Poetry may not be your thing, but you are no doubt familiar with the words of ‘Alfred Lord Tennyson’,
‘Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all’
Are these words true? I cannot answer this question, and there are surely thousands that have their own opinion on the matter. Our lives constantly change and our circumstances are different, so I suppose we all have our own answers. Some of us remain single, get married, divorced, separated, or choose to live with a partner. Some of us may have loved many partners or have only ever loved ‘the one!’ So if we are unfortunate enough to have endured a break-up with someone we love and been devoted to, it can make us wonder whether falling in love is truly worth it. The pain of losing a loved one can be so intense, that it can make us feel that we will never recover.
A well- known female politician once wrote “to fall in love is awfully simple, but to fall out of love is simply awful.” That rings true for the one who wanted the relationship to last.
Having a broken heart can be all-consuming and debilitating. It can make us feel worthless, inadequate and you may have mixed feelings about the cause of the break-up; that maybe it was your fault. You may experience feelings of loneliness and a deep sense of regret. So mending a broken heart is never easy, and unfortunately, there are no quick fixes available to stop the heart from hurting so much.
Here are a few tips from my own experiences and speaking to friends on the ways of coping with the pain of heartbreak.
Apparently, the worst thing you can do is to try and blank out the hurt. You need to go through the heartbreak. If you have experienced grief before, you will be aware of the different stages of grieving and the process by which it develops. It can feel worse in the long run to hold in the pain and not to address it, but to accept it, cry often, if you need to, and eventually you’ll feel stronger. A friend told me that this is exactly how she dealt with the pain of her break up. Gradually, the pain began to subside.
Gain your independence and keep busy
Try and build up your independence and do things for yourself; things that you may have neglected whilst in the relationship. Think of the skills you possess and embrace them. Are you good at sports? Are you creative? It has been proven that exercise is a great stress buster and releasing the adrenaline by using exercise, will relieve the frustration and give your mind a distraction. All these things will build up your self-esteem and make you feel worthwhile.
Remember the good times
There’s no point in telling yourself to avoid thinking about your ex. You will! At the beginning stages of the break–up, it will be near enough constant. However, it’s important that you try not to dwell on these feelings too much and be consumed by them. Allow yourself some time to grieve and then get busy. Do something! Gardening, walking, joining a gym, meeting a friend or going shopping. Try and get yourself out and about.
Sometimes it helps to focus your energies and attention on another person. Can you help someone that’s maybe going through the same kind of thing as you. It does tend to work, as you will be distracted and busy.
I don’t know about you, but when I’ve had a really good cry I do tend to feel a whole lot better. A biochemist called William Frey, was at the forefront of a research team that studied tears for 15 years. Emotional tears contain toxic biochemical byproducts, that are quite different from tears of irritation (like cutting an onion), so that crying tears of emotional pain removes the toxic substances from the body and relieves the pain and stress. Now isn’t that interesting!! So… cry, cry, and cry some more…. It does you good!
Everyone loves to laugh. If you’re having a particularly bad day, read a book that you know will give you a giggle, or watch a funny film or your favourite comedian. It will enable you to switch off, even for a short time.
This is a very difficult one, but try and avoid anything that reminds you of your ex. Try not to look at photographs, looking them up on social media sites (especially if they have a new partner); this will only add to the pain and your feelings of rejection. Even listening to the radio or your favourite music can be a massive obstacle to your healing. Songs will pop up and they will bring back floods of memories. So at the initial stages, try and avoid the reminders.
Make a list
I know it’s a fact that when we are deeply in love with someone we only think of the good times, and these may far outweigh any of the bad or upsetting ones. It’s beneficial to write a list of the parts of the relationship that you found hurtful as these painful parts will keep things into perspective. It couldn’t have been all good; else you would probably still be together.
Create a new life
You may have had mutual friends with your ex, but it’s important to create a new life for yourself. Accept the invites from friends for a night out.
If your social circle is quite limited, join some adult education courses and start to gain some confidence in your abilities. You need to feel valued. Going out with friends will also give you the opportunity to meet new people and your social life will become more fulfilled.
Finally, it’s important I feel, to not dwell on the feelings of worthlessness and rejection that you’ll experience; it’s inevitable. Try and keep as busy as possible so that it fills your brain with lots of new and different thoughts. I don’t know the answer to the question ‘Can you love again?’, because that depends upon the stage of heartbreak you’re going through and the depth of love you had for that special person. It’s possible! The most important part to remember though, is that the relationship ended for a reason.
When it began, there was no doubt a happy future to look forward to, with the joy and excitement of spending as much time together as possible, but inevitably life changes and moves on and people change and so do their circumstances.
The most important person in all of this is YOU. Look after yourself, and let your friends and family know how your feeling so that they can give you all the support you need. xx Pip