For Halloween this year, I found inspiration in Lara Jean Covey from Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Lara Jean is a high school junior who writes letters to boys she has intense feelings for to help process her feelings and keeps these letters in a box in her closet. 5 boys, 5 letters.
Like LJ, I’ve written love letters to all the boys I’ve ever loved, but this year, I wanted to write a love letter to all my friends who have had their hearts broken. I want them to know that they deserve better.
While I’m not an expert in relationships, I am quite the expert in having my heart broken, so I’ve compiled a list of helpful thoughts and things that have helped me get through tough times.
Give yourself time.
It’s okay to cry. Cry your heart out and allow yourself time to have that cathartic release. Work through your feelings instead of trying to stop them from coming. Give your time days, weeks, as much time as you need, but if you dwell for too long, you’re not allowing yourself to grow.
Each instance of hurt only happens once, but the ability to recall memories allows us to replay a situation over and over. By holding on to these negative thoughts, you’re allowing someone who hurt you to live rent free in your head. There are bigger and better things waiting for you, but you can’t see them if you’re looking backwards instead of forward.
Keep yourself busy
My life motto is “TREAT YO’SELF”, and there couldn’t be a better time for self care than now. It can mean things like getting your hair done, getting a pedicure, doing a face mask, and taking a bubble bath. But self care isn’t always a luxury, it’s a necessity. Make sure you get enough of the basics: rest, water, and food because you need these to live.
Journal about what you’re going through and tend to your feelings, take care of some small tasks so you’re not feeling overwhelmed later on, read a good book, take long walks, volunteer, watch something that makes you laugh and feel good, go outside, plan out your week, clean your room or go to the gym and get fit if that floats your boat.
Maintain your routine. Don’t let heartbreak be the reason that you lose a job or get behind in school.
Whatever you decide to do, be engaged in your current space and setting. You’ll be less likely to send a snapchat, like a post, or shoot them a text if your mind is preoccupied.
Find your support system
Before, your SO was most likely the person you went to for comfort. They knew how to make you feel better whether it was by using warm loving words or just by giving your hand a reassuring squeeze. Instinctively, they’ll be the one you want to turn to during a difficult time like this, but there were others in your life who lifted you up before you even knew of their existence. Spend time with them.
Things to keep in mind
- It’s not your fault, things that happen are not always ones that you can control. But what you can control is yourself and your actions.
- It’s good, brave even, to be optimistic, about love but don’t let your hope that it’ll work out in the future affect your decisions now. If they happen to come back into your life, then let it be a pleasant surprise but as of now, they aren’t.
- You will find someone better for you. You might have thought they were the best thing that ever happened to you, that they were the one. You might worry that you’ll never find someone like them ever again. But why would you want that if things didn’t work out? There’s going to be someone who will be better for you. Someone who will stick with you through thick and thin, someone who will always be on your team no matter how scary the road looks ahead.
- Don’t settle for less out of loneliness. There’s a lot of riff raff out there so focus on your goals and dreams. If the right person happens to come into your life and fit into your plans, let them fall into place. Randall Pearson on “This is Us” said, “We don’t push our plans onto each other. We adjust our plans together.” With the right person, you’ll grow together as you support each other in your endeavors, so don’t settle.
On being friends
Being friends can be an option, but it isn’t something that can happen overnight. It takes time for romantic feelings to disappear and time to rebuild a different kind of relationship. As appealing as this might sound because you’ll still have them in your life, be realistic and true to yourself.
Does being friends help you in the long run?
What happens when they start dating someone who dislikes the idea of keeping contact with an ex? There’s the possibility of losing them all over again.
Do they deserve to know what’s happening in your life when they didn’t care enough to continue your relationship?
While many are understandably upset after a relationship ends for various reasons, some believe that they aren’t worth enough or that if they’re better in some way that things wouldn’t have ended. Do not put your self worth in someone else’s hands. You can be loved just as you are.
If you know me well enough, you know that I’d grab you by the shoulders and vigorously shake some sense into you. Listen here you beautiful bitches, I’m about to fuck you up with some truth.
You are a capable person all on your own, so acknowledge and celebrate the victories no matter how big or small: You woke up without hitting snooze, you survived the horrendous Atlanta commute, you aced your last exam, you successfully planned a sorority family gathering, you’re on your longest streak of going to the gym, you taught your dog a new trick, you set goals and met them.
Your world is bigger than this one relationship. You were a complete human being before with your own interests, goals, support system, and life. This one setback shouldn’t deter you from brushing the dust off and flourishing in your pursuits. You have so much going for you and you have so much to give to those around you: your ability to make others laugh no matter how bad your jokes are, the lovely art you make, your excellent meme finding skills, you wittiness, your unwavering support for your friends, the way you always have other people’s best interest in mind.
You deserve the goodness that you put out into the universe. Sometimes it might return to you in an unexpected way: an unusually spectacular sunset, the feeling of the sun on an uncommonly warm day, the brilliance of the autumn leaves enveloping you. When you keep an eye out for the unexpected goodness in the world, your perspective changes. Grow through what you go through and no matter how long it takes, know that you’re going to be just fine.
If you can get through everything you’ve gotten through in your life up until this point, you can overcome having your heart broken because you are a badass and you’ve been able to handle worse.