My boyfriend broke up with me, and it was the best damn thing to ever happen to me.
Well, not for the first week or so. I was devastated and my heart was torn to pieces, like what most breakups would do to a person. All my hopes and dreams of having a future with the guy I loved and adored the most was gone, just like that.
I lived with him, so when he moved out, I couldn’t even spend the night at the bed we shared. I went over and stayed over at my best friend’s house and crashed for the night. Then the next day I had to go back home. It didn’t feel like home anymore—the house was silent, and every corner of the room reminded me of him. I cried for three days straight, lost my appetite and some weight.
But then, as every article or every breakup book out there says, it slowly got better. And instead of being sad or angry about it, I started to feel grateful that things happened the way they did. And here’s why.
It Motivated Me To Get In Shape
When I was still with my ex, we tried once or twice to go to the gym and workout together. But when either one of us was not “feeling it,” we would both end up choosing to stay in bed and watch Netflix and eat snacks.
Being single meant I had more spare time to myself. I hated not having anything to do, so I decided to fill my spare time by going to the gym. I’m lucky enough because the gym I go to is literally one block away, and I have access to the pool and sauna. I would work out for an hour, and after every inch of my body was sore to the bones, I would hop on the sauna to release some of the muscle aches. It’s a great stress-reliever too. I created a schedule to follow and would go to the gym at least 3 times per week.
Being single allowed me to push myself every time I was feeling lazy. I found that when I was in a relationship, if I wasn’t up for it and my ex wasn’t up for it either, we let our laziness win because we had someone else to share the guilt with. I didn’t feel too bad for not going because he also felt the same thing, and staying in bed and watching Netflix was something we both enjoyed doing together, so it was a win-win.
When I became single, however, it meant that I had no one to share the misery or guilt with if I chose to stay home and eat a bar of chocolate. When you go through a breakup, you go through a phase of wanting your ex back and wanting to look better so that when he sees you, he’ll realize what a big mistake he’s made. This was my biggest motivation at first. But then I started to realize that I didn’t want to be doing this for someone else, I wanted to be better for myself and for my future partner. There was no point in trying to look “better” for my ex, who chose not to be with me in the end. No matter how hot or sexy I looked, there was no going back, and I learned to accept this. Sure, it’s still a nice thought to run into my ex looking all nice and pretty, but I’ve realized that I’ve exhausted so much time and effort in the relationship, and now that it’s over, I need to put that energy toward myself, not someone else.
I Spent More Time With My Friends And Developed Deeper And Better Friendships
If you’re the type of person who tends to invest all your time and effort into the person you’re in a relationship with, then you tend to lose touch with your friends and slowly drift apart. I’ve always been this kind of person and was even worse on my previous relationship, where I just wasn’t interested in hanging out with anyone other than my ex.
I was slightly better in my most recent relationship, because I realized how much I was disconnected from the world, so I would hang out with some of my friends from time to time. But in the back of my head, I still would have rather hung out with my then-boyfriend. Of course, this is totally normal in every relationship. But I realized that I took my friends for granted and didn’t care about what was going on in their lives because I was too focused on mine.
After going through my breakup, I reached out to my friends for comfort and company. I didn’t have any family around because they all lived overseas, so I relied on my friends for support. This is when I realized how much I missed out on what was going on in their lives and how much I didn’t value it enough beforehand.
So I started spending more time with my friends and started to connect with them at a much deeper level. I used to always just be the listener, never asking questions and never curious. But now I’ve started asking more questions about their lives and started relating to what my friends were talking about. I also used to be a very closed book. Even my ex knew this, because I didn’t really like talking about myself, my experiences, or my feelings to anyone other than my boyfriend, and even to him it was very limited. I don’t know why, but it’s just the way I was wired.
However, being single taught me to open up more and connect with people. And that’s exactly what I did.
I Started Doing Things That I Always Wanted To Do But Never Did
We all have things we want to do or try but somehow always find an excuse not to. When my boyfriend and I first broke up, I wanted a “life changing” experience, so I skydived. What made it even more fun was that I did it as a fundraising event for SPCA and all proceeds went towards them. Not only did I feel renewed, but it also felt good to help someone other than myself.
I started hiking more. There’s this famous hiking place in New Zealand called the Tongariro crossing. It’s basically eight hours of pretty intense hiking, but in return you get to see amazing views. I’ve been planning on going for about a year now and would end up cancelling for some other reason. When you go through a breakup, it’s important to start creating new memories and trying experiences on your own. I took this as an opportunity to finally set a date to do the Tongariro crossing, and this time I paid for it in advance so there’s no turning back. I booked it during Christmas break, so I won’t be able to come up with an excuse not to do it.
I’ve always wanted to go to a concert as well, and the reason why I never did was because I had “no one to go with.” Well, I was in a relationship for a year, so when I had someone to actually go with, I still didn’t. So I stopped making excuses and bought myself a ticket to a concert 6 months away. Yup, I bought one ticket, and I intend to go by myself.
I found that my breakup, as hard and painful as it was, motivated me to reinvent myself and put myself out there. As scary as it is, there is nothing that compares to having a sense of achievement and being proud of yourself. At the end of the day, the only person we have to impress is ourselves. And I can say that I am pretty damn proud of myself right now.
