As weird and horrible as it sounds I fully believe that bad breakups are good for you. Let me hit you with my definition of a ‘bad breakup’. A bad breakup is one in which you either gorge yourself or can’t eat, cry continuously for days, and have to change his name in your phone to DO NOT CALL, JERKFACE, or SHOULD BE KILLED. Yes, those kinds of breakups. The ones where you feel like someone has ripped out your heart, poked it with sharp sticks, and ran it over with a truck.
Now before you sharpen your pitchforks because you want to Gaston-me for thinking that having your heart trampled is a good thing, hear me out. Or at least give me time to run away…
I’ve been here and let me tell you it really does suck and I am so incredibly happy that it happened. An ex and I had been together for 5 years when we both realized we were trying to keep something together that was a train wreck. We were sick of trying to pretend like that long distance thing was good for us. We were trying to keep something together that was already broken. We had become addicted to the ‘presence’ of each other, addicted to this assured love being in a relationship brought, but not addicted to each other. So we ended it. And in the next two minutes I’m pretty sure I went through a million different emotions: anger, sadness, denial, regret, embarrassment, heartbreak and so on. It didn’t matter that it was pretty mutual or that deep down I knew it was the ‘right thing to do’ it still sucked. Then for the next month it was pretty much the same thing.
After that month of feeling like my heart was in a blender, ideas slowly started to dawn on me. These revelations that everyone gets at the end of a month long breakup bender are why I truly believe they are good for you.
1.You realize why the breakup happened: fights, different beliefs, unresolved concerns, or different life plans. It wasn’t because you weren’t pretty enough or skinny enough. It wasn’t because you aren’t ‘lovable’.
2.You learn you can be independent: you learn that you’re strong and that a boy does not define who you are. You see why all those women in the 60’s were burning their bras! You learn that you can thrive in life without a man and you can *gasp* have fun without a partner!
3.You learn what you need in a relationship: you see if you need someone who can take your crankiness in the mornings or someone to just listen without trying to fix the problem? Do you need him to show that he will really ‘leave and cleave’ or perhaps that you will be his first priority? You learn that there are needs that you require that are nonnegotiable.
4.You learn what you value in a partner: you learn if you need a calming presence or someone to get you out of your comfort zone. Does it mean more to you when your partner gives you flowers randomly or when he always takes out the trash? Do you want them to be honest and completely open or do you want someone to protect you from the ugly in life? Or maybe a bit of both?
5.You understand that a relationship means teamwork: it cannot be just one person that tries to make the relationship grow. A healthy partnership requires two people to work. If at the end of the day you’d rather give up than work to be with that person then it’s not right. A relationship is a pas de deux, it takes two people moving in sync with each other, supporting each other, making the other look good, with total dedication to make the dance deserving of a standing ovation.
After becoming a more self-aware person through this crappy time you are ready to find that person who is willing to work with you, learn with you, grow with you, respect you, and love you for the rest of your lives together.
So let’s recap. Go through hell for a little bit to find happiness? Deal. That’s a good thing in my book.
PS if you need some happy if you’ve just been through a breakup peruse this