11 Women On Their Last Breakup Before They Met ‘The One’

Photographed by Paola Vivas
Breakups. We’ve watched the films. Read the literature. Wept ugly tears at the songs. It's not new to us. The days of not being able to stomach food or close your eyes to fall asleep for fear that your mind will replay a highlights reel of everything that went wrong, of feeling like your heart has hardened into such a gnarled and twisted root that it will stay that way forever. Then one day passes, and another. And eventually, lying in bed one day, you realise it’s not the first thing you thought about when you woke up or the last thing you thought about before you fell asleep. A day passes when you don’t even think about them at all.

Time and introspection play a valuable role in helping us move on and heal from a decimated relationship. But knowing this doesn’t make it any easier when we're going through a breakup. 

What can help (as well as an enraged cabal of supportive friends) are the experiences of other people, which have always served as a jumping-off point for our own epiphanies, realisations and healing. We learn so much – about life, love, ourselves – when a relationship ends. And it is comforting to think, There are other people who went through what I’m going through, and they are okay.

Refinery29 spoke to 11 women about the last breakup they had before they met their current partner, what it taught them and what came next.

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