Breaking up with someone you wanted to spend forever with is nothing short of horrible. Horrible is an understatement.

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The pain of breaking up  is similar to losing part of yourself…you feel unnatural, you’re not sure how or where to fit in. Everyone seems to notice your new relationship status, constantly asking and digging that knife deeper and deeper into the wounds of your heart.

It’s as if you can’t see your future anymore. Like everything that made sense has shattered before your eyes and you are powerless to fix it. The pain is never-ending.

I lied. That last part, about pain, never-ending, it isn’t true. It feels as if it’s true, as if no one else understands because they really were the one. Regardless of how much you loved them, the pain really does end. It just takes time, a lot of time.

In this time, something beautiful emerges, and that is what you gain from your heartbreak. Yes, you read that correctly. You really will gain something from this.

It gets better.

As time passes we learn to notice the little things that are perfectly capable of making us happy. We start to actually notice other things we may have overlooked before. We realize that happiness can come from more than just a boyfriend or a lover. Furthermore, it’s okay to be sad or upset over something and still have moments of happiness. These moments are what give us hope.

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The grass is truly greener on the other side.

As your future suddenly becomes yours and yours alone, it came seem overwhelming and honestly, a bit scary. It’s hard to imagine your own future when someone else was supposed to be a part of it. Can you even imagine that perhaps your future is getting better now that you are on your own? Ty Tashiro, who was part of a study called “I’ll Never Be In A Relationship Like That Again” talks about the study and reports

The first finding of interest was that every single participant listed some positive life changes as a result of their breakup and there were on average five positive changes reported following these breakups.

Some examples of the positive changes included feeling more confident, independent, or closer to their friends or family following the breakup.

When you let go of the reasons that led to your breakup, you chose to focus your energy on creating a healthier lifestyle for yourself, without the weight of unhappiness with someone else on your shoulders. You can distance yourself from the pain, allowing yourself to see it for what it was and really learn from it.

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Letting go of what brought you down makes you stronger.

The saying “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” is around for a reason. Several studies show that humans are able to overcome their heartbreaks and eventually grow stronger from them. Some even show that our heart is designed to overcome heartbreak in just three months. The same study notes people become happier after they let go and can even become more open-minded.

Adding to this, Tashiro and his researchers believe a breakup can make the heart stronger in the long run.

I think that a breakup can make some people stronger… It’s interesting people report that losing a relationship is felt as physical pain as well as emotional pain.

One of our fundamental motives as humans is to form close, stable bonds with other people and so when we lose one of our most critical relationships, there’s a natural tendency to feel deeply distressed.

It’s your mind’s way of saying ‘You sure about this?’ Of course, sometimes you are sure and the best thing is to stay away from the ex-partner, but it’s easier said than done.

People want to feel better after they endure a breakup, and that is exactly that type of determination researchers have noticed, that lead us to make an effort towards positive changes.

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Other research shows our brains have evolved to help us deal with losing loved ones, handling depression and overcoming breakups.

These changes require us to find a balance between our brain and our heart, which may also require us to toughen up a bit.

Tashiro notes,

Like most things in life, insight has to be followed by a good dose of persistence and determination so that someone doesn’t easily slip back into a relationship that had the same problems as their previous relationships.

It may not happen at first, but eventually we do learn from our mistakes.

Once you do find the light at the end of the tunnel, you will learn what changes you need to make for yourself before you decide to be with someone else. You will also learn what kind of person you want to be with and what is worth tolerating. In the end, you really do end up so much smarter.

The New York Times reports on a study from The University of Arizona where over 200 people from ages 17 t0 29 were currently going through a breakup.

These people discussed their emotions and the researchers discovered something incredible: the participants who vented about their feelings experienced a higher level of “self-concept clarity.”

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What this means, is that these people were able to better understand and appreciate themselves.

Love can be beautiful and love can be so painful, but it is never worth giving up on finding something special. And that starts with you learning to love yourself.