You Can't Get Up Without Falling: 10 Life Lessons We Learn From Bad Breakups

by Kristen Kunk

I believe people come into our lives for a reason. Sometimes the reasons are obvious; other times, they're far more subtle. Over time, however, we usually come to realize and understand why life took a certain path. From what I know now, most of our biggest life lessons come from those we allow into our hearts.

When I met my ex, I was vulnerable, exposed and recently pieced back together. I welcomed him into my heart. I was ready, or I thought I was, and I jumped head first back into the relationship pool.

Everything seemed promising, but it quickly turned sour. He put me through hell, and once the roller coaster ride came to a screeching halt, I realized I had learned more about love, life, relationships and most importantly, myself, in four months than I ever had before.

In fact, from this one terrible relationship, I was reminded of 10 important life lessons:

No matter how hard you try, you cannot change a person.

It’s simple: You cannot change a person. No matter how hard you try or how badly you want to change someone's thoughts, it's out of your hands. You must choose to love this person as he or she is, or walk away.

He might be perfect on paper, but sucks in reality.

He might fit the “perfect man” checklist, but that doesn't mean there's not something a little off with him. Even if he has a great job and seems fairly put together, he can still be a man-child who doesn't respect you.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Relationships are like marathons, so pace yourself. Enjoy and savor the moments. There really is no reason to rush things. When you’re high on the rush of a new relationship, you can easily get caught up and lose yourself. Just know if it’s meant to be, it will be.

Seeing eye-to-eye on core, fundamental values is key.

Yes, you are attracted to him. Yes, you two have fun. You even like his family and friends.

Do you really have anything in common, though? Do you share the same interests? Do you have the same ideas about careers, kids and finances? If yes, great. If no, revaluate.

Core values will ultimately make or break a relationship.

Relationships are partnerships, not double standards.

You can’t always do what you want and expect get away with it. Be an equal. Support and love your partner and he or she will support and love you, too.

Being single and on your own is not a prison sentence.

Own it! Being single is the time when you get to celebrate and live life the way you want. Forget those who make you feel inadequate for not having a partner.

If you want to go to that concert, go. If you want to make out with that cute guy you met in the beer line, do it. Life is what you make of it. The real prison sentence is being in an unhappy relationship.

Fate always has a reason.

You might not know why at first, but have faith. Open your mind and heart, and embrace the idea that fate brought this person into your life for a purpose. Try to search for the reason and the lesson. Remember, it may come to you months or even years later.

The relationship is broken the moment you lose trust.

No matter how hard you try, if there is no trust, there is no relationship. Being paranoid and always wondering if he will do you wrong is no way to live and love.

Always love yourself more.

At the end of the day, the only person you are truly accountable for and need to love is YOU. You need to have self-worth, self-respect and self-love in order to have the ability to allow someone to love you. Never compromise yourself.

Happiness is a choice.

Choose it. Wipe away the tears and let go of the anger. You are only guaranteed today, so choose happiness and things will fall into place.

Photo via We Heart It