Broken hearts are never any fun to receive, but the process of moving on from a lost love can be profound. We learn just as much about ourselves during a breakup as we do when we’re in a relationship, so the least we should be able to do is look for a silver lining after a relationship has ended.
Here are some lessons about love that we learn (and sometimes re-learn) every time we say goodbye to an old relationship.
1. Don’t close your doors to love.
Some people believe in soul mates and are certain that there is only one person in the world that they are meant to be with, but when you’ve been through enough breakups, you’ll realize that you will always find another chance at love.
2. You will always find love again.
In line with the notion that there is no one single person out there that you have to find, another lesson that you’ll learn from moving on is that love will always exist with another person. Immediately after a breakup, it seems like the end of the world and it’s too easy to believe that you’ll never meet anyone who you will love as much as you loved your ex, but when you move on, you realize the truth. There were many reasons that it didn’t work out, and once your heart has healed, you’ll be able to love just as much as ever before.
3. Your own happiness is important.
When you’re in a relationship, it can be easy to forget that you deserve to be happy, too. Sometimes, we become too focused on becoming what our partner expects of us that we forget to see to our own needs and wants as well. When you’re moving on, you’ll re-learn that your happiness is just as valuable and deserved as anyone else, and that being in a relationship shouldn’t mean sacrificing it, which leads to the next lesson that you’ll learn.
4. Never settle for less than you deserve.
Settling in a relationship that you aren’t happy with is a recipe for disaster–there’s no way around it. If you enter a relationship and are already unhappy with the terms, it won’t last. Looking back on your relationship, it’s quite possible that the ways you and your guy settled for each other are the very reasons that led to the relationship’s end. While compromise is essential for any relationship, you shouldn’t have to give up everything and settle for less than you deserve. It’s important to remember this when you are moving on.
5. You can move on from any heartbreak.
Heartbreak can hurt more than any physical pain that you’ve ever experienced, but after moving on you’ll know that it always heals. No matter how devastated you were by the loss, you’ll come out of it just as whole as you’ve always been. You may have learned lessons about men and dating, you may never be quite the same, but the pain will go away and you will be happy again, no matter how much your ex may have hurt you.
Consider your past relationships as practice for the real thing: the final relationship that you’ll eventually end up in. Practice makes perfect, so make an effort to learn something from every relationship that ends so that you can hopefully find true happiness in the next one that begins.