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11 Reasons relationships that flopped will lead you to a successful one

Going through a breakup sucks.

It can feel like you'll never recover from your devastating sorrow and that it'll be impossible to ever find someone to love you ever again. To ease the pain, we turn to our friends and family for their comfort and sage wisdom, and what would an article about broken relationships be without mentioning a tub of ice-cream and your duty to consume it?

But don't despair. Every breakup and failed relationship can teach you something, and what's more – it'll probably help you with other relationships down the track. Don't believe me? Then have a read of these reasons about why relationships that flopped will actually help your love life in the long run.

1. You'll realise what you actually want in a relationship

Any experience is a good experience, so even if it was a shitty relationship, at least you'll know now what to look out for in your next relationship. You'll have a more refined taste for what you're looking for in a partner, meaning you'll make better choices rather than settling for someone who isn't worth it.

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2. You'll learn about yourself

Being frustrated or upset after a breakup means you'll critically analyse everything they did, and everything you did. In the course of your relationship, you've learned about their personality traits, their mannerisms, values and attitudes about the world, and in turn, you've compared them to your own. The breakup puts all this in a particularly analytical spotlight that helps you see your own character even more clearly. You'll be surer of yourself in your next relationship.

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3. You'll be able to focus on what's really important to you

It might take a breakup for you to realise that you've been so consumed in that person and your relationship with them that you've actually lost focus of your own goals, hobbies and dreams. What's more, you'll learn how to complete yourself. That's no-one else's job, and sometimes it takes a breakup and a good chunk of time being single to realise that.

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4. It makes you stronger emotionally (cue eye-roll)

When you love someone, you open yourself up to them, and so you also become vulnerable – and all this makes it absolutely devastating when you split up. But recovering from the whimpering wreck of your emotions actually makes you stronger, precisely because you feel so weak that you force yourself to become strong again. Knowing that you've been able to recover from the hurt of your failed relationship will set you up stronger for a new one.

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5. You'll snap out of your love haze

Sometimes it's only after a relationship has ended that you'll see that it really did need to end. We're often blinded by love when in a relationship, making up excuses for your partner if they let you down or do something a bit crappy. You'll snap out of that haze after the relationship ends, and you'll realise that you've been convincing yourself things are fine even if they're not. Next time, you'll be more careful.

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6. You'll learn question everything, in a good way

Following on from the last point, you'll know in your next relationship not to take everything at face value. This is especially true if you've been cheated on or lied to. It'll give you a healthy dose of skepticism that'll make it easier to ask important questions and speak your mind in your next relationship. Being more expressive ultimately makes you a better communicator.

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7. You'll learn that people don't belong to you

If you were in a relationship where one of you was trying to control or change the other, chances are it didn't work out. Even if you commit to each other, it doesn't mean you own each other. Sometimes it takes a failed relationship where you see some of those power relations at work to realise you shouldn't be with someone who you think "needs fixing".

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8. You'll learn the difference between a crush, lust, and love

It's good to have a couple of crushes/dates/relationships that go nowhere just so you can be able to compare them. By experiencing the different ways you can care about someone, you'll have a better idea of how to make sense of what you're feeling in your next relationship.

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9. You'll learn to let go

Letting go with forgiveness and understanding for that person requires a special kind of maturity and self-forgiveness. You need failed relationships to learn how to let go graciously, to honour the past and allow you to be fully present in future relationships.

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10. You learn to be less selfish

When you're in a relationship with someone, it's often the case that their happiness affects you – if they're happy you're happy. And ultimately, you try to put yourself in their shoes and become empathetic, you yourself becoming less selfish. And especially after the relationship fails, you'll understand more than ever that this person has their own feelings and their own right to them. You'll be more empathetic in other relationships down the track as a result.

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11. You'll learn how to handle conflict

After a few petty arguments, heated fights or even a couple of "breaks" here and there, your past relationships will force you to learn about how to deal with conflict. You might learn to control your temper or to be patient with the person you're arguing with. In any case, you'll become resilient and ready to accept that your next relationship will also include arguments every now and again, but at least you know how to handle them in the best way.

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So keep your chin up, guys. It'll get better, and no matter what you went through in your failed relationships, you'll be able to learn from your experience in one way or another.