Here are 5 surprising ways to get over a broken heart you may not have considered before.
What is it about the annual celebration of love known as Valentine’s Day that can make the most confident woman feel a bit like crying. Is it because February 14 evokes the shadow of past loves lost and the temporal nature of love; even if there’s a someone in our life now?
A holiday which depends on love and romance to be in ample supply can be disappointing even if you DO have a partner. Losing a loved one, or not having a partner to share the day with can make lovers day especially painful.
Personally I’ve spent many Valentine’s Days without a sweetheart or even the illusion of one. In my opinion Valentine’s is in close competition with Christmas as a holiday where expectations are unlikely to be met!
But I digress.
I met my current partner just two weeks after Valentines Day. I remember that year especially as I’d finally decided to stop looking. I’d turned off my online profiles and said enough for now. By that time, I’d been through quite a few years of being completely single; defined as not having a boyfriend you can ask to drive you to the airport. I’d had many (too many) multiple dates courtesy of Match.com and OK Cupid, but nothing that felt real or worth pursuing. I was killing time playing the dating game but it was getting harder and harder to feel anything other than cynicism. Time to take a break.
Then on February 28 I met Jim. After years of relying on the internet, he slipped into my life via an introduction from my ex husband’s ex BIL of all people. I’d only lived in Denver for six months and a blind date was the last thing I was expecting. This guy named Jim would pop up in conversation and then one day he called and asked me to lunch. A lunch date that turned into several meals, a dessert bar and multiple drinks and a long term relationship.
But I do know what a broken heart is because I’ve been there too. I know how hard it can be to move on especially when age makes us feel a bit more vulnerable. When I was in true despair I remember feeling I’d never heal or know when it was safe to love again.
This is what I’ve learned.
5 Surprising Ways to Get Over Your Broken Heart
Make a positive move to somewhere that feels new.
I’m the mistress of new beginnings. Moving is as natural as cleaning out my closets. It’s how I sweep away the old and prepare for the new. I did end up staying in the city where the heart breaking went down, but I started a new life and new career. I bought a home of my own. Once in charge of my destiny, I finally felt in control which was a refreshing change from feeling lost and unloved.
Whether you move across country, abroad or just to another part of the city, create a new life for yourself that you’re in charge of. Getting our heart broken is devastating because it happens TO us and feels out of our control. Moving intentionally gives us back some self control and self destiny. Heck move to Paris if you want to. This is your time to follow a passion and reclaim you.
2. Give yourself little treats.
What do you do when your child or favorite sibling is sick or feeling blue? You pamper and coddle them don’t you? It’s in our nature as women to be nurturing. I’m almost positive the inventor of chicken soup was a woman. The head chef of Campbell’s is credited with popularizing chicken noodle soup in a can but we know the real deal is made with love and bones.
Treat yourself as you would a loved one. Be gentle and kind. Try not to obsess over details or words, let them go. Instead go shopping for a chicken and make yourself some soup. Or hot chocolate if it feels more comforting. We’re not talking about making a pint of ice cream disappear, this is intentional pampering.
When we need to feel loved, hand picked little treats may help our mindset when it’s most in need of comfort. Think of a small box of exquisite chocolate (chances are they’ll be on sale after the 14th) or a pretty lace balconette bra. The point is not to bury our pain with shopping but to comfort and nourish the animal mind that rules our primal needs. Cause if she ain’t happy nobody’s happy.
3. Create a serene “go to” mantra
A broken heart is driven by our thoughts about what it means. “Who will love me now” “Will I ever get over this?” “I’m not lovable.” “Will I ever find love again?”
When we create an endless loop of unhappy and negative self talk in our heads our recovery is thwarted. In fact our thoughts create our feeling of being broken. We decide what it means to be left and it’s our interpretation of events that torments us, not the event itself.
The only way to break up a negative thought loop is to replace it with a more affirmative loop. You’d be surprised how a small change like this shifts your mood away from broken and towards contentment. Try these or write your own. Repeat often.
“All is well. I am safe and I am loved.”
“Only good lies before me. Love is all around and I feel safe.”
“I create love wherever I go. I believe in me.”
4. Don’t rush to get back in the saddle or under the duvet
There’s an old saying, “The best way to get over a man is to get under another one”. In some ways it’s true. There’s no distraction like a little flirtation! BUT. Starting a new romance while you’re still hurting from an old one isn’t fair to anyone. You need time to heal not spiral into another damaging affair.
When we’re broken, we attract broken. We have to be willing to be alone for as long as it takes to mend our hearts from within. Expecting someone else to mend our hurt is giving our power away. Don’t do it. Once you gain the confidence you can heal yourself you’ll be unstoppable in love. Realize it’s OK to say no until you’re absolutely sure you’re ready to let a new love in. Trust that when you’re ready, love will find you.
5. Stop feeling fear and feel love instead
What happens when our heart gets shattered? We try to protect it from further damage don’t we? We retreat into ourselves and stop feeling. Fear takes over and trusting ourselves and our intuition sometimes flies out the window. When my heart was pummeled I realized I no longer trusted my gut and I’d lost the confidence to make the simplest of choices. As Stella so eloquently said, I lost my groove.
Fear will do that to you. But unless you’re seeing Godzilla stepping out from behind the building and breathing fire, your fear isn’t real.
When I was learning how to get over a broken heart I had to learn to love again. Um no, not the romantic kind but the everyday loving thoughts and actions kind.
I read that other people respond to our thoughts too, as wild as that seems. I had nothing to lose so I tried it. It turns out if you smile with an open heart you get it back. People respond. It sure beats walking around in fear. Try it.
Be the source of love in your life.
Whether you’re in mid life or beyond, it still hurts. In fact I think a broken heart can be extra painful in our fifties and on. We think we’re immune to it, but we’re human. One consolation. If your heart is hurting, it means you’re willing to be open. You haven’t shut down or given up or become a nun.
I know how bad it can be. I’ve been there. But now I’m not and that’s what you need to hold onto. Your pain will soften and change if you allow love in and you don’t your broken heart define you.
You’re meant to be a love machine. Start with yourself, then spread it around.