We've all been there. One minute you're on Cloud 9 and the next, you're falling all the way down from Mount Relationship.
It hurts, its depressing, it really really sucks.
But you know what? There's always a light at the end of that sad tunnel.
I too have had my share of heartbreaks, and there were also times when I had to do the dirty job of breaking up with the poor guy. Whether I'm on the receiving end or not, its not pretty for both parties.
After going through a few relationships, the most important lesson I've learned is this: only you have the power to decide if you're gonna thrive from it, or let your life crumble.
The Best Breakup Ever
That's right. The best breakup I've ever had to go through was also the most painful one of all. He was my first love, my first relationship. We were crazy about each other, we even planned our future together. All seemed to be so rosy and beautiful when you love someone who loves you back.
Of course, current circumstances prevented us from continuing our relationship and so we had both our hearts broken because of it. I cried for days on end, I didn't want to speak to anyone, nor did I even bother to go out for months. I was so depressed.
But one day, a voice within spoke up and said "Enough is enough! Its time you stop feeling sorry for yourself and do something about it." And I did. The first thing I did was to travel a bit, have a change of scenery and think about how I could make myself happy. I knew I could never be back with him again, but is there something else about myself which I could do to make ME happy?
There was. All throughout my youth, I was always ridiculed for being overweight. A fat girl. It has always bothered me for a long time and there were times it has driven me to tears.
So that was it. I was gonna lose weight, and I was gonna look the best I could possibly be.
8 months and -20 kilos later, I felt a lot more confident; my clothes fit better, I could wear trendier clothes, people started complimenting me, and most of all, I've never felt so beautiful in my life. This time, I knew I didn't need a man to tell me that. I felt like I was glowing inside and out.
And because of my new found confidence, I started opening up and making new friends, I dressed better, and I was a lot more open to new experiences. Looking back, if I had stayed in that relationship, I wouldn't have grown as much as I did, and I would've probably be content where I was.
So if you have any doubts on why breakups shouldn't be as sucky as it seems, here are a few reasons why it can be a good thing for you.
1. An Opportunity to GROW
Not only will it benefit you, but if you wanna get your revenge on your ex, this is the best way to do it. Focus on yourself, upgrade on the things you would've liked to work on if you weren't in a relationship.
Not happy with your body? Go to the gym. Not earning as much? Keep grinding! Have a bad temperament? Work with a therapist to improve your EQ.
The more you upgrade yourself, the better you feel about your confidence and self-esteem. Best of all? You'll be attracting better partners and even leave your ex seething at you. Because you're the upgrade, and any man or woman who sees that in you will surely be wrapped around your fingers.
2. You Learn
Just like every experience in any trade, the more you go through them, the more you learn.
During your relationship, perhaps there were things you may have overlooked in either yourself or your partner. The rose stained glasses blinds you from all the warning signs of a bad relationship and you choose not to see it because you're in love!
When I go through a breakup, I felt like as if a veil has been lifted off. Sure, I was very hurt when he decided to leave, but it got me thinking about whether the relationship was perfect after all. Once I listed everything that might have been wrong in the relationship, it helped evaluate myself; did I do something wrong? Is there something I could've done better?
But most importantly, I look towards learning on what I could do better in the next relationship; should I be open from the very beginning? How can I address certain issues in a better way?
In this way, experience has helped me learn how to spot the genuine ones from the monkeys and it has taught me on what I really want in a relationship.
A few years back, I used to think I could do the casual relationships because I wasn't interested in a anything serious. Next thing I knew, I found that I got attached to someone and unfortunately he didn't feel that way. I was severely disappointed when he said he couldn't reciprocate the same feelings I had for him. But from that hurt, I learned that I should've been more honest with myself and with him, and that I could've prevented that hurt if I had address this issue sooner.
3. No More Time Wasted
Especially when it comes to women, the worst thing that could happen in a relationship is time wasted. You keep waiting and waiting, hoping that he'll take the relationship to the next level, but he never does and he never will.
I was fortunate that mine didn't end much later in the relationship, but to those who's relationship has ended after more than 5 years, I feel for you. I really do.
The most frustrating part about the breakup is knowing that you have wasted your time with the wrong person. But then again, as awful as it sounds, we can always assume that it could've been worse; what if you wasted another 10 years with this person? What if you got married and had a child together? What if you've been married 60 years and he leaves you for a young prostitute?
I dunno, but this is especially for the young and broken-hearted; don't be sad that it ended so soon, be glad that you have more time to move forward.
Sometimes, relationships can tie you down. You wanna migrate to another country, but what about your partner? Will you convince him/her to come with you, or do you stay where you are just because you wanna be together?
When my ex-partner said that he wanted to be free and travel the world, I was deeply saddened, but at the same time, I understood. When the relationship is serious, there are so many things to consider, and this takes two people who really want to make it work. If one of them doesn't feel that way, what can you do?
Letting go of a relationship also means you are free to make reckless choices; go volunteer in Africa, learn Mandarin in Taiwan, hike the peaks of Machu Pichu, do all the things you could've done without a partner in tow! I believe after doing all the things you truly want to do, you will certainly be in the right mind to settle down for the right person.
Finally, how do you exit a relationship gracefully?
There was one thing I learned from Dita Von Teese, a woman of absolute grace and class. And when it comes to dealing with a breakup, she said "You keep your dignity. At all times. No matter how heart broken you are, you keep your dignity and decorum."
Be respectful of your partner's decision, forgive, and move forward. That is really the best thing you can do for yourself.
To all those going through a rough breakup, virtual hugs and kisses to all of you. You will get through this, and I promise, it will be better <3.
Anne is the author and founder of this blog. She likes to write about current issues, travels, food and the general struggles of a millennial.