As Sheryl Crow so poignantly sings, “the first cut is the deepest…when it comes to loving me, he’s worse.” Yes, it sounds absolutely bitter, but it perfectly captures what a girl goes through when she experiences her first break-up. Because that first heartbreak, no matter what age you are, will probably be the most painful one you’ll experience, especially if you were together for years and shared a deep bond. Just because it happened when you were but a teenager doesn’t make it any less painful than if it happened when you were in your twenties. It sucks whatever age you are.
Break-ups are awful, but if you were in a toxic relationship, you’re far better off being single than being with someone. But of course, you don’t realize that until the relationship has ended. There are so many things you can learn from a break-up. All the stuff you learn and your growth as a person are some of the best things to happen from a break-up. There are many other things you come to realize after a relationship ends.
15. It’s okay to cry about it.
Seeing crying as a form of weakness isn’t just limited to an opinion formed by guys. Even certain women see it as a something not worth caving into because they don’t want to be vulnerable. We all cry for different reasons. Whether it’s from grief, anger, pain or frustration, many of us don’t realize that crying is actually quite healthy. It’s a way to purge out any repressed sorrow or angst you may be carrying in your heart. True, during the process of crying, you feel like crap because while heaving sobs, your head feels heavy, your nose is runny, your cheeks are splotchy, and your eyes are swollen. Ugly crying is the right term for it as alas, hardly anybody looks gorgeous while sobbing. But after the crying is over? You won’t believe the relief it brings. You’ll feel so much lighter, even though the pain is still there.
14. You can’t change people.
Someone once said that when you try to get your point across to someone, more often than not, he will not be swayed by your opinion, but what will be swayed is his respect or liking towards you. Because it’s the way we say things, not what we say, that can turn people off from us. Same goes for someone’s character and personality. You can’t change the way he intrinsically is. If you yearned for him to show you some affection, like a simple kiss on the forehead or linking your fingers together while walking down the street and he’s not the type of person who likes public displays, you can’t force him to be who he’s not. It can get frustrating and the more you force him to fit the mold you want for an ideal partner, the more he will pull away. And when he does dump you, you’ll realize that you couldn’t have changed him even if you tried.
13. Don’t rant on social media about it.
Like anything under the sun, there are advantages and pitfalls to social media. The main advantage is it’s a great way to keep in touch with long-lost friends and a quick way to keep abreast of the latest news stories and events. The disadvantage? Seeing a lot of hate being thrown around towards things or people that make the poster angry. Which leads us to a good reminder for each and every one of those who use social media: don’t vent about your problems or misgivings about someone on your Facebook or Twitter page. No one wants seeing other people’s dirty laundry aired in public and you wouldn’t want people invading your personal space, unless you’re crying for attention or are out to get back at your ex for being a douche. Bottom line, talking about a break-up or even alluding to it on social media is a bad idea. It’s a private matter and something that should be kept among a handful of your closest confidantes.
12. You shouldn’t have ignored the red flags.
When in doubt, it’s better not to act until things clearly come to light. Yes, you may get your answer by using your brain and sometimes your heart, but nothing can be said for trusting your instincts because they’re what give you the sense that something’s up. Many people aren’t very attuned to their instincts because of all the white noise of every day life. It’s easy to mistake gut feel for paranoia and it’s pretty tricky to tell the difference. But when there are red flags that pop up every so often in different ways, that should already be an initial warning to you. Examples of red flags? He’s always texting this one girl consistently. He’s been working later and later every day, claiming he’s finishing a project. You’ve caught him stretching the truth. He doesn’t text you or call you anymore, unless you initiate it. Being aware of all these subtle changes could have saved you a lot of heartache and helped you get out of the relationship before you were in too deep.
11. Moving in together may not have been a good idea.
When a couple has been together for a while, the next logical step in these modern times is not necessarily an engagement. Rather, it’s moving in together. Of course, there are upsides and downsides to moving in with your significant other. Advantages? You get to be together as often as you like. No more leaving early in the morning to rush back to your place. No more taking an overnight bag with you so you can stay at his place for the weekend. Drawbacks? You kind of lose your personal space, especially during times when you want that space. One mistake of moving in together is doing it too soon or doing it when you’re still unsure if he’s the one. Because when you end up breaking up, one of you is going to be homeless. One of you will have to go through the process of looking for a new place to live all over again, something you wouldn’t have had to worry about if you had just kept your own place from the get-go.
10. You’re stronger than you think.
The wisdom from days of old tells us that we don’t really know how strong we are until we have problems thrown our way to test that inner endurance. There are times that our burden seems too much for us to handle and that it would be so easy to take the easy way out by escaping these problems through vices. But escape has never been the solution to dealing with a problem. We have to face them, no matter how difficult or painful it may be. It takes many, many steps but facing a painful break-up is essential to the healing process, which frankly, you’d want to start on as soon as you can, so you can get on with life. It’s good to cry, brood, and mope for a while, but you can’t do that forever. You have to pick yourself up and put the pieces of your life back together. It takes a lot of courage and determination to be able to do it and once you’ve recovered, you’ll discover that you’re a better, stronger person for the experience.
9. You shouldn’t have to change who you are for others.
In our quest to be loved and accepted by our circle of loved ones, we sometimes bend over backwards to conform to their ideals to the point that we lose who we are in the process. This is especially true for some girls when it comes to their significant others, especially early on in the relationship. She tries so hard to please him, taking up his interests and hobbies even if she has absolutely no inclinations to said hobbies herself. While it’s nice to show some interest in the stuff he’s into, like boxing or hiking or basketball even if you’re not into those things, it’s totally different to give up your passions just to be able to indulge him in his interests. You should never have to change who you are for your partner. Because if he leaves you high and dry, you’ll all of a sudden wonder what happened to the person you used to be.
