Biggest Breakup Lessons

To My Heartbroken Young Friend,

I see your posts. Sometimes they are cryptic, sometimes they are not. You’re argumentative, and you’re insecure. He said something that made you mad. You’re not sure if things will get better.

But, you know what? Things will get better, as long as you believe you will.

20 years ago, I flung my exam because I was dumped right before my A-levels. All I had in mind was him, and his new girl. But today, as a married woman, I’m grateful for the lessons that love taught me.

1. Don’t let him ruin your entire day

When the relationship fizzles out, don’t let the sight of him hanging out with other girls affect your entire day.

Don’t let the fact that he ignores you when he is with these girls stop you from concentrating in class. Don’t ask yourself why he ignores you. Don’t start thinking worse of yourself.

2. Don’t let his comments about your looks affect you

Maybe you’re not stick thin. But, people who love you do not see that; they see your smile.

Don’t let his comments about how you look affect you. Don’t go on crazy diets. No one is worth your health.

Even if you lose weight, he will still say mean things about how you look because he doesn’t respect you. Don’t allow anyone to say these things to you.

3. Walk away from someone who keeps you a secret

When you’re out with him, and he tells someone over the phone that he is “at home doing nothing”, or “just hanging out with some bros”, walk away.

You’re not ‘nothing’, you’re not his ‘bro’. Don’t cling when all he wants to do is hide you. Walk away and find someone who won’t make you a secret.

Even if you don’t, you’ll be happier on your own. Learn to be happy on your own.

4. Don’t go to his place at 2.00am just to speak to him

When you know the relationship is over, give up.

Do not go to his place at 2.00am, stand outside his gate and hope to speak to him. I’d tell you that he will not come out to speak to you. You’d call but he will not respond. Love yourself more.

You may have wanted to leave at many points, but you stayed and clung on to whatever you had because you treasured the good memories. Like the time he planned a surprise getaway, or how funny he was as a person.

But did you forget? He gave you the credit card bill for the getaway. Did you forget? His jokes were all on you later.

So don’t forget, and don’t stay for so long, hoping for more. Because there will be none.

5. If people want to cheat, they will cheat even if you monitor them

And oh, the thing about cheating. When people want to cheat, they will cheat.

Even if you’re monitoring who he is hanging out with online and offline, no amount of prevention will make him think you’re ‘The (Only) One’.

6. No one will understand how broken you feel, but the storm will pass

When you eventually leave, it will be hard. You might have spent years with him. You will cry and hurt. No one will understand how broken you feel.

But trust me, there will come that one day, when you will wake up and feel better. The storm will pass.

7. Enjoy your own company

No more uncertainties. No more insults. No more wondering which girl he was out with. No more anticipating a call or text that will never come. No more being on edge.

Be free from all of that. Take time to be on your own. Enjoy your own company. You will be more than okay.

8. He may come back, and your heart will soften

And one day, many years later, when things have become better for you, he may call. He may say he is confused, or that he doesn’t know what to do. He may say only you know him. Your heart will soften. He will always have a soft spot in your heart. You may meet him to take care of him, but take better care of yourself.

Tell him he’d be okay. Maybe you’ll have to send him home. That street you stood on at 2.00am many years ago, begging to see him, is that same street you’re sending him home to.

But it’s okay, things are different now. That street won’t scare you anymore.

Take yourself home after that. He will be fine. You’ll be better than fine. Resist the urge to gloat… okay, maybe allow yourself to gloat a little.

9. When he says sorry, forgive him for the sake of both of you

Later, when he says he is sorry, say it is okay. Say we were young after all.

He taught you many lessons, lessons you will bring along with you for a while.

So, stay friends with him. Have no need to one-up him. That kind of race has no end, you’d only exhaust yourself. Wish him well. Because no matter how he broke your heart, you’d always have a spot inside for him.

10. Take your time, don’t commit too early

This means that when you think he is the funniest person in the world, by all means, laugh at his jokes, hang out, but don’t commit.

Have fun, be happy. Take your time. You’re only 17 after all.

Don’t be self-centred. You’re not a princess, but love yourself enough to only be with someone who respects you.

Respect yourself.

Don’t grovel, don’t beg.

Things happen for a reason.

Things happen for no reason.

Move on.

You’d be okay.

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