A member of my family sent me a link recently and I thought it was interesting. It was an article containing a list of some of the responses received when the question “what is the most valuable lesson you’ve ever learned from a break up?” was asked on Reddit/HuffPost Divorce’s facebook and twitter.
Here is the list:
1. “A relationship involves two people. I used to put all the responsibility on myself whenever something would go wrong. When her actions would hurt me, I’d think about myself and what I could have done better. In the end, I stayed in that relationship way too long.”
2. “I learned to always keep my money separate and to have a backup plan.”
3. “Never settle. Love is a verb. People are who they are. Don’t expect them to change.”
4. “Your happiness and validation come from within. Relying on one person in order to feel happy is unhealthy for both parties involved.”
5. “I learned to cultivate me — my interests, my hobbies — and let the hobbies and interests I once shared with my ex fall to the wayside. I learned my own strength.”
6. “I learned that loving someone and loving the idea of being with someone are two very different things.”
7. “It’s a big ocean with many fish. You’ll find someone else. The heart is resilient.”
8. “Once you’ve broken up, cut all ties with that person. Delete them from Facebook, delete their phone number and send their email and text to a spam folder. Stay away from them and you’ll move on quicker.”
9. “Always read the signs and be aware of the red flags. They are there flashing and waving if you just pay attention.”
10. “I am worth more than what I accepted from the person I loved. I can make myself happy.”
11. “Don’t even think about falling in love again if your self-esteem is zapped post-split. Heal and love yourself first, then look for love again.”
12. “Being unattached is way better than being in an unhappy or unfulfilling relationship.”
13. “Get your stuff before you break up.”
14. “Your wellness is more important than the relationship.”
15. “The pain does go away even though it seems so hard to believe in the beginning.
Some of these things I knew already (at least cognitively, whether I put them to practical use or not is another story!), some of them I had not thought about before, and several of them I have learned/am currently learning from my divorce.
I would have to say the major ones my divorce has taught me are:
2. “I learned to always keep my money separate and to have a backup plan.” –I have thanked my lucky stars a million times through this divorce process that my husband and I preferred to keep our money separate, and that we hadn’t been married for very long so our legal lives were not completely entwined yet…it has made things much easier than they could have been! Now I know, and will remember this for all future relationships! Also I always had a backup plan, I guess it’s in my nature; I’m a planner and the type of person who always expects the worst…it came in handy this time and I will not forget it!
3. “Never settle. Love is a verb. People are who they are. Don’t expect them to change.” — I used to get mad when people told me I was settling, that I deserved better than him, and I still don’t think it’s true…that implies that he is not good enough, or bad, and he is most definitely not those things. “Love is a verb” however, sticks with me. My husband used to say it a hundred times a day, “I love you” “I love you” over and over again…and I loved it! I thought “how sweet! I’m so lucky!” Little did I realize, that it takes more than just saying it…he could say it a million times a day, and it would never make up for his lack of showing it. And seriously, don’t expect them to change. I used to say I didn’t expect him to change who he was, but I was fooling myself. I totally expected him to change. Were they good changes, that he should make for himself anyway? YES. But change is change, and it’s not fair to put that on to someone…they are who they are, love them, ALL of them, or move on.
9. “Always read the signs and be aware of the red flags. They are there flashing and waving if you just pay attention.” — and DON’T ignore them! I can’t believe, looking back now, how many red flashing warning signs there were…and I KNEW they were there! I saw them! Yet I chose to walk right by them, look the other way, and pretend that they would just go away…because I loved him. But I have learned from this experience, that above all else you have to love yourself more than anyone else, and by ignoring warning signs you are most definitely NOT loving yourself more. You are just setting yourself up for more pain and heartache.
14. “Your wellness is more important than the relationship.” — again, you have to love yourself above anyone else. Really, really hard for me to do…but I’m trying.
So this leaves me wondering…we’ve all had breakups, of some sort, at some point in our lives…what would you add to the list? How would you answer the question?
“What is the most valuable lesson you’ve ever learned from a break up?”
Link to the aforementioned article: