A reader asked me to give some fresh insights on heartbreak – and moving on from an unrequited love. What can anyone say about a broken heart that hasn’t been said before? There is nothing you can say to someone who is in this kind of pain that will take the pain away. No ibuprofen for the swelling of the love muscles. Heartbreak is a feeling that demands to be experienced with the full intensity of being alive.
I’ve always loved this idea of happiness: if we were never sad, we would never truly appreciate the joy of being happy. In some ways I believe you can use this contrast with love and heartbreak. Falling out of love helps us appreciate love when we have it. Relationships that have ended help guide is into newer, better, healthier, more satisfying relationships.
Heartbreak defies logic. I always want to tell people that they’re lucky. They’re not with someone who didn’t want to be with them anymore. They still have an opportunity to meet someone that deserves them. Someone who loves them as much in return.This is a great reasoning. When a relationship ends or fails to begin we’re given another chance. To find a new love. To experience love all over again. To fall and flirt and stumble and discover. For many, particularly those who seek and find monogamy, there are a limited number of times that this happens. A limited number of times that you might fall in love.
When we love someone we don’t understand how they could hurt us. We believe that love is a protective hard coating for our feelings. But love makes us the most sensitive to pain. Love both blurs our vision and makes us see clearly in hindsight. I can’t believe they hurt me. I can’t believe they did this. I knew it wouldn’t work. Even though we feel that pain and know that the relationship was the cause of that pain, we want the person that caused the pain to fix it. We falsely believe that they’re the only one who can fix it.
I’ve written about how much I hate talking about love because love cannot be explained or described in any words that fully capture the experience. The same is true for losing love or falling out of love or never having the love we thought we deserved.
What I can say of love is that it will continue to drive you if you let it. And you should, if you’re open, explore all varieties of love as deeply as you can. If you’re not ready for another relationship, don’t start another relationship, but keep loving. Love your friends and your family and be kind and courteous to all those around you.
Just like love breaks, it heals, and the love that you share will come back to you.