Love, Relationships

What Breaking Someone’s Heart Really Teaches You – Deborah Tan

Lots of articles and blogs talk about moving on from a breakup … from the perspective of the person who got dumped. But Deborah Tan wants you to know that it’s not easy for the person doing the breaking up either.

While many articles have been written about broken hearts, not many have been composed about breaking them.

It is understandable. First, people often assume the one who got dumped is the one who would enjoy the reward of insights and perspective (“Never prioritise anyone  who only treats you as an option”). Second, no one wants to be thought of as a narcissist bragging about leaving behind a trail of broken hearts.

breakup2But there are lessons to be learnt from being the one who does the dumping.

How So?
Let me just clarify here that I’m not talking about breaking up with someone because you have finally woken up to the fact that he’s a jerk. I’m also not talking about the kind of breakups where the guy is too chicken to do it and has left several hints for you to do so.

I’m talking about breaking up with a person who has done nothing wrong, who still loves you.

And, because you are the “cruel” one, people often assume you have moved on and would not be concerning yourself with further emotional trials and tribulations.

This is where they are wrong.

The 5 Things Breaking Someone’s Heart Teaches You

1. You are responsible for your own happiness so you get to choose who you want to work on this project with
You must have a good reason for breaking up, otherwise why would you risk loneliness and the ensuing hostility to walk out on someone who loves you more than anything else in the world? Often, that reason is YOU. It could be that you have outgrown the relationship, it could be that you want something else. You break up so that you can go find what makes you happy.

2. “Soulmate” is not a pre-existing condition; it has to be earned
In my 20s, I often wondered where my soulmate is, the one person who would “complete” me. It was the cause of a lot of angst. There is no ONE person made just for you. A healthy happy relationship has to be built and your so-called soulmate is just the person most willing to work on it with you.

3. It takes more resolve than you can ever imagined.
Many of us entertain the idea of a breakup long before we actually work up the courage to do it. And even then, some of us have to make several attempts before we succeed.

When the breaking up is in process, we have another set of problems to face. First, we have to steel our nerves and not waver in our decision no matter how teary the other party gets. Second, we need to silence the voice inside our head that is telling us that we are doing the wrong thing. Third, we have to make peace with ourselves and decide that come what may, we are never going to regret this decision.

4. You are not going to be ready to throw yourself into the Scene right away
While magazines talk effortlessly about rebounds and casual one-night stands like they are as readily available as toothpaste in supermarkets, the truth is, if you are coming out of a long-term loving relationship, you’ll find it hard to get back into the scene. Life is not Sex & The City and the bars here are not filled with Taylor Kinney lookalikes waiting to chat you up. But you know what? You make the bed, you lie in it until it spits you out and tells you to go put yourself out there.

5.  You’ll also grieve the end of the relationship
Most people think the person who walks away is probably not going to feel anything. How wrong. You’ll grieve the end of a relationship that you have invested time and emotions into. The worst part of it? You have to deal with the guilt that comes with breaking someone’s heart. You have to deal with the accusations and with friends and family jumping to conclusions about you. It will feel like no one really understands that all you want is to be happy and that in order to be kind to yourself and your ex, you have to be cruel.


About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She likes liquid eyeliners, bright red lipsticks, tattoos, rock & roll, Mad Men, and Suits. She wants you to know that one of the greatest pains she’s ever felt was to see the person who loved her walk away after she broke up with him. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.

[If you like this story, you’ll love]

1. [Love In Lines] The Truth About Love

2. [Love In Lines] 5 Lessons We Can Learn From Classic Love Songs

3. [Guest Star] How To Move On


2 thoughts on “What Breaking Someone’s Heart Really Teaches You – Deborah Tan

  1. He broke up with me for a reason and that’s because he wanted to be successful in life so that he could give the best to the one he loved. As we are thousands of miles apart, I know he’ll feel lonely at times and need someone there, but I can’t be there for him through tough times and that’s my only regret. I know it pains him too. And yes, this article is well written. Wonder if he’s really going through all these now..thanks for the insights. 🙂


    • Hi Emily, I’m sorry to hear about your breakup. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us here! I hope you will find love again soon! All the best,



Comments are closed.