Important Lessons You Learn From Having Your Heart Broken

It’s no secret that breakups are the absolute worst. Sure, they give you the perfect excuse to binge watch Netflix and binge eat Ben & Jerry’s, but all of the crying leads to red eyes and remorse. Before you never trust anyone again as long as you live and die as an old cat lady, remember that break ups always teach you something, whether or not you’re ready to learn the lessons coming your way.

  1. You’ll never know what goes on in someone else’s head. Going through break ups has more often than not left me questioning every text and conversation, wondering what I could’ve done differently. Unfortunately, none of that obsessing has ever led to an aha moment that made me realize the one moment everything went wrong. It’s just taught that no amount of wondering what someone else is thinking or feeling will ever lead to an answer.
  2. Your friends always matter. It’s far too easy to start seeing someone new and get completely caught up in them. Suddenly, you realize you haven’t seen your best friends in weeks because you just had to spend time with your new boo. It shouldn’t take a break up to make you realize how important your friends are, but heartbreak certainly lets you know who’s always going to be there for you.
  3. Sometimes it’s better not to ask for advice. As much as you feel like your friends were with you every step of the way during your relationship gone wrong, they weren’t. They probably heard more bad than good, which means they might secretly be happy that you finally got rid of the relationship. As much as you want to ask everyone you’ve ever met for advice on what went wrong, hold back if you don’t want to seem like a sad sack.
  4. You don’t have to be “Facebook official” for a breakup to hurt.  These days, there’s more than one form of courtship, and random hookups/friends with benefits set-ups are more common than you’d think. But even the most casual of  situations can lead to messy feelings. Just because he never had the boyfriend label doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to feel totally awful when it ends.
  5. If you think he’s not into it, you’re probably right.  If he’s texting less and bailing more, you might start making excuses. Maybe he’s busy at work, out of town, or dealing with his own stuff. However, it’s more likely he’s getting ready to move on. Sure, there are obviously circumstances where he really does have something else going on, but if you feel like it’s almost over, there has to be a reason behind that.
  6. You need to trust yourself more.  Too often in relationships, dudes will call you crazy if you get a little too close to the truth. The realty is usually that your gut was right and you aren’t crazy at all, although they could certainly do with some light medication.
  7. Don’t let a guy ruin what you love.  If there’s a song or band you love and share, it’s more than likely that you’ll listen to it together (potentially when you’re in bed, if you have a sex playlist). If it’s a guy you’ll stop seeing soon, save that playlist for the morning when he leaves. The last thing you want is for some boy to ruin your favorite band.
  8. Try not to social media stalk once it’s over (even if it’s almost impossible). You don’t need to unfriend (because then how will he see how fabulous you are?), but if you find yourself knowing even more about him now that you’re not dating, you definitely need to take a step back from social media stalking.
  9. You should still social media stalk new dudes. While dating has taught me that you can never actually get to know someone via the Internet, you should still take a light look. If you’ve ever seen Catfish, you know how easy it is to be duped. If you’re seeing a new dude, Google away, because you never know if he’s hiding a secret Somalian girlfriend or in a poly relaysh that he somehow hasn’t mentioned to you. Try not to go so far back in his timeline that you accidentally mention his middle school girlfriend, but do look for clues to see if he’s being shady when you’re not out.
  10. Don’t get over-invested too soon. The biggest lesson from multiple heartbreaks is that as much as you want to act like a ~crazy~ person when you meet someone new and start planning your whole life together, you need to take a step back. You never know what direction you might be headed in. That doesn’t mean you should be completely scared and not trust a single soul, but you should try to play it cool so that you don’t get hurt so easily. Let it go before it’s too late.
Margaret is a freelance writer who covers pop culture and fashion in New York City and currently writes for Page Six's Style section. Her work has been featured in Teen Vogue, xoJane, and Racked. She tweets about her crippling caffeine addiction and teen TV obsession here: @margaretabrams