Someone online asked, “How long did it take for you to feel like you could date again after losing someone that broke your heart?” This is how I feel compelled to respond:
I have known heartbreak in the past, on more than one occasion. It was painful emotionally, even seemingly physically. If you’re asking because you’ve recently experienced heartbreak, I feel for you. Take comfort, as I did, in such words:
- “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
Cliched, yes, but there’s some merit to the statement. It made me less afraid of things that could go wrong in life. (“Hey, I dealt with that and came out OK. Why should I fear this now?”) The downside is that my poor wife thinks I can be unemotional (unfazed is how I’d prefer to see it!) and robotic at times.
- “Success isn’t not falling; it is the act of getting back up after a fall.”
We are shaped by our experiences and what we learn from them. Learn what lessons there may be to learn from this experience and be positive.
- “Time heals all wounds.”
In the wake of a heartbreak, in my mid-to-late-20s, I read that it takes about as long to get over heartbreak as the length of the relationship. I remember wondering whether it would take someone 5 long years, say, to get over a failed 5-year-long relationship and doubted the linearity of the formula. In any case, that failed relationship of mine lasted only a year-and-a-half and it helped to think that I would likely see light at the end of the tunnel eventually.
Let me volunteer more information so that it may provide additional support and comfort:
Deeply invested emotionally as I was into the relationship, I tried hard to get her back. It worked, briefly, but only for the relationship to sputter along for some more weeks and die. That the end was final became clear to me.
Human as I was, my instinct was to fill the sudden gaping hole in my heart and to feel loved again. Resist the urge to do that. It would be what is referred to as a rebound. Rebound relationships aren’t built on the right foundation.
Take your time to heal, to reflect on your failed relationship, and to grow (continually) into a better, wiser person. When the right person comes along, fall in love because of what you see in them (as it should be), not because of your need for reciprocal love.
Let me end with this:
To love is to give your heart to someone. Being in love is a wonderful feeling. To know love again, though, you have to be prepared to be vulnerable again, despite knowing that you might have to deal with heartbreak again. I would hope that, when the time feels right, you would be open to loving and to be loved again.
Be at peace.
Image: Chris Blakeley/Flickr
Here are additional tips on dealing with heartbreak.