Posted By: Kelly Seal Date: 11-18-2016 Comments: 0
Romantic heartbreak is one of the most devastating emotional experiences. It’s something that almost all of us face at some point in our lives. When you’re grieving and feeling broken, it’s tempting to close yourself off from future pain by avoiding real intimacy going forward. But when you do this, you lose out on the chance to love again.
It’s important to remain hopeful in your love life despite the potential for heartbreak, because here’s the truth: breakups are love lessons in disguise. They show us how strong we can be, and what kind of person we want to become moving forward. Breakups teach us how to grieve and let go. We learn to plant two feet on the ground, put ourselves out there, and be vulnerable to love again.
So how do you move through a breakup and come out healthy (and intact) on the other side? How can you maintain hope and a positive outlook on love, even when you feel betrayed by your last partner? It’s not easy, but it is possible if we approach the process in a healthy way and choose to see the lessons that heartbreak can teach us about ourselves. Here are four of those lessons to help you find the lessons in your own breakup experiences.
Vulnerability makes your stronger.
This might make some of you cringe. We don’t like to think of ourselves as vulnerable, and yet all of us are when it comes to love. It takes courage to put your heart on the line, to give love to someone else in the hope that it is returned in kind. Yes, being vulnerable enough to love is a risk, but putting your heart on the line is the only path forward. Instead of trying to hide or ignore our desire for love, breakups can teach us that we are capable of loving again. In the end, we all want to love and be loved.
You are your own person, not defined by any relationship.
After a breakup, you might find yourself with more time on your hands and a little stressed or anxious about what to do. This is the perfect time to experiment with new hobbies and interests or to take that trip to Iceland. Find what brings you joy. Try learning Italian, or surfing, or joining a book club or hiking group, and see what really resonates with you. Don’t be afraid to try new things by yourself. In fact, it’s the best way to nurture and understand the new you, post-breakup. I promise there will be a lot to discover, and in time, you will be thankful for the opportunity.
The only control you have in a relationship is over yourself.
Immediately after a breakup, it’s easy to play the blame game and think of all of your partner’s flaws leading to the end of the relationship. Doing this serves no purpose other than to perpetuate the hurt and pain. Instead, try to understand the relationship as a whole. What did you enjoy in the relationship? What did you love about your partner? What role did you play in the relationship’s demise? What changes will you make in your next relationship? When you take responsibility for your actions, it puts the control back in your hands. You can have a happier, healthier relationship the next time because you have learned what to do differently. That is empowering.
Breakups can be our greatest teachers.
It’s good to identify patterns in your love life that don’t benefit you. Do you tend to jump into relationships quickly so that they fizzle out just as fast? Or does your jealousy get in the way of forming a solid, trusting bond with your partners? Breakups can shed light on what isn’t working in your approach to relationships, and give you the opportunity to take a new approach. Maybe next time, you can take things more slowly, and learn how to be by yourself before finding your next mate. Or you can give your boyfriend the benefit of the doubt before accusing him of wrongdoing. Before you give into your impulses, take a step back and see if you are reacting to your own fear, and ask yourself ‘what if this time, I do things differently?’
Breakups are difficult teachers, but they are also reminders of how strong and capable we can be. When you face your fears, learn from your mistakes, and move forward with a healthier mindset, your next relationship will be that much more rewarding.