18 Hard-Won Lessons From Having Your Heart Broken
They say experience is the greatest teacher, and that's never more true than after a breakup. Take it from us: getting through all those sleepless nights is a whole lot easier if you remind yourself that things will get better. The breakup may hurt, but you'll be stronger and better equipped to love the next time around because of it.
Below, 18 hard-won lessons HuffPost readers say they learned from past relationships.
1. "Your value doesn't decrease based on someone's inability to see your worth."
2. "Love is an action not a feeling. Someone telling you they love you isn't proof that they mean it. It may be cliché, but actions speak louder than words."
3. "That it takes two people to make a marriage work, but only one person to destroy it."
4. "Never allow a partner's baggage to become your own. That load is not yours to carry, especially when you've brought relatively little baggage to the table."
5. "What did I learn? To look at what I could have done better in the relationship and not focus on what she could have done better. That exercise will serve you better in the long run.
6. "Here's my biggest takeaway: Look for a man who ruins your lipstick, not your mascara."
7. "I learned that next time, I need to speak up as soon as something seems awry in the relationship. Instead of remaining passive, I should have either worked with my ex to fix our problems or got out as soon as I realized the relationship was headed south."
8. "Never depend on anyone else as the sole source of your well-being or happiness."
9. "I realized that nothing is constant outside of change. I thought I really knew him -- we were best friends and we grew up together. In the end, he told me lies to keep me in the marriage."
10. "Trust your gut instinct from the beginning. It's not always 'cold feet'; you have that intuition for a reason."
11. "I learned that I was 50 percent responsible for the breakdown of the relationship and that I needed to first take full and unconditional responsibility for my 50 percent before I could move on. You need to do the necessary personal work before you can manifest your best self and be an equal to the person you're meant to share a committed, healthy, fulfilling relationship with."
12. "Never lose sight of your own beliefs and what makes you YOU. Trying to change yourself to suit what you think the other person needs or wants from you is just a setup for failure."
13. "I learned how to sing 'I Will Survive' a lot better, but more importantly, I learned that I am stronger than I give myself credit for."
14. "I married for security, not love and paid the price with health issues. I suppressed too many emotions in my marriage. I learned that you really do need to marry your best friend."
15. "I learned the sad truth: As much as you may try, you can never really know anyone."
16. "I discovered that I could get through heartbreak. My ex and I both got through it and we are both better off in our new marriages. We have a child together, so I'm so glad we can be respectful and kind to one another for the family's sake."
17. "You can't make someone own up to their mistakes. Ultimately, if someone doesn't hold themselves accountable you can't do it for them. So take a deep breath and Let. It. Go."
18. "The great lesson of all for me? There is peace in letting go."