No, I’m not kidding. If you are about to make the break or have already have done so, whether you instigated it, it was mutual or you never saw it coming, this could possibly be the best thing that has happened to you. The simple fact is we don’t break up with our partners without a good reason. It’s called a BREAK up because something was broken, it wasn’t working. Healthy, happy relationships do not end, unless of course someone passes away (and that topic is for a whole other blog)
Everyone can relate in some way to the immense grief that unfolds even if we know it’s the right thing to do. Breaks ups are unsettling, they turn our once predictable lives upside down. Suddenly everything feels foreign. There’s a reason such epic, chart topping love songs are written during breakups, they really, really hurt. Hearts literally FEEL broken. I’ve one word for you – Adele.
Please, don’t despair. Below are just 5 reasons that this might just be the best thing that has ever happened to you.
1. You are FREE.
Now that might seem a really frightening prospect, in fact a lot of people stay in relationships solely out of fear of being alone. I can understand this because the world is set up for couples. We often focus on this fear rather than focusing on the many positive aspects of being single. There are so many, but here’s just a few:
- You get to focus solely on your own needs.
- You don’t have to fight over the remote control or wait until your ex is free to binge watch episodes of your favourite show.
- You can eat whatever and whenever you like.
- You can stay out as long as you like OR stay home as much as you like.
- You can go to bed whenever you choose and sleep on whatever side you want to (or spread out in the middle)
- You get to choose your next holiday destination.
- You can cook up a storm and then there’s leftovers. This is so good, believe me. Work lunches are sorted. Throw some in the freezer. Life changing.
- You can play whatever music you like as much as you like and as loud as you like.
- Flirting. It is underrated. I imagine your confidence might have taken a hit. You can flirt whenever and with whomever you chose to. It can be fun.
2. You’ll never look at the world the same way, and that’s a good thing.
Yes, you might feel so wounded you vow never to share your life again. That’s all quite normal after such a huge life changing event, but also highly unlikely. I’d also like for you to change your language around the break up. We often say things like “My marriage failed” or “I lost my relationship” This is all negative talk when often the end of the relationship is a positive thing. I repeat, healthy, happy relationships don’t end. I want you to change your self-talk to something like; “We did well, we put in a good ten years and we have some wonderful memories” No one really tells us how hard relationships can be, especially monogamous ones. Being with one person for the entirety of our life is going to take some work and often not actually healthy for us. Western society privileges monogamous relationships further perpetuating the idea that being alone or having more than one relationship in a lifetime is somehow a bad thing. This “Til death do we part” ideal is quite strange when you think about it. People do grow apart, that’s part of growing up. Other than death and taxes nothing in life is certain and its time we spoke openly about the fact that many relationships do end. Now, the silver lining here is an ending often means there’s a new beginning, and how exciting is that?
3. Being alone means you get to focus on how to be a whole person alone.
It’s essential to know that we can live as a fully whole human being and not as a half who is waiting to make us whole. Loving yourself is the most amazing thing we can do for ourselves. This can take time. You might have lots to work through, but this is good. Doing work on ourselves is imperative. If and when you choose to be in another relationship you then go in with a mindset that this relationship compliments your already full life. Trust me, once you get good at this you’ll never stay in a relationship that isn’t right again. You won’t even think about settling. Being lonely in a relationship is far worse than the occasional feelings of loneliness being alone. Remember feeling alone is NOT the same as being alone. It’s a feeling. Feelings pass.
4. The end of a relationship means we have the opportunity to learn from it and then go on to make positive changes in our life moving forward.
It’s times like these that we truly get a glimpse into who we are and see evidence of our resilience and strength. Steve Jobs wisely quoted “Only after you’re there, can you then connect the dots. You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever”
You have to trust that you will look back at this time and see that you were on a journey. Ever wanted to move cities? Now might be the time. Change jobs? Go back to study? Take up a new hobby that your ex wasn’t into? Being alone can be a wonderful, positively selfish time. Rushing into new relationships looking for validation from others means we don’t get the change to do some much needed self-work and introspection. Without doing this we may carry the same unnecessary baggage into our next relationship. Do the work. It will pay off.
5. The more we learn to welcome change the better equipped we are to live in this complex and often brutal world.
I’ve said to clients before instead of fearing change we should fear inertia. Staying stagnant is not good. What growth comes from that? We grow and become more insightful and much more self-aware when we take the time to be alone. In fact we need to look at this time as a gift. Go on, unwrap it, enjoy.
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