It Motivated Me To Work On Myself And Really Think About What I Wanted In Life
When I was in a relationship, my focus was on OUR future and what OUR life together would be like. I didn’t think about what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be, because back then all I knew was that I wanted to be with this person, so no matter where life took me, I’d be happy as long as long as I were with him. And hey, that might have still been true if life had taken a different turn for me. But things happened the way they did, and I am where I am, so I took this as an opportunity to take a long hard look at my life and who I want to be in the future.
Getting out of a serious relationship can be scary because your life will quite literally turn upside down, but in a good way (if you make it be). I’m not going to lie, it took me a while to actually decide to have a sit down and think. I tried to avoid having the talk with myself for a while because it was just too scary, but I knew it had to be done. So one Friday night, I sat myself down and started thinking. I asked myself what I wanted to do for the next year, and the following years after that. Most people would plan five or 10 years ahead, but I took baby steps, and thought about what my 2020 will be like.
First I asked myself: What am I passionate about? For some people, this could be an easy question. But I really had to give it some thought. I realized that I really enjoy the outdoors, going for hikes, and traveling to new places. I decided to enroll in a travel writing and photography course online. But I still needed to earn money and pay bills. I soon realized that I did love where I worked. The company culture was great, and I had amazing colleagues. I knew that I wanted to take up a management position and work my way up the ladder. This was when I decided to also enroll and get a diploma in Business focusing on leadership. My 2020 will look like this: working 40 hours a week at my 9-5 job (I’m lucky enough to actually like my job), then studying on weeknights and traveling on weekends.
Great, I’ve figured out what I wanted, and now I set myself a plan on how to achieve this. I’m not going to tell you that it’s easy to figure it out. Some people spend years just trying to figure out what they actually want. And trust me, I am still figuring it out. But I focused on what I wanted the next year to look like for me and will figure the rest out along the way. I still don’t know who I want to be 10 years from now. I could be a completely different person with totally different passions. And that’s okay, because in this life, we don’t just live with one version of ourselves. We grow up, we change, and we rediscover our passions.
I Learned How To Be Independent And Enjoy My Own Company.
I moved out of my parents’ house when I was 16, but I wasn’t alone. I moved in together with my then boyfriend, and when our relationship of 5 years was over, I pretty much started dating and spending most nights with my new boyfriend straight after. I’ve never been truly on my own until now. No, it’s not easy. It’s a hard process, especially for me, and there are days when I do feel lonely. But one thing I’ve learned is that I may feel lonely sometimes, but I’m not alone in life. I have my friends and family who love me and are there for me when I need them.
Being single taught me to enjoy my own company, and to do things on my own. Taking a hike on my own, going to the gym on my own, even eating out alone. I didn’t think I would, but I ended up enjoying it. I stopped seeking companionship in a partner and started enjoying the time I have for myself. It’s true when they say that you really have to appreciate the time you have when you’re single, because it’s the only time you can truly focus on yourself and your goals. Not being tied to any sort of relationship – not to a pet, a parent, a boyfriend – allows you to let your true self just be.
I also learned to take care of myself the way I took care of my ex when we were in a relationship. I was never a fan of cooking, but when I was with my ex-partner, I cooked for him, prepared him breakfast, packed him lunch, and made him dinner. No, he didn’t ask me to. I wanted to do it for him because I wanted to show him how much I cared. When we broke up, I lost all motivation to cook, clean, or do anything. Then I read a book called 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan Peterson. Rule number 2 was to “Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping.” This rule really struck me because I realized I wasn’t treating myself right and was being unfair to myself, even. So I started making my own lunches and cooking myself dinner. I got in the habit of cleaning the house the way I used to clean it so that my ex would come home to a clean place. I did all the things I used to do for my ex, but now for myself.
I Learned More About Myself
When my ex and I broke up, I had the chance to get to look at what went wrong in the relationship, what I hated, but also what I loved about it. I learned what I liked and disliked, what my unpleasant traits were that I needed to improve on, and what I would do in my next relationship if the same issue arose. I figured out what my love language was – you know, the things or actions that you want from your partner in order to feel loved and appreciated.
I learned the things that I wanted in a relationship, and this helped me focus on what to look for in my next relationship. Not only that, but I’ve also set certain standards and promised myself that I won’t settle for anything less than I deserve. Sure, this might mean that I’ll be picky, but picky is good, because we’re talking about the person that I intend to spend the rest of my life with, which is a pretty big deal, so it better be the best damn choice.
However, I learned that it’s not just about finding the right guy for me, but also being the right girl for my next partner. If my values and beliefs don’t align with theirs, then it’s important to recognize that no matter how much I may like this person, I must admit when I know I’m not the right one for them. This is one of the biggest things I’ve learned from my previous relationship. I was so in love with my ex that even though our values didn’t align and we were at a different place in our lives, I still pushed myself to be with him. That obviously didn’t work out.
I can list a hundred more things on how my breakup helped me become a better person, but it’s your turn to make a list of your own. The most important thing to remember is to be grateful for the things and people that you do have and still be thankful for the people that became part of your lives but aren’t anymore. I hate to be cliche, but everything does happen for a reason.