9 Life Lessons Break-ups Teach You | Elite Daily

by Casey Cavanagh

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who find lessons in hardship and grow in tough times, and those who become paralyzed with negativity.

When something unfortunate happens, like a relationship failing, it’s important to let yourself be sad, but only to a certain degree. Eventually, you need to pick yourself up, quit blaming the universe and move on. You won’t find happiness and success while wallowing in the shadows of past heartache.

It’s okay to be hurt but it’s not okay to live in your hurt. Relationships can be many things: exciting and inspiring, torturous and heart breaking. But, when it’s time for the relationship to end, it’s important to bow out gracefully. Take the lessons and leave the rest.

1. What’s meant to be will be.

You can hope and try for something all you want, but ultimately, you can’t force it. If it didn’t work out, it means you’re about to be directed toward something better (even if it’s hard to understand that now). When we want to make something work, we need to be willing to make some sacrifices and put in the dirty work. But if you keep hitting the same walls of rejection and the same, re-occurring battles, it’s time to take a new approach.

2. You learn more about someone at the end of a relationship than you do the beginning.

Whether it’s a new friend, job or city, it’s easy to get lost in the excitement of a new beginning. But the more you become acquainted, the more you begin to see different, uglier sides. When we’re happy at the beginning stages of something, like a relationship, things are just easier. It is only when people get comfortable and unhappy that different personas start to surface.

3. Misery loves company.

An alarming number of people are happy when others fail, whether or not they admit it. After a breakup, your single friends, who were always annoyed with your constant entanglement with your ex, are likely relieved to have you back at the pregames.

You’ll learn which friends secretly hated your ex but never wanted to say anything and which few will put up with your constant whining (even if they think three months is too long to be mourning a break-up). It’s an unfortunate part of human nature, but many people find validation in other people’s lack of success.

4. Crying won’t get you anywhere.

Grief comes in many stages and in many forms — it’s crucial to handle each one appropriately and privately. When you get dumped or fired, you’ll experience a wide range of emotions. But, it’s important to remember that emotions will come and go. Let them. It doesn’t matter what you're trying to do in life — make a relationship work or get promoted — at the end of the day, belittling yourself to the point of whining, wailing and complaining will offer little reward.

5. Denial is a dead-end.

It leads nowhere. The time it will take you to move on depends almost entirely on your willingness to understand and to accept your situation. If you’re looking for reasons to miss someone, you will always find them.

So, stop looking. It is a personal choice whether or not to dwell in the negativity of an unfortunate circumstance. The more you resist what is happening, the more painful it will become. The sooner you make the decision to accept a situation for what it is, the faster you will be able to pick up, pack up and move on.

6. We like to romanticize the past… to a fault.

In a society so largely focused on promoting the importance of “living in the moment,” too often, we let ourselves dwell in nostalgia instead of appreciating what we have and building a path to take us where we want to go.

From social media trends like “Throwback Thursday” to urging younger people that they need to appreciate their college days because you "would KILL to go back to them," we are constantly contradicting our glorification of the term “YOLO.” The past is the past and there’s no getting it back. While trips down memory lane are fun and enjoyable from time to time, they need to be in moderation. Focus on the present to create better todays than yesterdays.

7. Being content is not the same as being happy.

It is important to take inventory of your current situation and ask yourself if you're truly happy, okay or just content. Ask anyone who stayed in a relationship or a job past its expiration date and finally moved on to something bigger and greater.

If there is a yearning in you that reflects that there might be something more out there for you — whether it’s in a different city or in another person... it’s time to acknowledge that you may be settling. Too often we unpack and settle in our comfort zones out of fear. But, we all know that the best parts of life happen outside our comfort zones, and if we want to make the reach for them, we need to let go of the mediocre contentment to which we’re clinging.

8. You need to learn to be alone.

You can never depend on another person for validation, comfort or security. If you do, you'll quickly learn that you're setting yourself up for misery. You can't constantly put someone else’s needs ahead of your own. Being able to enjoy your own company is an essential, but often overlooked. When you learn how to be comfortable and happy on your own, you'll often find that relationships become a lot easier.

9. Everything is temporary — change is constant.

When something in our lives drastically changes, it can feel very uncomfortable. But, when we're able to understand and accept that change is inevitable, we become better at adapting accordingly.

While there are relationships that can last a lifetime, they are rare. We are constantly changing, even if it doesn't always feel like it. Emotions, seasons, feelings and trends all change. Nothing is permanent and while that can sometimes be dismal and scary, it also means that we never run out of opportunities to have new beginnings.

Photo via We Heart It