I Broke Up With My Boyfriend & Found Myself

After my last breakup, I was pretty sure I would never recover from the broken heart I was left with after losing the man I thought I’d spend the rest of my life with. It was tough to say the least and it took a while, but in the end, it was losing him that allowed me to find myself and become a better woman. Here’s why:

  1. It had to happen. Looking back, I know it was the only way. I was in a terrible place in life. I had dug myself into a rut and couldn’t escape. I was bitter, angry, and resentful. There was no way I could succeed in a relationship. I had no idea who I was or what I wanted, and all of that combined was a recipe for disaster.
  2. I was the lost one. I thought he was the immature, undeveloped half of the partnership. Turns out, I was just as bad, if not worse! I was broken when I found him and I didn’t take any time for myself during our relationship to improve. I just focused on his wants and needs and the requirements of our love instead of working on myself independently.
  3. I relied on him way too much. No relationship can survive when one person leans on the other that heavily. After a while, I needed you to validate my very existence. If he didn’t notice me, didn’t compliment me, didn’t make me feel good… it was as if I didn’t matter at all. That’s no way to go through life. It’s certainly no way to build a healthy love with another person.
  4. I didn’t know who I was without him. I lost sight of who I truly was. I was either trying to be like him or living in strict opposition to him. There was no in between. When we broke up, I had to rebuild my entire sense of self. I didn’t even know what I do and do not want anymore. All I knew was my love for him and what I wanted for the two of us together.
  5. I hadn’t been single in way too long. I jumped right into dating him only a couple months after splitting from my previous boyfriend. I already knew him and liked him even when I was still with him. We were together for a year and a half, which means that by the time we broke up, I’d basically been with one guy or another for over four years straight. That’s a long time for me. I hadn’t taken any time to figure my own crap out in forever.
  6. I needed to overhaul my entire life. I know now that I had no choice. I hit rock bottom when he broke up with me, but in reality, I had been heading there slowly for years. It was time to change everything and that’s what I did. I chose a new career path, changed my habits, and started making real improvements to my quality of life. None of that would’ve happened if we hadn’t parted ways.
  7. I learned so much about myself. When we broke up, I was forced to sit with myself and my pain all day every day. I realized that I hardly knew who I really was anymore. I just lived life every day following the same old tired path I’d been on for years without examining if I even wanted to take that journey anymore. When I stopped to breathe, I realized that I wasn’t the same person as ten years before and wanted entirely different things.
  8. I realized that I’m stronger than I knew. Nothing teaches you more about your own resilience than great pain. There is no growth without obstacles, no improvement without resistance. I’m happy now with the knowledge of my own independent, inherent worthiness. This never would’ve happened if we had stayed together.
  9. I started taking care of me. I use relationships as distractions from dealing with the problems of my own life. When I lost him, I had no one to focus on but myself. I had to take ownership of my issues and realize that they wouldn’t go away if I kept on doing nothing. I began paying way more attention to myself, and I’m all the better for that.
  10. I found out some surprising new things about myself. Part of the process of getting to know who you really are is discovering interests and views you never knew you had. I realized that I’m a huge hippie and I’ve been suppressing that inclination for years. Once I stopped caring what anyone thought and started listening to my heart, it was amazing what I uncovered.
  11. I started taking time to work on my inner health. I’ve always paid attention to my fitness, but not so much to what’s going on inside. I used my grief as a motivator to get involved in everything I never made time for previously. I started meditating and went back to therapy. I did a ton of yoga. I slept, and cried, and wrote my little face off. The words and the pain and the love spilled out of me, and I began healing.
  12. I got happier than I ever thought possible. The end result of my breakup? Happiness. So. Much. Happiness. I remember many long weeks after I lost him, when I thought I’d never feel joy again. Life was a painful stretch that would never get better. And then, ever so slowly, it did. Now I’m in a place I never thought I’d be. I’m extraordinarily grateful.
  13. I was not choosing the right men. Our breakup forced me to take a good hard look at myself and my issues. I went to therapy and delved into the reasons why I pick the men I do, and a lot of it is related to screwed up stuff from my past. Now that I realize that and have awareness of my bad habits, I’m going to do my damnedest not to follow the same patterns anymore.
  14. I was not capable of having a healthy relationship. The sad truth is that our love was doomed from the very start. No matter how much we cared about each other, it was never going to work out. I was too screwed up and so was he, and neither of us were managing it at all. Ignoring problems doesn’t make them go away. We couldn’t have survived no matter what.
  15. The best thing that ever happened to me was him letting me go. I hate to say it because I will always care about you and wish that we had worked out. The truth is that in order for me to become the person I need to be, he had to break my heart. I had to be in the lowest place possible so I could make the decision to gather up my strength and break free of my depression. In a funny way, he saved me by leaving me, and I’m so grateful for it.
A former actress who has always loved the art of the written word, Amy is excited to be here sharing her stories! She just completed her first novel, and is also a contributor for Elite Daily, Dirty & Thirty, and Thought Catalog. Amy is the founder of What If Journey and can be found on Twitter @amyhorton18. You can also visit her website at amyhorton.net.