8. Casual dating can be fun.
One of the perks of getting out of a long-term relationship is the fact that you’re back in the market. After you’ve given yourself some time to recover from the loss, it’s time to live the single life to the hilt, which means going on casual no-strings-attached dates. Casual dates are purely for fun and you should be upfront with your date from the onset that you’re just looking for a good conversation, great wine, and sumptuous food. It’s important that he’s also going into the date with a casual mindset so that you’re both on the same page. And the great thing about casual dating is you can have a date with a different guy every week. It’s a great way of putting yourself back out there and checking out the other fish in the sea. Because yes, believe it or not, there are other people out there who are more worthy of your time and energy than your ex.
7. You can take your career to new heights.
When you’re so focused on putting all your time and effort into making a relationship work, you tend to neglect other aspects of your life. Your friends don’t see you anymore, your performance at work can suffer, and you neglect your regular exercise routine. In other words, you sort of lose who you are in the midst of making things work with your partner. And when it all falls apart, you suddenly realize all the other parts of your life that you took for granted or forgot. Being single means that you can finally focus on the career you’ve been putting on the back burner. When you focus on your professional life, your career can soar to great heights. Putting in more hours and going the extra mile can mean a promotion, a raise, and getting into the good graces of upper management. This could mean great things for your growth as a person.
6. This too shall pass.
When you’re going through a break-up, especially a particularly painful one, it sometimes feels like your world is about to end. Caught him cheating on you perhaps? Or maybe he gave you the “It’s not you, it’s me” speech and told you he’s not the marrying type, then before you know it, he’s engaged to someone else. That can break anyone’s heart. You can’t eat, you can’t sleep, you can’t function like a normal human being. And this pain, this going through the motions feel like it’s going to go on and on forever. But little by little, as time goes by, you feel yourself feeling a wee bit better every day. They may be baby steps and it may take a while, but your life will come back together again eventually. Cliché as it sounds, there’s always a rainbow after the rain and everything will definitely come to pass.
5. Better guys out there do exist.
When the anger stage of a break-up sets in, you can’t help but start thinking that all men are the scum of the earth. It’s easy to generalize and think this way of a man, even if it was just one particular man that broke your heart. So you go through a stage where you’re bitter towards men, relationships, and romance in general. You start swearing off love, saying it’s not for you. And any guy who even attempts to go near you gets brushed off even before he can strike up a sincere conversation with you. It’s pretty easy to put up walls because it protects you from pain. But what you may not realize is that it keeps out any chance of love and happiness you can eventually have. There are better guys out there. It’s just a matter of finding the right one at the right time.
4. You don’t need anyone to make you happy.
One lesson anyone who has gone through a break-up and who is now in a healthy relationship can tell you is that you should never, ever rely on anyone for your happiness. Whether it’s friends or family or a man, one’s happiness should not be dependent on the actions of another person and the way that person feels about you. Happiness can be found within you. Yes, this may sound feminist, but it’s the truth. Women these days are so blessed to be independent and are able to do things on their own, whether it’s enhancing her career or traveling or getting into a hobby. She does not need to be co-dependent on a partner to find true joy and contentment. Having a significant other is just the icing on the cake of an already very fulfilling life. Without the icing, she can still be happy. With the icing, she just has that extra something to sweeten it.
3. You have more time for yourself.
If there was ever a time you felt that you were so busy with the humdrum of every day life, that even the person you’re with is rendering you exhausted emotionally because of all the relationship issues you’re battling with, then ending your relationship with that significant other will feel like a weight off your shoulders. True, relationships take hard work, but it shouldn’t have to be too hard, to the point that it’s taking a toll on you. So when you end such a toxic relationship, you’ll feel like a huge weight is lifted off your shoulders and all of a sudden, you have time to do the stuff you couldn’t do before. Take up that cooking class. Sign up for yoga or Pilates. Go on a retreat and take some time off on your own to meditate and self-reflect all your life choices. Me-time is truly essential in growing as a person.
2. The world will not stop for your problems.
When your relationship ends, it’s okay to mope and grieve for its demise for a while. If it was a painful end, then you may fall into depression. During times like that, it’s great to have a support group who can get you through it. And your friends will be there for you as much as they can, but they can’t really be there 24/7 because they have their own lives to live too. And no, they’re not being selfish if they can’t be at your beck and call. Because the harsh reality is, life does not stop just because you’re going through some rough patches. The word doesn’t stop turning for anyone or anything. So you can’t really rely on everyone to pick up the broken pieces of your heart and get you out of your funk. It’s up to you to draw on your inner strength and get on with life.
1. You’ll know who your real friends are.
When you’re in a relationship, it’s perfectly normal to merge your group of friends with your partner’s crew of besties. Some of his friends may even become closer to you than they are to him. But then you break up and awkwardness soon arises for your friends. That’s when you will find out who among your friends are true friends or simply fair-weather ones. True friends would comfort you and stand by you through thick and thin, going over to your place with a tub of ice cream and listen to you vent and cry about the break-up. Or if they’re not able to come over, they’ll send you a barrage of text messages or constantly call you up to check up on you. When you’re fully recovered, you’ll truly remember those people who were there for you during your lowest moments and those who didn’t care enough to reach out.