How to Leverage a Painful Breakup Into Something Life-Changing

Ditching sadness for self-discovery and opportunity

Liv Mello
P.S. I Love You
Published in
5 min readFeb 21, 2021


Photo by Lukas Rodriguez from Pexels

Breaking up sucks, whether you’ve dumped or been dumped. A swell of insecurity and lack of direction inevitably follows. Painful breakups can spiral us into a dark place where, in severe cases, the loss is all-consuming. You can’t focus on anything but heartache.

Last year, a friend of mine endured a nasty breakup. Her boyfriend of nine months dumped her over a text message just hours before changing his Facebook relationship status to dating somebody else. We spent weeks carefully navigating her stages of grief. When I finally thought we were making progress, I reminded her that the end of a relationship “isn’t the end of the world.”

This was the last thing she wanted to hear.

“Just because you’ve never experienced heartache before doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist,” she said. “I’m sorry we can’t all be emotionless like you.”

Ironically, this hurt to hear, but I understood where she was coming from. I didn’t mean to minimize her situation. Still, a small part of me felt she was wasting her time being sad. Her ex was a jerk. She deserved better. How couldn’t she see that?

We lost touch for months until she finally called to catch up. She sounded happier than ever. She had moved into a studio apartment, was starting her own clothing brand, and was matching daily on Tinder.

“And what about Peter Pain?” I always called him.

“Peter Pain who?” she laughed. “That breakup was the best thing that ever happened to me. You were right, but I’m only saying that once.”

Once was enough. My friend found a way to leverage her messy breakup into something life-changing, and so can you.

Reconnect with loved ones to rebuild or strengthen lasting relationships

My friend’s mother didn’t like Peter Pain either. She found him arrogant and unsociable. This undoubtedly put a wedge in their relationship. My friend couldn’t be honest about the relationship without her mother judging Peter. “Then don’t give me more reasons to judge him,” her mother always said.



Liv Mello
P.S. I Love You

Freelancing advice and figuring out how to be happy. Check out my work at