For me one of the hardest things in life to witness or experience is a broken heart, in-fact I’d say it’s the worst pain there is. Sure there is discomfort when a needle breaks the skin, when bones crush or migraines blur vision and cloud perception, but nothing compares to a broken heart.
A broken heart can bring a father to his knees in tears over a bed of dirt, it can convince a child to coil their last breath into a rope of insecurities (this hyperlink is a good video about bullying, it’s off the main focus of this post but wanted to share), and it can make any sane person lose their mind. I know what I am writing reads morbidly but it’s where a broken heart can take you, and everyone has or will experience it. The worst thing about a broken heart is the ache can linger for a long time when you’re not strong enough to move past it.
I’ve been hearing a lot of depressing relationship stories lately (mainly romantic… some family related) and it makes me sad. If I could I would hold the pain of others to see them smile. I know it hasn’t been two weeks but I felt it necessary to write to those feeling alone because while every situation is different, you’re never alone when it comes to feeling heartbreak.
I can’t mend a heart, but I can share some thought to better prepare for the next relationship. I’m no expert, and I can only write about what makes sense to me. This post is going to focus on what I believe when it comes to relationships in the romantics.
My romantic heartbreak—Last year I experienced my first real heartbreak and it impacted my life tremendously as I learned a lot about myself. Unfortunately, for my ex and me it ended terribly, we both were hurt and we each contributed to mistakes. I’m not sharing the dirty details. I remember my mom calling me because she was worried that I couldn’t handle heartbreak. She told me I was too happy and loving of a person, she implied this worry over me giving up on life or something (silly moms and their wild thoughts about their baby). I remember my mom talking to me on the phone and telling me to take a cold shower, and I never asked her why she told me that but I assume in her mind that the iciness and the numb shock of the cold water would ironically awaken the part of heart that died in the moment. A broken heart hurts yes, but those who know me well know that I HATE cold water.
My approach to mending— When the terrible thoughts crept in, I decided to creep back on them. By terrible thoughts I am referring to the insecurities, doubts, anger, confusion, and that lost feeling…the total train wreck package of a poor ending to a relationship. I wholeheartedly believe that happiness is a choice and like anything in life it takes work. So after the break up I knew it was going to be drudgery (Dun Dun Dun! I can make fun of myself for the dramatics because I’ve worked passed it).
When I felt like staying in and shutting out the world, I did the opposite. An isolated mind is dangerous, I made myself socialize and interact. When I was not hungry I tried to make myself eat, that was a bit more of a challenge than making myself go out, but eventually I got my appetite back. I replaced the energy that was so consumed in my relationship and redirected it towards other things, the important things, like school, work, partying (haha, errr socializing), family and friends. To be honest had I not been in the middle of a school semester during our breakup I might have caved up and had a pity party for myself, self-indulged in ice cream, dark chocolate, and emo music… possibly cried over romantic comedy re-runs, desperately wishing for the unrealistic Hollywood fairytale come true (j/k, f*cking female logic, not my style). But I knew the importance of keeping sane and passing my classes, so I ruled all those options out.
A quick summarization of the things that saved me: my best friend and an Easy Bake Oven (yes, that did happen), family, road tripping away for a weekend, meeting Rob Schnider (pics or it didn’t happen), writing, singing oh so loud to strangers in my car (I get this weird sense of bravery in motorized vehicles, don’t ask me why), poetry, talking to strangers, going to conferences, and just volunteering all my time to random things so that I would not have time to feel sorry for myself. And in dealing with all the bull sh*t feelings, I accomplished a lot!
Okay so I did have a moment of weakness after the initial break up and gave that final push to try to salvage the shipwreck, which was dumb. Once you’ve passed a certain threshold in a relationship, which we had, there is no coming back, and I just wasn’t ready to believe it. Luckily my ex didn’t allow for us to “talk” about it and while that hurt it was the best decision for both of us, so kudos to him, I guess. Anyway after analyzing my heartbreak and past relationships I know exactly what I want and seek in a significant other, which has made dating a great experience. I’ve rebuilt myself worth and I know what I have to offer, unfortunately along the way I’ve left a few unintentional heartbreaks but I’m just not ready for a relationship because at the moment I’m on an adventure, self discovery and junk.
