I’m taking a quick break from food and events to write about something more personal and meaningful. Last night, I spent hours chatting with a friend who just broke-up with her partner. The other day, I also had to talk to another friend who separated from her fiancé. No matter how hectic my schedule, I try to make time for my friends who are going through this crisis because not so long ago, I was in that very same situation. I know what it’s like to be in a dark place where you only see regrets, broken promises and unfulfilled plans. In a world where getting a new fling is easier and faster than deciding what to have for dinner, there is no wonder why relationships fail a lot.
It’s a given that a break-up is a remarkable event for any person. Regardless of whether it’s your first relationship or not, it’s bound to affect you in one way or another. The good news is that the line what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger isn’t a cliché. For someone who went through a break-up, I know it feels like the end of the world but know that in order for you to be a more mature individual, you have to go through the excruciating and vexatious experience of a break-up. When you finally come out of it, you will carry with you opulent lessons that will make you a wiser person and a better partner.
1. It’s okay to be broken
Whoever told you that you are not allowed to look ugly and stupid after a break-up doesn’t know what she is talking about! When the world you have built for months or years crumbles before you, it’s a normal reaction to sink and shrink. It’s okay to sleep and cry in bed all day. It’s okay not to wear make-up and look grumpy. It’s okay to feel numb. It’s okay to be broken because whether you believe it or not, it’s all temporary. As Heraclitus once said, “There is nothing permanent except change.” Like your sweet relationship that turned sour, your sour feeling will turn sweet again.
2. Don’t let others judgment hurt you even more
In a relationship, there is supposedly just the two of you. No matter what other people try to think or say, it is still you and your former partner aka ex who know the real score so when someone else tries to hurt you by judging you, please laugh at their ignorance. Save your time and tears. Don’t give others the chance to put more salt on your open wound.
3. Rebound Romance is a recipe for disaster
Human, as we all are, tend to seek comfort when we are hurt. We try to seek validation through another being and through another relationship. Although this may be the easiest way out, avoid it as much as possible. When you are hurt, know that you are strong enough to heal on your own. When you jump to another relationship right away without giving yourself enough time to recover, get over your ex or explore other options and make discoveries on your own, you just walked into another impending disaster. This time, you are not just hurting yourself but also another poor soul.
4. Time heals everything
When I went through a break-up a year ago, this was the first thing my editor told me. I can clearly remember when he said, “I know it doesn’t make sense now but it will after a year or two.” Fast forward to this day, he is definitely right! When you find yourself in a better place then you know the break-up served its purpose. A better place doesn’t necessarily mean you are with another person, a better place simply means you are more certain about yourself now. You are more confident that you are worthy to be loved despite all your flaws and insecurities.
5. You will be more appreciative of the people around you
Your break-up period will make you depend on your family and friends more than ever before. Sometimes being in a relationship makes you neglect the value of other people who also genuinely love you. This is one of the rare moments that reveal who truly care for you. You will learn to appreciate their presence in your life more. My guy friends who I thought were childish and immature have provided me insights that I would have never realized on my own.
6. You will learn more about yourself
When my 4 year relationship ended, I felt lost but when you are lost, you wander. Now, I’m not lost but I still wander. I learned things I have never learned when I was tied with someone. I traveled alone, drove alone, shopped alone, dined out and drank wine alone, ran errands alone, changed a flat tire on my own and, while writing this, I realized I have learned so many things by giving myself time. These are all my own accomplishments and I can say with beaming pride now that I am much more independent and truly a woman of the world.
7. Forgiveness unlocks the door to love and happiness
It’s hard to avoid feelings of anger and hate especially when the break-up is not amicable. It’s difficult to forgive when you feel betrayed and cheated on. However when you forgive, you set yourself free. When you finally forgive, you allow yourself to see the love and happiness that have been right there all along.
8. You learn to believe in serendipity
If it’s really yours, it will come back to you. If it won’t then it was not meant for you. I used to believe that this was such a stupid statement. It’s a bit lame to rely on destiny but we should learn to embrace the fact that we don’t have full control of the people who come in and out of our lives. I have learned to believe that serendipity is about believing that the love you deserve will come to you when you least expect it.
This is for everyone who is going through a break-up. Please know the harsh reality is that it will not heal overnight, a week or even a month but only YOU can help yourself. Do not wait for another being to rescue you. Rescue yourself. You are your own hero!