Nothing helps you heal from a break-up quite like time, but when days are dragging and you feel like you’ve been heartbroken for, like, ever, some sage wisdom comes in handy. We asked a few women to share the best advice they’ve received that helped them though their darkest days:
‘My ex and I were meeting up to do that thing where you give each other’s stuff back and I was so anxious about it. My housemate said, “Once you’ve done this, it’s done forever. You can cross it off your list and you never have to do it again.” Now, every time I’ve gone through a break-up (or just a hard time), I take a deep breath and tell myself that this is the last time I will ever have to do this – like, “Once I’ve changed my relationship status on Facebook it’s done and I won’t have to do it again” or “Running into him was horrible but now that painful first run-in-since-the-break-up is over and it’ll only get easier every time.” It really helps me to step back and look at the bigger picture.’ — Katie, 26
‘My mom is really straight-talking and has always said to me, “If someone wants to be with you, they will be,” which is similar to her other favourite phrase: “He’s just not that into you.” I used to think she was just being mean, but with time I’ve come to realise that she’s right (classic mom). Sure, they said they dumped you because you deserved better, or because they needed space or whatever, but it can be boiled down to they just don’t want to be with you. It hurts to hear, but I find that the sooner you accept that, the sooner you can move on (to somebody way nicer).’ — Bailey, 28
‘In Julian Barnes’ book Levels Of Life, he wrote, “It hurts as much as it is worth… If it didn’t matter, it wouldn’t matter.” I remind myself of this when I’m feeling silly for being upset about a boy. It makes me recognise that my feelings are valid.’ — Laura, 22
‘I once read a Maya Angelou quote that said, “If someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” I often used to overlook bad behaviour in the beginning of a relationship, excusing it as a once-off occurrence when it was actually them showing their true colours that would pop up in even uglier ways later on in the relationship. Now if I hear alarm bells in my head, I listen to them.’ — Megan, 27
‘My BF has a mantra that goes something like, “This time next week this will hurt less, next month even less, and next year perhaps not at all.” The gist of it is that a break-up hurts like hell for a while and, though it can really drag on, I’ve found it’s nearly impossible for the intensity of the pain to remain the same. It’s like a light at the end of the tunnel knowing that I won’t care about this in the same way or at the same level this time next year (hopefully next month even).’ — Ingrid, 29
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