July 1, 2019

Let’s face it: Breakups suck. They’re messy and painful and sad, no matter how necessary or inevitable.

The only way out is through, and the only way through is by grieving what was lost and preparing for what comes next.

Below, 24 quotes from writers, poets, thinkers, and one brilliant movie dad to help you on your way forward.


1. “You cannot convince people to love you. This is an absolute rule. No one will ever give you love because you want him or her to give it. Real love moves freely in both directions. Don’t waste your time on anything else.”

Cheryl Strayed


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2. “The moving finger writes, and having written moves on. Nor all thy piety nor all thy wit, can cancel half a line of it.”

– Omar Khayyam


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3. “What’s that line from T.S. Eliot? To arrive at the place where you started, but to know it for the first time. I’m able to write about a breakup from a different place. Same brokenness. Same rock-bottom. But a little more informed, now I’m older. Thank God for growing up.”

Alanis Morrisette


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4. “This is a good sign, having a broken heart. It means we have tried for something."

Elizabeth Gilbert


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5. “Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart do not know how to laugh either.”

– Golda Meir


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6. “Hearts live by being wounded.”

– Oscar Wilde


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7. “What’s broken is broken—and I’d rather remember it as it was than mend it and see the broken places as long as I lived.”

– Margaret Mitchell


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8. “I love to shop after a bad relationship. I don’t know. I buy a new outfit and it makes me feel better. It just does. Sometimes I see a really great outfit, I’ll break up with someone on purpose.”

– Rita Rudner


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9. “One makes mistakes; that is life. But it is never a mistake to have loved.”

– Romain Rolland


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10. “What we wait around a lifetime for with one person, we can find in a moment with someone else.”

Stephanie Klein


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11. “You are not lost. You are here. Stop abandoning yourself. Stop repeating this myth about love and success that will land in your lap or evade you forever. Build a humble, flawed life from the rubble, and cherish that. There is nothing more glorious on the face of the earth than someone who refuses to give up, who refuses to give in to their most self-hating, discouraged, disillusioned self, and instead learns, slowly and painfully, how to relish the feeling of building a hut in middle of the suffocating dust.”

Heather Havrilesky


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12. “The dreams break into a million tiny pieces. The dream dies. Which leaves you with a choice: you can settle for reality, or you can go off, like a fool, and dream another dream.”

– Nora Ephron


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13. “Most importantly, you must always have faith in yourself.”

—Elle Woods, Legally Blonde


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14. "Real love moves freely in both directions. Don't waste your time on anything else."

Cheryl Strayed


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15. "He is very dreamy, but he is not the sun. You are."

—Christina Yang, Grey's Anatomy


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16. “You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.”

— James Baldwin


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17. “I'm choosing happiness over suffering, I know I am. I'm making space for the unknown future to fill up my life with yet-to-come surprises.”

Elizabeth Gilbert


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18. "In your place, if there is pain, nurse it, and if there is a flame, don't snuff it out, don't be brutal with it. We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should that we go bankrupt by the age of thirty and have less to offer each time we start with someone new. But to feel nothing so as not to feel anything—what a waste!”

— Professor Perlman, Call Me By Your Name


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19. “Everyone’s allowed to be in love with the wrong person at some point. In fact, it’s a mistake not to be.”

Harriet Evans


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20. “If you have to force it, it’s not for you. Love should come with ease, freedom and space to expand.”

Alex Elle


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21. “You don’t need those people. By stepping aside, they’ve done you a favor. Because what you’ve got left after the fools have departed are the old souls and the true hearts. Those are the über cool sparkle rocket mind-blowers we’re after. Those are the people worthy of your love.

Cheryl Strayed


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22. “He loved me. He loved me, but he doesn’t love me anymore, and it’s not the end of the world.

Jennifer Weiner


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23. “Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.”

Anne Lamott


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24. "You know, a heart can be broken, but it keeps on beating, just the same."

― Fannie Flagg, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe


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Read next: 13 Powerful Quotes From Black Women About Self-Love

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