Fact: Being in love is euphoric.
Fact: Being heartbroken sucks.
Fact: You can survive it.
Hi Everyone 🙂
Today, I want to talk about dealing with heartbreak as an adult.
I can vividly recall the moment I felt my heart being ripped right out of my chest. The shit was so painful that I couldn’t breathe, I had to throw up on the side of the road. I mean the sh*t was a mess. I’ll spare you the details, but you know how sh*t goes down with one-sided reconciliations and long-term relationships. It happens.
When I was at my lowest, my brother gave me some of the best advice I’ve ever received as an adult. He said and I TRULY remember this shit:
“WHY ARE YOU CRYING? YOU SHOULD FEEL SORRY FOR THE PERSON HE IS WITH! BELIEVE ME, MAN, YOU DODGED A BULLET!”
My brother is insane has a very unique, yet highly logical perspective so I trust his judgment regarding things like this. So with that in mind, I began to heal. I want to share my process with you all. I gave some background because this is not being proclaimed from a HIGH HORSE somewhere in the clouds. I have been there and I want to share what worked for me. Because, well… it worked.
The following are the steps to healing from heartbreak according to me.
SPOILER ALERT #2: You’re going to have to look within and DO THE WORK.
- MOURN. Fully Immerse Yourself in the Devastation of It All. Temporarily.
I called in all the troops. It was a goddamn emergency. All of my line sisters stopped what they were doing to take me to a bar to drown my sorrows in Jack Daniels and tears. Wums had drill so she was excused. I cried and wallowed in my self-pity just being a full on victim, etc. However, I gave myself that day or two to cry and on the third day I was done. It was time to move on.Key Takeaway: Give yourself a time limit for mourning and hold yourself to it. Be it 3-4 days or perhaps but no more than 10.
- Stop Obsessing Over It.
I really, seriously recommend going cold turkey and detoxing this entity from your life. You have to exorcise this demon situation from your being. The best ways to do it are to remove yourself from social media and remove as much of their presence from your life as you can. You have to allow your heart to heal.
- DIVORCE the Family.
If you’re best friends with his cousin, sister or whomever, you have to put that sh*t on ice for a while. Not that I feel you should shade your ex’s family, but you’re too invested and too emotional for it not to get weird. Worry about your own feelings for now, not theirs.
- Shift the Energy around You.
Tell your friends and family that after a certain point, you need space from the situation and don’t want to remain in this bad head space. For example, when my close friends go through heartbreak, I drop what I am doing and threaten the life of the guy/girl, tell the friend that I support them either way and keep them company for the first few days. I sleep over and wake up when I hear them breathing funny or possibly crying in their sleep. I am ON IT. After a few days, I offer space and I don’t bring it up unless the friend does. I am aware enough to know that no one wants to/nor needs to be wallowing in self-pity for too long. I allow them space to re-enter the world on their own terms. Your friends should be doing the same for you. Be aware of those that keep bringing up things that make you sad or let you know they saw your recent ex on a date during this sensitive period. B*tch how is this helpful?!?!? Misery loves company but that’s a post for another day. And it’s coming.
- GET OFF OF SOCIAL MEDIA.
You know what’s weird? People who are constantly taking shots at their exes and incessantly posting memes, sub-tweeting, and posting all these emotional status updates that are telling waaaaay too much of your personal business. Oftentimes, we overshare on social media because we actually need a diary therapy. If you don’t want to get therapy, simply be your own therapist and get a self-care system going. Remove yourself from the temptation to vent online or to cyber-stalk your ex. Take a breather until you start to heal. The temptation is too great sometimes. Even if you’re a normal human being, it’s difficult to see someone you love move on with their life while you feel so devastated. Allow your heart to repair itself a bit.
- Assess Yourself.
Now that you’re detoxing, take an honest look at YOU. And don’t cheat yourself, be as objective as possible. A key tool for assessing oneself is to learn your love language. The 5 Love Languages Quiz is free of charge and is quite insightful. It will help you to understand the way that you show love and the way you prefer to receive love. Also consider other personality tests such as Myers-Briggs to help you understand your overall personality traits. It won’t solve all of your problems nor answer all of your questions, but it will help you to become more self-aware going forward. You’ll make more informed decisions dating-wise as well.
- Reflect on the Relationship. And be HONEST with yourself.
Were you truly happy in the relationship? Were you LIVING or just kind of existing? Were you all actual friends? Did you always know this was coming? Could you be your real self in this relationship? Was there distance between you and your partner that you ignored? Were there things you just did not want to see? Did you argue a lot? Did you feel heard when you argued? Did your partner feel valued/heard? When discussing your relationship with other people, was the tone positive? Were you GENUINELY happy or chasing the memory of the honeymoon phase? Don’t get me started on that.
Give these and other honest questions some real thought and work from there. Yes, it hurts that it ended but there is always something to learn when things end. This will help a great deal in future relationships.
- Again, to HELL with Social Constructs.
I’m too old to be single again.
But I just want to get married!
Everyone says we looked “perfect” together.
No one else is going to want me.
I need to stay because she has her own money.
Our kids would be soooooo cute.
I’m a 35-year-old guy, people are gonna think something’s wrong with me.
Yes he cheats, but he’s financially stable.
Women should be settled down by MY age.
You see where I’m going with this…
You have to think about yourself and your personal happiness. Let go of self-limiting beliefs like the ones above. They are things we’re socially conditioned to tell ourselves. Learn to respect what others say, but don’t take it as gospel. Divorce yourself from concepts like “you need to hurry up and settle down” and sh*t like that.
