How To Handle Heartbreak
There are many different ways to experience heartbreak, and it’s something we’ll all
likely experience at least once in our lives. Arguably, the worst kind being heartbreak
within relationships and dating. Whether you’ve just been dumped after a 4-year
relationship or your sticky situationship just got stickier and you’ve been completely
pied off, here are five ways to handle heartbreak.
Don’t Try to Fill the Void with Other People/Sex
Everyone has their different methods and coping strategies for dealing with
heartbreak, and that’s ok. But let’s start with what you really shouldn’t do: ‘the best
way to get over someone is to get under someone else’. Whilst there’s absolutely
nothing wrong with casual sex and hook-ups, you have to be doing them for the right
reasons: because you want to, not just because you think it’s what you’re supposed to
be doing and everyone else is doing it too, and definitely not because you think it’ll
mend your broken heart.
Whilst the idea is of course tempting, you’ll only be trading necessary healing and
self-reflection for a quick hit of oxytocin and temporary intimacy. It can be difficult
to face being alone with yourself and your feelings after being so intimate and close
with another person, however long this may have been, be it a couple of weeks or a
couple of years. But immediately trying to find someone else to fill this gap and ease
the pain will only be a temporary fix and not a long-term solution for mending a
Don’t Force Yourself to Be OK with It
Similar to the last point, you don’t have to pretend that everything is peachy and
you’re doing just fine. Sometimes we try to play up to a certain ‘cool girl’/ ‘cool guy’
persona, especially after short-lived situations in which you’re expected to act as if
you don’t care at all for the person who broke your heart, and that you’re totally fine
and unbothered by it all. After all, if it was so short-lived and you ‘barely knew them’,
how could you have caught feelings? Thank u next, etc.
But the truth is, you’re still allowed to care for the person who broke your heart. Not
all relationships/situationships end messily, or with someone lying or cheating. If
they do, then plainly and (dis)respectfully, fuck them. But not all do. And sometimes
that’s harder because there’s still a lot of care, respect, and sometimes even love for
one another. It’s just not the same kind of love that perhaps once was. It’s difficult to
switch off your feelings, even if you were the one who initiated the breakup. It doesn’t
mean that you’re ‘down bad’ or unlikely to move on. Your road to recovery and
healing a broken heart will be a lot easier and smoother if you’re honest with yourself about how you feel and don’t try to pretend to be something or someone that you’re
NO Social Media Lurking
I simply cannot stress this one enough, but it’s something that we’re all guilty of:
don’t look at their social media. Don’t even think about it, let alone act on it. No good
has come, or will ever come from this futile, yet rooky mistake. Now is the time to
focus on yourself and your own healing. Exes are very much exes for a reason after
all. It doesn’t matter if they appear to have moved on online, or the opposite and
struggling, they’re no longer your responsibility. Not to mention, what’s online isn’t
always the truth anyway. You don’t have to go as far as to block them, but if you feel
this will help, then, by all means, why not? With most social media platforms now
though, you can just mute people, so you don’t see any of their activity. Protect
yourself and resist the urge to lurk!
Immerse Yourself in Media, But Don’t Get Completely Lost
Watching your favourite films, TV series’, listening to music, or reading a good book
can be a great way to find comfort and solace. They’re a means of temporary escape
when dealing with something as shitty as heartbreak. It’s important to remember, however, that these are often works of fiction, so you won’t always find the answers
you’re looking for. But if you watch, read, and listen to the right ones, you can find
some genuinely helpful advice for navigating heartbreak:
1. I’ll always recommend reading any poetry book by Rupi Kaur. For a broken
heart specifically, I’d prescribe milk and honey. Broken down into four
chapters: the hurting, the loving, the breaking and the healing, this book
allows you the freedom to dip in and out of the chapters depending on how
you feel in the moment.
2. When you’re newly single you have time to reflect on many things, including
in a sexual capacity. ‘You Come First’, a podcast hosted by 2018 Love Island
star Megan Barton-Hanson, prioritises discussing sex and relationships in a
totally frank and honest way. From self-pleasure to Only Fans, nothing is left
3. Two words: ‘Heaux Tales’. This album by Jazmine Sullivan covers every
square inch of relationship drama. From cheating to insecurities, and women
exploring and taking ownership of their sexuality, this album features some
beautifully raw interludes from several different women who openly and
honestly discuss their own experiences.
Recognise the Difference Between Being Single and Being Alone
And finally, it's (super) important that you realise the difference between being
single and being alone. These are two very different things, where one doesn’t always
necessarily equal the other. In fact, sometimes it can feel as if you’re more alone
when you’re in a relationship; tolerating behaviour that deep down you know you
shouldn’t, nor do you deserve. Throughout relationships – all kinds, not just the
romantic and sexual kind - you inevitably grow and learn so much about yourself.
But it’s often not until you’re single or someone else maybe points it out, that you
realise this yourself. Rather than viewing being single as some lonely, spinster fate
worse than death, instead, try to embrace it and enjoy this newfound freedom.
Being vulnerable and honest with yourself about how you’re feeling post-heartbreak
is by no means easy, nor is it supposed to be. But you’ve been given the opportunity –
whether you wanted it or not – to get to know yourself all over again, so just enjoy it.
It may not seem like it now, but you’ll be ok. Life moves on and so will you.