What you can learn from a breakup

Mar 14, 2011 at 3:25 p.m. ET

Breakups are never easy and can hurt like nothing else. Despite the heartache, you can take away some positive things from getting dumped. Here are a few post-breakup lessons.

Lonely woman after breakup


It's not the end of the world.

One of the most important lessons you can learn from a breakup is that as much as it hurts, it really isn't the end of the world. You won't feel that way to begin with, but eventually, you'll realize that -- while exceptionally painful and emotionally draining -- a broken heart won't kill you.

2You can be alone.

When a relationship ends, especially one that was long term, the idea of being without a boyfriend or living alone can be alarming. Getting used to having someone else around is so easy that you may forget how to be your own person. A breakup can help you re-learn how to be independent. You'll rediscover your likes and dislikes and end up feeling more confident about your ability to fend for yourself.

3You're a great person.

Like giving you your independence back, a breakup can show you how much you have to offer. Yes, self esteem takes a nosedive after getting dumped, but once you've been on your own for a few months, you'll start to see things in a different light. And you'll realize that he's the one missing out on something great: you.

4Some guys just aren't for you.

Breakups are great for weeding out the guys you don't need or who aren't right for you. You might be wishing he hadn't ended it now, but chances are you'll look back at the relationship and wonder why you were in it in the first place. If something wasn't meant to be, let it go. The right guy -- the one who will treat you right -- is out there. You just have to deal with a few duds first.

More breakup advice

How to really get over your ex
What not to do after getting dumped

How to tell if it's over

You're not the only woman on this planet to feel rejected so get down on yourself. The best thing you can do is take what you've learned and make sure the same mistakes aren't made in your next relationship. After you cry a few tears, start looking for the positive! There's no sense in letting the heartache sink in for too long.