Key Takeaway #1: All you need to do is love yourself and share your life with the right person.Key Takeaway #2: More often than not, people who place external pressure on you to make certain decisions based on any motivations outside of “He/She is The One” are oftentimes avoiding something within themselves, therefore placing focus on deficiencies in your life.I’ve observed a few examples of people who settled down just for the sake of having the engagement photos on facebook doing it. But the reality sometimes is that these people hate each other aren’t a good match and do not look forward to spending time together, but the underlying motivation is checking the box to appease people around them or to fit in better.
This is a real phenomenon, although you may not see it openly on facebook timelines. You may hear it after a few drinks.
Think about children that are born into those situations. If you raise a child in an environment where there isn’t any genuine love, this shapes the child’s foundation of the types of relationships they will seek. The cycle continues.
*Hold on…time for a disclaimer. Keep in mind that I write from many different frames and experiences. I am aware that many, many engagement shoots are genuine. If I have ever clicked “like” then I appreciate your images and you can be assured that this isn’t some subliminal shade. Don’t email me.
Okay…let’s jump back into this. This next one is heavy.
9. Understand and BELIEVE That This Does Not Define You.
If you’ve read any of my previous posts, I talk a lot about how you control the narrative of your own life. And I mean that. Sometimes, f*cked up things happen. Sometimes people do sh*tty and hurtful things for no conceivable reason. Those things say more about them than you btw.
More often than not, relationships fail because of a couple’s failure to communicate honestly and there’s a lot of facework on at least one person’s part.
So what is facework? Oh you’re gonna love this. “Facework” is collectively defined as strategic social movements where an individual attempts to preserve their social dignity.
An example of this would be a person who refuses to apologize for hurting their partner. If you make a joke in poor taste and it hurts your partner’s feelings, the expectation would be to apologize. Facework would be responding with “You’re being too sensitive, it wasn’t that serious.” Or “ Sorry you can’t take a joke.” Guilty.
Another example of facework that is more common amongst the f*ckboy community is “Oh we broke up because she’s crazy.” This is a RED FLAG for facework but we will get into that in another post tentatively titled “F*ckboy Navigation.” Usually, when a person resorts to “oh she/he’s crazy” they’re also communicating that they aren’t ready to face what they may have done to hurt the person or the fact that the person may have even rejected them.
I plan to unpack this further in a future post, but if you’d like to know more about facework and face-saving behaviors, you can find that info here and here.
Kicking this into second gear, now…
I want to make sure you understand that just because someone has hurt you or caught you off guard, it’s almost NEVER for some superficial reason like you’re not attractive enough or not in shape enough or tuition poor like I am. It’s often times differences in character, core values, and love languages. It takes courage to be in a relationship because you have to have a lot of uncomfortable conversations. It takes courage to tell someone how you prefer to be pleased, how you like your food cooked, or that you really hate talking in the morning.
Oftentimes, we look outside the relationship to fill these voids because we lack the courage or self-awareness to deal with the intangibles and have the uncomfortable conversations.
Key Takeaway: Stop obsessing over whether or not the next person is better than you. Chances are, it wasn’t even about that.
Key Takeaway #2: Stepping outside of the relationship reflects a lack of courage to deal with difficult decisions/issues more than some superficial deficiency within you.
10. Remove the Victim Badge.
If a person hurts you, that is on them. All you can do is be self-aware and carry that awareness into the next relationship. Carry the awareness, not the victim badge. The next person you meet shouldn’t immediately walk into the burden responsibility of picking up the pieces someone else broke, nor stepping in as a knight in shining armor. They should have a clean slate and not necessarily have to prove that they aren’t as bad as your last partner. This is important because you are establishing roles and balance in the new situation and who wants to be the wounded puppy who needs saving? It isn’t cute forever, believe me. Your new partner doesn’t want to hear that sh*t over and over and your friends will get tired of it too.
Key Takeaway: You only need to give “Woe is me” for your mourning period. From there, be strong. Be healed BEFORE you drag someone else into this.
I know, I know. What is there to be grateful for when you’re in so much pain? BUT, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for. When painful relationships end, we grow a great deal. I mean, yes, you can be grateful for the Juicy Couture velour suits material things you may have received, but also the lessons. You learn so much more about yourself if you’re open to it. In the relationship I referenced earlier, I learned so much about music, fashion and world travel-I could never pretend I’d know so much about those things without the years I spent in that relationship. Hell, he introduced me to wine!
Back to you…You’re already demonstrating strength and resiliency by taking the steps to apply the items on this list. You are realizing this setback has not killed you. That’s something to be proud of. You now know so many more things about yourself and what you require from love if you’ve applied the previous steps.
12. Remember that YOU ARE STRETCHING.
STRETCHING SUCKS but you will emerge a butterfly…or a Phoenix…or Sasha Fierce or whatever the hell you’re into.
13. LOVE YOURSELF.
No one will love you like you. No one will want to love you if you do not love yourself. People can tell.
It is important to master this before jumping back out there. If you can’t be alone with yourself, why would anyone else want to be? It repels decent people and attracts entities that will exploit you. Unfortunately, human nature shows us that some people are simply assholes don’t have your best interest at heart. Protect yourself.
Key Takeaway: You know what’s more intriguing than a woman who loves herself and enjoys, but doesn’t need anyone else? Bottomless mimosas NOTHING.
Once you start dating again, maintain that sense of self. Don’t go into full immersion with the new person. I mean, enjoy it, but maintain that “me time” and self-care.
14. Go Forth and Conquer!
Now that you’ve done the work, share your new self with the world. Broaden your circle. Meet new people. Get a new hobby. Get a new haircut. Go on vacation alone. Pick up a wine habit.
I know this was long, but I hope that at least one person can find it helpful. Is there anything else I should add? How do you handle breakups?