Just some reminders that breakups can be good for you (promise!)

At the time of a breakup, it feels like your world is collapsing — like everything you knew and loved is crashing down on top of you, burying you while you desperately try to claw your way out from underneath the rubble. It feels like a hard sock to the stomach, leaving you unable to breathe. It feels like you can no longer trust anyone with your heart ever again; it feels like the worst day of your life.

Yeah, breakups are some type of awful. But after the initial panic, anger and hurt subsides, we’re here to gently remind you why breakups can actually be a good thing. Remember, there’s a silver lining in every bad thing that ever happens to you. This split may eventually lead you to amazing opportunities that you never would have experienced otherwise. And in the meantime, while you’re still waiting on those opportunities, keep these things in mind.

1. Breakups force you to find independence.

It’s so easy to get caught up in dependency during a relationship. You’re with someone for so long that you come to rely on him or her for everything, and that level of attachment has a price. After a while, it feels like you can’t survive on your own.

Reality check: Having another person at your side is not required for survival. You don’t need to be romantically involved with someone in order to live happily and fully. It’s OK to be alone sometimes! With this breakup, you’ll discover newfound independence, and it’s going to feel totally empowering and awesome.

2. Breakups help you discover what you’re searching for.

Tons of couples break up due to the simple fact that when it came down to it, they just weren’t the right match. This breakup will help you discover what you’re actually looking for in a person. What traits are really important to you in a potential partner? Maybe the split helped you realize that you need someone with a more similar sense of humor. Maybe you’re meant to be with someone with a job in your field or similar values or someone more affectionate or closer to your age. With a little reflection, you’ll be better able to find someone who is more suited for you the next time around.

3. Breakups strengthen your friendships.

Awful but true: It’s really, really easy to forget your friends when you’re in deep with a partner. You devote all your time to him or her and lose sight of your other relationships. It’s a totally common mistake to make, but with this breakup, you can repair old friendships and even create new ones.

Being around your friends will help ease the pain and take your mind off the split. Get together with your girls for champagne and Scandal, and feel the color magically return to your cheeks. Make it a weekly thing! And remember: Always, always make your friends a priority, no matter who enters your life next.

4. Breakups give you time for you.

Maybe you’ve been dying to take up the piano, learn Italian, read more books, keep a journal, listen to podcasts. Hey, now you’ve got the time for all that! Look at it this way: Your relationship took up at least twenty hours of your life per week (including all of the texting, phone calls, Facebook messages, cuddle sessions, etc.).

Now you can devote that amount of time to you. How awesome is that?! Read that book you’ve been meaning to pick up for months now. Binge-watch everything on your Netflix queue. Take a trip to a stationary store and pick out a really cute journal. Learn to play an instrument or just delve into a new craft project. The possibilities are seriously endless. Isn’t that a wonderful feeling?

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