8 Things You Can Learn From Having Your Heart Broken

No one hopes to have their heart broken, but it happens to all of us. And when it does, you think your entire world is falling apart right before your eyes. You want to run the other direction every time a friend tells you not to cry because it’s over, but smile because it happened. Well, even if you’re not quite there yet — to the smiling phase, that is — there is a silver lining. While you can’t change the past, you can certainly learn from your mistakes. Rather than beating yourself up, consider the important lessons you can learn from having your heart broken. It just may serve you well in the future.

1. You’ve been ignoring reality, and it’s time to wake up

Sad and worried entrepreneur working on line with a laptop

It’s time to face reality. | iStock.com/AntonioGuillem

It’s natural to get lost in love, and all too easy to ignore everything else around you. You’ve become so enthralled with this person that you’ve been living in a fog, and that tunnel vision of yours is headed nowhere fast. Heartbreak, however, forces you to snap out of it and acknowledge reality.

Drawing on the feeling of being so dead asleep not even a thunderstorm could wake you, Elite Daily says heartbreak is basically a “personal shaker-upper” that is finally able to wake you. Though you may be jarred initially, you’ll soon realize the importance of having been woken up. It’s time to move forward with your eyes wide open, taking in everything else around you that’s managed to slip through the cracks.   

2. You can’t fix someone else

sad man looking pensive on a couch

The only person you can control is yourself. | iStock.com

As hard as you may have tried, you can’t fix someone else. Mary Pritchard writes in The Huffington Post that “lasting change must come from within the person making the change.”

Before you had your heart broken, maybe you tried everything under the sun to change your partner, only to realize it wasn’t going to happen. How many times are you willing to fall flat on your face before waving the white flag? Moving forward, you’ll be much happier and saving yourself a lot of misery by realizing you can’t change anyone but yourself.

3. Taking care of yourself is part of the healing process

Three happy friends watching tv

Practice self-love to get back on your feet. | iStock.com/AntonioGuillem

There’s no replacement for truly taking care of yourself, especially in times of need or distress. Tempting as it may be, wallowing in your own self-pity does little for the healing process or your overall well-being. Coming to grips with the fact you need a little TLC, on the other hand, is the best thing you can do. Allowing yourself the freedom to do whatever you please isn’t selfish, it’s necessary.

As for specifics, Thought Catalog says you should do whatever makes you feel good like “dancing alone in your underwear” or  “baking pineapple upside-down cake and eating it with friends straight from the pan.” Whatever the case, you deserve to show yourself some love, without apologizing for it. After a tough breakup, it’s essential you find things to make yourself feel good and remind yourself you’re worthy of love again.

4. There’s no better time to make positive changes in your life

man doing yoga outside

Make some positive steps forward. | iStock.com

Getting your heart ripped out sucks, we know. And while easier said than done, it’s time to make some positive changes in your life, however big or small they may be. By mixing things up a bit, you stand a great chance at gaining a little perspective on your life as a whole.

Whether you want to get in shape or declutter your apartment, take advantage of the present. The feel-good waves you create will act as a ripple effect, sending positivity into every part of your life. As one BuzzFeed reader attests, breaking bad habits and making positive new ones can strengthen other relationships and make you a better person. It never hurts to turn lemons into some seriously delicious lemonade.

5. It’s OK to appreciate the good times

happy couple

You can still recall the good memories. | iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

You broke up for a reason, or more likely, several reasons, but does that mean you have to block out every memory you had with this person? Absolutely not. Every relationship is part of your story. The fact that you and your partner didn’t end up together forever doesn’t negate all the good times you had — and you’re allowed to think fondly of the happy times you shared together. You fell in love, and had your heart broken. You’ve certainly earned the right to keep it as part of your story.

6. But leave the past where it belongs

woman walking along a beach boardwalk

Don’t forget the importance of moving on. | iStock.com/RossHelen

The whole concept of moving on can be difficult for some people to grasp, especially following an intense breakup. Maybe there’s a strong pull toward the past, making it impossible to actually move forward. This is precisely why you need to leave the bad parts of the relationship where they belong, and remember it didn’t work out in the first place. Keep in mind, some doors are meant to be shut. Your relationship ended because your ex doesn’t belong in your future. 

7. You don’t always get what you want

sad woman grasping her head

You’re not always going to get the things you want in life. | iStock.com

You wanted the relationship to work, but it didn’t. You wanted to spend the rest of your life with the person you thought was your soulmate, but you won’t. Aside from the fact it wasn’t meant to be, a broken heart can teach you the powerful lesson you’re not always going to get what you want. If your breakup is still fresh, you probably don’t see the silver lining quite yet. Eventually, though, you’ll come to realize this important life lesson and move on to another person who’s better suited for you.

8. You can do things differently (and better) in the future

Tired young woman working at home

Learn from your mistakes so you can act differently in the future. | iStock.com/Poike

Part of growing as a person is taking an experience, and learning from it. Hopefully, your takeaway will help you in the future, whether it’s how to better deal with an argument, or recognizing when it’s time to stand up for yourself. When The Huffington Post polled readers about the lessons they learned from heartbreak, one person mentioned he looked at what he could have done better, rather than focusing on what his partner could have. This self-awareness is a definite sign of maturity. There’s room to grow from every relationship you have.