It was December of 2014, and I had just broken things off with my boyfriend of six months. Sure, we technically hadn’t been together for a super long time, but it was my first real relationship, and the breakup was a tough one for me. As I sat in my college apartment alone the week after semester exams, I desperately needed quotes to read after a breakup. To ease my sadness, I marathoned almost the entire series of Gossip Girl from my couch — and decided that Blair Waldorf’s tough sass was the vibe I wanted to channel.
Blair doesn’t take crap from anyone, and this is why I loved watching her when I was struggling. The minute she said, “I’m not a stop along the way, I’m a destination,” I knew she was my girl. And while it might sound funny to say that Gossip Girl was the show that helped me heal, it was actually a really great distraction from what I was feeling. Sometimes, all it takes is a book, a song, or a line of poetry to remind you that you can get through the hard times and move on.
I wanted to talk to other people who turned to wise words in a time of grieving, so I reached out to ask, "What is the quote that helped you through the worst of times?" Their answers are funny, touching, and extremely validating for anyone who is confused and heartbroken. If you think you might need to hear some loving advice, look no further than these uplifting quotes about moving forward.
1. You're Strong AF
“Hey, remember that person you thought you couldn’t live without? Well, look at you, living and sh*t.”
My worst breakup was in college. We were together for three years, and the breakup was mean and messy. [This was] a quote that got me through it.
— Julia, 27
2. Not Your Fault
"You cannot blame yourself for someone else’s inability to love you.”
I was dating someone who was a little over a year removed from a divorce, and we parted ways because he was still grappling with the loss of that relationship and was unable to fully give me what was needed in a relationship with me.
— Sarah, 25
3. Worth The Hurt
“‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” — Alfred Lord Tennyson
It’s a good reminder to appreciate the experiences, good and bad, that happen in life because we can only grow and learn from them and come out the other side stronger. Every time I went through a bad breakup, my dad would send me this quote.
— Estie, 25
4. Just Let Go
"The opposite of love's indifference." — The Lumineers, "Stubborn Love"
I was driving down the highway and had my own little private 'come to Jesus' moment where I realized I needed to let go!
— Abby, 20
5. Sweet Revenge
"Payback is a bad b*tch." — Demi Lovato
Right around the time I got dumped by a guy I really liked, Demi Lovato released her song 'Sorry Not Sorry,' and I was obsessed. I listened to it on repeat every single day, so much so that it was my #1 song that year on Spotify. The lyrics, "Payback is a bad b*tch / And baby, I'm the baddest / Now I'm out here looking like revenge / Feeling like a 10, the best I ever been / And yeah, I know how bad it must hurt / To see me like this, but it gets worse..." helped me imagine a better, less sad version of myself in the future, where someday, that guy would see what he missed out on. The song made me feel powerful at a time when I felt so low. (For the record, I ran into him two years later, and let's just say that payback really is a bad b*tch.)
— Hannah, 26
6. A Quick Fix
“It’s impossible to drink water and cry at the same time.”
I think crying is great and very therapeutic, and I do it when I need to, even if that’s on the subway. But there are times when you don’t want to cry, and drinking water (or anything, I would think) and crying at the same time isn’t possible. Not sure what it is, but I’ve used this trick multiple times, and it works, I swear.
— Melissa, 27
7. You're A Boss
"I am a catch!”
I’d also tell my friends at the same time, 'You are a catch!'
— Mary Anna, 25
8. Better Things Ahead
“If you could love the wrong one that much, imagine how much you’ll love the right one.”
I remember telling my mom, 'I don’t know what makes me more sad — that it’s over, or the idea that there’ll be a day when I don’t miss him anymore,' to which she said this.
— Melissa, 25
9. Take Your Time
“Time can heal most anything.”
I first heard it on a Taylor Swift song sometime during the breakup, and I was like, ‘OMG, this is me.’ My heart was just so broken, but I knew that it was temporary. I knew that I would bounce back and be OK! It just helped me to put a set time on the hurt.
— Sarah, 25
10. Moving Forward
“Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.” — Lady Gaga
It reminds me that ultimately, I’m in control of my own life, and no one else gets to change that. I chose a career, and I’ve worked really hard to become who I am, and even though a breakup might break me, it can never take that away from me, which is why this quote always comes back to me in tough times. Even though my breakup was hard, I’ve worked so hard to be who I am and to come how far I’ve come, and that’s something to be proud of and to hold onto.
— Hannah, 27
Can I get a standing ovation for these amazing ladies? All of them took something painful and turned it into a lesson in self-love and growth. Breakups are never easy, but with the right tools and motivation, you can move on and get stronger than ever before. So, go ahead and blast that song that makes you feel like a queen. You’re moving ahead to better and brighter things!