How My Heartbreak Taught Me What's Important

Loving someone is easy, but getting over them can be very, very difficult, especially if they’re the one who decides to end things. I experienced my first relationship and heartbreak this past year, and it was a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences. I learned a few things along the way and am here to share my newfound knowledge with you. If you are experiencing heartbreak right now, just know that you are not alone, and you will get through this.

It’s true when people say, “Nothing breaks like a heart.” Heartbreak is an inexplicable pain rooted deep in oneself. When someone you love and care deeply about abruptly leaves, breaks your trust or abuses you, it can feel like your whole world is crumbling around you.

When my ex broke up with me at the beginning of fall quarter, I was a mess. I cried for like five days straight and just wanted to sleep all the time. My friends were there to support me, but it didn't help—I was broken. He was on my mind 24/7 and even haunted me in my dreams. My brain somehow managed to incorporate him into every single thought I had. It was pure torture.

I also did not correctly go about getting over him at first. I thought I could stay friends with him right away and pretend like everything was fine, but I was not fine at all. Seeing him around other girls made me lose my mind. I couldn’t let go of him, even though I knew I had to. I was clinging onto some hope that he would realize he made a mistake and would come running back, which was not mentally healthy at all.

That’s when I finally decided that something needed to be done. My friends had been telling me this for months, but I didn’t listen because I’m the type of person who acts on their emotions more than rational thinking. I decided to confront him and tell him that in order to stay friends, I needed to cut him out of my life until I could completely lose my romantic feelings for him. That was the only way for me to maintain my mental health because being around him just gave me high anxiety and panic attacks.

It has been approximately three weeks since I last saw him or spoke to him, and although it is very difficult, I know this is for the best. As cliche as it sounds, time really does heal, and I am slowing improving and getting back to being myself again.

My relationship was far from perfect, and even ended up being emotionally abusive at times, but it also taught me how to spot some red flags for future relationships.

One thing I learned is that someone will make time for you, no matter how busy they are, if they truly care for you. My ex was very distant and cold at the beginning of our relationship. He rarely made time to see me or hang out with me, and every time I asked to do something with him, he came up with some excuse to get out of it. I understand that college students can be very busy, but not to the point where you can’t give up one hour to see someone you care about a lot.

Another thing I realized was that if someone loves you, they won’t make you feel bad about yourself or things you like. My ex had a habit of pushing his opinions on people (including me) and making them feel bad (even if it wasn’t his intent) if they disagreed. I would usually brush it off as stubbornness, but it sometimes really got to me and made me feel bad for liking/not liking certain things.

The most important lesson I took away from this relationship is to never lose respect for myself. I have always struggled with self-worth and self-love, and this relationship did not make it any easier. My ex broke my trust, apologized, promised to change and then broke my trust again. Instead of leaving him like I should have the first time, I kept giving him chance after chance after chance. I didn’t think that I deserved better, so I let myself get mistreated. I now know that I cannot lose sight of myself for another person, especially someone who can’t see my worth. If someone truly loves you, they will make you feel loved.

Heartbreak is not fun, but it reminds you of what’s important: love yourself and love those who love you.