1. You’re allowed to mourn what you’ve lost while looking forward to something better. Breakups can cause a lot of mixed feelings — and that’s okay. There are some moments when you’re going to feel heartbroken and other moments when you’re going to feel a newfound sense of freedom. There might even be some moments when you feel happy and sad all at once. There’s no right way to move on from a relationship that meant a lot to you, so don’t feel guilty about whatever emotions strike.
2. You should be proud of yourself for refusing to settle. There are a lot of couples who stay together because of their history, even though they’re not the right fit. You should be proud of yourself for leaving the relationship in search of something better when it would’ve been so much easier to stay. You’re wise enough to realize the easiest thing to do isn’t always the right thing to do.
3. It’s natural for you to feel lost at the beginning of a breakup. When you date someone for a long time, your identities start to get tied together. Your routines align. Your interests and hobbies and friendship circles overlap. Without them, your life is completely different. It’s going to take some time to readjust. A lot more has changed than your relationship status. Your entire world has shifted. So don’t rush yourself through healing.
4. The time you spent on this person wasn’t wasted. Breaking up with this person doesn’t suddenly negate all of the amazing memories you shared. It doesn’t mean you made a mistake by staying with them for so long. You might not belong in each other’s futures — but that doesn’t mean your past wasn’t beautiful. You can enjoy your fond memories while recognizing that you’re not meant to make anymore.
5. You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. Some family and friends might not understand why you decided to break up — but as much as their judgment can hurt, you have to remember their opinions don’t matter. All that matters is that you’re doing the right thing for yourself. You’re not living to impress anyone else. You’re living for you. That’s not selfish. It’s simply the right thing to do.
6. Your relationship status has no correlation to your value as a person. You’re not falling behind now that you’re single. You’re not worse off than your married and engaged friends. You’re supposed to be focused on your happiness, not on hitting random milestones society has assigned to you. Anyone who looks down on you or pities you for being single has their priorities all wrong. Love is beautiful, but it’s not the only thing that matters in life.
7. This isn’t the last time you’ll fall in love. You might feel like no one is ever going to measure up to this person. You might feel like your best days are behind you. But that’s far from the truth. You are going to discover someone else who gives you butterflies. You are going to find happiness again.