Breaking up is no one’s favorite pastime. It’s normal to need time to heal, move on, and open ourselves back up to new people and possibilities. But sometimes we allow a bad breakup to keep us from looking for love again.
We’ve all heard that our first love is intense — and our first breakup, even more intense. But going through heartbreak, whether we’ve experienced it once or 10 times, is never painless, uncomplicated, or reveled in.
Breaking up with someone, or being broken up with, has the ability to break us down in ways we never knew possible, make us utterly miserable, and leave us wondering what went wrong, if we could’ve prevented the grief we feel encompassed by now. Despite heartbreak being a universal experience, we often feel lonelier than ever when going through it.
But on top of breakups already being difficult, sometimes we’re unlucky enough to have been in an unhealthy, abusive, or otherwise toxic relationship — of which the breakups are always even more confusing, hurtful, and damaging to us. Maybe our significant other cheated, got violent, or emotionally manipulated us. No matter the circumstances, this kind of breakup can leave us with a particularly bad taste in our mouth and wary of romance. It’s a normal response, but is it good for us?
It Can Lead Us To Assume the Worst
Going through a split that involved infidelity or abuse requires a different healing process than relationships that end on better, or at least more typical, terms. When we’re faced with an especially harmful breakup, it’s easy to let our trauma control the narrative in order to protect ourselves from further pain. But often enough, this translates to assuming the worst of people.
It’s unhelpful to paint with a broad brush and to enter every new situation ready to fight.
If we were physically abused, we’ll tell ourselves all men must be violent. If we were lied to or manipulated, we might come to believe the same thing will happen to us again, no matter who we date. It’s a human reaction to want to guard ourselves — but it’s also unhelpful to paint with a broad brush and to enter every new situation ready to fight, as if we can only ever be a victim. It may make us feel safer in the moment, but it’s only solidifying our status as powerless and victimized.
We Might Sabotage Future Relationships
Every single experience we had in past relationships, good or bad, will inevitably influence the way we interact with our current relationship. It’s part of our survival skills — we learn from past mistakes and pain. But there’s a fine line between letting our hurts help us and allowing them to cloud our perception of reality.
There’s a fine line between letting our hurts help us and allowing them to cloud our judgment.
If we were cheated on, we’re likely to be hyper-aware of signs that it might be happening to us again — to the point where we might start questioning our partner’s weekly hangouts with their friend, or baselessly accusing them of lying to us and behaving irrationally towards them. Despite how much our significant other may love us, if we’re constantly making them feel watched or blamed for something they didn’t do, they’ll eventually become exhausted from fighting battles they had no part in and feel forced to leave.
We’ll Have a Better Chance of Attracting Healthy Suitors
Let’s be real: If we desire a healthy, fulfilling, mature relationship, we need to be all of those things on our own before committing to be that for someone else. If we expect the guy we date to be better than every other guy we could’ve dated, to be a king, we have to give him a reason to want us. We have to be a queen, and part of that means investing in our emotional and mental well-being and making decisions that lead us to better health.
We’re more likely to find a good man if we’re devoted to becoming a good woman.
By choosing to heal from a bad breakup and taking our growth seriously, we’re opening ourselves up to far better suitors than if we stayed stagnant. There are good men out there, and we’re more likely to find them if we’re devoted to becoming the kind of woman a good man would dream of.
Healing from a rocky relationship and a bad breakup isn’t linear. We’ll have days where we feel able to keep our heads above water, or thrive, even. But we’ll also have days when it’s all too much. It’s crucial that we handle our healing with grace, but also ensure we aren’t allowing a damaging experience to take our future happiness hostage.
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