So you’ve been hurt in a relationship? It’s never fun. It can be hard. It can seem as if the world is falling on top of you. But for many, heartbreak is the first step in a better, more meaningful life. It’s the perfect time to reflect on what you really want in life, in love, and for your future. Those who embrace the change are the ones who come out better on the other side.

Remember these 24 things even though you’ve been hurt in a relationship.

1. Everyone is different. Don’t let one bad experience ruin your next experience.

2. Time heals all wounds. You have the ability to move on and love it. It’s totally within your control.

3. Only you control your heart. Never forget that only you let yourself fall in love.

4. Loving yourself is the first step to loving someone else. Make sure you take time to focus on yourself and finding what you love.

5. Finding love is easy. If you’re patient.

6. They say love can’t be rushed. And they are correct.

7. Remember, love blossoms. Just like a flower, you must plant love, water love, and let love bloom.

8. It’s hard to be sad while riding a jet ski. When things seem the worst, take a vacation or do things you love.

9. There is no good without the bad. Seeing how a bad relationship works will make a great one even more fulfilling.

10. You are special. Never forget. You have the ability to move on and love again.

11. Being single is acceptable. And even fun!

12. Don’t let a relationships define you. Never lose that thing that makes you special.

13. The rest of your life is a long time. There’s always time to heal and move on.

14. Patience is a virtue. Good things come to those who wait. But also to those who act when the opportunity arises.

15. You can only love others as much as you love yourself. Learn to love yourself.

16. Feel better about yourself and you’ll move on faster. Spend time working out and improving yourself.

17. You have the rest of your life ahead of you, not behind you. Don’t spend time looking back. Keep moving ahead.

18. Stay open to love. It’s hard opening up after love has gone bad. But always keep an open mind.

19. Practice makes perfect. Go on dates. Meet new people. You can have fun without any commitment.

20. Lower your expectations. But not your standards. When meeting new people, just hope for a nice time. Don’t expect fireworks. But don’t settle either.

21. Move slow. Don’t fall in love fast. Let it build.

22. Know the person before loving the person. Make sure there’s more to love than a pretty face or a funny personality.

23. Don’t fall in love with the idea of falling in love. This isn’t the movies. Have fun. Find someone you like. Then decide if you want to spend the rest of your life with them.

24. Remember, you’re only focusing on the good times. Never forget the reasons you were hurt. Most breakups are for good reason.

Whether you’re just out of a relationship in which you were hurt or it’s been many years and the pain still hasn’t worn off, remember that pain always fades. But also remember that it’s a vehicle to become better, to learn from your mistakes, and to figure out exactly what you want.

I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.

– From Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem In Memoriam:27, 1850

That poem, written 164 years ago, still rings true today. Everyone has loved. Most have lost. Nearly everyone has been hurt. Life moves on. Will it be better? It’s up to you. Take the time to remember these things and to remember Tennyson’s words.

Featured photo credit: Irene Chaparro via Photopin.com

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