3 Keys To Healing Your Heartbreak
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All of us face heartbreak in our lives, so how can we learn better methods for healing and moving forward?
You could be reading this because you’re fresh out of a relationship and feel like garbage. Maybe you’re 6 months out of a relationship and still feel like garbage.
Or, maybe, you simply need some perspective shifts to help you move past something (or someone) that you can’t seem to let go of.
You find yourself romanticizing the past, conveniently forgetting all of the negative parts of the person or relationship you’re idealizing, and generally just spinning in circles rather than carving a path forward in life and then walking (running) down it.
You’re blaming yourself, assuming that if you’d done something (or been someone) different, it might’ve all magically worked out.
Likely not the case.
There are a million stories we tell ourselves after a breakup in order to make sense of the situation or re-frame the narrative, when sometimes all we need to do is process it and heal.
The three mindset shifts outlined below are designed to help you view and approach your situation differently so you can see through a clearer lens and begin creating the next chapter of your life rather than simply re-reading the last one.
1: Stop idealizing the future that never was.
“If only we’d stayed together we would have the [insert your ideal life here] that we always talked about!”
Well…maybe, but maybe not.
There’s an old saying that goes like this: People always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.
Never is this more true than when we are freshly out of a relationship. We tend to forget all of the arguments, disagreements, moral differences, or petty arguments that never had to happen.
We allow ourselves to become blind to the red flags, personality differences, and annoying habits. Suddenly, our ex is once again the ideal partner whom we’ve just lost forever.
The truth is, though, there is no predicting how the future actually would’ve unfolded. People grow (sometimes apart), and face new challenges in life. Sometimes we lose jobs and plans change, sometimes there’s a global pandemic, but always: Life is unpredictable.
To hold on to the mental illustration of how things would’ve been, when there’s no way of knowing that for sure, only brings about mental anguish and serious FOMO (fear of missing out) of something that might’ve never happened.
Learning to let go of this imaginary reality allows you to come back to the one that’s actually happening around you and enjoy it to the fullest.
2: Understand you might’ve actually needed this.
There’s an old story about two fish swimming in a fish bowl.
One of the fish turns to the other and says: “What do you think of the water today?”
The other fish responds: “What is water?”
The point is, sometimes we become so immersed in what’s going on around us that we completely forget it’s even there.
In relationships, this could mean poor or restrictive treatment, negative patterns or habits, or even toxic behavior we’ve accepted as “normal” because it’s easier than leaving.
Sometimes, freeing ourselves from a partner who wasn’t bringing value to our lives is the thing we need the most, even if it doesn’t feel like it in the moment.
Being single is an opportunity to explore our own passions, values, beliefs…it’s an opportunity to travel, adventure, meet new people, experience different places and cultures.
Of course we can (and should) do this while in a relationship, but if you weren’t in a relationship that cultivated that type of positive energy then being free of it is the perfect opportunity to embrace what you’ve been missing.
It’s your chance to create a life that you are proud of. One you’re passionate about. One that sets your soul on fire.
And then, when you know exactly what you want and who you are, you’ll be in a better position to find a partner who enhances your life — not one who complicates it.
3: “The one” doesn’t exist.
WHEW. Did I really just say that?
The guy who’s been preaching on behalf of monogamous relationships for a decade just said “the one” doesn’t exist.
That’s right — I’ve said it before and I will say it again.
But, you don’t need me to tell you that. If you’ve ever faced a breakup, felt like you’d never find love again, but then someday…you did…you already know this is true.
If you’ve ever dated more than one person in your life and felt like they could be “it,” you already know this is true.
As I write this, the current world population is reported to be 7,869,945,529.
Every single one of those 7,869,945,529 people is a unique, loving, and caring soul. How many of them do you think are waiting for someone exactly like you to show up in their lives?
2? 5? One million?
The point is this: At the end of the day we’ll only choose one person to be with in a monogamous relationship, but the ocean of people we can choose from is virtually endless.
In light of this, it makes no sense to waste time on toxic people.
It makes no sense to accept sub-par treatment.
It makes no sense to settle for less than we deserve.
It makes no sense to make excuses for bad behavior.
It only makes sense to decide what you deserve and hold out until you find it.
Build a life that you are passionate about. Surround yourself with as many of the billions of people in the world who share your interests as you can.
Make connections. Make friends. Explore. Grow. LIVE.
If envisioning the life you’ve always dreamed of becoming a reality doesn’t help you move on from someone who doesn’t deserve you, I don’t know what will.
James Michael Sama is an internationally recognized speaker, author, and personal development coach.
Finding success in creating hundreds of viral articles and videos on building limitless confidence and healthier relationships, James has accumulated over 38 million visitors to his website and a collective social media following of over 400,000.
James speaks at live events and in the media across the U.S. and has become a go-to expert with outlets such as CNN, Bravo, The New York Post, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, CNBC, The Boston Globe, CBS, and more.James Michael Sama
International speaker, writer, & adviser helping you build happier relationships. Seen: CNN, CNBC, NY Post, CBS, more. JamesMSama.com: 38 million+ views.
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As someone who has been in many toxic relationships throughout his 30 years of dating, this is sound advice, BIG TIME. Unfortunately, my best relationship, which ended exactly 3 years ago, was NOT toxic. We saw each other almost every day for 22 months. Almost every day with her felt like a privilege, in part because she was SO different from my other relationships, in that we loved making a life together, and really made each other a priority. Also, we had almost no conflicts, and when we did, they were resolved quickly and maturely, with no loud voices or words we later regretted saying. And we had very similar values (with one huge exception I’ll get to), interests, personalities, and love languages. I loved her family, and she loved my friends and family. Unfortunately, she wanted children, and I did not. I tried so hard to make myself want to want to have a family for her sake, after finding out early on that she wanted children, but it just didn’t happen. I figured that, like every other woman in my life, she’d either lose interest in me after a few months, or she’d become some crazy chick that I couldn’t stand after a few months, or we’d soon reach an impasse on other life goals, but none of that happened for almost 2 years. Quite the contrary, we fell deeper and deeper in love with each passing month. And for the record, when she asked me early of if I wanted kids, I replied, “I don’t know? Maybe? But if I did want them, it would be with someone like you.” And I truly believed what I said.
So it’s hard for me to apply your first Key, as there were not the toxic elements and red flags you’re describing in this relationship. She finally brought up the children issue, as she had some fears that I was not on board towards the end and asked me once and for all, so I had to come clean with how I was feeling, and we had no choice but to end things that day. But we were otherwise very much on course for an engagement in the near future if only the children issue didn’t exist, so it’s very hard to NOT imagine a life with her.
Regarding your second Key, I definitely did NOT “need this.” Quite the contrary…..since breaking up, my life has felt far less enriched with all the fun and exciting things she and I did together and or with her family. I have a lot of great friends, but they are too busy or broke to travel with me, and, I’m sorry, but traveling in a romantic relationship blows traveling with a friend any day, in my opinion, because you have that added element of romance while you’re traveling. She held me back from nothing! Anything did felt better when we were together.
And while I agree with your third Key, keep in mind, the talent pool of nearly 8 billion people in the world gets significantly smaller when you consider some of the following factors….. how many people of (in my case) the opposite sex are: physically attractive, geographically close (like within 30 minutes of travel time), age appropriate, childless/have older children they are no longer taking care of, have their act together career-wise, are emotionally available, not workaholics, have a good deal of similar values and interests, and, most importantly, even have chemistry with me?