Being in love is one of the best feelings you experience in life. But sometimes it ends and you’re left wondering how to deal with a broken heart.
I don’t remember anyone telling me how much break ups suck when I dated my first boyfriend. Of course, when you watch movies, they show an unrealistic version of what happens. You watch your reflection in a pond, they try to get back together with you, and some better guy comes along. But learning how to deal with a broken heart was never mentioned or taught.
In most of my break ups, the aftermath was me crying in my bed while stalking them on social media, then forced out of the house by my parents to get me out of my bed.
How to deal with a broken heart
No one really tells you how deal with a broken heart until they see you hit rock bottom. Then, the advice comes, “Oh, you can do better, he didn’t deserve you” or “Why don’t you try meeting some nice guys?” Advice which is virtually useless and not even advice, more like statements. So, maybe you feel your relationship coming to an end or you’re fresh out of a break up without much sense of what to do.
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. What you need to do is just make sure you don’t get stuck in the hole of despair *trust me, it’s easy to fall into it*. This isn’t the end of the world, even though it may feel like it.
#1 Accept it. This isn’t going to be easy, but if you’re trying to figure out how to deal with a broken heart, you don’t really have a choice. I mean, you can be in denial but then what purpose does that serve you? You’d be stuck in this rut and unable to live your life. So, to deal with a broken heart is to first and foremost accept that it’s broken. [Read: 14 powerful ways to conquer unloving someone]
#2 A broken heart comes from being in love. That pain in your chest, the feeling of throwing up? That’s because you’re in love with this person. If you didn’t love them, sure, your ego would be a little bruised, but in a couple days you would completely forget about them. But this is different, this pain comes from love. [Read: Can you die from a broken heart?]
#3 You’re going to go through phases. Right, you’ll go through some phases, most of them unpleasant, but that’s life. First, is denial and probably think that this is all a joke. Then, you’re going to be angry. You may want to call them, yell at them, you know, be a little dramatic—I recommend not to.
Then, you bargain. This is where the “I should have” comes in which transitions you into a depression. You’re going to be really sad. Eventually, you reach acceptance and that’s when the healing starts.
#4 Do not doubt your feelings. You should never doubt the relationship or your feelings. You chose this person for a reason. For whatever the reason, there was something about them that you really liked and grew to love. What you felt was not wrong or a mistake, those were your feelings at the time and this person was what you needed at that moment in your life.
#5 Stay out of the “what if” or “I should have” zone. You cannot keep dwelling on the past. It’s not easy to do, I know. There were probably a lot of things you should have and could have done, but you didn’t. You didn’t do those things! So, what do you want now? There’s nothing to do except learn from it and work on your next relationship. [Read: Letting go of your ex: 15 ways to make it easier]
#6 Not all love stories are supposed to be lifelong. This is really hard to accept, even for me. Not all relationships are supposed to last a lifetime, though this doesn’t mean they’re not important. All relationships serve as a learning lesson and a purpose in your life. Just because there’s no ring on your finger doesn’t mean it was a waste of your time.
#7 You either face the pain or run. You have two options when you’re trying to learn how to deal with a broken heart, and they’re both hard. You avoid your feelings, or you face them. If you avoid them, you’ll probably be successful for some time, but you’ll end up having a breakdown in your thirties.
If you face your emotions, you struggle in the beginning. Then, it gets better. So, basically, you either choose to struggle now or struggle later.
#8 There’s no set time for you to get over your ex. Getting over someone isn’t a race. There’s no deadline in which you need to be completely over that person. If you were in love, it takes time to truly recover from the relationship. This person was your best friend. Losing someone that close isn’t easy to process. There’s really no rush, just take your time. [Read: How long does it take to get over someone?]
#9 Make sure you cut all contact. This isn’t for them, this is for you. Cut every ounce of contact with your ex. Don’t text them, call them, write them emails, nothing. Delete them from social media. You need to cleanse yourself. If not, you’ll online stalk them. We all do it, so, do yourself a favor and speed up the healing process by cutting them off.
#10 Focus on changing your thoughts. Right now, if it’s a fresh breakup, you may be blaming yourself or having a small pity party as to why nothing works out for you and how you’re going to die alone with eighty cats. Okay, we all have those thoughts. Trust me, they’re normal. However, after some time, if you still think like this, well, who’s to say it won’t happen. So, change your mentality. You will find love. [Read: How to open your heart and find love again the right way]
#11 Reflect on the relationship. If you don’t reflect on your relationship, how are you supposed to be a better partner for your future relationships? If you don’t process your emotions and simply f*ck your way through until your next partner, nothing changes. If anything, you may even break up with your new partner for the same reasons. [Read: 15 lessons you can learn from your own break ups]
#12 Admit to yourself your faults. You don’t need to do this right away, but if you truly want to understand how to deal with a broken heart, eventually look at your involvement in the relationship and break up. Relationships consist of two people, so though you may think your ex is an asshole for this and that, there are things you did or didn’t do that you should reflect on. Look at what you did and be honest with yourself about your own actions.
#13 Look at how you reacted to the break up. This isn’t so much about you getting over it, this is more about seeing your emotional reactions and triggers. Maybe you called them twenty times after the break up, yelling at them on the phone. Why did you do that? I’m not shaming you, I’m simply asking you why do you react the way you do? Is it anxiety? Anger? Fear? Figure this out.
#14 Do not use rebounds as a way to cope. Your friends may tell you that the best way to get over someone is to sleep with someone else. Shockingly, this doesn’t work. It just makes you feel even more attached to your ex.
Sex is healthy. However, if you only use sex to get over someone else, it’s not going to work. This isn’t acknowledging your feelings, this only masks the pain through sex. Though you think it’ll work, when you’re in bed next to someone you don’t care about, your ex will be on your mind. [Read: 14 steps to get over someone you love]
#15 This person isn’t the only one out there. This is going to be hard to think about right now because you’re still hurt, but you need to understand that though you love this person, there’s someone else out there you can love. Will this new love look and feel like the love you had? No, you’ll never experience the same love twice, but that doesn’t mean it’s not equal or even better to what you had before.