Ever been through a breakup and thought, “What’s the silver lining in this mess?” Well, the internet’s got some nuggets of wisdom on that. Brace yourself as Reddit users share their personal journeys, unraveling 15 valuable lessons that prove, “There’s no better teacher than heartbreak.”
15. Actions Speak Louder
“Communication without action is just complaining. I’d lay out what problems we were having only to be told I’d need to be patient but nothing was ever acted on. I ran out of patience.”
14. Sometimes You Just Grow Apart
“It hurts worse the longer you drag this stage out. You’ll start hurting each other if it goes too long.”
“That’s what happened in our 5 year relationship. She got to med school and I decided to work abroad. It still hurts me to this day, she is the one who got away.”
13. It’s OK To Be Alone
“No relationship is better than bad relationship. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.”
“Been in a very bad relationship and the psychological trauma has basically made me unable to connect with a new partner. I’m still working on it 2 years later.”
12. Relationships Have Different Time-Lines
Not all relationships end in anger, bitterness, and regret. Some simply run their course. One person described their experience of this:
“Sometimes you can be two good people who just want different things for your futures. Your relationship didn’t fail. It just ran the course it needed to.
“My first love was someone I truly expected to marry, but he wanted children and wanted his dream job in the Midwest. I didn’t want children, and I wanted a life full of international travel and living by the ocean. There were a lot of tears and grief in realizing we had to let each other go. We’re now both in our forties and each living the lives we wanted in very different places. I look back on our time together with nothing but fondness. We can still learn from people and not end up with them.”
11. Second Attempts (Almost) Never Work
Some people break up, get back together, then break up again, and the cycle keeps repeating. It’s understandable for a host of reasons. First and foremost, heartbreak is hard, and relationships are messy, so it’s natural to question whether you made the right decision. However, one Redditor suggested you should be cautious about getting back together, writing:
“If you break up once, don’t go back for another try. They’re still the same person, and so are you. There are always exceptions to the rule, but not many.”
10. Make Sure You Can Walk Away If Need’s Be
When so much of your life revolves around the relationship, losing all aspects of your independence is easy. While this can be a natural byproduct of committing to someone, it can also backfire if the relationship ends. You can end up having literally nothing left. That’s why one Reddit user suggested you should safeguard your finances so you can walk away if you ever need to:
“Make sure you have your finances in order to be able to walk away at any point, never find yourself financially trapped with someone you don’t want to be with.”
9. Arguing Is Okay, Hurting Each Other Isn’t
A Reddit user called Jakomus offered a few lines of relationship wisdom that they’ve picked up over the years:
“It’s OK to argue. It’s not OK to hurt each other when you argue. It’s OK to expect things from each other. It’s not OK to keep score against your partner. It’s OK to have different views about living together. It’s not OK to undermine the views of your partner.” Someone else then chimed in to add: “An apology without change is just manipulation.”
8. Don’t Ignore Red Flags
Another lesson people learn from breakups is to be vigilant for any early warning signs from potential love interests. One person wrote, “Do not ignore any red flags in the beginning; they don’t go away or disappear with time.” And another added, “They’re usually markers for where the land mines are buried.”
7. Seek Compatibility
One person on Reddit learned to “choose my partner and see if we are compatible instead of changing myself to fit them or picking the first one that’s interested in me.” Yes, there should be a spark. And yes, it’s okay to adapt your way of life to accommodate theirs. But you should work well together, too, and they should always accept you for who you are first.
6. You Can’t Read Minds
One popular comment said, “You never REALLY know what’s going on in someone else’s head.” In other words, as much as you know your partner and trust what they tell you, their inner world remains a mystery. In worst-case scenarios, this can lead you to misinterpret the strength of the relationship. They might seem happy on the outside, but be far from it internally. The result? Communication is key.
5. People Can Change
Change is a natural part of life. It happens whether we like it or not. And, as sad as it can be, sometimes that change involves drifting apart from people we once loved. One person on the thread wrote:
“People change. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse, sometimes for themselves, sometimes for other people. Sometimes, they don’t even notice that they’ve changed. Sometimes they do. The person you’ve got together with may have been a lovely person. But a single event can change them into an entirely different person. Be it a diagnosis, death in the family, losing a job, or something else.”
4. Love Yourself First
Another Redditor learned “To love myself more and never put someone else on a pedestal.” Then someone else chimed in, adding, “Love yourself and realize you are worthy to be equally loved and cherished.”
3. You Have to Be Yourself
Does someone really want to be with you? Or do they want to be with the idea of you? It can be tricky to discern sometimes. However, as one Redditor put it, “If a person doesn’t let you be yourself, then they don’t want you, they just want something from you.”
2. Don’t Lose Yourself
It’s natural to take on some of the interests and characteristic traits of your partner when you’re together for a long time. The problem happens when you forget who you are in the process. As one Redditor said, “Don’t lose yourself in your significant other. It can be hard to find your own identity again after the relationship ends.”
1. You Can Be the Problem
The most upvoted answer/lesson was this: “Sometimes I am the problem.” It’s a wise and simple reminder that, while it’s tempting to blame your partner for whatever’s gone wrong, you have to take some (and sometimes all) of the responsibility, too.
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