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Breakups Don’t Have to be Bad: Reflecting & Healing from a Past Relationship

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Tampa chapter.

Someone breaking up with you hurts. Saying you were “dumped” has a painful sting to it, too. Having to end a relationship you thought was going well also hurts. In any form, breakups can be brutal. I remember in high school once people were gossiping about a potential breakup in our grade before class, and our teacher overheard us all. We talked about how heartbroken the girl must’ve been, and I think our teacher just had to break his silence. He said, “Heartbreak is bound to happen to every one of you. I hope all of you experience it one day because it’ll change you as a person.” Honestly, at first, it felt kind of offensive that he said that to a classroom full of hopeless romantic teenagers. How could he wish that on us? Now I know why.

Options were slim, and tensions were high in the world of dating in high school. You usually only dated people within your grade; everyone knew each other’s business, and nothing was private, at least where I grew up. I was in love for what I thought “being in love” was in high school. I was head over heels for the first boy who ever went out of his way for me. He bought me flowers, “prom-posed” to me, and took me out to dinner. Honestly, we had an amazing relationship together, and I have zero regrets. The things I look back on and “cringe” at were only things that happened because I didn’t know any better. Why would I look back and shame my sixteen, seventeen, year-old self when I know I wouldn’t look at my seventeen-year-old sister and say, “How did you not know better?” It’s not possible. You’re not born experienced in relationships. Unfortunately, it takes trial, error, and lots of heartbreak.

But, back to my high school teacher being right. How? I can confidently say I am not the same person I was before being “dumped.” It changed me, and I know a lot of girls or women who have been through similar situations would agree. Sometimes, it’s that bad of an experience you feel your heart physically break, and the shell of who you once were falls off. It hurts to feel that vulnerable, but after some realization, it’s freeing. I’m so thankful that happened to me because it opened my eyes. Every decision I made at the end of high school and the beginning of college was made while having this person in the back of my mind. I’ll shamefully admit it altered a lot of the major decisions I’ve had to make. On the other hand, I wouldn’t be in the exact place I am right now if we didn’t date during that time of life. Even more so, I love who and where I am in life. I love my friends, I love the caring and supporting side of my family that showed during that difficult time, and I love the college I chose. I wouldn’t have it any other way, and I’m thankful for what my old relationship taught me, even what heartbreak taught me. 

Heartbreak will force you out of your shell. You’ll be forced to try new things, go on first dates, and form a deep connection with yourself, and it’s really scary. It’s intimidating, and that’s ok. My mom said, “If you met him when you were sixteen, think of how you made it through those sixteen years before even knowing him. It’s possible to get through this because you’ve lived perfectly fine without him before.” Her saying that to me eased the pain of heartbreak and helped my healing process. Heartbreak is something you will always remember how it feels, but you will also always remember how much it changed you as a person. Finding yourself and loving yourself is one of the most valuable things you can learn and do in your young adult life. When someone allows you to take off and discover your true self, I’m starting to think we should thank them! Breakups do not have to be bad.

Mya Cocchiola is a senior at The University of Tampa and is part of the editing team for Her Campus at Tampa chapter. Her articles are mainly about experiences, wellness, academics, and relationships. This school year, Mya is interning as a Marketing Assistant at Foodie Card, a subscription-based program that provides discounts while eating out and donates meals. She also works at Jeni’s Ice Cream! She is an Advertising and Public Relations major with a concentration in PR and is considering pursuing a marketing career or even law school. At home in New York, Mya has 2 Labradors and loves spending time with her sisters, parents, and friends. In Tampa, she loves to go to the beach, get coffee, and work out with her friends. She also just finished watching the Breaking Bad trilogy!