There is no pain quite like that which follows a breakup. The pain isn’t just emotional, it can turn physical and you literally ache everywhere. When you’re going through it, it feels like you’ll be in it forever, like there is no way you will ever be able to go back to normal. You almost can’t remember a time when things did feel normal because now you feel nothing but despair.
Even though heartbreak is pretty ubiquitous and an inevitable part of life for most of us, it can be the loneliest feeling in the world. You feel like this pain is yours and yours alone and no one could ever possibly understand the depths of your suffering.
Part of the reason why I started writing about relationships was because of this lonely post-breakup feeling. I wanted others to know that there is a light at the end, that the pain does subside, that you can make it through the darkness and come out shinier and brighter than before. One thing that has always helped me, whether I was getting over a breakup or just a tough time, is my extensive quote collection which I started at the age of 14. I always found solace in reading a short line that perfectly encapsulated what I was going through and gave me a shot of wisdom in addition to making me feel a little less alone.
I read through my very, very long list of quotes and these are my favorites about getting over a breakup:
1. “If you were happy with the wrong one, just think how happy you will be when the right one comes along.”
Oh boy can I relate to this one! The funny thing is that we usually weren’t happy in the failed relationship. What we hang onto is the idea that there was so much potential to be happy with him. Even the worst relationships have moments of happiness and those serve as your lifeline. The happy memories, no matter how few and far between, provide the fuel to keep going. Even if he didn’t treat you well, even if you were miserable most of the time, even if he couldn’t give you what you need and want, you hang on thinking maybe things will magically get better. It is only when you find that real love that you’ll truly understand what it means to be happy in a relationship and then you’ll wonder how you ever could have mistaken your last relationship for being a “happy” one.
2. “Someone I loved once gave me a box of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift”- Mary Oliver.
The pain you feel when you’re fresh out of a breakup can feel like cruel and unusual punishment. You wonder what you possibly could have done in this life that was so bad as to merit such a merciless fate. It just seems so unfair, it isn’t right, you don’t deserve this. Those feelings can stay with you for a while and it’s hard to see beyond the dark cloud that’s in front of you but I promise you, it will all make sense in the end. There will come a day when you look back on this dark period in your history and see that it wasn’t a punishment, but rather, a great gift.
3. “If you can love the wrong person that much, imagine how much you can love the right one.”
I think that no one really knows what love is until they experience real love, and that kind of love is usually the one that lasts. Love is a huge concept that’s impossible to quantify and it comes in many different forms. You can love the wrong person very much but that doesn’t make them any less wrong for you. If a relationship falls apart you may feel like you’ll never be able to love again — I know I felt this way for many years. But then time will pass and you’ll meet someone and it will all just click and it will be seamless and effortless and you’ll wonder how you ever possibly could have though that what you felt before was the real thing.
4. “Be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you” -Ovid
Going through a painful experience is never pleasant, but after time passes and all is said and done, most would agree that they can look back and see how going through that experience shaped them and helped them grow as a person. When you’re in the dark place, it’s hard to see the light but it will come. It always does.
5. Loving someone who doesn’t love you is like waiting for a ship at the airport.”
Waiting on someone to love you back is a huge waste of time, emotions, and energy. Period. Don’t delude yourself into thinking that day will come when the “ship” magically arrives. I’m not saying it will or won’t, I’m saying it’s a waste to wait around for it. (The reason your still hung up on an ex might not be what you think. Check out my article on the real reasons you can’t get over your ex to find out why.)