Diary of a Twenty-Something: How to Mend a Broken Heart
Remember the moment when you fell in love? It was wonderful, exciting, and stupefying. You wondered, Do they feel the same way? How can I see them more often? What should I say? What should I do?
Yes, these are questions for those falling in love, and that’s exactly how it feels. It’s exhilarating and terrifying at the same time.
And what happens when you’ve finally hit the ground? It’s different now, isn’t it? It’s actually real: a real person with actual flaws. What do you do when it hits you one day, I’m not in love anymore?
What happens when you realize, I’m not in love anymore
Since we live in a time where women don’t need men in the financial sense, it’s likely that these emotional barriers spell the end for most relationships (not all, but most).
So what do you do when you know it’s over? How do you begin to mend a broken heart?
Yes, there are the likely answers of partying and letting loose, which is fine and dandy, but what do you do when your friends aren’t around to distract you, which is what these romps are–distractions.
After your nights of doing shots and hitting the hottest venues, you’ll find that there are now countless hours where you’re left alone.
You’re definitely not ready to date, although many people will push you to do this. This–I know–will only lead to disaster. If you’re not ready yet, every time the guy opens his mouth, you’ll constantly compare him to your former significant other. Even if he’s the right one for you, it could literally be impossible for you to see this.
So before we get into the hurried and heartbreaking scene of dating, here are some things you can do to begin healing your heart.
Yes, no one wants to reflect, really. Doing shots seems easier, but in the end, you’re going to have to reflect on why you are where you are. Why did the relationship end? Did something change about you or about your significant other. Remember that the person you fell in love with in high school may not necessarily be the right person for you in your later years.
Do what makes you happy
Now’s the time to be totally selfish. Did you always want to learn how to play the guitar, but you were too busy going to your partner’s baseball games? I mean, you don’t even like sports, but you do like x, y, and z–whatever those may be.
I know that right now, you’re both excited and terrified (similar to the feelings of falling in love–falling out of love can be equally ambivalent), but now you have time to do things for yourself. Take a cooking class, start rock climbing, begin a book club–Do what makes you happy.
Organize your life
This is easier said then done, and can mean many things. I find that when things in my life are in disarray, I’m more prone to organize–to try to give a semblance of order somewhere.
This may mean doing things that you find boring. For example, get your finances in order. Yeah, money–it’s a tricky bugger. I admit I knew very little about money or budgeting, but there are resources out there to help straighten out your finances. Try reading blogs, watching shows aimed at financial health, read books on finances–whatever floats your boat. It’s truly empowering to know that you have the means to reorganize your life.
Recognize who matters
When you’ve lost someone, it’s difficult to understand that the world continues on despite the fact that, the life, as you’ve known it, is now over. Not to be too dramatic, but it’s true. You’ll find that people you believed to be your friends will fall away, and people who were once acquaintances have a bigger role in your new life.
Keep in mind that the person or persons who help you to heal your broken heart, may not be around once you’re feeling better. And that’s okay. Try not to dwell too much on the fact that this is a transition in your life, and it’s bound to be filled with transitional people. If your new friends stick around once you’re happy again (and you will be happy again), then wonderful! If not, that’s fine too.
It’s okay to be sad
We’re told that time heals all, and yes, it’s true, but until you reach the point where some time has passed, what do you do with your feelings of loneliness and sadness? The thing is, it’s okay to be sad. Something big has happened. Take it in.
There will come a time when you’re exhausted from being upset, and you’ll be ready to get out of bed and put some clean clothes on. Plus, wash your hair because that bedhead look can only get you so far.
The point is–sadness is a teaching tool. Those moments of emotional tension and turmoil are the moments that educate you about yourself and your own undeniable resilience.
Take time to breathe
So you’ve started a new exercise regime, you’ve taken up tap dancing, and you’ve organized your finances. Great. That’s great. But you also have to remember to slow down. All the energy you’ve infused into these new activities and these new friends can prove to be wasteful if you don’t take the time to relax.
Take a few moments in the morning to do some breathing exercises. Put your cell phone on quiet and take a minute to listen to your own breathing. If you find this difficult to do, then start out with five minutes, and each week–add a minute. This is the time to think about absolutely nothing, which is really hard but doable.
Take all the time you need
There’s also no order to what you should do first or when to do them. That choice is up to you. When the time is right, you’ll know.
Also, remember that you’re not alone. Many people have been where you are right now. There will come a time when you’ll realize that it’s okay to be happy again. It’s okay that you’ve taken the chance and tried to love someone. It’s okay that it didn’t work out, but that was then and this is now.
Take all the time you need.