How Heartbreak Teaches Us To Love Again

Ashtyn Warner
Ashtyn Warner

In the most mundane moments, like while waiting for a red light to turn green, I remember something you said to me. The thoughts hit me unexpectedly. The other day I remembered that you told me you loved the scattering of my freckles across my body, something no one else has ever pointed out. This continued to remind me of other aspects of you that I was infatuated by: you looked for details, had an artistic eye, and never ceased to surprise me even with the simplest things. For a while after we ended, I despised my freckles since they began to remind me of you.

I continue to lay next to other guys, can feel their skin against my back as we sleep. I find myself pretending each one is you but then I emerge from that foggy state where all is well and roll over only to realize he is not you, nothing like you, never could be like you. I try to escape that nagging comedown with kisses, by spitting the memories I have of you and all things you said to me into his mouth.

In an attempt to rid myself of you, I find myself in an endless cycle of memories, and these moments will forever remain as that. I am cut with the fact you don’t have a desire to see my face again or rekindle what we had. You thought I created an idea of who you were, one that you could not live up to, but I continuously denied it. I realize now I did idealize you in my mind as perfection.

This is where I went wrong.

I placed you on a pedestal, but the real you didn’t disappoint me either. Maybe this is why I haven’t gotten over you, my reconciliation of the ideal with the real fighting it out over the truth. I have a tendency to desire what I can’t have. Since you won’t accept my love, I begin to want you more and more, until the only thing that’s left of you is idea. I find it fascinating that I am able to realize the flaws of this in my mind, and the way we mistreated each other, and still feel heartbroken by your absence.

But I hope someone will love me back the way I thought I loved you. I hope somebody will realize that there are parts of me that are flawed, and will smooth them over in the name of love. Until then, I’ll compare everyone to the idea of you and they will continue to fall short, and maybe that is for the better. I don’t want to need teach them how to count my freckles, to genuinely laugh at my pathetic musings, to compose words in a way to make everything sound profound, and tap the rhythm of their favorite song on my shoulder blades to wake me up. Those were things you somehow instinctively knew to do in order to make me fall for you, but I suppose if someone else were to do those things, I’d fall for them, too.

Eventually, this heartbreak and self-pity will all be behind me, as it has times before; one day, it will be a memory itself, another lesson. But as it stands, it feels like overwhelming distress. How we choose to deal with the process of gluing the pieces of our hearts back together varies from person to person. Some choose to wallow, some are not fazed, some choose to find other outlets to source the pain. Yet still, we are united by this. Still, we know heartbreak. Still, we all go through this at one point in our lives.

Why is it when your heart breaks, just as it happens to humans every day, we feel so alone in one of the most common things we share?

Because in the pain, it brings us all together through its inspiration to songs, literature, and film that show heartbreak is timeless. Heartbreak can teach us empathy and compassion for other people. It can teach us to move on, how to love better and longer, to fix our mistakes and our wrongdoings. We can become stronger individuals and realize our worth is greater than being part of a pair. Maybe this painful thing is actually quite great. Maybe this painful thing shouldn’t be seen as a reason to fear love, but instead inspire us to love again, and again. TC mark

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