“When something bad happens you have three choices. You can let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.” ~Unknown
I’ve learned to be thankful for my first heartbreak.
Of course, at the time of the crime I struggled to see anything positive in it. My mind could see the good, but my heart struggled against it.
It was literally as if someone stabbed my heart; there was a problem that caused my body to stop working properly. I couldn’t cry. I didn’t eat for a week. I didn’t sleep for two. And my mind constantly raced thinking of the perpetrator.
In fact, I still think of him occasionally; it’s so hard to turn off.
Like during any trauma your body faces, it tries to repair itself so it can be whole again. My remedy? To stay busy, pretend everything was great, and throw myself into dating other people the very day things broke off.
I became emotionally promiscuous. (And sometimes, maybe, just promiscuous).
Normally my standards are that I date just one person at a time and don’t get intimate with anyone until I’m in a relationship. I’m usually very conscious of who I date and intentional of how I treat them.
But now that my heart was hurt, all those rules were thrown out the window.
I dated guys just to date someone. It didn’t matter who they were, if I had dated them before, or even if I really liked them. I was just trying to distract myself and not feel the pain.
I wanted to display the image that I was fine, happy, healthy, and so over the perpetrator. Maybe I even did it to hurt him, like he hurt me.
Eventually I decided to settle on dating one guy, someone who was kind and treated me well.
Pretty soon he asked me to be his girlfriend. I said yes, but not because I was really into him. I did it because I wanted to be into him. I hoped that if I were his girl I’d soon forget about the other guy.
But I never did. And when I realized I never would, I had to break things off.
While trying to heal my heartbreak, I had inadvertently broken someone else’s heart.
I didn’t mean to; it was never my intention to inflict that same pain of heartbreak upon someone else. I cannot express how sorry I am for doing that to someone who was so kind to me.
I’ve learned that our relationships are only as healthy as we are. You need to be happy and whole before pursuing other people. It’s never okay to use someone as a tool to fill up a void within you. If you do that, you’ll only harm that person.
Recovering from a breakup takes time, love, and patience. Surround yourself with those who love and care for you, unconditionally.
Learn to be happy just being yourself, by yourself. And when you’re ready, begin to date new people. (But only when you’re ready!)
I am now thankful for having my heart broken. Going through that experience has taught me how to handle (and not handle) a breakup:
1. Don’t let other people be reckless with your heart.
And don’t be reckless with theirs.
2. If you can, try to get closure on your past relationship.
You don’t want to haul that baggage around while you’re dating new people.
3. Never date a person to get over someone else.
It’s okay to have fun, but don’t forget that other people have feelings too.
4. You have to be okay with yourself before you’re okay being with someone else.
If you’re not happy just being single, then consider why that is before trying to get with another person.
5. Don’t display a false image of yourself in an attempt at getting back at someone.
Remember you’re hurt because someone you care for hurt you. It’s hard, but swallow your pride. Sacrificing your morals for revenge is never worth it. You’ll only hurt yourself in the end.
6. Take time to enjoy being single again.
Do things that are authentically you and will make you be happy, without dragging anyone else down.
7. Be patient with yourself, stay busy, laugh a lot, and stick with your friends.
I’ve learned to be thankful for my first heartbreak. Since I’ve experienced how awful it is, I don’t wish it upon anyone else. Now I’m much more intentional with whom I date and why, so I won’t break anyone else’s heart.
Photo by kasia