why do you think a relationship has failed if it has simply ended?
of course, there is the argument that since the relationship did not achieve a specific outcome, which is typically longevity, it failed. for non-monogamous people who usually navigate multiple types of relationships, seeing every breakup or lost connection as a failure can become traumatizing and emotionally draining. so why see it that way?
longevity does not equate to success.
there are many relationships where the people have been together for a long time, but it has been long apparent that they should end it. hinging the success of a relationship on it never-ending is something to unpack. where did you learn that the length of a relationship means it is successful? how long is long enough for it to end and not be a failure? the baggage that comes with viewing a breakup or lost connection as a failure can be overwhelming. you may overlook great experiences in the relationship if you see it as a failure because it simply ended.
the connotation of failure is incredibly negative.
many people see failure as a loss or defeat. they compartmentalize their failures out of shame or anger and chalk up the entire relationship as rubbish. and for non-monogamous people who may experience more relationships ending due to the pursuit of more connections - this ideology can become debilitating.
every relationship is not meant to last forever.
of course, we want to be with those we cherish for as long as possible, but some relationships were only meant to last a season. while it is not expected or required for you to look back on every relationship amicably, perhaps there are a few that ended when they were supposed to end. perhaps those relationships taught you more about yourself, strengthened your boundaries and discernment, or forwarded you to a better lover.
give yourself some grace.
unpacking what you define as a successful relationship may expose the pressure you put on yourself for things out of your control. sometimes we make mistakes, but maybe we still enjoyed the ride. heads up - the goal of reaccessing what makes an ended relationship successful versus a complete failure is not to feel empathy for abusers or return to people who disrespected your boundaries. the goal is to view some relationships with salvageable qualities with a less destructive critique. it is to understand why we equate success to longevity. and it is to feel peace towards our attempt at love.