more than a third have slept with an ex.

So who are we fooling, really?

I think we have these mixed emotions because our approach to relationships is all wrong.

We may not voice it, but as you can see from the Associated Press-WE tv poll, we think of relationships as this pass-fail scenario where success means dying by each other’s side and failure means they’re the worst thing to ever happen to us. But this is far from the case.

Relationships at their very core are experiments where two individuals test to see just how far a shared mutual attraction will go.

Maybe that attraction grows, maybe that attraction diminishes, maybe the attraction leads to a different emotion altogether — like a best friend — but in any case, no one knows what could happen, not you, not her, not anyone.

And the spirit of openness that made you latch on to them should be the same spirit in where you let them stay in your life.

Viewing relationships as experiments helps avoid resentment, it keeps you from burning bridges, and ultimately it helps you learn.

Keeping in contact with your ex, in any capacity, gives you a closure and tips to go about your next experiment a little bit wiser. They can even give pointers: extract this, add a little more of that, maybe don’t do that, etc.

When we approach our next relationship as an experiment and not as a death sentence the dynamic will be much different and will free us to be the most ourselves than we have ever been in a relationship before.

When we approach our next relationship as an experiment and not as a death sentence the dynamic will be much different and will free us to be the most ourselves than we have ever been in a relationship before.

No Resentment

Assuming there was no foul play and that that the spark simply faded away, why should you resent your ex?

Now, you can nitpick at particulars: “she never gave me the attention I needed”, “she never introduced me to her family”, or my personal favorite, “she kept saying I embarrassed her in public”.

But are these legitimate reasons to completely excommunicate someone out of your life? Is that justifiable ground to banish someone who was once so close to you out of your life?

Think about all the dishonest, lying, manipulative, gold-digging people out there, is falling out of love on par with that level of wrong?

When we see relationships as possibilities instead of definitives, it will make the healing process faster and will make us more receptive to having exes in our life.

We have to trust that we will find the right person, that one shut door simply means that there is a greater door waiting for us to open. It is a healthier approach and will help us mature in the long run.


No Burning of Bridges

One of the hardest parts about breaking up with someone is losing all the ties that were associated with your now ex-lover.

When you’re in a bond, especially if it’s a bond of significant length, your lives become intertwined together, meaning you essentially share (to a certain extent) friends and family alike.

It’s silly to have to break ties with people who you have no qualms with. The collateral damage is juvenile and not realistic, and most times ends up making life after a breakup awkward.

It’s hard cutting out their mother when she’s been very gracious to you and possibly the a guiding influence in your life.

It’s not authentic to tell all of your boys that they can no longer kick it with her girls and her crew because things didn’t work out between you two.

When you treat relationships as an experiment, you’ll be more gracious with these things. Even when you’re still seeking the space you need, you won’t be inclined to make everyone else in each other’s lives suffer as well.


Helps You Grow And Learn

Closure is important because it’s healing. Every experiment has a conclusion and closure is yours. When you’re jaded, however, and you deem the entire relationship as a failure, that closure is hard to attain.

There is so much we can learn from failed relationships. When the dust settles and when two people are officially over each other, it’s easier to say: “hey, you lost me here.”

Or “in your next relationship, try this.” That’s healthy and I think that’s what human relations should be about — grabbing as much as we can from each other.

There can be a plethora of unforeseen external reasons that neither party could put in words at the time of the break that, after some time of processing, will reveal themselves.

How can you ever uncover those gems if you hate them for honestly letting you know that they don’t see a future with you? How is that even their fault?

This sense of entitlement we have when we’re in a relationship is ridiculous because we think our partners ‘belong’ to us and only us forever. This is not the case.

We are just people trying to make sense of the indefinable language of the heart, and sometimes that message is unclear. Let’s not punish each other for the explosion in the science lab.

Rather, let’s step away, clean up, and come back to see what went wrong to get it right the next time.

If we can put away our ego and bruised confidence long enough to accept change, we will be better, not only for our next relationship, but for ourselves.

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Joshua Eferighe

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Highly opinionated, contentious and one to always speak his mind, Joshua Eferighe has been on the path of expression through writing before he even chose the profession. Love him or hate him, you'll always want to know what he has to say. Follow him on Twitter @jman23j

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