5 truths about relationships that I believe should be understood to better prepare for future romantic pursuits:
1) People that want to be in your life, let you know they want to be in your life—If you are not getting the attention you want, nine times out of ten, it is because the person is not interested. It really is that simple, sucks, but it is the truth. So stop crying over a person not giving you attention, they are helping you by ruling themselves out. Why on earth would you belittle your worth for a person that doesn’t appreciate you?
Something I’ve learned while dating is that someone who likes you and cares about you, will still like you and care about you even if you have to push them away for whatever reason. I dated a guy and broke his heart (unintentionally) because I knew being in a committed relationship was bad timing and not the right moment for me, while I really liked him, I had a lot of personal things to work on. After time apart he came back into my life as a friend because… well I’m guessing if he couldn’t have me romantically he still enjoyed me as a friend and individual (this is what I hope).
2) Communication is the knot of a relationship—I feel like all failing relationships source to poor communication. When two individuals do not understand each other, a vicious cycle of confusion and misunderstandings happen which allows for no resolution to problems. Dialogue is everything.
There are a million things that contribute to failure in communication: being afraid to hurt feelings, feeling embarrassed about personal thoughts, avoiding argument, stubbornness… yadda yadda blah. You should be able to feel comfortable enough to tell your significant other anything.
I’m definitely one to have been guilty in a relationship to not speak my mind because of fear. I know in a previous relationship I had difficulty opening up because everything had to have a logical explanation and I feel like not everything about me is logical, some things are unexplainable and when I shared my wild thoughts my boyfriend put me down. I can’t really trust a person to put me down so I shut him out. You shouldn’t be afraid to share your wild thoughts, opinions, and logic. You don’t have to agree on everything with your significant other, in-fact you can agree to disagree but with dialogue you learn, teach, and grow together.
3) Opposites attract only to a certain degree—I’ve always been told that opposites attract and I agree but only to some degree. It is in my opinion that people still need common ground and interest. I’ve dated an opposite of me before and it drove me f*cking nuts! I don’t even want to talk about it; it’s just not the “he drives me crazy in the best way” feeling.
4) There has to be a separate life outside the romance—It is so easy to fall in love and want to spend every waking moment with the person you are smitten by but realistically that “honeymoon” phase does fade. I believe that two individuals should be in a relationship to compliment each other and each should be able to stand-alone (aka have a life outside of “us” and “we”).
I know in a previous relationship of mine we had difficulty with transition from the honeymoon phase and it caused us each a feeling of entrapment. I even got that “I have no friends because of you” blame from him. The truth was he had no friends because he was never great at keeping them and I should have never been given that blame.
One quick side statement—If you are insecure and can’t allow your significant other to do things without you, it was never going to work. Trust issues are a beast of a mess that I’m not getting into… just know communication and trust are top essentiality’s for a healthy relationship.
5) You can’t expect to change anyone—People change for themselves and not for you. Why would you want to change someone anyway? Did you really like them if you felt it necessary to change them? When dating people either step it up to be with you or don’t. We date to learn about each other and decide later if we want to pursue. There is a lot of compromise and adjusting in relationships. Like that really girly quote “Never apologize for having high standards. People who really want to be in your life will rise up to meet them.” <-It’s the truth, I know from experience. Plus being one of the most stubborn people to stand this earth, I don’t believe in telling people what to do. It never worked for me and I don’t expect it to work for others.
So that was my rant. There is always an exception and always that story that defies, so just understand what I write works for me, in this moment. I’m still a growing individual and I might experience or learn something else to change my mind. So if you have a broken heart, do what works best for you and pull yourself out of the darkness because it’s not the end of the world and someone somewhere love you for you.
So leaving with someone positive: (watch the first 4 minutes)
“But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.” –Sarah Kay (she’s my idol lol)
–next Monday will be a life update and I can’t wait to tell you about Frank!
PS I love feedback and input, so feel free to respond 🙂