What Failed Relationships Have Taught Me: Self-Care, Self-Worth, And Self-Value


The past relationships I had weren’t that good at all, I must admit. It was a mess to start with, like a never-ending cycle of on and off, makeup break up, and cut-into-the-beginning kind of thing. I don’t know what’s been going wrong and why couldn’t I keep a long and lasting relationship with someone I fell for.

It came to a point where I questioned myself, “what’s wrong with me?” or “why does it have to end like this, again?” The answers weren’t clear enough yet because when I was at that moment, it felt like everything’s just fine and things could flow smoothly. When it comes to the other person, I could attest that there was no way it could be their fault, in fact, they were so understanding that it made me feel so bad to cut our thing in a short notice. I don’t want to hurt them or worst break their hearts, that’s the very least I could even do yet I couldn’t avoid it whenever we reached the end line.

I am not proud of what I made myself and put myself into just so you know. I had people going back and forth in pain, trying to win me back, and those who sacrificed a broken heart to understand the decisions I made; I felt guilty deep inside even though it was my choice in the first place and even more remorseful for the times that a person took the blame and carry it with them.

After all, nothing seemed to work out anymore whenever I tried starting building a new relationship. It would either end up failed, I’d feel that something’s missing, or I’d get fed up with the process, so I stopped. I dropped everything that was related to dating and stuff that would remind me of awakening my love life just to see it crumbling in the end. Believe it or not, it was one of the best decisions I made so far.

Doing so made me realize more important points in life and love altogether. 

The moment I took off from the dating game I started taking baby steps into analyzing what mistakes I kept on doing in the past, went back to the days I did the same things over and over again and got into a conclusion that the reason for all those failures resided inside of me. Then one day while I was listening to this inspiring song it just hit me…

I couldn’t find my worth in anyone else but myself. I wouldn’t feel complete and loved unless I’d love myself first and foremost.

That’s what I’ve been doing wrong for a long time—I ignored my very true worth for the sake of having someone to have an affection with, and that’s the biggest mistake I’ve ever done in my entire life. I let down myself so I could get the love I need from other people when in reality it’s the love for myself that I badly needed. I seek love in the wrong places and found it with the wrong people too, a beginning of a catastrophe I should say. I took chances on “what ifs” because of unfamiliarity and newness of things, never thinking that I was just making a trap for myself.

Now, being lay low on the love aspect sparked changes in my life and it even made a good backing to the notion ‘there’s more to life than love.’ Slowly, I thought of the reasons why I seek fondness from one place and people to another—affirmation and care were the answers. It wasn’t just me I guess, all of us wanted someone to encourage us, to be there for us, let alone love us for a lifetime.

And so, little by little I started to give those things to myself: I searched for motivations that could make a difference on how I view life and the obstacles in it, grabbed opportunities that were new and exciting, decluttered unhealthy and unhelpful things and people in my orbit, and be gentle to myself sprinkled with bits of kindness. I found stepping stones to get away from love life and somehow just completely steer clear of it. And truly, I’ve never been more fulfilled ever than before.

There’s something magical about the words self-care, self-worth, and self-value. It’s not being selfish or self-centered, rather, it’s being able to know who you really are, what you really wanted not just in relationships but in life in general, how you wanted to be treated, and how valuable you see yourself not just in the eyes of someone else but in your own eyes.

When you put yourself first, when you attend to the wants and needs of your body, when you satisfy the quench within you, it wouldn’t be hard for you to know what you deserve and what you surely don’t.

Just like what a friend once said to me, “There’s nothing wrong with thinking what’s best for you and realizing your self-worth.” Perhaps remembering those words would make me more careful before entering the ‘relationship world’ again so as not to fail anymore.