Humans typically don’t take rejection well, so it is no surprise most of us really don’t handle breakups with decorum. For the most part there is tears, resentment and the ridiculous childish backlash of blocking your ex on any and all social media. Having been on the receiving and delivering end of breakups, I’ve had the spectrum of ridiculousness both instigated by myself and my former paramours.

If there is something that I have learnt from all that drama it is this: Breakups usually happen for a good reason and they are the best time to self-reflect. Rather than look towards the failure of the ex who is no longer in your life, it is far more beneficial to understand where you went wrong and try and work on being better than you were.

As I mentioned I’ve experienced a few and it took me awhile to realise the importance of that self-reflection. For me, it was in a hotel room in Singapore when I was doing a visa run. I was sitting staring at the wall (I vaguely remember there being a picture of a sunset) and thinking that considering my run of relationships was rather rocky, would I ever really be in love?

Thinking back on all the relationships I previously had, I acknowledged where I had gone wrong. Being married at a really young age and rather immature, I was never the best husband and throughout other relationships I’d missed the point in trying to connect with someone I was truly compatible with. I somewhat unfairly filled that void in my personal life with people that were available at the time rather than waiting for the right person. That was unfair on the people I dated, but having no experience with a deeper connection I erroneously thought that was all there was to relationships. Unfortunate.

Being in those situations, I met people that had their own problems and were looking for a solution through finding someone that was willing to accept them and thought I may have been that person. This is no one’s fault in particular, it is symptomatic of how most of us go through relationships. We accept something that is just ‘good enough’, we are unwilling to be completely honest when it is not meeting our expectations and we eventually feel obligated to continue the relationship due to the time we have been together, rather than being brave enough to move on.

To all of you that have had a hard time going through a breakup, I suggest this. Sit down, consider who you are and where you went wrong during your relationship. Yes, breaking up sucks. Feelings are hurt and sometimes you’ll end up in that deep hole of feeling inadequate, particularly if you were on the receiving end of the situation. The thing is, there is no point in allocating blame it makes literally no difference who did what. The situation remains and you have to come out of it stronger.

Self-reflection can also hurt, because at times there are definitely things we can do for personal development and self-improvement. No one is perfect and people make mistakes. Don’t be a fucking idiot and acknowledge what you did wrong (and right! Don’t just beat yourself up) and commit to making improvements.

Once you have ended a relationship, there is no point wallowing in any regret, negative feelings or anger because it quite literally will not help you in any way whatsoever. Negativity breeds negativity. Nothing positive ever came out of being negative towards anyone or anything, so why bother? I was there more than once and it was the worst time of my life, until I realised I was capable of deciding how I reacted to the situation I felt myself in.

Most people have a hard time breaking free of that cycle. We continually replace the void left by the breakup with something new, without consolidating and realising what is good for us. I’ve done it, plenty of friends of mine have done it, it’s nothing new. So don’t let that cycle define you. Find what you really need to make you sustainably happy.