So you’ve got a broken heart…

I’m really, really sorry that you’re in a state of emotional pain. But… I’m equally hopeful for you & what’s ahead, so please hang in tight & hold onto you.

I’d like to remind you that it’s completely normal to fall in love with someone & realize that this person is not FOR you, or going to stay with you forever. Whether it’s because you two are incompatible, an act of betrayal occurred, or you simply fell apart. Regardless of which end of the break up you’re on – Dumpee or Dumped, your pain matters and your feelings are valid.

When I went through my own break-ups, I remember it being a very stressful time. My life seemingly changed overnight and I had to re-route myself, navigate awkward social settings, and throw away all future plans with this person. Breakups can be so stressful and painful, I can 100% relate to the turmoil you’re experiencing.

From someone who has dealt with The Break-Up Bug and recovered from its sting stronger each time, I want to advise you on how to deal with all the tears, fears, & confusion you may be going through.

This is what I wish someone would have told me when I was in my mess of emotions. (PS – Some tough love ahead <3)

Your heart is actually being broken open.

As all the devastation, pain & grief pours out of you, please know that there is so much love, harmony & peace about to pour back into your life, if you wait & allow it.

Do not close off your heart from the world because someone else was careless with it. Do your best to be open your heart up to new experiences, relationships, and friendships! Trust that if you were able to love the wrong person, imagine how much love you could give & receive to the RIGHT person.

A broken heart is not your destination in life.

But it IS a one of a kind lesson & opportunity only you can learn from.

The sadness from a broken-heart is really like no other sadness, right? You very well still have feelings for this person and now must face a life without them.

When my 5-year relationship came to a final end, I remember it feeling like I was learning to walk again figuratively speaking. Re-learning how to do life on my own and deal with the fact that I’m now single again.

It’s okay to still care for your ex, but it’s not okay to let the end of the relationship affect your mental or physical health. Many of us turn to numbing the pain with ____ (fill in the blank) but in doing so, we avoid the lessons we’re really meant to be learning.

No relationship is worth your health or your life. Your broken heart, or the depression you may be experiencing, is not your destination in life. Try to look at the break-up as a bridge your meant to cross in order to live a better life and find a person more suitable for you.

Grieve my child, grieve.

I encourage grieving. You have to TAKE TIME to process all that’s just happened and what you’re feeling. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably re-read old text messages, replayed fights and arguments in your head and overanalyzed the start, middle & end of your relationship. That’s okay but don’t get stuck there.

What’s important to know is that the pain you’re feeling, the reality of the sadness that comes from losing someone who held a special place in your heart, is a very authentic experience to YOU.

There are 5 stages of grieving: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression & Acceptance.

You will absolutely zig & zag through the grieving stages. Getting over a break-up doesn’t always happen in a straight line. Even for myself, years after my first relationship, I can sometimes still feel the sadness from the day he confessed his infidelity, but I’ve accepted the situation and remain grateful for what it’s taught me about myself & life.

Your ex will always be a chapter in your story but they are not the whole book; be grateful for your moment in time together but move on hun, because you deserve happiness, too.

There’s help and support available from professionals if things become too dark for too long.

List & utilize your support system.

I’m guilty of being that girl that neglects her friends and family when she gets romantically involved with someone. It happens to the best of us but ultimately it’s not a wise thing to do.

When the romantic relationship is no longer standing, it’s very sobering to realize your other relationships haven’t been given much attention.

A break-up is an opportunity to get back in touch with the people who bring out the best in you & remind you how lovable you are.

Write in the Notes on your phone the names of your 5 closest friends/family.

Beside each name, jot down how that person can help you get through the breakup or just things you’ve been meaning to do with them. It’s good to remind yourself that other people still love & need you. This is what mine looked like:

Mom – reflection, wisdom, crying

Sister – crying, shit-talking (lol do what you gotta do to heal amirighttt?!)

Julia & Brittney – encouragement, girls night outs, adventures

Deo – pep talks, laughter, advice

Bernard – laughter, encouragement

Engage with the people on your list immediately & let them know where you are in your heartache. Be vulnerable with them. I told my support system that I needed them to check up on me every now & then and in doing so, I also became a bigger part of their support system, too.

Confront feelings of guilt, rejection or anger.

I remember being pretty pissed off when my ex-broke up with me.

Like, really, you’re trying to leave allll of thisss?!

If you’re the one being broken up with:

Remember, what feels like rejection, is truly re-direction.

I thank God that that relationship didn’t work out, even though at the time, I wanted so badly for us to go the distance. Understand that the person initiating the break-up only has 1 life to live, and so do you. With that said, know that there is NOTHING wrong with you. And if the person breaks up with you in a nasty way, then it’s even clearer that you are not the problem.

Sometimes people end up not being compatible or their needs change. Example: Oil & Water don’t mix – it doesn’t mean that Oil is useless and Water has no purpose. Oil must let Water find the element it mixes well with and Water must let go & vice versa.

If you’re the one who initiated the break up:

You may be experiencing guilt. You understand that you’ve changed the dynamics of the relationship by no longer being willing to participate romantically or even at all. Your needs aren’t being met and you’re doing what feels like a favour, but it can still be hard not to feel horrible. These feelings will pass but in the meantime…

Be as kind, yet firm as possible! Set boundaries that enforce the new dynamic you wish to have.

I’m also guilty of breaking up with boyfriends then letting them back into my life or bedroom afterward. Don’t play yourself. This isn’t healthy & prolongs the grieving/healing process.

Don’t let the bitterness spoil your sweetness.

Be empowered & know you are in fact loveable. That fact that the relationship happened at all proves you’re a desirable person. What you felt was real, the affection exchanged was real. Your love is good, & the type of love you give is worthy of a good lover! Read that sentence twice so it seeps in.

Have compassion for yourself. The one thing I would tell myself during my experience is “Just be better for the next one”. Because honestly, there are 7 billion people on this planet…. you WILL find love again. Better yourself, grow from this, & continue to be the sweet loving person that you are.

Reflect, then Release (Repeat often).

Why did the breakup happen? I got asked this question a lot and as often as I’d say “We just weren’t getting along”, the truth is, there are always reasons why things don’t work out. Perfectly normal reasons.

Key point: Reason doesn’t mean blame. It takes two to tango & it takes two to not work out. Take accountability for your actions, strengths & shortcomings in the relationship. Maybe you need to be more trusting in future relationships, maybe he wasn’t emotionally available, maybe the two of you were too young; whatever the case – take time to reflect on how things broke down, what you know about yourself NOW & what your needs in future relationships will be, then carry on.

The best revenge is not a new relationship to flaunt in your ex’s face, or whatever you think will make the person regret leaving you. The best revenge is release. Eventually, let that person and the relationship have ZERO effect on your emotional state – release him/her with kindness & peace & walk into the new chapter of your life. Let go because what is meant for you will never pass you, my love.

What is coming is better than what is gone.

Ask yourself what beauty will I create with space they no longer occupy?

The breakups I’ve gone through ended up being the catalyst that helped me reach my goals and dreams. I had more time to focus on myself and I chose to fill my life with new experiences, travel, beauty & healthier relationships.

*Originally Published on NarleyK