6 Lessons You Had No Idea You Learned From Your Last Relationship

a woman after a break-up
PHOTO: @ANETE_LUSINA VIA UNSPLASH

We can feel you rolling your eyes through the screen. When you’ve been with someone for more than a few months, things don’t work out and you decide to call it quits. Even if deep down you know it's the best thing to do, that still doesn’t mean you want to break out into a happy dance.

Noted. Here’s another way to look at it, though.

If you’re with someone and you discover that they are not the best fit for you, a breakup can truly be one of the best things to happen to you—and them (although we care more about you). Sure, breakups can hurt at first, but if you choose to see them as a positive experience, that pain may feel more like growing pains than sheer (and pointless) torture.

Here’s why we say that.

a woman shopping
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You Know More About What You Want

Did you really have to go through a break-up to figure out what you want in a man or out of a relationship? Maybe, maybe not. 

But think about it. Even if you had a list of what you desired out of both, sometimes it takes actually being with someone to realize that your list may need a little tweaking. 

For instance, you might’ve thought that you wanted a super-ambitious guy. That is until you realized that required dates oftentimes being postponed or him spending a lot of time out of town. 

On this side of having that kind of man, now you may want someone who is goal-oriented but knows how to balance that with prioritizing his relationship too.

"Thanks" to your break-up, you're clearer about this now.

a woman talking about being turned off

You Know More About What You Don’t Want

This also applies to figuring out what you don’t want. 

Maybe you used to think that it didn’t really matter to you if someone wasn’t very spiritual. That is until Easter rolled up, you asked him to go and he looked at you like you had five heads. Or maybe you didn’t think someone who didn’t work out was a big deal…until his gut only continued to grow and you quietly became more and more repulsed. 

A break-up can suck, but if it can give you even an ounce of insight into what you don’t want moving forward, there goes a major silver lining.

Beyonce' and Jay Z

You Can Create A Healthier “Relationship Plan”

Sometimes we fall for people we didn’t expect at a time we didn’t see coming. In other words, we went into the relationship without a real plan. That might sound romantic ‘n all, but a plan can spare you a lot of grief and drama. 

For instance, what if you happen to fall for a guy who is a commitment-phobe meanwhile you want to be married in the next couple of years? Having a plan in place for the next time can let you know what kind of questions to ask on the first and second date so that you don’t end up emotionally-involving yourself with someone who has a totally different view on relationships. 

By the way, two good questions to ask a commitment-phobe is 1) “When’s the last time you were in a relationship?” and 2) “What are you looking for in a relationship?”

a woman saying  "I'm fly."
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A Break-Up Can Actually Be Really Empowering

If in the past, you had a pattern of going along just to get along, but this time you were the one to end things, while it can still be a little uncomfortable, it can also be super-empowering too. 

When you know something isn’t working for you and you’re willing to make changes so that you can get what you truly desire (and deserve), that is a form of self-love…even if it comes by ending a love relationship.

Cardi B saying "no"
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You Can Set Some Clear Boundaries

Some of the craziest stuff happens in relationships that have really poor boundaries. Sometimes it’s abuse. Sometimes it’s being cheated on. Sometimes it’s simply someone taking advantage of you. 

If any of these things led to your break-up, already you’re headed to something good because the break-up itself was a boundary. 

Now, moving forward, you know what you will and won’t tolerate. 

Kudos, sis.

a woman getting pampered
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You Can Get Back To Solely Focusing On You

Relationships require a lot of compromises. Sometimes even sacrifice. 

When you’re single, all of that time, effort, energy (and sometimes even money) that you spent on someone else can get back to you. You’ll have more time for your girls. You don’t have to accompany someone to work events or family occasions. Now you have the money to get that dress that caught your eye. 

Being in a relationship is a wonderful experience if it’s with the right person. But don’t knock being single. After a break-up, there is truly nothing quite like getting back to you—loving yourself. 

Until a man far more deserving comes along. 

And with lame-o out of the way, trust us…he will.

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SHELLIE RENEé

Just a woman who digs all things relationships. HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS, that is. I've been writing (professionally) for close to 20 years, including having two books published. I'm also a marriage life coach and doula. Sometimes I speak to large audiences or do radio interviews, but usually I'm sitting in my favorite chair, surfin' the 'net and penning stuff that I wish I had read in my early 20s.

Listen, I don't have all the answers, not by a LOOOOONG shot. But whatever I can do to spare folks any heartbreak, bitterness or straight-up drama, I'll devote some keystrokes to doing. 

That's it...in a nutshell. For the most part. Kinda. ;)

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