How to Deal with Disappointment in Personal Relationships

When you are in a relationship, there is always the possibility of disagreements, setbacks and disappointments.  These happen naturally because each person is a unique individual with their own expectations of the relationship.  Even when two people are on the same page with many aspects of their life, problems always have a way of developing if left unchecked.  It is how we handle those setbacks and disappointment that determine what happens next in our relationships.


It is very important that you don’t lay blame at the feet of other people for the problem in the relationship.  It is equally important that you don’t take all of the blame yourself.  Any psychologist will tell you that in most cases, it takes both parties to create a problem in a relationship.  


What you need to do is step back and to examine the situation from a different perspective.  Consider everything you enjoy and appreciate about the relationship, and focus on the positives before you consider breaking up over the negatives – which may only be temporary, after all.


Although this isn’t always easy to do, it’s a great idea to sit down with a piece of paper and a pen. Draw a line down the middle of the page.  One one side, try to write down exactly what parts of your relationship you’re disappointed in.  On the other side, opposite each point, try to think of a practical solution to fix your disappointment.  It’s a great way to understand the nature of the problem and how it affects your relationship with the other person in your life. 


If the problem is severe and is causing daily arguments and distress to you both, take a break from being together (not necessarily from the relationship – make that very clear to your partner!) to sort through the problem.  Once you have some time alone to examine the situation, you can more easily determine if you want to pursue a relationship with the person.  Being away from the source of them problem may also make you appreciate the positives more, and you may find that the things you miss about the other person make you feel worse than the things you were arguing about.


You have to remember that just because you’ve had a disappointment or setback in your relationship, it doesn’t mean that it is over.  If talking doesn’t fix things, invest in a relationship councilor or some personal therapy, so you can talk things out with a neutral third party.  Learn from the mistakes that caused the setback to the relationship and vow never to repeat them.

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