Getting Over A Broken Relationship: Quotes To Help You Move On

By: Corrina Horne

Updated March 17, 2020

Medically Reviewed By: Tanya Harell

In adulthood, broken relationships often abound. While youth is usually the source of exciting highs and devastating lows in relationships, adulthood is often when heartbreak grows more intense. In youth, heartbreak often mends in a matter of weeks or months, before your heart can bounce back and repair itself, ready for a new love, but in adulthood, the hurt caused by a broken relationship can linger, and recovery and moving on can feel impossible-or, at the very least, unattainable. Despite the difficulty of moving on and moving forward the following heartbreak, there are footsteps you can walk in to help navigate the pain, and quotes to guide you along the way.


What Is a Broken Relationship?

A broken relationship is any relationship that is no longer functioning, or that has run its course due to pain, heartbreak, or dysfunction. A broken relationship may come on the heels of both of you realizing that you don't work anymore, or it can be more one-sided at its demise, leaving you reeling. Broken relationships can be abrupt and overwhelming, or they can come after a long, slow burn of decline and decay. In any case, though, a broken relationship is exactly what its moniker suggests: a relationship that is no longer viable, that has broken, fractured, or split.

Broken relationships can be bounced back from, but in many cases, the break is permanent. From the ashes or pieces of a broken relationship, a new relationship can form, or the ashes might be neatly tucked away and disposed of. In either case, though, there requires some amount of healing, renewal, and growth, all of which require space, time, effort, and reflection.

How Do Relationships Break?

Relationships can break in a multitude of ways, many of the reasons seem innocuous at first. Relationships can break from neglect, infidelity, and incompatibility. Although these are not the only ways to break a relationship, they are among the most common. Relationships are difficult, multifaceted, and unique, and no two break in the same way or for the same reason. Nevertheless, there are often trends in broken relationships-trends that can be evaluated, and learned from, to facilitate healing and refrain from repeating the same mistakes.

Neglect is a common way that relationships break. Neglect came come in the form of failed communication, growing apart, not carving out time for one another, prioritizing other relationships, and ignoring warning signs. Neglect often comes on slowly and usually isn't recognized for what it is until the damage is done. Common phrases in neglect include, "It isn't too bad." "We're just busy." "It'll blow over soon." "I'm just tired." Although each of these might be valid observations, they can also signal dissociation from your relationship or significant other and can pave the way for a relationship to peter out.

Infidelity is another common way that relationships break. Infidelity destroys trust in a relationship, which can effectively destroy the intimacy, closeness, and connection that a couple has built up. The effects of infidelity can certainly be worked through and overcome, but it is far more common for couples who have gone through infidelity to split and cut their losses ultimately. Of all of the ways to break a relationship, this is usually the swiftest and definitive.

Relationship incompatibility can also break relationships because compatibility is an important part of moving a relationship forward. If two partners have dramatically different ideas on family, for instance, a healthy relationship is unlikely; after all, if one partner wants children, and the other does not, is there an acceptable or appropriate compromise? Incompatibility issues often build up over time before they are recognized, and can even break a relationship after several years-or decades-of marriage have already passed.

Can Broken Relationships Be Mended?

Broken relationships can be mended in some cases, and cannot be fixed in others. Much of this is dependent upon the reason for the break, and the willingness of both partners to do the work required to heal. Repairing a broken relationship often requires plenty of work, sacrifice, and uncomfortable feelings and conversations, and for some, the risk and work might be unattractive enough to abandon the relationship instead of trying to repair it.


Broken relationships often require not only the hard work of the people in the relationship but also the work and intervention of a third party. This third party can be a mediator, who works to help the two of you understand where your relationship went south and how the two of you can learn to coexist, or it may be a relationship counselor, who is able to help the two of you improve your communication habits and rediscover why you got together in the first place. Relationships rarely mend on their own, however, and usually some form of intentional, informed practice is involved.

Quotes To Help You Move On

Although a simple quote cannot effectively cure you of a broken heart, there is some comfort in knowing that you are not the only one to have experienced pain and heartbreak. Seeing a situation through the eyes of someone else can offer you comfort in the form of commiseration, but it can also offer you comfort in the form of hope: someone else has been through heartbreak and has come through it relatively unscathed, and ready and willing to brave the rocky terrain of love once again.

Relationship Neglect

In "A Survival Guide for Landlocked Mermaids," Margot Datz wrote, "To be captured as a trophy and then have our emotions neglected is tragic. We might as well be stuffed and mounted on a wall!"

Datz's words ring true for anyone who has perpetrated or been on the receiving end of relationship neglect. Being in a relationship is hard work, and doing the hard work of maintaining that relationship, only to find your work unappreciated and undervalued, is painful and difficult. Being in an emotionless, neglectful partnership is an awful experience, and is one of the most effective and hurtful ways to experience a broken relationship. This type of neglect is not acceptable to anyone in a relationship and is not something to tolerate or bear.

Infidelity In Relationships

"It has always been my opinion," Bea said musingly, "that there can be worse kinds of infidelity than the merely sexual. I'm a simple woman with a very simple outlook on life. I've always found that things work out best if you keep to certain simple rules. Right down the line. And one of the first rules for a successful marriage is loyalty to your partner. Total loyalty." -Emma Darcy


As this quote suggests, expecting loyalty in a relationship is not extravagant, unusual, or unreasonable. It is one of the most basic expectations within a relationship, and one that even the simplest of people seeks and hopes for. If infidelity of any kind has torn your relationship asunder, cling to this knowledge: fidelity is a legitimate expectation. Loyalty is a reasonable request. Wanting your partner to remain faithful is healthy and normal. Expecting anything less is outside the realm of reason, and discounts your value.

Relationship Incompatibility

In "Mend My Broken Heart," Jocelyn Soriano writes, "To be rejected by someone doesn't mean you should also reject yourself, or that you should think of yourself as a lesser person. It doesn't mean that nobody will ever love you anymore. Remember that only one person has rejected you at the moment, and it only hurts so much because to you, that person's opinion symbolized the opinion of the whole world, of God."

The truth of Soriano's words lies in her ability to ground herself in realism: the loss of a relationship is likely an indicator of incompatibility, rather than a fatal flaw that only you possess, and its weight is substantial because of your investment in the relationship, not because it legitimately demonstrates that you are unlovable. Rejection and heartbreak feel unbearable at the moment-and many moments following the initial break-but they are not things you cannot recover from. Instead, the loss of a relationship due to incompatibility is an invitation to get to know yourself better, including your wants, your needs, and the traits and behaviors you consider non-negotiable, both for yourself and your partner.

Getting Over A Broken Relationship

Mending a broken heart is often a long-standing appointment with inner work and self-care, and often involves the intervention and treatment of mental health professional. Far from indicating weakness or something shameful, needing the help of a therapist indicates that you are taking your heartbreak seriously, and are working toward healing not only your broken heart, but also healing any habits, patterns, or traumas that could be contributing to unhealthy relationships, or poor relationship habits.


Getting over a broken relationship is not a simple matter, nor a quick one: depending on the length and depth of the relationship that has been lost, healing can take months or even years. Once the healing journey has begun, though, your heart can certainly mend, and you can learn lessons and grow in a way that will benefit future relationships-and even keep further heartbreak at bay. Mending a broken heart is never an easy task, but it is (thankfully) a fruitful one, with benefits that can span just as great a length of time as the pain a broken heart incurs.

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