We've all been there: Crying into a pint of Ben and Jerry's (my favorite is Half Baked) and torturing ourselves with romantic comedies just to cry over them or get irrationally angry. I mean, come on, Kate Hudson TRIED TO LOSE Matthew McConaughey, and they still end up happily ever after? Bullshit.
However, getting my heart broken was how I learned some of this life's more valuable lessons. I know, I know; I sound like your mom. Trust me, I feel like a mom as I preach these lessons to my friends whose hearts are getting broken. But just like, pretend I'm like Mrs. George, the Original Cool Mom™, from Mean Girls.
1. I am not a half waiting to find my match; I am whole on my own
When I told my dad this one, he said, "Obviously you're not half a person. That's scientifically impossible." But, I believed so deeply in the cliche that the person of my dreams, the one I'm going to spend the rest of my life with, was the missing piece of me. Getting my heart broken by someone with whom I so vividly saw the white picket fence and two kids dream made me realize that I am whole. Anyone I choose to spend my life with, romantic or platonic, is just going to add to everything I am because I am already complete.
2. You really can't love someone as much as you can miss them
It's a John Green quote that always seemed so stupid. But, as much as I loved my ex, the love I felt (and still do feel) for him did not even come close to the crushing pain I felt in the early days of our breakup. This doesn't have to be a bad thing. You can care so deeply for people that when you miss them even deeper you know you've found someone worth keeping around.
3. Hindsight truly is 20/20
At the time, I never saw all the red flags that would have lead me to the eventual conclusion that our relationship was never going to work out. So don't beat yourself up about not seeing those things - no one can, and it's not worth going through the "what ifs" and the "imagine ifs."
4. Strength is best found alone
I never ever would have learned how to be strong until my only option was to be strong on my own. That's not to say I (or anyone else) is ever truly alone, but having someone who was always there for me in every way a person can be didn't do me any favors in finding my strength. Since I have been alone and on the journey to ~finding myself~ I have found so much of my own strength and courage because I had no one to have those feelings for me.
5. I found my real friends
I know you think your real friends are the ones who say "fuck that guy!" after you break up, and I know some of my greatest friends have that mentality. But you will also find your friends who will gently (or not so gently) tell you how it really is, that you had as many faults in that relationship, and you have your fair share in it falling apart. Keep those friends close; they will keep you humble, and they will always keep you grounded.
6. I don't care what parts of me others don't like
Right after my ex and I broke up, I took all the parts of me he always complained about and exaggerated them a thousand times over. I was obnoxious, and I knew it. But because of that, I learned the important lesson about loving yourself in there. I learned not to hide away parts of myself just because people didn't like them. They were parts of me, and I am great, incredible, and majestic. If you don't like it, too bad.
7. I am so much more than "beautiful"
My ex was always very careful to compliment me on more than just my appearance, and when we broke up, it was so hard to believe he was being honest. Slowly, though, I learned that he was right. As I rededicated the time I was spending on him to my other hobbies and interests, I began to find my own confidence. I am smart, I am hardworking, and I don't need anyone to tell me. Confidence is a beautiful thing, ladies.
8. If I was so in love then, imagine how in love I'll be when I find "Mr. Right"
This was the biggest realization I had. I realized that (obviously) this relationship was over and that chapter of my love life was done. As devasted I was, I can only imagine how much happier I'll be when I find the person who God sent to spend the rest of his life with me. I was so in love then, and I can't wait to experience "match made in Heaven" happy, "soul mate" love, and actually having that white picket fence with two kids life.