5 positives to take away from every breakup


By Anastasia Amour

Regardless of how long you were with somebody, a breakup is always going to hurt. In the midst of all the emotional scars and baggage left behind, it can be easy to get caught up in negative emotions; leaving you feeling frustrated and angry at the mere thought of the breakup. However, in every breakup there is a hidden blessing: the lessons you learn that you can carry into future relationships.

Instead of seeing a terminated relationship as a failure, here are 5 positives that we can take away from every breakup.

1. They show you your relationship deal breakers. On a surface level, it’s difficult to truly know a person. Only by spending time with someone are we able to see their true personality. Your ex-partner may have exhibited traits further down the track into the relationship that weren’t evident when you first started dating, which you’ll now be able to recognise in future potential partners. In every person, we can find traits that we find appealing and traits that get on our nerves. Your ex might have driven you mad with their lack of communication or perhaps you found their worldviews infuriating – but this doesn’t mean that the time spent lamenting those characteristics was a waste of time.

Take a moment to reflect on what you did and didn’t enjoy about the relationship, and draw on that insight as you move forward into new relationships. If something irritated you once, it’s bound to irritate you again.

2. They can show you your love language. There are said to be five love languages: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch. These are important because the love language that resonates with you most strongly will indicate what you need from a partner, in order to feel loved and appreciated. If you and your partner weren’t aware of each other’s love languages, you may have both felt a tad misunderstood.

For example, if you feel loved by spending quality time with your partner, but your partner prefers to spend less time with you and instead show affection by giving gifts – the little messages of love that each person is expressing can get lost in translation.

Take some time to understand what your love language is and encourage an open dialogue in your future relationships to ensure that both parties feel appreciated.

3. They show us where we went wrong. Whoever is to blame for a breakup, there are faults that both parties can take away from the relationship. It can feel great to mentally shift all the blame onto your ex, but it’s important to reflect on the relationship and be honest with yourself – is there anything you could have handled better? Did some of your actions contribute to negative feelings about the relationship? We’re all at fault for something at some point, and it takes two to tango. Perhaps you didn’t compromise enough, maybe you could have been more supportive, or perhaps you just didn’t understand what they needed from you. Whatever your conclusion, there are faults that we can all learn from in every breakup.

When we work out where we could have done better, we can use this experience to grow so that our future partners can benefit from what we’ve learned.

4. They can show us the value of chemistry. There are so many elements that go into the makeup of a successful and thriving relationship. If everything with your ex seemed to line up and you just can’t work out where it all went sour, ask yourself: was there a lack of chemistry?

People often confuse chemistry with compatibility, but they’re distinctly different things. You might be entirely compatible with someone but without that spark, magic or electric passion, some relationships just don’t work.

Learn how to identify what that spark feels like for you. Did you feel it in your past relationship? If you did, you know what to look out for in the future. If not, you know that you need to keep looking!

5. They can reveal your inner strength. After a breakup, it’s natural to feel raw, exposed and vulnerable. To feel fragile is a little frightening – but take a look back at your past. How did you feel every other time you’ve gone through a breakup or hardship? However bad you may have felt, you eventually dusted yourself off, got back up, carried on and you put yourself out there again.


Breakups can show us that no matter how vulnerable we might feel, deep down we are strong and courageous. To have the conviction to boldly pursue what your heart wants is a wonderful thing and despite whatever past pain you’ve endured, you grew from it and you kept going.

In every breakup, there are lessons to be learned and only by taking the time to reflect on our relationships can we learn anything. An ended relationship is only a waste of time if we didn’t learn anything from the experience – after all, as George Santayana said, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

What have you learned from your past relationships? Let us know in the comments below, or join the conversation @eHarmony_AU or on Facebook.com/eHarmonyaustralia.

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