I’ve had five failed past relationships. One of them was with an abusive girl who’d literally slap my face, and I took it without standing up for myself, thinking, “Oh, it’s just a slap.”
Another one was with a girl whom I thought was really nice, but turned out she was lying and cheated on me. Another one straight up, cheated on me and admitted it. I forgave her, and ended up cheating on her myself. As you can see, I’m baring all my imperfections here. My relationships were not perfect as I’m not perfect.
This is not a typical article to help you move on. I believe all relationships help you grow as a person. You’ll learn a lot about yourself and also how people behave. I had it rough, but I’m very thankful for all of them.
If you ever feel fearful of relationships, I hope these lessons will help. After all, this is life. It can hurt from time to time, but as you keep growing, that hurt can be something great and change you for the better.
Here are 7 life lessons from breaking up that hurt, but are good for you:
1. Take pride in yourself and don’t let anyone steal that from you
That girl who slapped me back then? A good friend was extremely angry about it. Not me. He told me something that stuck with me forever, “It isn’t just about the physical pain. A slap is to humiliate, to look down and belittle you.”
From there on I wondered why I took it without saying anything. Take pride in yourself. Don’t ever let others bully you. You may be in love or feeling all kinds of emotions up to your neck, but you can’t ever anyone cross the line and step all over you.
You aren’t a piece of meat for people to take out on just because they’re angry with the world.
2. You’ll learn a lot about yourself in, and you may not like what you see
The girl who cheated on me? I ended up cheating on her back. It was a very hard lesson as I initially gave her a hard time for it. Imagine my chagrin for doing the same. And that’s the thing. In relationships and in life, you’re bound to do something totally unexpected of you; to act out of character from time to time.
Why? Because life is not easy. What you learn, say, think or even feel may not translate directly into your actions, especially when things get out of control. So be humble and don’t judge others. Humility is a golden trait. Learn from the painful lessons and keep growing to be better and more positive.
3. People are not what they seem
Yup. How people act in front of others may not reflect who they truly are inside. You’ll be surprised how many people do this a lot, intentionally. It’s extremely hypocritical, but some people are just like that. My first girlfriend made me go to church and didn’t like me to drink. I thought she was a good girl. She was actually a very cunning liar.
So don’t be too surprised when people act out of their supposed character. Don’t cling on to titles and expectations. You just have to accept people for who they truly are, even though that hurts.
4. No one is truly “the one”
I won’t go into a philosophical tirade of whether soul mates exist or that there’s someone out there waiting for you. What I want to bring across is in relationships, especially when you guys first met, emotions are heightened and you feel that sense of romance the most.
You may probably think that you’re “in love” too. That’s all good, but life will always get in the way. No one is truly “the one” because feelings can die, hard and effort must be put in and yep, breakups happen. So don’t be too sad or surprised that the initial romance from the first memories have faded. Life just happens.
5. You need to the accept the painful truth that someone doesn’t want you
Extending from the previous point, sometimes people just don’t want you. Effectively, that means you can be the nicest person in the world or try your best to make someone happy, but it may be all for naught.
When someone is disagreeable towards you, you have to accept it. Nothing can change the mismatch in value and feelings. It’s just how it is in life, not just relationships. So don’t try too hard for something or someone when things just don’t seem to be going your way. Just move on already. Something else better is waiting.
6. You need to embrace the hard lessons to actually learn
Maybe this is a non-sequitur, but yes, you need to put in the actual effort to actually learn. I find that people think that romance is all about emotions only. We want to “go with the flow”, “see what happens” or “let fate decide.”
Then they do nothing at all. All of the above may be true, but remember to use your head and start thinking too! Put in that little effort to think and start giving yourself a better chance at love; at life.
E.g. I know of friends who keep getting into relationships with people they meet in night clubs. When things don’t work out, they complain, “Why do I keep meeting such people?”
Honestly, the simple answer is to go elsewhere and meet new people from different places already! Don’t let the lessons from your breakups go to waste. The next one will be better only if you make it so.
7. Don’t let pain hold you back from a bright future
And this is the last lesson. I know it hurts. I know it’s also scary. But don’t let the past hold you back from being your best and creating an awesome future.
It may not be easy at first, but get over the past and move on. The past does not exist anymore. Learn from it instead to become better. Don’t let the fear take over. Breakups hurt, but you’ll be fine. The next one will be better. I promise.