1. People pretend even with the ones they love
We all want to be the best versions of ourselves, but sometimes we rush those versions too fast and end up faking things we can’t pull off. Is he really a world-famous surfer? Is his uncle really That One Guy from That One Show? Is his love real, or is this all some long con? If our gut is trying to tell us something, we should listen. Ain’t nobody got time for fakery.
2. Your comfort zone isn’t always your friend
Sometimes in a failed relationship, no one sacrifices. Sometimes we’re both too afraid to step in a new direction, even for someone we care about. And sometimes it’s not him, it’s you. If you have hard borders on some part of your life, maybe it’s time to take a good look at why. Then you’ll know whether it’s worth taking the risk of something new when the next guy comes along.
3. Sacrifice is not the same as compromise
We’ve all done it: sacrificed something we loved for someone we loved. We spent an entire week at Christmas with his uptight, overly conservative family. We got the implants he insisted we needed to be the girl he wanted. We didn’t take that dream job because he got Jealous Face every time we talked about working in the city. But compromises are two-way streets, where we work with someone who’s willing to work with us. Where discussion takes the place of demand. And we know now which we want.
4. You can’t make people love you the way you want them to
Wishing and hoping can’t change another person’s heart or mind. For the most part, we’re all pretty set in our ways by the time we survive our teen years, and that includes the way we see love. Dragging a man to the Renaissance Faire won’t make him more romantic, and no star in the sky will make our cubicle-farm workplace-romance stalker less creepy.
5. Don’t rush into family connections
It’s complicated enough dealing with a new relationship. But what if his sister goes into business with our brother? Or his divorced mom starts batting her false eyelashes at our perma-bachelor uncle? The more ties between our families, the messier it gets when our relationship breaks up. We’ll keep seeing him here and there, and it’s just awkward for everyone involved. Lesson learned!
6. Life has worse disasters than a breakup
Breakups hurt. Sometimes they hurt for a very long time. But there are worse things. Breakups don’t give you a sudden food allergy to your favorite mochaccino. They don’t run over your cat on a foggy morning just as you’re leaving for a job interview. They don’t fire you for being one minute late. They don’t drop your elevator thirty floors and then strand you inside all weekend. You hurt. But you could be hurting a lot worse. Perspective is good.
7. The best thing for you can be letting go
Remember how miserable you were during your last sucky relationship? And how much better you felt once you were free of it? Like unhooking that too-tight bra at the end of the day and throwing on a silk cami. Or nothing at all. You were free to be yourself, and free to find a better match. And so was he. Don’t prolong what isn’t working; you’re only keeping both of you from finding a more comfy match.
8. You don’t have to hate them
We’re supposed to hate our exes, right? Isn’t that a rule? Not always. Sometimes we need to part ways with a genuinely decent person, or someone who taught us a valuable lesson or skill that made our lives easier. That’s worthy of gratitude, even if we keep it to ourselves.
9. No one is The One
You’ve broken up. It’s done. He wasn’t The One. But if he wasn’t a perfect match, then you weren’t either. And that’s okay.
Someone who isn’t there when you need them to be really lets you down. But he also gives you the opportunity to find out how strong you are on your own. You can do more than you think. Because you’re strong enough on your own power.