You might be reading the title of this article and wondering am I crazy. How can something as painful as heartbreak be good for you? When heartbroken, which literally feels like your heart is being torn apart, your thoughts might be focusing on how to make the pain go away rather than understanding how heartbreak can be good for you. Heartbreak can happen for various reasons. Maybe your partner has rejected and walked away from you, your friends have decided to move on and the friendship is lost, your marriage has ended, a loved one has recently passed away or someone important to you is suddenly someone you don’t speak with anymore. Regardless of the reason for the heartbreak or your history with the person, the pain is intense and traumatizing.
Instead of viewing this pain as a waste of energy, recognize that the heartbreak is another step in your journey. Although you may not feel this way right this very moment, the pain you are going through is necessary for healing and something better in the future. There will be better days ahead.
1. You are driven out of your comfort zone. When you are heartbroken, you are literally forced to let go of the past. Part of that process of letting go, is letting go of patterns, behaviours and thoughts that we find comfortable and familiar. Part of the reason you hurt so much, is you cannot do any of the things or rely on the same people that felt comfortable to you prior to the heartbreak. Maybe your best friend is gone, or you no longer have something to look forward to on the weekends or you replay all the memories of the past to avoid a future that seems bleak and empty. As a result, you are forced to get out of your comfort zone. When the pain of the heartbreak starts to lessen, you may find that you need to revaluate your life, change your attitude or perspective towards life, get involved with different hobbies, make new friends, ditch bad habits and start focusing on yourself again. You may start to take risks and navigate outside of your comfort zone to help create a better and happier life for yourself. A loss of a relationship is painful but is often the trigger needed to make real changes within yourself.
2. You accept that healthy relationships require more than feelings. You may love this person very deeply and truly. There may be no doubts about how true your feelings are. Maybe this person really loved you too. However, any type of healthy relationship requires more than love. Love is a crucial ingredient for a strong relationship but you also need more actions rather than feelings to nourish a relationship. You can love someone but not be a good partner for that person or maybe that person is not a good partner to you. You can tell someone you love them, but your actions may not reflect that love. If you are unwilling to compromise, work things out in the relationship, work on things within yourself, communicate or express your needs then the relationship is doomed to fail. Falling in love is wonderful, but until both partners are willing to take action to nourish a loving relationship, the relationship will not be successful. If someone chooses to walk away from you, then that is their choice and shows that the relationship could not have worked because both of you were not on board to making the relationship work. Heartbreak is painful but helps you understand that you need more than just love to make a relationship work. A great relationship requires that two people grow and change together, otherwise they grow apart. This applies to all types of relationships, platonic, romantic or familial. Any meaningful relationship requires effort and you cannot keep a relationship going just on your own and just because you have strong feelings for this person. A heartbreak teaches you that any great relationship takes effort and action.
3. You are given an opportunity for self-improvement. During a heartbreak you may start to notice many of your weaknesses. Maybe you are having a very difficult time being single and want to jump straight into another relationship or maybe you have a difficult time spending time by yourself. Maybe the way you handled the breakup wasn’t particularly pretty. Perhaps you got angry, sent texts you regret or called your ex partner terrible names. It’s possible that you look back on the relationship and realize all the mistakes you made or the ways you could have been a better person in the relationship. Heartbreak can bring out many of our weaknesses but that’s okay. Understanding your weaknesses, whether that’s how you manage anger, how you communicate, issues with co-dependency, how to value other people or how to better take care of yourself is crucial to self-improvement.
4. Heartbreak shows you what you are truly worth. When you love someone, you tend to put them on a pedestal. Their actions may have hurt you but instead of focusing on the ways they have mistreated you, you tend to focus on their positive aspects and the way you feel around them. The pain of heartbreak allows you to truly see your value and to accept that you do deserve better treatment from a partner. Although this process is painful and certainly doesn’t happen overnight, over time you will recognize the type of treatment you want from someone and recognize your own worth.
5. You accept that you can only control yourself. During a heartbreak you may wish so badly that you can change how someone else feels or help them see things from your perspective. This experience will teach you that the only thing in your control is yourself. Although not having this person in your life is incredibly painful, it’s important to put the focus back on yourself and see what you can do today to improve things. You can learn to love yourself again by taking control of your own life and realizing that you will be okay.
6. You realize that it is truly better to have loved and lost it, than to have never loved at all. One of the worst thoughts when going through heartache is wishing you never met the person so you didn’t have to feel this pain or wishing you didn’t love that person so much. The pain you are going through right now may be terrible, but you will learn something from this. You will pick yourself up again and become a better and stronger person because of this. Maybe loving and losing this person will be the event that triggers you to work through your fears and insecurities. Or maybe you have a difficult time accepting the type of love you deserve and losing this person will help you truly recognize what you really want in a partner. A heartbreak may make you realize the mistakes you made so that you can work on yourself more. In a nutshell, your heartbreak may be the best thing that has ever happened to you. That may be tough to believe right now, but give yourself more time. The experience will shape you into someone stronger and happier.
7. You now have space for something new. I cannot tell you what this new thing specifically will be in your life but there will be something new that would not have been possible if the relationship still continued as it was. Sometimes we can’t have what we want, to get something that we truly need within our lives.
8. You learn that many people love you. When dealing with a heartbreak, this one person becomes the center of your world. It doesn’t seem to matter that others love you because this one person has walked away from you. Whatever type of heartbreak you are dealing with, I can guarantee that there are people in your life who need and love you. Your children need and love you. Your family loves you and truly wants the best for you. Your friends love and care for you. People who you may not even take much notice of, love you. A heartbreak shows you that your support system goes far beyond just one person. Yes, you may feel like nobody loves you right now, but that’s not the reality at all. Many, many people love and care about you. There are people you have not met yet who will love and care about you.
Regardless heartbreak feels terrible. Don’t worry if all this does not resonate with you right now or if some days you feel good, and others days you feel depressed. That is part of the process. I do know that you have the capacity to love again. You also have the capacity to be loved. The universe does not intend for you to be heartbroken forever, but one day you will be stronger and you will look back at this period of heartache as a necessary period in your life that resulted in you being a happier and stronger person. You will be able to take continual steps forward and remember that there is still plenty of room in your heart for love. The future may not always look so bright, but I promise you that things will turn around and that something good will come from your broken heart. The past does not predict the future and with each day that passes there will always be hope of something good to come.