An old adage reads, “It’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all,” but when you’re in the thick of a painful breakup, it certainly doesn’t feel that way. To put it bluntly, nursing a broken heart can flat-out suck.
But here’s the good news: experiencing, and then ultimately getting over, a broken heart leaves us better, more well-rounded individuals. Sometimes it takes getting hurt to learn more about who we are and what we need from a partner. So take it all in and know that when the tears dry, you are that much closer to finding genuine compatibility and long-lasting connection. Here are seven very real reasons we should all experience heartbreak in our lives.
You Have the Chance to Step Back and Self-Reflect
Once the intense emotions begin to soften, there’s no better time to reflect — on the relationship, ourselves, and what went wrong, but also on what went right. It’s a wonderful time of self-discovery and typically when the lessons learned will be the most palpable.
It Can Strengthen Your Friendships
Even as you grow older and eventually find the right partner, you’ll never forget those moments with the people who picked you back up with an open ear and a spoonful of honesty when you needed it the most.
. . . and Your Relationship With Yourself
When you were in a relationship, it was all about conquering life together as one unit, but now that it’s over, you have the extraordinary gift of selfishness. You can focus entirely on your own goals and desires, and this is usually the time when you’re the most inspired to take chances. You’ve always wanted to learn how to play the piano? Do it. Go on the trip your partner never wanted to take. Enroll in the yoga certification classes that would’ve taken you away on date night. Focus on yourself, and do all the things.
You’ll Emerge Stronger and More Resilient
Getting over an intense heartbreak is like a badge of honor; you’ll probably never completely forget the nights you cried or the visceral way your heart ached, but once you put your heart back together, there’s an overwhelming feeling of triumph that emerges. You lived through something, and you are stronger for it.
You Learn to Forgive
It’s OK to feel angry after a poignant breakup (just as long as you don’t let it wash over you), but even the most intense of emotions will begin to melt over time. Eventually, you’ll realize that forgiveness isn’t about the other person as much as it is about you and your happiness. The ability to let go and forgive those who have wronged us is a wonderful gift, but it always takes getting hurt first.
You Become More Empathetic
A broken heart is something that happens to almost all of us, regardless of age, background, location, etc. It’s a humbling experience, but in the end, it makes us more sensitive and empathetic as partners, friends, and all-around humans.
You Learn What You Really Need From Love
After a failed relationship, you’ll learn the traits that are actually important to you in a mate, and you’ll take a pencil to your childhood list (or throw it out the window completely). Broken hearts teach us not only who we are as partners, but also what we need (and deserve) from love.
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