People Who Go Through Painful Breakups End Up Stronger And Happier
There's no easy way to explain the emotional side effects of a breakup, just like there's no easy way to actually go through a breakup in the first place.
It tears away at your happiness, your health and your heart -- no matter what stage of the relationship it occurs in.
Even when the fights are constant, the shouting matches never end and that light in your life that kept you warm has flickered off, the pain of losing a loved one is almost unbearable.
It's as if a limb is removed from your body, and suddenly, you are left to your own devices, completely alone.
I know how that pain feels, and there's no easy way to live through it.
However, something truly beautiful comes out of this pain: We find a renewed love in all of the other things that are perfectly capable of making us happy in life.
Such as ourselves.
When we go through the process of turning someone in our contacts list from "BAE" to "631-455...," we're taking the first step in controlling our own happiness.
We're putting aside what we may have relied on for comfort and self-assurance and beginning to discover that comfort and warmth within ourselves.
If you are going through a breakup, know that life gets so much better.
And if you're still not sure, I gathered some of the finest experts in the field of love to see what life is actually like after you call it quits.
Here's what they told me:
The grass is truly greener on the other side.
When we're ending things with the one we thought we'd share an entire life with, our visions for the future can certainly get quite foggy.
We feel as if nothing better will ever come along, and that's a truly scary thought.
Perhaps that's why researchers Ty Tashiro and Patricia Frazier decided to title their study "I'll Never Be In A Relationship Like That Again": Personal Growth Following Romantic Relationship Breakups.
The study, published in the Journal of Personal Relationships, looked at 92 undergraduate students who had recently experienced a breakup.
The researchers collected information from psychological questionnaires about the students' previous relationships and how they were coping with their breakup.
Researchers also surveyed the students, asking whether they thought there had been any positive changes in their lives following the split.
Tashiro, the lead author of the study, tells Elite Daily,
The first finding of interest was that every single participant listed some positive life changes as a result of their breakup and there were on average five positive changes reported following these breakups. Some examples of the positive changes included feeling more confident, independent, or closer to their friends or family following the breakup.
It may be hard to imagine that you'll be happier after going through such a difficult experience. But it's true.
By letting go of whatever led you to feel that a breakup was necessary, we're able to distance ourselves from this pain and, eventually, learn from it.
We become so much stronger after letting go of what brought us down.
It's funny -- they say that which does not kill you, makes you stronger. I don't know if that statement can be applied more realistically to anything than a breakup.
A number of studies indicate that we're able to overcome such hardship and learn from those painful experiences in life, ultimately becoming stronger, healthier individuals.
Other studies show that our heart is essentially designed to overcome heartbreak in as little as three months. That research notes people also become even happier, more open-minded individuals after letting go.
Tashiro and his researchers similarly felt that a breakup may actually make the human heart tougher in the long run.
I think that a breakup can make some people stronger... It's interesting people report that losing a relationship is felt as physical pain as well as emotional pain. One of our fundamental motives as humans is to form close, stable bonds with other people and so when we lose one of our most critical relationships, there's a natural tendency to feel deeply distressed. It's your mind's way of saying 'You sure about this?' Of course, sometimes you are sure and the best thing is to stay away from the ex-partner, but it's easier said than done.
Tashiro's observations on college students who recently suffered through a breakup are clear indications that people immediately want to feel better after a breakup, whether or not they actually do is another question.
However, this determination to be happy is a human instinct that kicks in and forces us to make such changes in our lives that lead to a brighter future.
Previous research I've done on this topic seems to show our brains have actually evolved to help us deal with losing loved ones, handling depressing situations and overcoming breakups.
So becoming stronger after a breakup requires a balance between thinking with your brain and your heart.
In order to fully overcome this difficult challenge in your life, you may need to toughen up and let go of that which binds you.
Like most things in life, insight has to be followed by a good dose of persistence and determination so that someone doesn't easily slip back into a relationship that had the same problems as their previous relationships.
Right on, Tashiro. Right on.
It may take a few times and trials, but we do learn from our mistakes.
By finding your own light at the end of this painstakingly difficult tunnel, you will eventually reach the end, and the sun will shine back into your life once more.
Not only will you feel so much happier and stronger after your breakup, but if you listen to the experts, trust your mind and heart, and be open to happiness and the future, you will be so much smarter, too.
The New York Times reports on a study from the University of Arizona where 210 people, aged 17 to 29, were experiencing breakups.
Participants used self reflection in speaking exercises to discuss their emotions and experiences surrounding their relationship.
The researchers found something quite incredible: The study participants who vented their sadness, emotions and hardships to others experienced a higher level of "self-concept clarity."
Researchers describe this clarity as being able to more closely understand, and even love, who you are as a person.
Maya Angelou once said,
Have enough courage to trust love one more time, and always one more time.
When we've survived the heartaches and trials of a relationship gone bad and a breakup gone awful, we've experienced two polar opposites of a spectrum. We've now seen how beautiful love can be and how easily it can be tarnished.
We learn from these hurdles, each time becoming a little bit stronger, happier and smarter.
We learn through our breakups that we can still be whole.