Your years at varsity are likely to be filled with plenty of firsts. Your first taste of adulthood. Your first part-time job. Your first car. And, most importantly, your first love. Unfortunately, first loves do not always go the distance and it is highly probable that you will also experience your first difficult break-up.
Nobody enjoys saying goodbye to someone who was such a huge part of their life and the period that follows is often clouded with sadness, anger, and/or regret. However, breaking up doesn’t have to be an entirely negative experience. In fact, it provides a learning opportunity to become a better person. Here’s why a break-up can help you to…
Feel more confident in your choices
One of the most common reasons behind a break-up is the fact that both parties want different things. A break-up can, therefore, teach you not to compromise on things that are extremely important to you and can help you to feel more confident in your choices and your personal goals. Most importantly, it can teach you how to say ‘no’ with conviction.
Improve your EQ
Your EQ, or emotional intelligence, basically refers to how you are able to navigate and express your emotions. Once you have been through a break-up, the chances are good that you will have better control over your emotions and how you communicate them to a loved one. Even if you did not feel proud about how you acted during and after the break-up, this is sure to make you want to work towards making improvements.
A break-up will teach you about life
If, until now, you have lived a relatively sheltered life and haven’t really endured many hardships, a break-up can act as a real wake-up call. You are forced to accept the fact that life isn’t always fair, and that people aren’t always predictable. You are also forced to confront the reality that you cannot control how you or another person feels. You realise that life sometimes just ‘happens’ and that you need to build up resilience to deal with whatever challenges come your way.
Prove that you have what it takes to weather the storm
The searing pain that follows the loss of a romantic partner is one of the most intense pains you will ever feel, and you are likely to go through a bout of depression as a result. When you are in the thick of it, you will probably wonder if you will ever feel happy or normal ever again. As time goes by, however, you will learn another valuable life lesson: Tough times don’t last, but tough people do!
A break-up can teach you to love yourself
Many people will blame themselves following a separation from a girlfriend or boyfriend. They will wonder why they weren’t ‘good enough’ and probably harbour some regrets. But they will quickly realise that sometimes two people just aren’t meant to be together, and that’s ok. In order to heal from the heartbreak, with plenty of external support, you must learn to love and forgive yourself. After all, if you can’t love yourself, how do expect someone else to?
Just because there are some positive take-aways that come out of a break-up doesn’t mean that the process is easy! It is important to allow yourself time to feel your emotions, grieve, and move on – and don’t put a deadline on it. Ask for help when you need it and try to envision happier times in your future. This too shall pass… and you will emerge stronger for it.