9 Things I’ve Learned from my Break-ups

1. I am strong.

Heartbreak is hard, no question there, but being able to get through it showed me that I am a stronger person than I knew. I can withstand all the hurt that break-ups bring, and no matter how hard it feels, I always make it through it.

2. I am not defined by my relationships.

When in the middle of a relationship, it’s hard to imagine life without that person. When I used to start dating someone, my life immediately changed to revolve completely around that person. I’ve learned through the break-up process that while a new relationship obviously brings change, it’s important to still maintain normalcy in other areas of life. A new relationship no longer becomes my whole life, but just a part of it.

3. I have an amazing support system on my team.

I’m lucky enough to have some amazing friends and family who will always be there when I’m dealing with heartbreak. Whether you need a shoulder to cry on, someone to eat ice cream with, or a night out to forget about the break-up, having those people in your life is so important during a break up. Going through break-ups are hard, and even harder when you’re going through it alone.

4. I don’t need to settle.

Looking back after dating and breaking up with several guys, I realized that with all of my previous boyfriends, there were things that I was unhappy with, but that I settled for. Now, I know exactly what I want and need from a partner, and I don’t settle for anything less, because I deserve it, and it’s the only way to have a hope for a lasting relationship.

5. I need to love myself first.

During post break-up you are losing someone who you loved, and that can be hard. I’ve learned through break-ups that I need to love myself before I can love someone else (cliché, I know, but it’s true), and through being single, I really did learn how to love myself.

6. I am responsible for my own happiness.

Relationships aren’t meant to be the source of your happiness, contrary to popular belief. I’m not saying that relationships don’t make a person happy, I’m just saying that you should derive happiness from within you, not rely on another person to be the sole supplier of your happiness. I am now responsible for my own happiness, and I don’t rely on a partner to make me happy.

7. I can use hard situations to bring positive change in my life.

Going through changes after a relationship ends can be daunting, and life is immediately so different than it was when you were with someone. But change in life is inevitable. Being forced to go through changes after break-ups has made me an infinitely better person, and my life would look so much different (not in a good way) if I hadn’t gone through the post-break up life changes that I have.

8. I am okay with being alone.

Being alone is probably one of my least favourite parts of being single. Personally, I have three siblings, and since before my first relationship none of them have been single, so I always struggled with being the only single one in my family after break-ups. It’s hard not to feel like a third (or in my case, ninth) wheel, but it is okay to be alone. You don’t need a significant other to complete you, and it’s not the end of the world if you’re the only single person at a gathering of friends or family.

9. I didn’t waste my time in a relationship just because it didn’t last forever.

This one hit me hard when I first heard it. In the midst of the bitterness of a break-up, I remember ranting to a friend, and saying, “I wasted three years of my life on something, and now it’s gone.” She reminded me that yes that relationship is done and no, I don’t have a future with him, but it wasn’t a waste. In relationships you learn so much about love and life in general and those things you learned don’t go away when the relationship ends, so it wasn’t a waste of time, but a learning experience.