Scientists have proven that we process emotional and physical pain in the same ways. So heartbreak hurts. Literally. But there are some upsides to your sadness.
1) You find out how amazing your friends are
When your heart’s in pieces, your friends step up to the plate and you’re reminded how lucky you are to have them in your life. They come in groups or one-by-one to watch bad television with you, bring you chocolate, kidnap you to go hiking, and generally provide love, support, and distraction in your time of need. A breakup may render your romantic life in shambles, but it brings out the best in your friends. Somehow, despite your pain, your friends find a way to make you feel warm, fuzzy, and incredibly lucky.
2) You find out what’s important to you
There’s a reason you broke up, and it’s most likely because you didn’t share compatible values. You may not have even realized how important something is to you until you learned how unimportant it was to your partner. Being with an atheist may have reinforced that you want religion in your life. Being with a couch potato may have taught you that you want a partner who values exercise. Being with a gun owner may have made you realize how important gun control change is to you. Being in tune with your own value system will lead you down the happiest path. Breaking up hurts, but if it lets you know what’s important to you, you’ll be in a much better spot to pick a new mate who shares your values and will be on that path with you.
3) You find out the world is full of possibility
When you’re in a relationship, you picture taking on the world in a specific way: with your partner by your side. But now that you’re single, you realize there are endless paths to take in life. While it may be hard to mentally adjust your life plan without your love by your side, it’s exciting to realize that you can do anything you want! Want to move to China for a year? Go for it. Want to quit your job and go back to school? Do it. Building a life with a partner is great, but building a life around you and only is certainly freeing.
4) You find out how strong you are
Once you’re on the other side of a gut-wrenching breakup, you feel like a warrior. Because you are one. You survived a trauma, and now you know that whatever the world throws at you, you can take it. You’ve done it before. What a gift to know that in the face of pain and adversity, you pulled yourself up and emerged stronger and smarter. Going forward post-breakup, you will be less intimidated by adversity, less afraid of failure, and less scared to fall in love. Because you know that even if you get your heart broken again, you are strong enough to survive.