I imagine that at the core all love is the same. And all heartbreak. Maybe they broke up with you or maybe you broke up with them. No matter the circumstance, if you're experiencing heartbreak, it's as potent as ever. If you're anything like me, you're wondering how it all happened. How things changed so fast and how somebody who meant the world to you could now be nothing more than just another passing glance in the rearview mirror. It took me nineteen years to fall in love, and by the end of it things were much more messy than I would've imagined after sharing so many wonderful and loving memories with who I believed was my person, someone i thought would always be there for me, much less be the cause for so much pain in my heart. But I will never forget our experiences, nor will I regret anything that happened. And neither should you, because as much as you don't want to hear this: heartbreak is an opportunity for growth. And it all starts here.
First, it's time to forgive yourself and your ex. Forgive yourselves because it didn't work, no matter how much you wanted it to. Forgive yourself for "not being enough" to make it work, and forgive them for "not being enough" to make it work. It just didn't work. Stop asking yourself why it didn't work, stop blaming yourself, or thinking maybe you could've done something different to make it work. It just didn't work . No amount of fighting on your end could make your relationship successful, it takes two to make it work. You can’t change anyone, no matter how much you want to, and you sure as hell can’t make them love you. This does not mean your whole relationship was a lie, that they never loved you or that the relationship didn’t mean anything. It just means that things have changed. Now it's time to accept this fact, move on, grow and learn from the pain and heartache.
Have thanks. Thank your ex for making things difficult from time to time. These experiences make you stronger and remind you how to treat others and how you wish to be treated. It teaches you what you will and will not stand for in a relationship and reminds you what you deserve; somebody who is willing to put in as much effort in the relationship as you are. This is an opportunity for reflection. Learn from not only your mistakes, but learn from theirs. Maybe you wish you had done something different. Don’t dwell on this, just keep it in mind as you move forward. Your breakup should teach you not to ignore the failures and insecurities of any relationship, but to address them maturely and encourage growth in the relationship.
Know that sometimes just love, isn’t enough to make a relationship work. Love will not transcend all problems. Relationships are more than just that feeling, they require communication, trust, and loyalty. Breaking up will likely remind you how blind love is and open your eyes. It’s important that you disallow this to convince you to shut down and stop letting people in. Resist the urge to build up a wall. Just because this relationship didn’t work out does not mean your next relationship won’t. Let this experience teach you to be cautious and to trust your gut, not to mention the friends and family who know you so well.
Most importantly, upon the breakup you’re forced to have faith and believe in yourself again. To be strong for yourself, because you have to. Hold onto this. You now have time. Time find yourself again, time to explore the things you love freely, because you just may have lost yourself in the relationship. Know that being single and heartbroken doesn’t make you any less of a person. You are not “broken”. This experience should remind you that you’re not just a half, you’re a whole and you don’t need to depend on anyone else to make you happy.
Ultimately, whether you want to or not, and despite the pain, you have to move on. No good comes from dwelling on the past. When Alice asks the White Rabbit about how long forever is, he responds, “Sometimes just a second”. Unfortunately, maybe your “forever” relationship lasted just a second, but the good news is: so does the heartache.