Moving on is difficult. When you care deeply, when you are the kind of person who gives everything you have to those you love, it can be extremely hard to lay all of that love down.
Breakups make you question yourself, they make you question your reality. Nostalgia can be a powerful thing, memory can be hard to part with, and it will never be easy to fully say goodbye to those who made us feel deeply and connected and hopeful. Especially when you’re empathetic, especially when you’re a hopeless romantic.
But if you are dealing with a breakup right now, there are things that you can remind yourself of, there are concepts that you can connect with, that may be able to help ground you and get you to tomorrow. Because that is all moving on is — taking it day by day, step by step, hour by hour, and minute by minute. And while your healing may not always be linear, it is always there.
Breakups warp your memory.
No one wants to remember how someone hurt them in a partnership, no one wants to dig up all of that feeling. It’s easier to remember the passionate moments, the inside jokes, the ways in which they made you feel alive. The things that stick with us are the things that made us feel the most in love, the most comforted, the most taken by another human being. Your heart is always going to leap towards those highlights.
And it is okay to remember those highlights. You will never fully forget. And you shouldn’t want to, but you should take the time to remind yourself why things ended. Why you had to walk away from someone you cared for. Because someone can be the absolute best person, who did wonderful and beautiful things, but at the end of the day, they still aren’t your person. They weren’t perfect. Your relationship wasn’t perfect. And it had to end. No matter how deeply you favor nostalgia, when you are trying to move on, always strive to be self aware and remind yourself of that.
Breakups have nothing to do with worthiness, and everything to do with incompatibility.
When you care deeply, it is easy to convince yourself that you could have done more. That you could have loved harder, that you could have gone to war for someone more intensely, that you could have done things differently. But at the end of the day, you have to let go of the ‘if onlys’ and the ‘what ifs’ You have to lay all of that down.
Because at the end of the day, sometimes it doesn’t matter how much harder you fight, or how much more you show up, or how deeply you sacrifice. Sometimes, things simply just don’t fit. Sometimes, two people don’t beat the odds. Sometimes, two people outgrow each other. Sometimes love changes, and sometimes someone’s capacity to give you the love they know you deserve changes. Life is not black and white. Love is not black and white. Someone can be so ready, and then not at all ready. Someone can be your person, and then time can grow them into the kind of human being who isn’t. Sometimes circumstance, or distance, or life gets in the way. That is the messiness of it all, but none of that has anything to do with your worth.
Breakups are not losses. They are liberations.
You deserve to be loved — and not by someone who has one foot out the door, or by someone who questions the intensity of your heartbeat, but by someone who genuinely wants to wake up beside you in the morning. Someone who genuinely wants to make your life a happier, sunnier version of what it is. And so, if the someone in your life left because they were not ready to value you, or love you, or be there for you, do not wish for them back, do not ask for them to be more than they can be at the moment. Wish for them to figure themselves out. Wish for them to grow. They are on their own journey, and that is okay. It is okay.
Because at the end of the day — breakups are not losses, but rather, entryways into a freedom that will clear up space in your life for those who actually have the capacity to claim it. Breakups give you the freedom to go out into the world and find those who will love you as you are right now, in this moment of your life. Remember — it is better to be alone and learning, and discovering, and exploring your life, than to be in a relationship that makes you feel lonely.
Breakups are not losses. They are lessons.
Breakups have the capacity to show you what you liked, and what you didn’t like in a relationship. Breakups give you the ability to take inventory of all of the moments that made you think “I never want to feel this again” or all of the moments that made your heart ache with the joy of being known or held or valued in a certain way. It’s important to remind yourself of the positive, and the negative things, that you came away from the partnership with. This will help for you to build a foundation of what you need moving forward, and when you understand what you like and dislike, you don’t settle for anything that is going to fail to serve you. You always make decisions based on that knowledge and that worth.
Breakups give you an opportunity to get to know yourself again.
Yes, you might be alone right now, but alone doesn’t have to be lonely. Alone can be healing, alone can be transformative and foundational. Alone means that you finally have the chance to figure out what you like, and who you are, outside of another person. The things you spend your time doing, the hobbies you dedicate yourself to, the way you sleep in the middle of the bed – you no longer have to adjust what you want in order to make fair compromises for someone else. It can all be about you, and the empowerment that comes from truly dedicating time to understanding your own soul.
Endings don’t have to be messy.
Sometimes, love doesn’t win. Sometimes things end because you outgrow another human being — the potential and the lessons and the evolution has just reached a threshold that you hit. However, that is not something you should deem a failure, or something that should break your heart. That is something to celebrate. You managed to love someone deeply, and you grew one another into human beings who are going to go off into the world and change other people with that love. You did all that you could for one another, and instead of forcing something that wasn’t working or fulfilling you anymore, you chose to walk away. You chose to choose to believe that there were other things in store for your hearts. That is brave.
Yes, breakups are hard — but you’ve survived hard things before.
Try to remind yourself of the wounds you thought you would never heal. Try to remind yourself of the people you thought you would never move on from in your past, the people who are mere memories or nostalgic moments in time that you now see as teachers rather than soulmates. Try to remind yourself of the situations you never thought you would overcome, the damage you never thought you’d pull the light from.
And now, remind yourself that you did heal those wounds. You did find the lessons hidden beneath the wreckage, you did uncover all of the light that was pinned and blooming in even the darkest corners of your experiences. Remind yourself that you have been here before, you’ve dealt with things that have threatened your heart, and you survived them all. They never broke you — they built you, they taught you about yourself, and from all of that growth, you started to believe in beauty and in goodness again. You healed.
Historically speaking, the odds are in your favor. You’ve survived hard things before. You can survive this.