Most of us have had our hearts broken. Some of us have experienced such misfortune multiple times. Romantic let down is a natural human experience — avoidable only if we also evade the possibility of love itself.
Holding our partners to standards and our relationships to expectations opens the door to disappointment. Trust leaves way for betrayal. However, the opposite of this approach is settling. We must develop, as well as communicate a clear picture of how we wished to be loved and what we’ll accept if we hope to have our desires fulfilled.
So, because we care, and try, and believe, we suffer heartbreak on occasion.
I don’t think that the length of time spent grieving a relationship’s demise is always indicative of how deeply we adored the person. We really have no way of predicting the process as it varies by situation. I’ve been devastated at the end of brief intimate unions and only mildly disheartened after a split from someone I genuinely loved. The potential impact of severing a tie can’t be measured in merely time invested.
Some simply recover from a broken heart with less resistance than others. I’m one who bounces back rather quickly. I carry hurt and sadness just as anyone else, but it doesn’t stifle me.
I do believe that there are actions we can take to help with the progression of heartbreak. If we feel stuck in this place, it’s often because we’re not doing anything to push us ahead. We’re just hoping and waiting for the feeling to go away.
The process is the process.
Passage of time is the greatest of all healers. However, there are a few helpful steps that I take after a split leaves me feeling heartbroken. Well, these are the steps I’ve taken in the instances where I recovered fastest! It’s when I don’t do these things that my sorrow lingers.
Perhaps these actions can also help you:
1. Unfollow your ex on social media.
Keeping tabs on an ex via social media is the surest way to prolong your heartbreak. First, you’re seeing them all the time, making you think about them more often than you do already. Second, you wonder who they’re with when they post pictures of outings or check-in at restaurants. You can even feel slighted that they never took you to a particular place or that they’re doing what used to be one of your couple activities, without you.
Sometimes, we want to see what the other person is up to because we’re not ready to let go of them. We post a cute pic hoping they’ll see it and reach out. We like their posts wishing that the sight of our name will evoke some nostalgia. Or we just lurk, satisfying our curiosity and longing with whatever bits of information we can gather from what they share.
Each of these scenarios feeds your heartache. How can you heal if you’re constantly subjected to the person who hurt you? The cause will never be the cure.
It’s ok not to be the “cool ex” who’s down to be friends — especially when doing so negatively impacts your mental and emotional well-being. When the breakup is fresh, you’re often fooling yourself in thinking this is possible.
Do yourself a favor. Stop replaying failed scenarios, analyzing food pics, and overthinking captions. Hit the unfollow button so you can get on with moving on. You may even need to block them if their social media profiles are public, and your will at the moment is weak.
2. Force yourself to do things that lift your spirits.
If you wallow in heartbreak, it’s not going anywhere. The problem is, you likely won’t feel like doing much other than what’s required — such as going to work, and maybe eating and showering. When heartbroken, your mood is often so low that the mere thought of doing more feels exhausting.
So, you have to force yourself to do things you don’t necessarily want to do. You have to actively raise your energy. Go for a run or exercise. Physical activity increases your serotonin levels, which is your body’s natural happy drug.
Aside from this, do things that bring you joy. See a movie or hang with friends. Just try to limit the time you spend clinging to your sadness.
3. Express yourself.
Sometimes, a major component of our heartache is emotional suppression. Words left unsaid, and imaginative assumptions can lead to conjured situations that only exist in our minds — but are no less painful. When we don’t have the answers that could bring us solace, we fill in the blanks with worst-case alternatives.
We convince ourselves that an ex never really cared for us or had another lover on the side. “None of it was real,” becomes a common thought. We determine that they aren’t concerned about the pain we may be enduring. Believing that someone we love doesn’t hold us in high regard makes us feel worse.
We’ll drive ourselves crazy trying to guess what another person is thinking. So, instead, ask them. Sometimes, we only need to feel understood.
Expressing your feelings to someone who left you wounded requires making yourself vulnerable. Trust, I know all too well how difficult that can be. But if you’re trapped in a loop of unresolved issues, this is your ticket to freedom.
Once, I told a past lover how I felt about the way things ended between us, months after we’d last spoke. He didn’t reciprocate my perspective or say what I’m sure I subconsciously wanted to hear. Yet, just telling him gave me a sense of relief.
A clear conscious and liberated heart can lighten the burden of heartache. When you eliminate the “what ifs,” there’s nowhere else to go except forward.
4. Get out and date.
There’s a saying, “The quickest way to get over someone is to get under someone new.” I don’t think it’s that simple. In following this approach and going from partner to partner, we can neglect our healing. We end up carrying the pain and baggage from our previous relationship into the next one.
So, heal. But when you feel like you’re in a good place, I suggest getting out there and dating again. Revive your sense of wonder and possibility. Let someone restore those butterflies, make you feel cared for, and treat you in a manner that supports your sense of value. You’ll remember that you’re worthy of that which you seek.
Dating also helps remind you that there are indeed plenty of fish in the sea. You won’t be alone forever, despite it feeling this way when your wounds are raw. Maybe not on the first date or the second, but eventually someone will come along and make you forget that your heart was ever broken.
. . .
Those are my tried-and-tested tips for assisting your journey toward heartbreak recovery. None of us want to feel down in the dumps longer than we have to. Take an active role in your mental and emotional restoration.
Remember to be patient with yourself, because pretending you’re not hurt isn’t the same thing as healing. The only true way out is through.
This post was previously published on Hello, Love.
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want a deeper connection with our community, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS. Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Photo credit: Unsplash