You always remember the your first breakup. Maybe it was a week-long middle school romance that ended via email and sent you into a "Nothing Compares 2 U"-soundtracked depression. Or it could have been in college, when the guy you thought you'd spend the rest of your life with had the gall to dump you over spring break so he could "get the most" out of his trip to Europe. (Read: Have sex with other women.)
It's a blip on your radar today, but it shook your world back then. If only you could go back and tell your younger, heartbroken self that life would get better, right? Earlier this week, the ladies over on Reddit's Ask Women board took that thought and ran with it, sharing the one piece of advice they wish they could pass on to their younger selves.
See what they had to say below, then head to the comments and share with us the pep talk you'd give your younger, shaken-up self if only teleportation were possible. (Get on that already, science.)
1. Your worth isn't dependent on one guy's opinion. "This [breakup] doesn't mean you're not desirable. It means you're not compatible with this one person. Other people will want you and love you."
2. Process the pain. "Allow yourself to feel the pain. Don't shut down. It gets better over time. Don't do anything stupid to try to mask your heartache -- it will only make it worse and you'll dwell on him for years to come. There will be other loves and they'll hurt more or less."
3. Don't take it personally. "The way he treats you says very little about you, and quite a bit about how he views himself."
4. You've got to eat, but try to eat healthy. "Lonely does not equal hungry. Salty and sweet snacks don't make a meal. Don't eat to stuff your pain, it isn't worth it."
5. Don't let this shake your faith in humanity."Don't let this prevent you from trusting someone again, or move you to believe that it's only a matter of time before people abandon you."
6. You're out of his league. Seriously. "He's really, really, so far below what you deserve there are no words to describe it. You can and will do so much better and will be so much happier than you could imagine. Everything is going to get so much better. There's an amazing guy and an amazing life waiting for you."
7. He was your boyfriend, not a project. "It's not your responsibility to fix him. It's not your responsibility to house him or feed him or clothe him. He should be able to do these things for himself, after all you learned how to do it by now, why can't he? It's time to work on yourself and go back to school. You are not a martyr, and you don't know better than everyone else. Stop feeling so high and mighty and stop taking pleasure in feeling needed, but not wanted."
8. Sometimes, a hug and some real talk is all you need. "To my 11-year-old self: Just a hug. I don't think there's much you can say to give a brokenhearted 11-year-old perspective. To my 23-year-old self: When someone shows you who they are, believe them. You are wasting your time and your compassion, and you are letting yourself be lowered to his level."
9. Forgive your ex for your own good. "You have to learn to forgive them, and yourself. It's easy to hate the exes, but hating them will only lead to hating yourself for failing to see the signs, for slipping, and for letting yourself be so wounded. Life is too short to hate anyone who's no longer in our lives. Try to see the good in everyone you've known, even the people who hurt you. Understand them for who they really are, stripped from your past rosy visions, and finally forgive them for their flaws."
10. Chin up, girl, you have this in your future. "Ten years from now, you'll meet a ridiculously handsome Aussie. He is intelligent, loyal, and absolutely hilarious. He will love you to bits. So, you know, you got that to look forward to. P.S.: The sex is OUT. OF. THIS. WORLD. Love, Future Self."