No matter how long it’s been since your most devastating love experience, the lesson you learned from it stays with you. This lesson may be a reminder of your worth, a discovery of your strength, or the realization that things always get better, but whatever it is, it sticks and makes you better equipped for the heartbreaks that lie ahead.
We asked 22 men and women to share the lessons they gained from their greatest heartbreak. Sit down, read through them, and get yourself a drink. You’re going to need it after all these #feels.
Love makes fools of even the smartest of us.
“One thing I learned from my greatest heartbreak is that you never really learn anything from it, because at the end of the day, even though you know what not to do to avoid getting hurt, you still end up doing it because, well, love.” –Alfon, 33
“I learned that, after all my experiences in love, I don’t know shit. It’s a humbling realization at first, how I still fumble in love, but it’s empowering at the same time because I get to learn a lot more about myself.” –Kathy, 36
Sometimes, we deny who we are just to find love.
“I learned that being true to yourself and your personal quests is the best way to find your perfect match. Faking your characteristics to satisfy others’ preferences will only lead to immeasurable disappointment.” –Ericho, 25
We try to make things last even when circumstances prevent it.
“No matter how much you love a person, no matter how long your love has lasted, when distance comes between you, it can change anyone, especially the one who left.” –Jay, 29
We make excuses for staying in a relationship that’s long past its expiration date.
“The time that you’ve invested in a relationship can obscure the only real reason you should be with someone, and that’s love. We forget to step back and take a good look at a relationship, only to find out later on that all that’s left is resentment and dysfunction. That’s when you’ll realize that the ‘Sayang, ang tagal na namin eh’ excuse is no longer justification enough to stay together.” –Ming, 23
We continue to love someone even when they give up on us.
“I’ve learned that your one great love will not always turn out to be your forever. That doesn’t mean you loved him any less; it just means that one of you let go. In my case, he did.” –Rachel, 28
Romance is not the only thing that can crush your soul.
“My greatest heartbreak came with the loss of a baby. On that day, I learned that there are more painful things in life than a man breaking my heart.” –Anj, 29
In any case, you can’t half-ass moving on.
“When you want to move on, you have to cut ties. You have to erase everything, you have to run away.” –Abel, 31
Destructive ways of coping are not the answer, either.
“I almost died of an overdose when my boyfriend left me. What I learned is that nothing or no one is worth more than your life.” –Kitchie, 33
Just take your time to heal, no matter how slowly it takes.
“Never be in a hurry to get rid of the pain, because it will catch up. Recover at your own pace.” –Chuckie, 31
“There are so many kinds of heartbreak in this world, but only a lifetime to experience most of it, and only one heart to endure them all. The lesson? Cry if you have to, but time will come when you have to pick up the pieces and start a new year with a smile and a better perspective.” –Moira, 29
You may be scarred now, but you’re not broken.
“Sa breakup, kinakalyo ang puso. Ibig sabihin lang, may ilalakas pa ‘to. Gagaspang, pero tatapang. Dahil kinalyo lang naman, hindi tuluyang nabiyak.” –Diona, 32
And since you’re not broken, you can get better.
“My biggest heartbreak gave birth to the only person who will never break my heart again: myself.” –Fritz, 37
“What I learned from my greatest heartbreak: I learned that I am enough, even if he didn’t think so.” –Roxy, 29
“Moving on is a choice you have to make for yourself—not because people told you to, but because you know you deserve better; you deserve more than the one who broke your heart.” –Antz, 30
After all, a breakup is not the end of the world.
“I learned that heartbreak is just another day in the grand scheme of things. It hurts like a bitch, but it’ll work out in the long run.” –Bo, 32
“I learned that even when I’m sure I’ll never recover from a breakup, I’ll wake up one morning and know that I was wrong.” –Patty, 30
Who knows? There might be a new love ahead for you.
“I learned that, in my previous relationship, I had just let myself settle for less, settled for what felt like crumbs that fell off the table. I know now that true love can be so much more than what we hope and expect.” –Nice, 29
In the meantime, be thankful for the lessons.
“I realized that never will there be a wasted relationship because every failed one offers some lesson to be learned for your betterment.” –Treb, 34
And for the nights it hurts like hell, there’s always alcohol.
“You’ll get over it eventually. In the meantime, drink up.” –Regeene, 29
Sooner or later, the pain WILL fade.
“The pain ends when it doesn’t matter to you anymore. And it’s the best realization ever, knowing it doesn’t matter anymore.” –Jess, 29
Last but not the least, here’s a practical piece of advice.
“Masakit ang heartbreak, pero huwag madaliing makalimot, lalo na kapag may utang pa siya.” –King, 33