Thought Catalog

9 Beautiful Things Love Teaches Us (Even In Heartbreak)

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God & Man

1. Your self-worth is not defined by your relationship status.

Just because you’re not locked down in a relationship or holding hands happily with the love of your life doesn’t mean that you are any less of a person. Being in a relationship can be a wonderful thing, but it is not the end-all-be-all of life. There is more to your existence and being than who you’re dating or romantically connected to. Remember that.

2. Love comes in all forms, in all ways, and at all different times.

Someone else’s romance story isn’t going to look the same as yours. You’re not going to find love at the exact same time as your friends or coworkers. You’re not going to have the same path or same dates, the same fights or the same feelings. Even if it feels like everyone around you is happily dating or married, having babies or planning out a bright future with the one they love—don’t let this cause you any stress. Love comes in its own way at its own time. Just be patient.

3. Just because you haven’t found your person yet doesn’t mean you won’t.

You haven’t found ‘the one’ yet—so what? Just because your previous relationship didn’t last doesn’t mean your next one won’t. Just because you have crappy luck with dating doesn’t mean you’re doomed. Just because you have a lot of friends but no partners doesn’t mean you won’t happen across the right person at the right time. Hold on. Love is one of the things in life you can’t rush or create, so let your feelings and connections evolve as they’re meant to.

4. You are not unlovable.

You’ve had your share of toxic/awful/painful/(fill in the blank) relationships in the past. Sometimes you’ve been the victim, sometimes you’ve been the bad guy. But just because you haven’t been in a ‘forever’ type of relationship doesn’t mean you’re unlovable. Just because you and your ex ended and you haven’t been able to move on doesn’t mean you’re not worthy of finding something great. Love doesn’t come with a rulebook or a countdown until it happens. Blaming yourself or looking down on yourself for not being in a relationship is silly. You are worthy of big, beautiful love and you will find it when the time’s right.

5. One crappy relationship doesn’t determine the fate of all the rest.

So your last relationship failed big time. So what? That doesn’t define how the remainder will pan out. Remember: It was one person, one relationship. That doesn’t determine the course of your next person and next connection. Let go of the past and your doubts. People are all different and you are continually changing—who you were in your last relationship is not who you are now and the person you’ll one day be with won’t mirror your ex. You will have a new chance to find love, and you can’t ruin that chance by agonizing over the past.

6. Being single is actually more fun than you think.

Enough with hating on the single life! Sure, falling in love with someone is magical, but spending time alone is just as powerful. When you’re single, you have a chance to focus on yourself, your needs, your dreams, your goals, your passions, and your beliefs. You reconnect with yourself in ways that are both character-defining and heart-healing. Maybe you’re lonely off-and-on, but aren’t we all at times? Being single means giving yourself a chance to truly let go of your past and rebuild your heart on your own. It helps you learn yourself, your limits, your emotions, and your hopes for a future relationship. Plus, you get a chance to meet people and be a little flirty—and is that such a bad thing?

7. There are plenty of other amazing things in this life other than dating and falling in love.

Maybe you’re just over it—the game, the chase, the trying to figure out what’s going on in someone’s head. I get it. We all get to that point sometimes, and that’s okay. Listen to yourself. Listen to your emotions and heart. If you’re not really in a place to let someone in, then don’t.

You’re not a bad person if you focus on yourself and don’t try to pursue anyone. There are plenty of other satisfying, wonderful things in this life besides relationships, for example: pursuing your goals or moving forward in your career, traveling or spending time with friends, picking up a side-job or passion project, getting involved in your community or church, giving back/volunteering, joining a team or club, etc. Giving yourself a break from the dating world is okay. Giving yourself permission to be on your own is okay. Don’t forget that.

8. You are not empty without love.

It may feel like something’s missing. Like there’s an emptiness that needs to be filled. Like there’s a person-sized hole in your chest. But you are not any less of yourself without a boyfriend or girlfriend. You are not incomplete without love; you are already whole and have always been whole.

9. You are loved.

Hey. Just in case you forgot: You are loved. You are loved by your friends. You are loved by your family. You are loved by strangers. And you will be loved by a future special person, right now it’s just not the right time.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the love that we don’t have that we forget the love we do. We feel empty because we don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend, but we so easily neglect to see the ways we are filled by the people around us every single day. Don’t let yourself be clouded by loneliness so much that you don’t see the love you’ve been given, and are continuously given. You may not be in a romantic relationship, but you are still cared for by so many people. And this love is just as beautiful as the bond you’ll one day share with ‘the one.’ TC mark

Marisa Donnelly is a poet and author of the book, Somewhere on a Highway, available here.

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