We hear this all the time. “She’s got three failed marriages.” Or, “He’s had a string of failed relationships.”

This seems incredibly toxic to me. Yes, people can make mistakes when they decide to get married; many people, myself included, selected a person to marry who turned out to be a very bad fit.

But why is moving on from a bad situation considered a failure? Is longevity the only metric by which we evaluate the success of a relationship?

Friendships can come and go throughout our lives, but we never frame that in terms of a failure. Instead we say things like, we lost touch. Or we grew apart. Or we got busy. Or she has kids and I don’t so we don’t have much to talk about anymore.

We accept the ending of platonic relationships as a part of life.

So why do we call the ending of a romantic relationship a failure?

It is not. There is nothing remotely connected to failure as a human being, as a partner, as a spouse, or a lover when a relationship ends.

If you came to the table full of love and a desire to commit and share your life with someone, there is no shame when lives start to shift and the relationship is no longer fulfilling.

Let’s reframe this, shall we? Splitting up isn’t a failure. Loving someone, even if that love ends faster that you expected, is a success. Love is always a success.

And I think the biggest success of all in love is this: believing that you are whole, that your heart will heal, and that your soul will give and accept love again.

That’s success.

Jenn Wodtke

Jenn Wodtke

Sex Educator and Writer

When Jenn isn’t travelling the world in search of inspiration and excitement, she calls Vancouver and Tokyo home. Her writings and teachings embody her passion for sexual empowerment and freedom of sexual expression.