You want to despise them. You want to shun all the people in your past who’ve hurt you. It’s easier to demonize each and every one of them because that means you’re entirely in the right.
When you’re young, everything is black and white. You break up with someone and everyone rallies around you, blaming the other party because they think that’s the best way to support you in your sadness. You spend your time filling your mind with hate and spite for your ex because you think it makes you feel better and distracts you from your grief.
As you get older, you begin to realize it’s not quite that simple. The hatred is a quick fix and it doesn’t truly make you happy or satisfied. Like it or not, the person you once loved probably did not become evil overnight.
Sure, there are cases where the person who breaks your heart has, indeed, behaved horribly. They may have betrayed your trust or gone behind your back or cheated on you. In some instances, you are completely justified in your anger. Most of the time, though, you are using it to deal with the hurt and sadness that lies underneath. Portraying the other person in a breakup as the one at fault gives you some sort of closure, some sense of superiority. It’s a coping mechanism to provide you self-esteem when you feel like everything’s falling apart around you.
Maybe, just maybe, begin to entertain the idea that the person you love so dearly who hurt you is not, in fact, a terrible human being. It’s just that they are flawed and imperfect, like anyone else. You cannot fix them. You cannot change them. And unfortunately, if they decide that for whatever reason they no longer want to be with you… you have to let them go.
Letting go is difficult. We are all so attached to everyone and everything in our lives. Training yourself to learn to let go—in every situation—is essential to dealing with separations in a healthy, mature fashion. Learning to love without attachment is the work of a lifetime, and most of us never quite get there. Even though it is incredibly difficult, you have to try for your own sanity.
Seeing the person you are with for who they truly are, without positively or negatively clouding your mind towards them, will help you when the relationship disintegrates. Take your partner at face value, with a clear vision of the reality of your dynamic together. When things don’t work out, keep that reality in the forefront of your mind. Accept that most likely there were issues there that neither of you wanted to face because you cared about each other.
Try to release them with as much love in your heart as possible. It may feel futile in the moment. It may seem less painful to harden yourself towards them and deny that there was ever anything good between you. The truth is that in the long run, you will heal faster if you breathe and simply set them free.
Remember that someday you will look back and thank them for letting you go. If they don’t want to be with you, they’re doing you a favor by telling you the truth.
People who break your heart aren’t always monsters. They’re just people. And people are complicated.