some relationships can be blissful others frustrating – in either case, nobody ever gets what he/she desires from a relationship, but no relationship is useless. so, it is unfortunate that some lovers take to public fora (human or virtual) to blast their lovers from the past – talking about things the ex-lover is deficient in or trashing the qualities that attracted them to him/her. i was at a gathering last saturday when a lady said of her ex-lover, “he is a very educated man. that’s the only reason i went out with him.” this is all well – shows she has standards. but it also shows she may be deficient herself – that she hasn’t reached a stage where another person’s achievement shouldn’t be a core attraction. also, it may indicate she does not realize an attraction for what someone is has its limits. it’s like saying “he/she is rich. that’s the only reason i went out with him/her.” so what happens when you become rich yourself – do you feel superior and find the person inadequate, and then (maybe) look for someone richer? it is an irony of relationships that, in the main, we fall for the same type of lover. the question is, do you need someone else’s achievement to be fulfilled. if you like someone because he/she is intelligent – help to nurture that intelligence. if you go out with someone because he/she is beautiful – help to nurture that beauty from within and without. if you go out with someone who is traumatized by previous relationships, help that person believe in love again. let your appreciation/attraction enhance the person, and vicariously you. two words come to mind – pride and admiration. you take pride in something you helped to achieve. you admire what was achieved without you. if you helped your lover achieve a proficiency, then take pride in it. in my experience, the process of achieving a proficiency together endears both of you to each other. if your lover is already accomplished, and you admire him/her for that, you may admire his/her doggedness in achieving that or the variables that were pertinent to that achievement. there’s nothing wrong in admiration, but somehow, i feel admiration is transient when it only has to do with something external. because the moment someone with that external feature that is more interesting comes along – you may leave. or the moment you reach a stage in your own development – usually through associating with this person, you begin to think you’re better and don’t need the person. i am not saying those who admire cannot be genuine, but admiration for admiration’s sakes is a marker of insufficiency. if you find your lover deficient, selflessly help him/her become proficient in that area. if you leave him/her after that, you would’ve done your part. the one thing some lovers forget is, if someone else comes to admire you for a quality that was lacking before your current lover came into your life, it should be something that endears you to him/her rather than something that makes you feel superior to him/her – even if you find reason to leave. i feel nobody is too good to lose, but rather, that every lover leaves me with something that makes me a better lover for the next lover. even pain is a good lesson – you don’t think so? listen to rascal flatt’s “bless the broken road.” while you are at it, listen to barry white’s “whatever we had, we had,” and you’ll see there’s really no need for bitterness or hatred when things don’t work out. coretta scott king says, “hate is too great a burden to bear. it injures the hater more than it injures the hated.” i read recently, “lovers used him as a pick-up line.” the irony in these words made me smile. i thought to myself, this isn’t bad. it shows he has been able to help the woman now trashing that quality to develop – before she moved on. but for him, she wouldn’t have found a sufficiency, a “knowledge” that now makes her feel superior or confident enough to leave. relationships should never be about “what do i get out of it,” or whether you are better than your lover. a relationship is about building or leaving a memory or memories the person will always appreciate – even long after you’re gone. no matter how bad a lover someone is, he/she always leaves you with something to appreciate. but more important, whatever attracted you to a person should remain sacrosanct – just as a person’s insufficiency – when you have broken up with that person, because, while it lasted, it did give you some satisfaction.