After my first (and roughest) break-up, my mom gave me some of the best advice I've ever gotten. "Relationships end in one of two ways: Marriage or heartbreak," she said. "And you're too young to get married, anyway." My emotions were going haywire, but intellectually, I grabbed onto this concept. I was 17, and I knew this kid wasn't "The One" (for lack of a better expression), so I committed these words to memory. Well, these, and about a dozen inspirational quotes for after a break-up.
I needed mantras. Reminders. Words of affirmation that led my crumpled, 17-year-old heart to seek out the light at the end of the tunnel (which, BTW, was totally there!). I allowed myself to wallow, sure — to spend my Friday nights loafing on the couch, watching romantic comedies and eating way more Subway sandwiches than any one person needs — but I also started taking the advice of characters like Elle Woods. I started to have faith in myself (something my ex-boyfriend had constantly tried to destroy), and soon realized that my heart not only had the capacity to piece itself back together, but that I was that much stronger, wiser, and less likely to fall in love with a douchebag now.
If you've recently gone through a break-up — be it your first or fifth — and need a little reminder that your heart can also heal (and that, in the interim, it's okay to feel pain as well), here are 15 quotes that should do just that. Thanks to sitcoms, rom-coms, and several brilliant authors.
1. “Most importantly, you must always have faith in yourself.” —Elle Woods, Legally Blonde
2. "Real love moves freely in both directions. Don't waste your time on anything else." —Cheryl Strayed
3. "When the going gets tough, the tough reinvent.” —RuPaul
4. "Those awful things are survivable, because we are as indestructible as we believe ourselves to be... We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken.” —Miles Halter, Looking For Alaska
5. "[They're] very dreamy, but [they're] not the sun. You are." —Christina Yang, Grey's Anatomy
6. "Eventually all the pieces fall into place... Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moment, and know that everything happens for a reason." —Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City
7. “You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.” —James Baldwin
8. "I deserve somebody who gives a sh*t." —Brooke Meyers, The Break-Up
9. "Love yourself first, and everything else falls into line." —Lucille Ball
10. "Turn your wounds into wisdom." —Oprah
11. "However awful the storm of my disappointment, it's a response that belongs to me. It's my heart, after all. My territory, my kingdom. And since I'm the only one with the authority to surrender it, I can also take it back." —Helen Oyeyemi
12. "Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.” —Elizabeth Taylor
13. "Negative emotions are like unwelcome guests. Just because they show up on our doorsteps doesn't mean they have a right to stay." —Deepak Chopra
14. “I'm choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I'm making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.” —Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love
And one of my personal favorites...
15. "In your place, if there is pain, nurse it, and if there is a flame, don't snuff it out, don't be brutal with it. Withdrawal can be a terrible thing when it keeps us awake at night, and watching others forget us sooner than we'd want to be forgotten is no better. We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything—what a waste!” —Mr. Perlman, Call Me By Your Name