Breakups are hard, it’s a universally known truth. There are numerous TV episodes, movies, and songs dedicated to the pain of losing someone you love, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t benefits of the whole process.
I was recently broken up with by my boyfriend of two years and yeah, it hurt. The vast majority of our relationship was great. We were in love and happy but between changing as people and trying to make things work long distance, we lost our spark and things ended. At first I was hurt, I didn’t understand what happened and I felt as though I wouldn’t ever be happy again. He had been my whole world for two years and the idea of not having him by my side through life was enough to keep me in my bed gorging on Ben & Jerry’s watching "Gossip Girl" for days.
But here’s the thing no one tells you: there are perks to going through a breakup. At first it seems like the only perk is eating as much as you want and calling it “food therapy”, but life goes on and eventually, you heal. Slowly but surely, watching romantic movies no longer hurts, and you can hear love songs again without wanting to hurl. But the main perk is blossoming into a new person.
Breakups make us re-evaluate who we are, and force us to no longer rely on another person for the things we used to. After I got through the initial pain of the breakup I realized that there was no one to tell me I looked beautiful, or that I was intelligent, or someone to go to dinner with when no one else could. I had to become independent enough on my own to be okay with going to dinner by myself. I had to be confident enough to wear that “risky” outfit without the reassurance of someone else. I learned that I am not completed by another person, there is no “other half”. I complete myself and a significant other is simply a compliment to who I am.
In a relationship you are also required to consider another person and their life when planning events. Every time you try to make plans with someone, you are forced to think “do I have plans with my significant other that night? What day did I say I would have dinner with his/her family?”. Once you’re single again, the stress of that goes away. If you’re like me, you have a very busy schedule and remembering your own schedule is hard enough. Being single means only planning for yourself and no one else which can be quite a relief.
But what is truly the best thing about being newly single? The new opportunities and experiences that are opened up to you while you’re navigating this new area of your life. When each day doesn’t revolve around one person, a new world opens up. You may decide one day that you want to spend a weekend at the beach and guess what? You can! There is not another person depending on you to be around and no one is waiting for you to hang out with them. If you want to flirt with that cute barista at Starbucks or go out on a date with that super dreamy girl from your English class, you can. Being single lets you meet all kinds of new people you might have not otherwise met!
When you break it down, breakups suck. There is no way around it but that doesn’t mean your life is over. Remember that this is one phase in your life, you are ever changing and no matter what, life goes on. There are ups and downs in the process of healing from a breakup, but it’s not all bad.