Chances are you’ve already had your heart broken at some point in your life. I can guess this because going through a heartbreak just seems to come with the package of being a human. Rarely do you meet someone who hasn’t felt the raw sting and emotional distress of being heartbroken. And just how painful is it to go through those memories over and over again when you know the relationship is over for good? Let’s say it clearly; it’s a horrible experience and it feels so incredibly torturous and cruel. And by the way, heartbreaks are much more than just an emotionally distressing situation. We often actually sense an aching pain and heaviness in and around our hearts from the intensity of the emotions we’re feeling at that time.
In this article, I want to share one of my personal heartbreak stories and my intention in doing this is because during these experiences, the one point of solace I’ve found has been in hearing similar stories from friends and loved ones. In hearing how much pain and heartache others endured and survived, I too was able to see that this pain too would pass.
I will always remember that period of my life, because everything I experienced was so intense. I had recently broken up with my boyfriend with whom I had been for 5 years. Even though the breakup was difficult and painful, I felt free and I knew I had made the right decision.
During this time I was also taking boxing classes and that’s where I met Marc. Marc was so many things at the same time. He was sweet, passionate, smart, strong, sensitive, and very intense. He made it clear that he liked me and did everything he could do for me to notice him. Eventually, I did and I began to learn how interesting he was. We started flirting, but I still didn’t feel ready to be in a relationship. I was still recovering from my breakup and knew that I needed more time and space to process it all.
In spite of these feelings, pretty soon Marc and I began a relationship. As I mentioned before, Marc could be incredibly intense in all he was doing. By the time we had been dating for 3 weeks, he had already introduced me to his whole family and his closest friends. He had even invited me to go travel with him to Thailand the next Fall.
Even though deep down I knew that all of this was way too much, too soon, I found myself just going with the flow and dismissing any hesitations and doubts, because after all, I really liked him. One day though, after a month of this very sweet and intense relationship, Marc began to behave distant and stand-offish with me. I sensed it immediately and asked him what was going on. Next thing you know, he broke up with me. He didn’t have any specific reasons but just lost interest. And that, my friend, is the definition of an emotional rollercoaster ride.
Of course, I was far from being prepared to face all of this. First, the mixture of intense emotions from the initial breakup put me in a very vulnerable state. And then having such a sudden breakup for no apparent reason was the final blow. I was devastated. I was dealing with the residual emotions of two back-to-back breakups, and it felt paralyzing. My heart felt as though it was broken into a million pieces and I couldn’t even think straight.
Do you know this feeling of having been dispossessed of what you had grown to like being yours? That relationship, I wasn’t even sure I wanted it at first. Then Marc showed me what could be nice about being together, and he made me want it to happen. He did all that to finally decide that he didn’t want it, after all. From today’s perspective, I know this isn’t what happened, but at the moment it felt like Marc had planned to crush my heart. Whatever happened in his head, I was more brokenhearted that I had ever been before. When I finally managed to dry my tears, I realized the strangeness of this very fact : I had been in 2 very long relationships before and it felt like the ending of this one had traumatised me more than my previous breakups. Why was that so ?
When I was finally able to put more distance between myself and the situation and see more clearly, there were some key lessons I was able to understand. Here are three of the biggest insights I learned from this experience:
Always listen to yourself and to how you feel. If it’s not time for you to start a new relationship, regardless of how fantastic this new person may seem, follow your intuition and give yourself that time and space. You will not miss the opportunity to meet the love of your life because even if this person is so wonderful, you can’t give them what you yourself do not have.
You will know that you’ve met the right person at the right time the day you no longer feel like you’re struggling and debating with yourself whether to start a relationship with them or not. There is a very wise Buddhist saying that states, “If you meet somebody and your heart pounds, your hands shake, your knees go weak, that’s not the one. When you meet your soulmate, you’ll feel calm. No anxiety, no agitation.”
Be aware of when you find yourself convincing or forcing yourself to reciprocate someone else’s feelings for you. The mutual attraction, readiness, and commitment must come naturally from both sides. Yet often either because we don’t want to reject someone or we’re flattered that they are interested in us, we dismiss our own true feelings and hesitations and try to make it work. Similarly, having to be convinced that a person is a good match for you is a good indication that they probably aren’t, even if it takes years to realize. This may be difficult to hear, but when a person’s desire for you to like them is so strong, in many cases it is more likely due to their ego’s desire to be loved over what they like and appreciate about you. Whatever it is though, always remember this: our intuition is incredibly powerful and insightful and we should always try our best to listen to it, above our ego and rationale.
If you feel like you’re being rushed into a relationship and there’s any part of you that doesn’t feel completely comfortable with the pace or intensity of a relationship, listen to your gut feeling. You need to acknowledge and express the pace that you’re comfortable with, without feeling as though someone else is in the driver’s seat and you’re just going along for the ride. Always make sure that there are 2 people equally driving the boundaries, pace, and expectations of the relationship.
You see, there’s so much to learn from every situation we experience and I would even say that the more challenging an experience is, the more opportunities we have to learn from it. What’s even more essential is for us as fellow humans to support one another through these heartaches by sharing our own experiences. Empathy, compassion, and comradery are such powerful antidotes to pain and suffering, and seeing others overcome the same difficulties you’re enduring can be incredibly uplifting and encouraging. As we say, what does not kill us makes us stronger!
So in the spirit of helping others who are currently coping with heartache, tell us about what you’ve learned from your past heartbreaks? What have you learned about yourself and about relationships? Share with us in the comment section below!