Are You the Stepping Stone in Your Relationship?
An ex once said to me, “This is bullshit. Now some other girl gets to experience a better version of you.”
Nothing will promote or stunt growth more than an intimate relationship or the expiration of one. Many turn their break ups into break throughs. Their experience in the relationship gave them new tools / lenses. Or the “failure” of the relationship forced them to finally look at themselves, beginning a process of growth. This leaves the other person feeling like a stepping stone.
I get it. I think it’s fair. I can see how one can feel like they got the short end of the stick after investing themselves in something they believed in. They may feel used. Ripped off. But there is a difference between feeling like a stepping stone and being a stepping stone.
Everyone gets something out of a relationship or the expiration of one. But only if you examine your piece, your contribution, how you were, why you were the way you were, and how that played into the dysfunction of the relationship. No matter how “bad” the other person was, he or she was only fifty percent. Even people who were in abusive relationships played a part. The fact that they allowed it to happen or decided to stay in one is a “part”. Exploring these pieces, if done in an honest way, will lead to revelations about yourself. And that’s the difference between feeling like a stepping stone and being a stepping stone. The more revelations you have -> the more opportunities for growth -> more tools, -> better version of yourself. If you reframe this way, you are no longer a victim.
If you’re in a relationship or just leaving one and don’t examine your piece but rather focus on all the shit the other person did or the fact that they couldn’t be the person you wanted them to be, you will be a stepping stone. It will weigh you down, encourage anger, resentment, trust issues, jealousy, and so on… You may begin to feel hopeless and lose your belief in healthy love. And you will bring this attitude and energy into the next one, drastically minimizing the chances of that relationship to be successful. This becomes a cycle. The more it repeats, the bigger that stone gets.
No one has to be a stepping stone.
It’s a choice.