In my life, I have been in love – seriously in love – only once in my late 20s. Never had I experienced such love from a stranger before, and the feeling was magical.
After it ended, I was shattered, brokenhearted, and lonely until I found the perfect candidate to fill my empty heart.
I was so sure there was a spark. I thought he felt the same.
But my dream was crushed when he said he had found someone on his travels. Once again, the cycle of heartbreak repeated itself. This time, though, it hurt less.
I was surprised by how I handled the calamity. I was more relaxed. Had I known this method before my first heartbreak, I wouldn’t have wasted months being so depressed and desperate.
My wish is that nobody ever has to experience the heartbreak that I did. For those who struggle, those who have had enough, this is for you.
These pieces of advice are what got me through my heartbreak and I hope it’ll do the same for you. This is for us.
1. Stop being in denial.
I know it sucks, I’ve been there. Living in denial is not going to help. It never will.
And I know exactly how hard it is to accept the truth. He stopped loving you. He stopped fighting for you. She had to go in a different direction. She fell in love with someone else.
Whatever the reason may be, force yourself to accept it. Tell yourself that it is over. It will quicken the process of a broken heart.
At this stage your brain will play tricks on you and you will have two thoughts: “He/She must still have feelings for me” and/or “These feelings are killing me! I should move on!”
I know you prefer the first thought, but trust me, it will make it worse. Go for the latter. Accept the harsh truth. It only hurts now but think of it as an antidote to your acute toxic state.
2. Text him/her if you really want to.
I texted my ex, suggesting we start over and have a fresh start, even as friends. Huge disappointment.
Do I regret it? No. Am I ashamed of it? No.
After all, you only live once. I am glad I did it. I felt relieved. My advice is, do it after weeks or even better, months of your pseudo recovery stage.
What I mean by pseudo is, you are already halfway in the recovery stage. This will give ample time for both of you to digest the unfortunate events that have taken place.
And I am telling you based on my experience, it is all right. If you are really curious, text him. Before you do, don’t get too carried away by your emotion. Prepare your strategy wisely. Be stable with your emotions. Only then you can text him.
This is when you will find out how he truly feels about you. In an extremely lucky case, you will get a positive response and you both get to have a fresh start.
For the unlucky ones, a huge burden will be lifted off your shoulders. It will hurt when you first get the response, but now you know you are no longer his/her priority and you no longer matter to him or her like you used to. And that is a huge relief.
3. Keep those heartbreak playlists or sad movies far, far away from you.
It is so easy to let yourself get immersed in such melancholy melodies and movies. Stop torturing yourself!
Don’t lose one more tear to this genre. Listen to inspirational music. Spotify told me that my most played songs are Fight Song by Rachel Platten and Better in Time by Leona Lewis. These songs really helped me get through that dark period. They gave me so much energy to turn over a new leaf.
Of course, it won’t happen immediately. It takes time. Be patient, you will get there.
In the words of Aibileen to Mae Mobley in the movie adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s The Help, “You is smart, you is kind, you is important.” Make this your mantra.
Indulge yourself in inspirational movies or documentaries. Movies like Mcfarland, USA is not only inspiring, but it makes you think that your suffering is nothing compared to other people.
4. Develop mental strength.
Be prepared. The gut feeling you have when you know something unpleasant is about to happen, don’t ever ignore it.
I was not prepared when I had mine, that is why it hurt so much.
Even before you enter the relationship, always remind yourself that there is a possibility that this relationship might not work, he or she might not be the one. And if it really doesn’t end happily ever after, what is your escape route?
Brace yourself for the possibility of months of a depressing, lonely, and sad state. Mine lasted 7 months, because I am the type of person who falls in love hard.
I am sure there is someone out there whose process took much longer. To me, it just means that your heart is pure and golden, you love the person wholeheartedly and it is totally inspiring.
So, brace yourself. If things are bound to happen, it will take months to heal and that is totally fine.
There are many ways you can build your mental strength. You will heal eventually. Remind yourself that if it’s written to be yours, it will be yours in the end. For now, you just need to embrace the change.
5. Find a new passion.
My first experience of heartbreak actually allowed me to discover my hidden talent: writing. And the inspiration behind this article comes from my second heartbreak.
So in a way, I’m so glad I experienced both. When I write, I am focused. I tend to disconnect from other unnecessary thoughts in my mind.
Find something that takes your mind elsewhere. Think about an activity that you love doing (that maybe you stopped doing after you met the special one). It could be tennis, painting, swimming, anything!
Join a community. Be a member of something that you are passionate about. I paused my Couchsurfing activity when I was in a relationship and now I am on it again and I have met a bunch of amazing and inspiring people.
6. Avoid engaging in rebound relationships.
I understand why some people would want to do this. It is either to make the other person jealous or because they simply can’t cope with loneliness.
Trust me, this will only give you temporary pleasure and it will actually make your heartbreak even worse. You are not in love with this person but you are only finding temporary distractions and once that feeling is gone, you are going to end the relationship.
Put yourself in that person’s shoes. Have empathy for them. This courageous act of avoiding a rebound makes you seem confident, mature, like you can handle things wisely.
You will look back to this moment and be proud of yourself. Surround yourself with love around you that you probably missed while you were busy with your ex.
Reconnect with your family and friends that have always been there and engage with the community. Very soon your broken heart will be mended.
7. Keep a reminder in your calendar.
Mark the first day that you decided to stop texting your ex, and leave a little note at the end of the month. Something like, “I am so proud of you for having a strong will. You are doing great, keep going! I love you and you are the most incredible person in this world.”
At the end of the second month, do the same. You will find it extremely healing and feel as if you really deserve a pat on the back.
8. Don’t put the blame on anyone, including yourself.
It is nobody’s fault that this happened. Even if it was you who started it, accept it, seek forgiveness, and move on. It already happened and there is no way you can rewrite the situation.
Tell yourself that both of you are not meant to be and there is another special one who is waiting for you at the end of the line.
It will happen, you will learn to love and trust again. Remind yourself that if it’s written to be yours, it will be yours in the end. If you are a highly spiritual person, you know that God is the master planner. He knows what is great for you.
Perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you, and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. Trust His planning and despair not, live the moment joyfully.
Breakups suck. The pain can be agonizing. However, don’t let it define you. You have the ability to get back on your strong feet and walk away from this state of anguish.
Change starts within you. These methods have helped me get through my second heartbreak. It still hurts, but the punch is nothing compared to the first one.
Just as how I find myself able to love again, you will too. It is just not your time yet. Be patient, you will get there. Baby steps, ma chérie.