I’ve come to find that love is one of the most chaotic emotions there is.  It’s desperate and thrilling and tragic and wonderful all at the same time.  When it’s good, it’s an emotion that could take you to your highest high, but when it’s bad, you might feel like you’ll never see a lower low.

Breakups are hard.  As much as I wish it wasn’t true, I don’t really think they’re meant to be easy.  You wouldn’t learn anything if they were.  When I was going through a breakup, my friends and family were there for me.  They listened to my crazy rants and let me cry on their shoulders.  They told me that I deserved better and suggested the faster I moved on, the faster I’d make it through it.  They used countless clichés to get their points across, ranging all the way from “time heals all wounds” to “whatever’s meant to be will be.”

I heard what they were saying and I knew their advice was good; it’s not my intention to discount any of it, but in my experience, it didn’t make me feel any better.  It didn’t take away the sadness I was feeling and it didn’t help me forget the pain.  What did help me was the reflection that I did on my own.  In hopes of helping even one other woman out there, I figured I’d submit my steps to overcoming a breakup (notice how I didn’t say “getting over”).

1.  Realize it’s all easier said than done. Like I said earlier, the advice everyone gives you IS good, but it’s not as easy or instantaneous as it sounds.

2.  It’s not about falling out of love. You need to realize there’s a good chance you may never stop caring about the person you dated.  There’s a reason you loved them and a reason you were together in the first place. Most of the time that feeling doesn’t just disappear.  Instead of dwelling over this, find comfort in it.  If you’re stomach still flips when you see him across the room at a party or you still get butterflies when you think about the memories you shared, it means what you felt for the entire course of that relationship was real.  It may not have been right, but it was real.  You’ll grow from that.

3.  “If he’s stupid enough to walk away, be smart enough to let him go.” This is the only cliché that has ever helped me.  Realize that there’s no use in wasting all of your energy worrying about something you can’t change, and that you should never want to be with someone who doesn’t want to be with you.

4.  You’ll make it.  Not on anyone else’s terms or time, but on your own. Eventually it will get easier, even if it doesn’t feel like it ever will.

Breakups are hard, but dating is a learning experience and you’ll learn something from them — whether it’s the appreciation for what you had, or the new found hope in finding someone else who will treat you better.  You could realize there’s no one else out there on the planet who will you make you feel the way he did, or maybe you’ll find that you’re so much stronger without him.  Either way, the future has a way of working itself out, and I promise that in the end, you’ll be grateful for every lesson that came from every breakup.

What advice do you have for other women dealing with breakups?