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You need to learn from your mistakes.

You need to learn from your mistakes

WHEN a relationship flounders, Chistine Northam, a marriage counsellor, offers advice on how to learn from your mistakes:

1. Emotional entanglements make it difficult to see clearly what has gone on in an unsuccessful previous relationship. Be objective. Talk to friends and family to get their take on things. Sometimes, old photographs can jog memory.

2. Reflect on the positive and negative aspects of each relationship. This should give you some insight into your relationship needs. Make a list of these needs but amend it as you gain more insight.

3. If you’re unable to distance yourself enough to reflect constructively on past relationships, counselling may help. Friends or family who will listen rather than give advice, are also invaluable.

4. Self-awareness is central to making relationships work. Imagine that you’re watching yourself being interviewed on television. What’s good about the way you interact? What else would you notice? Think about how others see you and, if you have the courage, ask them.

5. Accept that your old relationship wasn’t perfect and that this one won’t be either. But if it’s “good enough" for both of you, that’s great. Make it a firm rule that when niggles arise, you talk them through before they become big issue.

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