I think we all experience some sort of regret after a break up. It just feels like you spent so much of your life dedicated to one person when you could have been doing other things. You could have been traveling, you could have been spending more time with your friends and family, you could be meeting new people, you could have already met someone who you wouldn’t be breaking up with.
The longer the amount of time, the harder it hurts. When my four year relationship at the age of 20 ended, all I could think was how I had just wasted 1/5 of my life on someone I would never see again. All I could think about is all of the things I missed out on the past four years – all of the time wasted.
But your bad relationship did not waste your time.
It’s so much easier to focus on the sad memories rather than the happy memories – but there were happy memories. And there were lessons folded into the relationship – as well as in the break up.
You don’t have to admit it, but that person changed you. For better or for worse, they taught you more about yourself than you would have ever learned on your own.
And sure – regret is easy and time feels wasted when you knew at one point the relationship wasn’t worth it but kept trying anyway. But you can’t hang on to that regret. Because no matter how old you are, you still have time left.
Learn from the mistakes, grow from the break up, and carry on without the weight of your past relationships. It wasn’t a waste of time, it was a necessary lesson. But the more time you spend thinking about how you wasted all that time, the more time you are actually wasting right now.
Put that relationship in your pocket and continue your life. It’s hard, we’re often blinded by love and hate and sadness, but you can make up for that time. And you can do it better and bolder than you would have without the relationship ever happening.