8 lessons about life you can learn from having a broken heart

by Kiran Athar | March 19, 2024, 12:35 am

Heartbreak is tough, but it also comes with valuable life lessons. 

It might not seem that way when you’re in the thick of it, but with the clarity that comes through healing, you’ll realize how much you’ve learned as a result of it. 

Because ultimately, a broken heart can teach us important things about ourselves, our needs, and our approach to life. 

Let’s delve into those areas in a bit more detail.

Here are 8 lessons about life you can learn from having a broken heart: 

1) Life isn’t fair 

If you’ve got a broken heart, chances are you’re feeling like life has dealt you a few crappy hands recently. 

And no matter what you do – cry, scream, or bargain – nothing takes away the pain.

You simply have to find a way to get through it.

This is probably one of the harshest life lessons that comes from heartbreak – the world isn’t always fair.

You’re probably a really nice person who has tried to avoid hurting others. But that doesn’t mean you’re protected from being hurt. 

Just because you won’t eat the lion, doesn’t mean the lion won’t eat you. 

I know this probably isn’t what you wanted to hear right now, but it’s a good lesson to learn. 

Now,  I’m not saying it so you become cynical about life, but rather, so you can accept that life doesn’t always go the way you want it to. 

And that’s okay, because…

2) You’re stronger than you realize

As a result of the unfairness of the world (and the harsh realities of love and relationships), you’ll learn just how strong and resilient you actually are

You see, it’s not until we’re put in such extreme situations that we see ourselves for who we really are.

And heartbreak is one of those situations that pushes us to the deepest, darkest, most painful places that exist. 

But, you’re still here.

You’re surviving. Maybe barely, but still. It’s something, right?

You’re getting on with life, even with the tremendous pain you hold inside. 

That’s something to be proud of. You haven’t given up on your life entirely. And your resilience will pay off.

Because after heartbreak, once enough time has passed, you’ll learn to love again, and that’s incredibly courageous. 

3) Your self-worth isn’t defined by a relationship

One of the biggest life lessons I learned from having a broken heart was that my self-worth isn’t tied to my relationship.

My ex can think what he wants of me, it doesn’t change who I actually am as a person.

And hopefully, that’s something you’re thinking about too.

Sure, you might have made mistakes. We all do.

But after a breakup and serious heartbreak, you’ve got a lot of time to think. And a lot of time to reflect on your actions. 

As you heal, you’ll start to realize that you’re just human. Your ex might have said hurtful things about you, but their opinions probably don’t reflect that of reality.

You may have said or done things you didn’t mean, too. But that doesn’t make you a bad person, or undeserving of love and respect. 

It’s at this point that you start to redefine your self-worth

4) Empathy for others

It’s impossible to go through heartbreak and not feel empathy when you see others hurting. 

Because let’s be honest, a broken heart changes you as a person.

It might toughen you for a while as you build barriers around your heart and emotions, but at some point, you learn to soften up again. 

You recognize that we’re all out here, craving love and connection, and quite often, getting it wrong.

As a result of your experiences, you’ll find it easier to empathize with others. When your friend goes through a bad time in life, you’ll remember what it was like when you were in a dark place.

It’s a sad life lesson, but one that helps us help others. 

5) How to be more independent 

One of the most important life lessons that comes from having a broken heart is learning how to be alone again.

How to be independent

When you’re in a relationship, everything becomes “we”. You make decisions with each other. Even when you make a decision for yourself, you’re always factoring in your partner.

But after heartbreak, you get a chance to do what YOU and only you want to do. 

Without consulting or thinking about anyone else. 

You might also be forced to become more self-sufficient, especially if you were very reliant on your partner before breaking up. 

The pain of the heartbreak in these instances will likely make you more determined to rely only on yourself, especially in the future.

Because heartbreak is painful enough on its own. Throw in dependency and it gets a whole lot worse. 

6) That change is inevitable 

My guess is that you thought you’d be together forever. We all do, right?

Heartbreak and breakups, even when there are warning signals, can still catch us off guard.

But they also remind us that change is an inevitable part of life. 

And no matter how much we plan, if something isn’t meant to be, it won’t work out. 

But that’s not all…

After heartbreak, you’ll see yourself change in many ways. 

And that’s a beautiful lesson to learn. For example, with my ex, I thought our breakup would strip me of all joy. That I’d never want to be with anyone else again.

But here I am, seven years later, in a relationship with a wonderful man for the last five of them. 

I’ve changed as a person, and I now know that if the worst happens in the future, I’ll change again. 

We’re all constantly evolving, and that’s a strength worth focussing on. 

7) How to let go

If you’re struggling to let go, I understand. It can be extremely tough to come to terms with the end of something you cherish so much. 

But as you process heartbreak, you’ll naturally start to move on.

It might take you months or even years in some cases. But with a resilient mindset, you’ll get there. 

A time will come when you don’t cry yourself to sleep every night. Where you don’t constantly check your ex’s social media. 

One day, you’ll wake up, and they won’t be the first thought on your mind. 

You’ll have let go of the past, and life will suddenly seem brighter and lighter. 

8) The importance of healing 

And the final lesson you can learn from having a broken heart is the importance of healing and being kind to yourself.

By that, I mean not suppressing your emotions. Not pretending you’re fine when you aren’t. And not neglecting self-care. 

As you process the pain, you’ll start to recognize that these feelings aren’t going away by themselves. 

You need to actively work on feeling better. 

Whether that’s talking it out with friends, seeking therapy, or reading books, healing is an active choice we all have to make. 

And alongside that, being kind to ourselves. 

I’ve learned to look after my body and mind when I’m feeling down. But this only came after a devastating breakup. 

So, while no one enjoys the pain of a broken heart, it is part of life, and for a reason. 

To teach us about the world, but ultimately, about ourselves. 

Hang in there – it gets easier with time. 

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