It’s impossible to view a fresh breakup as anything other than an event that’s out to wreck your life, because as they happen, they hurt like a motherfucker. But with time, the right attitude, and numerous sob sessions—hey, you’re only human—you’ll be on your way to being every bit as gracious as Ariana Grande cooing, “Thank you, next!”
Below, we’ve gathered 12 real breakup stories from Pinays who’ve been there, bawled through that, and ended up happier than ever. To anyone who’s currently struggling with heartbreak, we promise: Things will get better.
“There were more than 100 reasons why she left, and for that, I’m thankful she walked away.” –Patty Tiu, 29
“A successful up-and-coming DJ duo, we were in an openly gay relationship in the industry, and we were on a high! But when our breakup happened, it was such an open book to people, and I regret the times I was angry and frustrated about it. In those moments, all I could really feel was pain; all I did was question why it happened to us.
I never really got to say how grateful I am for my ex. There were more than 100 reasons why she left, and for that, I’m thankful she walked away. Because if she hadn’t, I wouldn’t have worked on myself and become the person I am today: WHOLE.”
“All the love, energy, and effort I had been giving to the wrong person, I ended up pouring into my workplace.” –Janice, 28
“As a strong and independent woman, I never thought that I’d be one of those women who would end up in an abusive relationship. Whenever his manipulative, abusive, hurtful, psycho side came out, I was always left questioning how I could be so stupid to keep tolerating him.
I had been living in Turkey then, but after our breakup, I went home to the Philippines because I needed a break from my life there. Fast forward to a few months, what was supposed to be a break saw me becoming the executive vice president of a college in the Philippines. All the love, energy, and effort I had been giving to the wrong person, I ended up pouring into my workplace.
My ex turned me into the weakest, most pathetic version of myself. But thanks to our breakup, I’m slowly becoming the most powerful version of me.”
“I started to get back into sports, live a healthier life, and focus on self-improvement.” –Lauren, 34
“Following the end of a toxic, drug-centered relationship, as I struggled with health conditions, depression, and heartbreak, I realized that the main reason for all my struggles was my lack of self-love.
When you don’t love yourself, you tend to attract people who don’t really love you, too. One failed relationship after the other, and it becomes a pattern.
I had to choose to be single and finally choose me for roughly two years to figure things out. I started to get back into sports, live a healthier life, and focus on self-improvement. Sometimes a setback appears and derails me, but these setbacks are a way of weeding unhealthy and unnecessary people out of our lives, of teaching us a lesson the hard way, and of just preparing us for something better.
That breakup taught me not just to live, but to be alive.”
“Two years and eight countries later, I am completely healed and happy.” –Adah Grace, 27
“I thought I had finally met the man of my dreams. I was willing to leave my life in the Philippines to move with him to Dubai as we were in a long-distance relationship. I was 101 percent committed and invested in it—but he was not.
I had to go through a couple of massive breakdowns, lots of crying, self-worth-questioning, and depression before I finally had the guts to end my misery and realized I actually deserve better. I ended the relationship, quit my job in the Philippines, and left the country to travel and heal.
A year after, without me even seeking answers and hoping for closure, he phoned me to confess the entire truth: I had been a mistress all that time, without me knowing.
Two years and eight countries later, I am completely healed and happy. It’s true that the pain will sting for a while, but you will be okay and you will be way better and way stronger.”
“She helped me move on. And now, I’m starting to date again.” –Lou, 36
“I had been dating a man for a year when, two months ago, someone texted me telling me to stay away from my boyfriend because he apparently already had a girlfriend of four years, and he had been flirting with other girls, too.
I confronted the guy, and he admitted it. I also contacted another girl and found out that he had been seeing her for four years, too. Long story short, he was dating three girls simultaneously. I had seen the red flags, like he wasn’t always available to see me and didn’t want to post pictures on social media, but I ignored them.
The happy part is that the girl who contacted me became my close friend. She helped me move on. And now, I’m starting to date again.”
“I launched my online business, moved to Spain, and now, I’m learning the art of independence.” –Rosie, 24
“I had left my office job to live with my then-fiancé abroad, and so post-breakup, I found myself starting from scratch almost completely. I moved back into my parents’ house, too.
It ended up being a good thing, though, because I was able to transition into another career. Less than a year later, I launched my online business, moved to Spain, and now, I’m learning the art of independence. I’m single, unattached, and exploring Europe on my own terms.
