What Ariana Grande Got Right With “Thank U, Next”
I haven’t heard a breakup song like this one in a long time. Most tunes focus on reasons to hate the one who broke your heart; “Thank U, Next” is groundbreaking because it flips that narrative on its head. The logic is simple. If your heart gets broken, it’s painful. When you experience pain, you grow and learn to be more patient with yourself. That patience leads to more self-acceptance. Accepting yourself leads to maturity and confidence. And all of a sudden, a better you has emerged from your heartbreak. That’s why Ariana sings: “I turned out amazing.” And I think being grateful for past relationships is a huge part of reckoning with them.
But there’s another reason why this song resonates so much with listeners, and it isn’t the “thank you” part. Ariana argues that you can be grateful while moving on. In so many cases, the promise of something new is the catalyst that allows us to push through heartbreak. And let’s be real here: Being the first one back on your feet (or posting with your new boo on Instagram) feels like victory over someone who might have wronged you. The next part is much more pleasant than the thank you part.
But take it from a girl who’s been guilty of living in a world of “Next, Thank U” when it comes to relationships. When you move on before you take stock, you rob yourself of two things. One, you don’t give yourself a chance to heal. One of the most important parts of healing is to lean into the pain of losing someone so you can feel grateful for a relationship that was worth grieving. And two, you miss a chance to grow. You learn a lot about yourself when things don’t go your way. You also learn about the support system you have outside your ex. If you always called your boo after you had a bad day at work, now, you might call your mom or your best friend. Not only will you grow as a result of a breakup, but your other relationships will also have the chance to flourish.
So do it in the order Ariana sang it, and mean it when you say “Thank U, Next.” You’ll grow from the experience. And your new boo will thank you too.
How do you handle breakups? Let us know @BritandCo!
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