The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Love is a human necessity; from the moment we come into this world, love surrounds us. It nurtures us, raises us, and uplifts us. The source of this love usually comes in the form of affection from our older family members, and the lessons we learn from them carry into relationships outside of our homes. But outside of the home, whether it be on the neighborhood playground or at school, we develop our first taste of a different kind of love – a crush. We may be awkward, we may display our feelings in unconventional ways (i.e., the boy pulling on his crush’s hair), or we may not do anything at all with these feelings. As we grow older and mature, these feelings mature as well. They manifest themselves into complex feelings of love that fall short of just a typical playground crush. These feelings make us feel electrified, exhilarated, and they also encourage us to be the best version of ourselves. We gleefully relish in the feeling that romance brings, and sometimes allow it to consume our hearts and soul.
But this feeling can also disappoint. It devastates us. It leads to broken hearts and cynical mindsets. Love can make us feel on top of the world, just to send us crashing back to earth before we can finish saying, “I love you.”
What do you do when this is your reality? Maybe you’re in the fetal position, curled up at home, with only the glare of a screen illuminating your cloudy world. Or, you’re walking around campus, masking your emotions with a fake smile whilst throwing yourself into organizations and academic assignments. Each of these versions of yourself has something in common: they’re hurt. They’re defeated, and they’re trying to cope. The way you deal with your heartbreak is 100% valid, it’s okay to be upset. The romantic life that you curated for yourself fell apart, and you’re trying to patch things together. Having this type of self-awareness is paramount in moving forward. Take all the time and resources you need to sort out your feelings.
As a hopeless romantic, I know too well the crushing feeling of heartbreak. It’s suffocating and it makes you feel apathetic about ever finding someone new. “Whatever, I’m destined to be the single rich auntie anyway.” If you’re anything like me, the, “forever alone” spiel is your comical way of dealing with your emotions. But being alone doesn’t have to be your predetermined future, either. After all, what is meant to be will be.
Cry it out, scream it out, set your phone to “Do Not Disturb” and ghost social media if that’s what you need. You’re valid in letting yourself get into this slump; it’s getting yourself out of that slump that’s crucial. Part of having a broken heart is eventually mending it, and you’ll never give yourself the chance to do so if you let it permanently distort your view of love. I’m not going to say that everything is going to be sunshine and glitter at the end of the day (even that’s too unrealistic for me as a self-proclaimed optimist), and this article isn’t the key to winning your lost love back. It’s a reality check. It’s a reminder to come out of this hole as a better version of yourself. Whether that’s in the form of reaching out to others and surrounding yourself with unconditional love from friends and family, or the ever-popular, “revenge outfit” and impulsively cutting and/or dyeing your hair, it doesn’t matter, all self-care is good self-care.
Once you’ve let the bulk of your emotions out in healthy ways, take a step back and allow yourself the time to reflect. Avoid playing the blame game and do not get into the toxic, “It’s all my fault” way of thinking. Reflect in practical ways. Assess the red flags that you didn’t allow yourself to see from the start because you were blinded by love. If you’ve fallen under the infamous spell of losing yourself in that relationship, find yourself again. Realize all the unhealthy aspects of your time together with that person. Letting the reality of your relationship come to the surface will give you clarity as to why the breakup makes sense – and why your heartbreak might actually be better for you in the long run.
Unconditional love and romantic love have been discussed, but most importantly, the one love that should be above all is self-love. This is arguably the most undervalued form of love that we experience as humans. Take this time to fall in love with who you are psychologically, physically, and spiritually. Self-love brings out the best in ourselves and guides us through life. It is the best kind of love for the hardest moments of our lives. Tap into the bliss of self-love and allow it to take control instead. Think about it, can you truly experience love if you don’t love yourself first?
Always remember: your feelings are valid, and it’s okay to be hurt.