All the sweet messages, the flowers, dinner dates, the lengthy handwritten letters, inside jokes – everything; they’re all gone now and you’re feeling like a deer in the headlights with not a clue what to do. You just keep thinking it’s a bad dream and that tomorrow everything will go back to normal. You pray your hardest that he’ll come back and that things are going to be fine. But the truth is, things are going to be pretty difficult for awhile.
Less than two years ago, the most important and constant person in my life for two years chose to leave me. I was so devastated because I lost not only my boyfriend but my best friend, the person I trusted more than anyone in the entire world. I knew that I definitely hit rock bottom, but if any of you are going through the same thing, I promise that it’s not the end of the road. I pray that the few things I’ve learned in dealing with my own heartache below will be able to spark hope, help your heart heal, lift you higher, and help you let go of the hurt in due time. Here are some things you can do to help yourself cope and heal.
1. Stop blaming yourself.
It’s not your fault. No relationship is perfect and there’s no use dwelling over the things you could have or should have done to save it. If you fought until the very end to keep it alive, then you should be proud of yourself. You held your part of the bargain and you didn’t let go even when you had all the freedom to. Bear in mind that if the other person isn’t willing to compromise or work it out anymore then there’s no point in staying. One of the greatest things I learned from one of my best friends is that “Love is not a feeling but a choice.” The best test of love is even when you don’t feel like loving the person anymore you snap out of it and choose to love them because you treasure that person and you know how much that person treasures you. He could have chosen to love you but clearly, he just wasn’t as invested anymore and didn’t value you as much as you hoped he did. I know that you may feel like wallowing in self-pity because of getting left behind, but know that you will never have to live with the feeling of guilt or regret because of giving up too easily. Yes, it’s sad, especially when you think about all the promises and plans you made together, but maybe one day you’ll learn why the relationship didn’t work out and find that something better was in store for you all along.
2. Distance yourself from the source of hurt.
It’s probably best to cut all sorts of contact with him after the breakup. He is the source of hurt and you have to stay as far away from that as possible. Avoid texting him, calling him or even stalking him online. It’s better not knowing what he’s been up to because you might see him move on faster than you and it’ll just hurt seeing him get on with his life without you. It used to hurt me that my ex shut me out completely after we broke up, like I didn’t mean anything to him at all, but I realized that it’s fine because making any contact with him would only deepen the wounds I already have. He became a stranger. If you think that communicating will make things better, trust me, it won’t. He will never be able to comfort you the same way he did when you were still together and neither will he be able to satisfy you with answers to your unending questions.
Some people also think that you can stay friends after the break up – no; you can’t, at least not right now. It isn’t impossible but probably just not in the near future. Your relationship was damaged and the trust was broken the moment he chose to abandon you, and both of you need to heal before you can give even friendship another go.
3. Focus on yourself now.
Perhaps when you were in a relationship, it was always about selflessness and conquering life as a team, but now it’s time to be a little selfish and independent. All that matters now is you and what you deserve. A couple of months ago, I loathed my then boyfriend so much that I kept thinking about all the karma that he deserved but I realize now that I should just stop thinking about what he deserves and focus more on what I deserve. Stop thinking about getting back at him and start working on bettering yourself. Choose to excel more in school, get into sports or get a new hair color – anything, as long as it’s for your own happiness and well being.
4. Don’t give up on love just because some guy chose to give up on you.
Some people who’ve gotten their hearts broken often become cynical and put up these walls that stop themselves from ever falling in love again. To tell you the truth, I almost did. I used to tell y friends that I’d grow to be a bitter old hag with sixty cats, but you know what, why let one failed relationship define you? Nothing worth it ever comes easy after all. I don’t regret my past relationship because at one point in my life, it made me the happiest girl alive and that time will forever hold a special place in my heart. Every time you fall in love, you take a risk. Well I took a risk and ended up getting my heart broken. Who knows, it might happen again once or twice in the future. It’s a real challenge, but I’d like to believe that all these risks are going to be worth it when I finally find the right guy. I hope you believe as much as I do and fall in love whenever you can. It’s always better to love than to never have loved at all.
5. Love yourself enough to know that you deserve the very best.
Don’t settle for anyone mediocre just because you weren’t patient enough to wait for the very best. Don’t worry, that guy who just broke your heart isn’t the best, because the right guy wouldn’t have the guts to leave you. To anyone who’s going through the same hurt I’ve been through, know that you deserve even more than the love you know you can give. You deserve stability; someone who won’t ever walk out on you when things get rough. You deserve honesty at all times. You deserve to be treated right. You deserve faithfulness, respect and compassion; otherwise it isn’t love at all.