Definitely not how I expected our story to go, but grateful for it anyway.” – Rosie, 24
“When I was going through the whole moving-on process, so many things fell into place.” –Maree, 24
“I’ve been through so many relationships already, may it be with boys or girls. With the recent breakup that I had, it was really bad because not only was I affected, my whole family was involved, too.
However, the breakup brought more good than bad. It was painful, but when I was going through the whole moving-on process, so many things fell into place. I was doing really great in my new job. I met new people and gained new friends. I also did good in graduate school—something I didn’t expect because I was so down during that time. And lastly, I was able to try so many new things that I hadn’t tried before.
The whole breakup made me step out of my comfort zone and made me become a better version of myself.”
“One of the things I first thought of was, ‘I’m free to stay in New York.’” –Marie, 33
“My ex had an affair with a married co-worker while I was studying in New York and we were in a long-distance relationship.
I was devastated; we had been together for four years, and he even visited me in New York in the thick of that affair. Imagine how I felt about having to take an STD test through no fault of my own.
Well, the woman he had an affair with said she got pregnant and then allegedly miscarried months later, although it was hard to verify because the moment he found out she was supposed to have gotten pregnant, he stopped talking to her.
Bullet dodged, indeed. And if I’m being honest, one of the things I first thought of was, ‘I’m free to stay in New York.’ Until we broke up, I had been reluctantly but steadfastly looking for jobs for my eventual move back to Manila because we were supposed to get married.”
“I wouldn’t choose another way to learn forgiveness the way I did.” –Ashley, 19
“I was in a relationship with a guy for nearly four years. He was my first everything, and this led to a lot of emotional dependence and martyrdom on my part, even after I found out that he was constantly cheating on me.
I broke up with him by not telling him that I was moving to the Philippines. I didn’t bother to say goodbye to him. It broke the both of us, but we managed to heal from it.
Leaving that relationship taught me a lot about sacrifices, forgiveness, and when to choose myself. Just after the breakup, I grew incredibly in a way that I know I wouldn’t be able to achieve if I was still with him. He and I are really good friends now; he’s grown so much as well and it makes me happy seeing it.
In the end, there are absolutely no bitter feelings, just gratitude for learning lessons through each other. I wouldn’t choose another way to learn forgiveness the way I did.”
“He told me he’s thankful that we broke up because it led him to where and who he is today.” –Marie, 27
“My ex and I were childhood friends, and he was my first everything: first boyfriend, first kiss, first real heartbreak. We first admitted our feelings for each other at age 13, and we stayed together for a year until he broke up with me. We got back together just before senior year in high school, but we drifted apart and I fell out of love. We broke up a second time because I cheated on him.
In college, he asked if we could get back together. But I was already in a relationship then, and it got ugly because he was willing to be the kabit and I told him I couldn’t do that to my S.O. We didn’t talk for a year or two, but before graduation, we became good friends again.
He’s living overseas now, but we talk once in a while. He told me he’s thankful that we broke up because it led him to where and who he is today. As for me, I will always be thankful to him because he taught me everything I know about love and friendship.”
“The day we broke up was one of the best days of my life.” –Lauren, 32
“When you’re in love with someone, you see their abusive behavior as them wanting you to be better. I endured three years of abuse from a man who made fun of me and called me fat, controlled and chose my friends, and made me pay his bills. The last straw was him cheating on me on different occasions.
At first, I was very hesitant to break up with him because he had made me believe that I was worthless. But I prayed long and hard for the strength and guidance to break it off with him.
True enough, the day we broke up was one of the best days of my life. I took control of my life, spent time with my family and friends, and worked to find my passion, finally pursuing my interest in events and hosting.
The moment I decided to take charge of my life again, it led me to meeting my life partner who treats me like the queen that I am.”
“We both evolved into truer versions of ourselves without each other.” –Cassie, 34
“We were together for three years, but he could never fully commit to me. He said he just wasn’t husband or father material; he had grown up in a broken home and didn’t believe in marriage. While I did want to get married and have a cute little family—wasn’t that what all girls dreamt of growing up?—I figured we would get there eventually, but we never did because he ended up cheating on me.
That was seven years ago. Over the years, I’ve realized that I’d rather stay single and focus on improving myself and helping those around me. Meanwhile, he is happily married to the girl he left me for and is now a dad.
We both evolved into truer versions of ourselves without each other. I’m glad we broke up, because if we hadn’t, maybe we’d never know the kind of happiness we savor separately now.”