1. That you always thought your next love would be your last love. You just assumed there was no way you’d have to go through yet another break up or another person who made you feel terrible about yourself– you had sworn you’d paid your dues. Life never ceases to be a little bitch like this.
2. That sometimes it’s easier to mend relationships and take them for what they are than to start over, and that’s the unfortunate reality of why many people want to stay in mediocre relationships to begin with.
3. That you actually don’t want to settle for love you’re uncertain about or someone who doesn’t want you, no matter how much it would be comforting to be back in their arms.
4. That love never means what you think it does at the end of the day. The concept of it, and the way you understand it, is always evolving.
5. That you never know you love someone more than after you lose them.
6. The significance of that “love yourself” shit everyone’s always going on about. Because needing love to sustain you drives you to seek it in often unseemly places. It’s hard to feel dignified when you’re desperate for someone else to make you feel valid.
7. How to take care of yourself in the simplest sense. For some reason losing love reduces us to requiring effort to get our bearings in our everyday tasks, and we start to realize how important is it to take care of ourselves in the most earnest, basic sense.
8. The unmatched healing power of friends who actually want to listen to you analyze the situation for the thousandth time, and who will sit down and say, “Remember when you felt this way about so-and-so? I do. Eventually you’ll feel the same way about this one too.”
9. That people change. Or rather, people show you who they really are, and it’s somehow never any less surprising, though you know it’s coming.
10. What you deserve. There are few things more empowering than walking away from a relationship knowing you inherently deserve more.
11. What you want in a partner versus what you need in a partner. Before you’ve been around the block a few times, what you find ideal tends to be pretty shallow, but after you realize those things don’t sustain a healthy relationship, your priorities shift, and you realize that what you wanted wasn’t what you needed.
12. That insecure people are the worst to go through a breakup with– especially when the insecure person is you. There are few times in your life you will fight to hold onto something like you will when you feel you need someone else to sustain you. If that’s the case, breaking up was a blessing. You’ve been in a relationship with yourself for longer than anyone else, and you have to be okay in that one first.
13. That it’s not pathetic to want to be loved, but the process of getting to a place where you feel that way often feels like nothing but.
14. The importance of a great counselor who knows your story, and not necessarily a professional one, just some wise person in your life who always seem to know what direction you need to be led in.
15. That romantic love isn’t the most important thing there is, and that happiness is not the product of what someone gives you, but that which you take for yourself.