Receive LOVE in your mailbox

Try our weekly newsletter with amazing tips to bring and retain love in your life

The Ex-lessons: 10 lessons only your first breakup will teach you

Now you are just a stranger with all my secrets. 

I remember that day. The last conversation I had with him was replaying in my head, like an echo I couldn’t keep away. The nausea was swirling unrestrained in my empty stomach. The blood in my veins felt like tar, traipsing around my insides, reluctant to fuel my heart for a steady beat. The ache rung me out, until no more tears would come out – only empty sobs that tore at my inner being. A being that felt raw, as if braving a winter wind in complete nakedness.

broken heart

Image source: Pixabay, under Creative Commons License

I can write pages about that heavy feeling and it still wouldn’t be enough. It’s as if searing wounds pulsate with every breath you take, forming on the insides so you can’t nurse them – jarring each step you wish to take forward. You find yourself questioning it all – How could this be? How could there be no more US? How could your world come crumbling down in a matter of minutes? Only to have the black mists swirling within you levitate over, floating out – maybe in a week, in a few months or some years – to give way to the light that you always carried within yourself. It is at this juncture that the reason behind all the crushing pain shall become clear. It is in this moment that you shall emerge into a new reality that will enrich you and make you better. It is only after you have braved the tornado within that you shall readily step into the world you shut out, for you can’t deprive it of your own sun.

These are the streaks that would emit out from you, after you have dispelled the clouds of your FIRST breakup:

1. People are who they are; they won’t change


Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

I have been guilty of this. I am so prone to falling in love with the ‘potential’ of a partner than the real person that a mass campaign of disillusion, disappointment, prodding, coercing or even manipulating follows close on the heels of falling ‘head over heels.’ I have also been on the other end of the equation. In either case, it isn’t pretty. People are who they are. They will not change. Any attempt to induce a change would be codependent. Also, the change would be temporary and fleeting. The partner who is thus changed shall relapse into their true self in no time. You CANNOT change anyone. Instead, try and focus on yourself. If you can’t accept your partner for who they are, leave. If you want to stay with them, then grow into a full acceptance of who they are. We are all human and none of us are perfect. This is not to say that self-improvement is not a function of healthy relationships. But the exhortation to be a better and happier version of oneself is self-induced and comes from being an equally worthy half of the healthy relationship. This self-driven change is the only one that sticks. After all, ‘I’ is the only half in a relationship that one has control over, ever!

2. Never expect someone to love you the way you love them

love is never equal

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

This is a hard-learnt but well-earned lesson. Tying in closely with the first lesson, this one is crucial. Expecting someone to love you the way you know to love is to invite misery for a gala. We are all different and have varying definitions of love. As such, we all love and express love in different ways. A strong desire (covert or overt) to be loved in a manner you know best and deploy with remarkable ease is to subject yourself to the torture of unrealistic expectations. A relationship works best when partners understand each other’s ‘language of love’ and find a way to align them. Gary Chapman’s book on the subject ‘The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts’ explores the concept. It shows how the primary language of love differs for men and women and how most of these problems can be resolved if we can choose to communicate in our partner’s ‘love language.’ The best way is to find overlapping zones and use them to weave the magic of everlasting love!

Suggested read: 10 things NOT to do at the start of a relationship

3. You learn more about someone at the end of a relationship than you do at the start

This is akin to any new beginning. A new job, a new city, a new friend – it is easy to lose oneself in the ‘heady rush’ of feelings that accompany the novelty of a new chapter in our lives. It is only when one gets familiar by inching closer that one discovers the hidden elements. It is when the ‘other’ side begins to stick its head out that one realizes the futility of the rose-tinted glasses one was wearing until now.

4. Denial is a dead end


Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

It leads nowhere. The time it takes to move on depends entirely on one’s willingness to accept the reality. The more you resist what is happening, the more painful it will be. Dwelling in the past or escaping the fetters is a personal choice. The sooner an acceptance sinks in, the quicker you’d be able to pick up, pack up, and move on.

Suggested read: 20 stages of breakup everyone goes through

5. The pain washes away even if you think it wouldn’t

Yes, I have described the pain and it gets soul-numbingly harrowing. And you wouldn’t believe me (if the pain is what has brought you here now) when I say it shall fizzle out. Remember that life is too precious to stop for a breakup. It is only a breakup, not a breakdown. There’s a reason they say – this too shall pass!

6. You are stronger than you think

what doesn't kill you makes you stronger

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

YES, you are. You alone are responsible for your happiness. Your world cannot crumble because someone made a choice to ‘leave’ you. Much like your world shall not be eternally golden when someone chooses to ‘love’ you. Every end heralds a new beginning. Whether you choose to trudge, crawl, trot or run toward the beginning that the end inevitably disguises, you shall find yourself there. God has blessed each of us with immense strength to brave the pain that he chips in along the journey of life. These setbacks only make a strong ‘ME’ stronger.

7. Always choose forgiveness over hatred

forgive and forget

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Any relationship is made of two people and all ‘issues’ within it are brought about by the unit they co-create. One may well contest how it was one person’s fault at large, but one needs to accept responsibility whilst allowing the hurt to go. Any negativity that sticks on after parting ways is only going to wound your insides. When you let go of the hurt, let go of the wrong done too. Forgive them for their mistakes and forgive yourself for your follies too. Forgive, forget, and move on. Hatred closes your soul to the possibility of love. Reaffirming your faith in life and love shall only come from complete forgiveness.

Suggested read: Why are more women choosing to remain single?

8. You need to learn to be alone and happy

woman with her arms raised

Image source: Shutterstock

If you derive your security, comfort, and validation from someone else, you are heading down a path of misery. You must learn to love yourself first to be able to love another completely. You need to be happy by yourself to radiate happiness outwardly. Being able to enjoy your own company is very important. Unless you value yourself enough to let go of anybody who makes you lose your own self in the process of loving, you will never be TRULY happy.

Suggested read: How to know if he/she is the ONE

9. Own your desires, trust your instincts, and follow your bliss

woman at peace with herself

Image source: Shutterstock

Many a time we tend to override the voice of our heart. We pay close attention to the voice of reason or worse, those of ‘sensible’ people around and mute the channel that our heart is playing. In the process, we put our innermost desires on a back burner for something that is external to us. No matter how deeply we love someone, we need to place a premium on our own needs and desires. You cannot constantly be ‘giving’ and ‘giving in.’ If you are, you must be giving in to the voice that you negate – the voice of your heart. In our attempts to hold on to a relationship that does not meet our needs, we drain our life’s vital vial. Do not diminish your capacity to live, laugh, and love like that. Deep down, we already know what we really want. We shouldn’t layer it with opinions of what it ‘should’ be. Own your desire and trust it. Your heart wants what it wants. Trust it. The head can do the catching up later.

10. To never give up on love and life

never give up

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

I know it hurts. I know it’s scary. I also know that it seems like the end of the world. But it isn’t. Don’t let your past obliterate a possibility of a happy future. After all, the past isn’t quite present anymore, and the present is in your control. Take charge, learn from the past, and move on. The next stop will be better, I promise.

Always remember – what is meant to be, will be. Your breakups only teach you to be better. You learn about what really matters, just not soon enough for the ‘US’ that was never meant to be.

But, hey, it teaches you a great deal for journeying towards the ‘US’ that is really meant to be. J

Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Article Name
10 lessons only your first breakup will teach you
A breakup is hard to deal with, especially your first one. Here are 10 lessons only your first breakup will teach you.
Sejal Parikh

Sejal Parikh

"I'm a hurricane of words but YOU can choose the damage I do to you..."