You know that moment when you’ve lost someone. It’s in their eyes. The way they don’t look at you. And suddenly, your hand on their neck feels unwelcome. The sweet name you’re about to call them sticks in your throat. That person is no longer there for you.
He’s driving me home. Doing the right thing. He’s not a bad person. But he’s got many issues and for that, I know it’s for the best that it’s over. But logic and heart ache reside in two separate parts of the body and I can’t reconcile the two. Not yet.
When it’s over, I return to my apartment. I walk from room to room. We danced to Mumford and Sons on the radio right here. He wrapped himself in my blanket there. We ate a fry at that table. We bathed here and washed each others’ hair.
Then, there’s the bedroom. I sink onto the bed and find a dark hair on the sheet. The pillow smells of him. The tears come now.
I want him to take this pain away. But he’s not here for me any more. I have to do this myself.
Here’s how to survive heart-break:
1. Grieve the loss
I’ve found myself sobbing on the bedroom floor for more than one break up. I’ve mourned the loss of the dark-eyed, curly-headed children that my ex-husband and I would now never have. A friend of mine walked around her house wailing for three nights straight. It may seem excessive, uncomfortable and annoying for your flat mates or family but just get it out.
2. Talk it out
With family. With friends. Go for coffee/dinner/drinks. Your loved ones are bound to make you laugh, point out what a dick head he was anyway, and tell you how amazing you are. That’s not gonna hurt.
3. Go on a night out
Get all dolled up. Have a laugh with your friends. Get tipsy. Get chatted up. Maybe even kiss a guy. After any break up, my cousin used to ask me, “Have you erased him yet?” Meaning: “Have you kissed another guy yet, which will erase the last guy?” Easier said than done. And sometimes being with a new guy will just make you miss your last one even more. But just know that you’re desirable and there is hope for the future.
Drinking a lot may seem like a great idea at the time. But the next day, the blues could hit you even harder than before. Just be aware that it’s the alcohol and sleep it off as best you can.
4. Stop all contact
I’ve fallen into being friends with an ex, which does not help you get over the guy. You’re constantly being reminded of him, and maybe secretly hoping that he’ll realise you’re “the one”. I removed my last ex as a friend on Facebook, then bawled my eyes out. It was so final. But better in the long run.
Think Shirley Valentine or Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Nothing like sunshine and a totally foreign location to get a new perspective on things. Even having a break to look forward to will beat off the post relationship depression.
6. Read A New Earth by Eckart Tolle
This might seem really specific but it worked for me. This book has changed many lives. The way Mr Tolle speaks about the ego, identification, attachment, love and relationships is revelational.
If you’re madly in love, beware. We’ve all grown up with certain ideas about love that come from sickly sweet romantic comedies and slit-your-wrist love songs. We’re all familiar with declarations such as “I can’t live if living is without you” and “You complete me”. No wonder when a relationship ends, we doubt we’ll survive.
The truth is, if we love ourselves and are happy with our lives, the loss of a person, though disappointing, should not turn our world completely upside down. This might be strange or hard for a lot of you to read but the way Eckhart Tolle describes being “in love” makes a lot of sense. He talks about being in love with someone because they fit into the categories you want from a partner. They’re tall, dark and handsome. Or maybe you’re just in a good mood. Have you ever felt really happy and then proclaimed your love for someone? I know I have. It had more to do with how I was feeling than my love for that person. Eckhart Tolle also says that the Spanish way of saying “I love you” (“Te quiero“) literally translates as “I want you”, which is far more honest. You want that person for yourself. You want to control how they behave. And then when you lose that control, love can so easily turn into hate. If your partner does something you don’t like, you can despise them in moments. They cheat on you. They don’t love you any more. They leave you.
If you’re having problems with heart ache, read this book. It’ll change the way you think about love and about life in general. Check out Eckhart Tolle TV for some clips of the man himself speaking…
7. List of cons
My sister told me to write a list of all the reasons why you and your ex are not good together, all the shitty things he’s done to you, how his willy is tiny, etc. If Eckhart Tolle is too spiritual for ya, at least this list will give you a bit of a kick.
8. Remember other exes
This sounds dangerous but when I broke up with my last partner, I remembered how bad I felt when I ended things with previous exes and how, now, I couldn’t give a shit about them. I am so over them. Which means I will be so over this guy soon. Time is a great healer. And if you follow rule number four, it’ll happen sooner rather than later.
If this was your first love, talk to others who’ve been through heart-break before. Know you’re not alone in this. And look at them now as they have fun being single or are happy out in their new relationships.
Check out this video of the hilarious Flight of the Conchords. Laughter really is the best medicine…
Everyone suffers heart ache at some point. Whether it’s the loss of a loved one to death or divorce, to circumstances or someone else, it hurts like hell. But we can survive it. And when we start a new relationship with someone better and much more suitable, who treats you as you deserve, you won’t regret a moment of the heart-break you’ve gone through. It will be worth it.