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5 ways your last break up was a good thing

Updated on August 28, 2013

Break ups are hardly ever fun (unless you never really liked the person, are a commitment-phobe or just mean).

While they may be difficult to deal with, there may have been benefits that we only realize when we start to look at our relationship separation differently.

It’s okay to go through the grieving process after a break up; after all, there’s no better excuse to bring out the Ben and Jerry’s, watch re-runs of The Notebook and cry about it with your friends right? (Seriously, stop torturing yourself)

A 2003 study conducted at the University of Minnesota amongst 92 students focused on the personal effects of a breakup. Researchers concluded a break up could have positive health benefits, both mentally and physically. The positive effects of a break up were said to bring about a calmer you, closer friendships, better eating habits, improved physical fitness and overall a more fulfilling life. Of course, you can have all of that with a partner, but when you’re stuck in a relationship you know is toxic (we all know deep down when someone is bad for us) then your happiness and health is at stake.

Here are 5 more reasons your last break up was not such a bad thing:

1. Gives/gave you an opportunity to meet someone new

Let’s face it, not every relationship decision you’ve made has been a healthy one. The break down in a relationship often comes down to admitting to yourself that you may be with the wrong person. As easy as we may think it is to walk away from a toxic relationship, many of us stay well beyond the time we should. When you finally walk away, you give yourself the opportunity to make wiser decisions.

Often times when you come out of a bad relationship you may want to swear off the opposite sex completely. While there is nothing wrong with deciding to take time out and be alone for however long you feel comfortable, maintaining a negative view of the opposite sex might actually result in you making worse decisions when you do decide to date again.

If you’ve come out of a bad relationship, know it can only get better after this – because you have the ability to make that choice.

An example of a toxic relationship:

2. Taught you the value of 'never'

When we meet someone, we often think in absolutes. Either we think we would never break up, or we think we would never work. Either way we set ourselves up for disaster. You may have thought the two of you were set in stone, that your bond was unbreakable. Your breakup could have shown you the significance of focusing on the true value of situations. When you believe someone would never leave you, you forget to appreciate them. You take who they are as a person for granted, because you focus on who you are as a pair. You also take who you are as a person for granted because you’re so focused on the journey the two of you will have together.

There isn’t anything wrong with making plans together. In fact, if you’re in a committed relationship the two of you should be including each other in future plans. But what you definitely should never do is neglect who you are as an individual. When it comes down to the decisions and sacrifices you make, always ask yourself: Will I be okay if this doesn’t work out?

3. Taught you one more thing about yourself

Being out of a relationship gives you an opportunity to step back and evaluate yourself. It gives you an opportunity to notice some of your mistakes (even if one of them is your ex). Perhaps now you’ll be able to see what your friends and family have been talking about the whole time they may have been against your relationship. Perhaps taking a step back will jolt you into a state of sobriety (you know, when you have the: “Was I drunk the entire relationship?!” epiphany). Think about all the times your gut instincts gave you an idea of what may have been going on but you ignored it. This separation may teach you a good lesson in trusting your own intuition.

It also gives you an opportunity to take responsibility. Sometimes we actively choose bad relationships based on our own insecurities. If that’s the case it’s probably time to start asking yourself some hard questions before you go on a rant about how much of a cold-hearted non-human your ex was. Is it possible that you caused the relationship to break down? Is this the same way that your last relationship(s) ended? If the answer is yes then there are definitely some unhealthy decisions you’re making with regard to the opposite sex.

There are often little things we do that slowly disintegrate the relationship and cause our partners to drift (or run) from us. This doesn’t mean you should run back to your partner, tell them you’ve realized your mistakes and beg to be taken back. It just means you should use this time to realize and learn from your mistakes.

Color Therapy - What to Wear After a Break Up

4. You compromised who you were for someone else

Who you were before the relationship and who you were within it could have been vastly different. If you had set yourself aside completely, including what you loved and hated and who you were as a person for the sake of earning the affection of someone else, being away from them could very well be the best thing that could happen to you.

Use your singlehood as a way to get back in touch with the core of who you are. This may sound a bit wishy washy or clichéd but without being confident in, and comfortable with, who you are as a person, the chances of you having a healthy relationship is very (very) low. Not only do you allow people to manipulate you, you also give them permission to disrespect you by sacrificing everything that you are and not standing up for your core. You invite happiness into your life when you exude self-satisfaction and confidence. Be happy with who you are and you will attract people who share your values and tastes in life.

5. You need time apart.

If for nothing else, see your break up as an opportunity for you and your partner to spend what may be much-needed time apart.

Maybe you will get back together in the future. Maybe what you two need is an opportunity to appreciate each other, to become renewed, to re-learn the value of the relationship.

Spending too much time together can be detrimental for the relationship. Things can quickly go from being cute and comfortable to boring and frustrating if you and your partner never give each other time to invest in your own personal interests.

See this as a way to regain your individuality and to allow your partner to gain theirs. The point of a relationship is not to find someone who will save you from yourself and become your personal crutch. You are still two individuals. If your partner broke up with you because they thought you were being a bit too clingy, stepping back isn’t a bad idea.

Find your own awesome by exploring happiness on your own (it is the key to a healthy relationship after all).

When you realize the benefits of being on your own, you will realize that most break ups are hardly worth gaining a few pounds and losing a few friends over.


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    • KonshesGirl profile image

      Kristen 3 years ago from Nassau

      Breaking up is hard to do but as they say, each person in your life is there for a reason, lesson, season, lifetime....even though it hurts, the pain does go away. With each breakup I had, there was someone better waiting for me with open arms and I would never, ever trade any of them because each and everyone taught me something about myself and for that, I'm truly grateful.

    • Mulungi profile image


      Nice one

    • Nancy Owens profile image

      Nancy Owens 4 years ago from USA

      I liked that you added humor to this topic. Breaking up is difficult and we need all the help we can get. Thank you for sharing :)