12 Things You Learn After Your Second Heartbreak

For most of us, it’s the first heartbreak that’s the worst. You go into your first relationship with innocence, naïve to the potential dark side of falling in love. Everything is new and fun, until it’s not – until it’s over and you’re left to pick up the pieces left behind.

The second time things go a little differently. That’s not to say it’s easy and painless. It’s not. But the second time you get your heart broken, you know how to pick up the pieces, and you know that at the end of the day, you’ll be just fine.

Love is a learning experience. You learn how to find yourself and how to find love again after your first heartbreak – and your second comes with a few lessons of its own.

1. Heartbreak always hurts

They don’t call it heartbreak for no reason. It’ll be easier the second time, but you’ll still feel the ache for a while. And eventually, you’ll realize it’s good to feel these things – if you didn’t, it would mean you didn’t really care about your partner.

2. You will fall in love again

After your first heartbreak, you may feel like you’ll never feel the same way about anyone else ever again. But if you’re facing a second heartbreak, you know this isn’t true. You can and you will love someone again, as much as or even more than you loved your ex. You know that even if it doesn’t feel like it at first, someday you’ll find your next love – and maybe this time, you’ll have found the one.

3. Opening up again is worth it

I know, I know. It doesn’t feel like opening up again was worth the heartache. But if you hadn’t opened up to your second love, you would’ve missed out on a piece of your life and a whole new batch of life lessons. Next time you open up to someone, you’ll know a lot more about relationships and how to make things work.

4.  Communication makes or breaks relationships

Our generation thinks it’s funny to be petty and give others the silent treatment when you’re mad. But the best way to keep a relationship strong is to communicate. Guys aren’t mind readers, and neither are we. And someone who truly loves you will care enough to listen to you and tell you how they feel when they’re upset. You can’t fix a problem if you don’t talk about it.

5.  Live in the moment

As college students, looming thoughts about our future are a very real and scary thing. But putting too much emphasis on the future and too little on the present can screw with anyone’s mind. It’s important to take a step back and enjoy the little moments. One day those little moments will be the memories you fondly look back on – not the times you spent stressing over things that were out of your control at the time.

6. You made mistakes too

It’s easy to place all of the blame on the other person when a relationship ends. Now that they’re no longer in your life, you find it easier to analyze every mistake they made than think of your own. But no relationship is perfect, and neither party is perfect. After your second breakup, you’ll probably realize you made some of the same mistakes in both of your relationships. And when your next relationship comes around, you’ll know which mistakes to watch out for and how to better yourself in the meantime.

7. It sucks to be the one who cares more – but it’s also okay if you are

They say that the person who cares less in a relationship walks away the “winner” – but the winner of what? Maybe life would be easier if you made it your mission to care less, but you wouldn’t have the strong connections you have now if you were the type of person who didn’t care about others. If you’re always the one that cares more in relationships, you’re probably just as caring towards your family and your friends – and I’m willing to bet they love you for it and wouldn’t change a thing about you.

8. You deserve to be loved the way you love

We all love in different ways. The trick is finding someone who understands how you need to be loved and vice-versa. Some people need to hear, “I love you” on a regular basis. Some people would rather see that love through actions: forehead kisses, hugs, back rubs after a stressful day, or remembering little details about you. Whatever way you choose to love, you deserve someone who will do the same for you.

9. It’s okay to walk away

Sometimes you just have to let go. If you’re not happy with your current situation and there’s no way to fix it – or one of you doesn't want to fix it – it’s okay to walk away from the relationship. It’s okay not to settle for less than you’re happy with and deserve. This is much easier said than done but you may find that you feel a sense of relief when you finally let go.

10. Take your time

This goes for both the recovery process after a breakup and your next relationship. If you know you’re the type to jump into a relationship before really thinking about it, take a step back before you commit to anything. Wounds take time to heal – emotional wounds included – and time is really all you need, not another guy. And when you are ready to get back out there, take it slow. Not every guy you meet will be a good fit for you.

11. It’s important not to lose yourself to your relationship

It is absolutely important to give your relationship your all, but not if it means losing who you are in the process. Keep your friends and family close. Do the things you love. Take the opportunities that are presented to you if you really want them. If you become too dependent on your relationship, you’ll be left with nothing when it ends. We change and adapt constantly – but never lose sight of who you are because of a boy.

12. Love yourself first

Lastly, don’t forget to love yourself. After being disappointed enough times, you realize sometimes the person who needs your love the most is yourself. It’s important to be there for yourself and take care of yourself. It’s okay to be a little selfish. So take care of your body, do the things that make you happy, embrace your attributes, and treat yo self. You’re worth it.