in: Dating & Relationships

Learning From a Breakup: Painful (but Crucial) Truths

Guest Contributor

A breakup doesn’t top our “fun things to do” list, but try using these three lessons to ensure your learning from a breakup, not just suppressing it.


This time I know it for sure: he is the man I will grow old with.

He is just perfect. Educated, but open-minded, practicing yoga twice a week and trying to do a meditation every day. We have passed the test of travelling together and do no mind spending some time apart, while I do a silent retreat and he goes hiking and camping with his friends. He is not yet ready for children, but is open to the idea of having them in a few years.

In the morning, he can be a bit grumpy when he needs to get up early and didn’t have coffee. Also, he tends to get overly defensive when I want to discuss something that’s been bothering me, without me even suggesting at all that it is his fault or wrong doing.

But that’s ok, nobody is perfect. I just know it, he is the one.

Three years later, single once again. I thought this time I was sure. It felt so good. We were living so harmoniously together for so long, but he said he couldn’t do it any more. No particular reason, just the ‘feeling’ wasn’t there any more.

It hurts so much; still, I had little hope, maybe he would change his mind?

Another four months later in time, he didn’t change his mind. I did.

It needs some time, good old healing time; but like always, after a break up I feel good. I feel stronger even, I feel energized and ready to embrace life anew. There are few things that I realize again and again after painfully walking out of a relationship—they are three wise lessons that I keep like gems in my pocket. They help me to carry on with life with a smile on my face—lessons that I learned by being in and out of a relationship.

These are lessons that make me looking at both the relationship and the break up as a blessing

Every end is the start of a new beginning.

We are much stronger and more capable than we think we have. A relationship is an intense bounding with much energy flowing outwards, aiming to connect to the other, trying to gauge the other’s mood, desires and wishes. In any relationship we naturally give up a little of our own wishes, direction in life, values and sometimes even start to depend little (or more) on the partner’s opinion and decisions. You might even feel like you will not survive without the other person; you’ve come to depend on the other, on the connection, on the relationship.

But you will survive; you will remember and connect to your own strength again. Remember how you were once coping with life without your ex-partner and you will do this again. The weeks and months right after a break up are the perfect time to find yourself again and realize your own personal strength and capabilities.

We are all strong and have potent qualities—now it is time to connect with that again and grow from your previous relationship. Pick up your old hobby that you have given up because you partner did not join you. Call your friend that you used to go on little, crazy trips with and plan something fun. During this time, though, it is important not to condemn your ex-partner for the fact that you might have been hovering off your own path—that is the nature of a relationship and you should respect this.

A relationship is merely based on attachments and not love.

Do not confuse being with another person for love, as love means that we want only the very best for the other. We are with another person because he or she, for whatever reason, makes us feel good. The eccentric guru and spiritual teacher, Osho put it even more strongly stating that “love should be a quality without a subject.” Understanding this we can realize that love—true love—can sometimes be better expressed in another form than an intimate relationship.

Love does not necessarily equal a relationship and love can be expressed in many ways and forms. An intimate relationship is simply not always the best format for two people to exchange this beautiful energy. Sometimes a platonic friendship is better suited for the two of you, as expectations, jealousy, dreams, families, do not get in the way. In other words: love does not come in a one size fits all.

Life is a continual transformation and all things are bound to change.

We sometimes stubbornly cling to the little fairy tale that we’ve created in our minds at the beginning of a new intimate relationship; however, any relationship is like the weather—with storms and high and low pressure fields. Understand arguments, difficult times and even a possible break up are possible; preparing ourselves in this way can help keep the proverbial storm from hitting so hard, or at least helps us carry on to regain ourselves.

Similarly, love doesn’t stop after a break-up, but merely changes its course. Even if you feel like nobody loves you, or you are not worth loving, don’t be afraid—this too will change and eventually pass. Think about the time you were madly in love with your ex-partner and could not imagine that would ever change…but it has. Life and love are like a river, flowing and moving. Sometimes they resemble a stream without any clear visual obstacles; other times they resemble a wild river with huge rocks and strong currents. Just remember: the river is the river and it doesn’t differentiate between good and bad, it is what it is.

[image: via Guilherme Yagui on flickr]


About the Author

Merel in BhagsuMerel Martens is a yoga and meditation teacher living in India where she runs her own yoga school Parimukti. Originally from the Netherlands, she gave up a promising career in International Public Health to fully dedicate her life to studying and practicing Yoga and Buddhism. She fell in love with the South East Asian peninsula—where every other person you meet shares their wisdom and stories compassionately, whether you want to hear it or not. Other than falling in love with India, she falls in and out of love with a man occasionally, cherishing both the beautiful and painful moments that go hand in hand with every relationship. When Merel is not teaching, she writes about her life and interesting meetings with all sorts of people as she strolls along one of India’s beaches, hikes in the Himalayas, or sits at chai shops. You can connect with Merel on Facebook or her website.

About the Author:

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MeetMindful is the first online dating site to serve the mindful lifestyle. As part of that service, we’re bringing you a library of content from some of the most knowledgeable contributors in the areas of love and mindful living. If you have a story to tell or a lesson to share and you’d like to contribute to our site as a guest, please email us at write@meetmindful.com. If we’re a great match, we’d love to tell you more about joining our family of writers.

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