Breakups are meant to suck.

It is a universally acknowledged truth that all breakups suck.

Whether you did the breaking up, or you were broken up with - it still sucks. Breakups are painful, sad, sometimes messy. Getting over them is the same. Much of the breakup advice on the internet trys to distil down this life-altering situation into a neat little list of things to do to *heal*. While many of these things, like spending time with friends, will be an integral part of getting over a breakup - they can only go so far.

Breakups suck because of their very context. To love is to be vulnerable. All love comes with the possibility of loss. It is the very taking of this risk that makes the love we have better for it. When things are given to you free, well, you don’t care much for them. That means breakups are meant to suck.

"The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief - but the pain of grief is only a shadow when compared with the pain of never risking love."

Hillary Stanton Zunin

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All of the internet’s breakup advice can only do so much for you because a breakup is not an event, it’s a process. As the rhyme goes - we can’t go over it, we can’t go under it, we’ve got to go through it. After a breakup, we’ve got to do the work of reconnecting with our dreams and ambitions, our hobbies, passions, our friends and families. 

Knowing this certainly won’t help the pain, the hurt, or the sadness. After all, the only thing that cures grief is to grieve.

But we can take comfort in the universal nature of this feeling. We can take comfort in the brilliant clarity brought to us by the pain of breaking up. As the great author Paulo Coelho writes, ‘Life always waits for some crisis to occur before revealing itself at its most brilliant.’

“Although it is tremendously disorienting on one hand, on another, you will never see as clearly as you do when your heart is broken. If you’ve ever wanted to get at the truth about your life, your character and destiny, the depth of your friendships, you can choose to see these things now.”

Susan Piver, The Wisdom of a Broken Heart

Riannah B

Co-Director of Rosewell | Lover of philosophy. She/her.


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