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7 Lessons I’ve Learned From Heartbreak

There isn’t a simple cure for heartbreak.

There just isn’t. Sometimes you have to flow with it, feel it, and probably most important, learn from it so that you can heal and move forward.

As a relationship coach, there are specific topics that I am often asked about by those I coach, but a topic that most of my clients suffer from most is the power of heartbreak. It is crippling, debilitating emotionally and physically, and it can set back even the strongest among us.

Here are 7 Lessons I’ve learned from heartbreak that will help you move on and forward:

1. It isn’t always about you.

It’s hard when someone you love chooses to no longer love you. It can be devastating regardless if you are dating, married, have kids in common or the like. Someone cutting off an emotional plug from you can take you to places unimagined. But here’s something I want you to take away and listen to very carefully. Sometimes another person’s actions to not be with you or continue to love you isn’t always correlated to you. Sometimes it is actually about them. Some have limited emotional capacity to be consistent in love especially in the sense of partnership.

Others have emotional baggage that prevents them from being in a copious and healthy relationship. And sometimes, while unfortunate, you end up being the collateral damage. If there is a pattern they expressed to you about their previous relationships and the common thread is it usually ended and they didn’t take any accountability, the pattern more than likely has something to do with them.

2. Everyone you love isn’t forever.

People come into your life for different reasons. And no matter the level of disdain you may have for someone you loved, the point is you loved something about them. There was something they taught you, helped you discover in yourself, or brought to the table that you valued. As you face the end of your relationship with them, I want you to shift your mind from focusing on the pain of the break-up at times to what lessons they brought you. This is important because it leads to my next revelation about breakups.

3. In each relationship, there is a lesson.

Sometimes the person you are loving at the moment is teaching you something to help prepare you for the person you are meant to be within a more longer-term relationship. I know you might not want to hear this, but the beauty of relationships is that you learn what you like, don’t like, value, don’t value. There is lots of trial and error along with a definite learning curve. But it also makes it easier for you to delineate between what you want and don’t want.

In other words, you should become wiser in each relationship you have, eliminating wasted time on people who aren’t fit or compatible for you.In essence, every failed relationship, if you learn the lesson needed, should bring you closer to what you want.

4. You may lose what you thought was the love of your life, but better to love than not to love.

I feel there are different types of love you will experience in your life. Some will feel highly passionate. While others may feel like they are more of a hyperextended friendship. And then other relationships may lie somewhere between a mix of some passion, fun, along with a solid friendship. When you are in your 20’s your first love will feel different because it is your first love. More than likely it won’t be reciprocated in the exact same way in subsequent relationships so it’s important to not chase that exact same feeling or feel like if you don’t feel that same exact way that it isn’t love.

It’s your first taste of what love feels like, so after you have this feeling subsequent loves will and may feel different. It doesn’t mean they are better or worse than your first love. They will just feel different because you will evolve and be in a different place mentally and emotionally which will correlate to your relationship with someone else. The good thing is that if you have been in love you understand that vulnerable is a part of feeling and expressing love. And that in itself is a huge starting point to being open to love again.

5. Sometimes what you thought was love isn’t actually love.

You may be confused by what love is because depending on our first experience and exposure to relationships about love. And depending on how you learned about or observed love, you could easily get it wrong. For example, if you saw dysfunctional relationships modeled around you, it was easy to see this as functional. So say you fell in love with someone who was emotionally, verbally, and/or physically abusive or who had personal issues of substance abuse but you loved them, this experience of love may not have been a healthy type of love, but if it’s all you knew or experienced, it set a footprint as to what you might think is love.

In essence, your first experience of this dysfunctional type of love tainted your future observations of what you thought love is and it’s likely you repeated this over and over in subsequent relationships. And while extreme this principle could apply if you didn’t observe a relationship and had to formulate what you thought a relationship is or if you saw your parents divorce, grew up in a single-parent home, etc. The point is no one teaches us what constitutes a healthy relationship so sometimes it takes a while before we get it right.

6. A break-up can be a love reset.

Yes, a break-up can actually be just what you need. It will hurt. It will be painful to remove yourself from someone’s life.  But weirdly enough, you probably had the realization that there were red flags in your relationship. However, you probably ignored them. You tried to pretend away your intuitive feelings you had that something just wasn’t right with your significant other.

But, once you listened to your inner voice and left the relationship or the relationship ended, your life likely changed in significant ways. The lesson here is that sometimes a breakup from someone who isn’t compatible for you can actually be the reset to your own self-love and the journey you need to complete which leads me to my final point.

7. When you are in a relationship, there is someone you often forget about.

That would be YOU! Heartbreak is hard, but the distance of being in a relationship that didn’t work has its benefits. One of them is the time to now focus on you. Exercising self-love and self-care is vitally important for your progress, growth, and ability to love again. When you are comfortable in your solitude, it allows you to be appropriately picky so you are more selective for your next relationship. 

If you are going through heartbreak, I want you to know that things will get better. You will eventually recover and come out stronger on the other side.

Everything happens for a reason and losing the love of someone significant to you doesn’t mean you won’t have the experience of being in love again with someone who can be significant for you. Heartbreak, while devastating at first, can also help your self-growth, increase your self-love and allow you to find love with someone that is better suited for you.

Originally published on Thought Catalog

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