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Heart ache and heartbreak - when relationships come to an end.

Updated: Aug 8, 2023

This ‘hot’ topic is close to my heart and written from the heart…. in fact I even stepped beyond my comfort zone and put myself out there with my first VLOG: HEART ACHE and HEART BREAK: leave the loss and learn the lesson This is something we can all relate to and is also something we process and grieve in different ways. I would never profess to be any kind of expert on it….. there are already far too many love gurus out there, with magical formula’s to woo him... or win him ...or lure him back…. I am only the expert on my life - I know what I know and don’t know what I don’t know….. Life is after all a journey of discovery and growth aiming to narrow the gap between those two points of reference….. I have only had a handful of intimate relationships in my adult life…. What does this say about me? Well I am selective, but also I choose to only invest in the relationships and people I value and find deserving and worthy…. Do I get it right?! Well, hell no, clearly not…. I wouldn’t be writing this blog right now if I did! That said, I may also perhaps not be quite as damaged, jaded and wounded as people who have had more…. Heart break is an effective teacher, but it’s what we CHOOSE to take from it and learn from it that counts. Many of us take the mourning and grieving process far too seriously and feed into the anger, disappointment, and hurt…..playing the soppy sad songs and weeping over shoeboxes of dog-eared photos, ruminating over if’s and buts…. When coping with crises in my life, I have a 5minute rule…. that if in 5 years time this will have just been a blip on the timeline of your life, you only get to spend 5 minutes wailing over it…. yes heart ache and heart break hurts, it leaves a hole and is felt as a physical pain…. BUT rather than feed the beast why not LEAVE the pain and rather embrace the lesson, and rather than falling into depression and self-depreciation, or aiming to simply find a quick fix to “feel better” rather aim to BE better. Emotions are often so fickle, unreliable, unhelpful and consuming. Certainly we all need to grieve and process loss and endings in out own way, but there most certainly are healthier and more helpful ways to do this. Relationships end mainly because of mismatched expectations with regards to our own value system, and self worth. It’s about our needs, wants and desires and what we feel we deserve. The chemistry, attraction and infatuation bring us together but what is left “when the honeymoon” is over? Pheromones, hormones and infatuation are certainly not the most important ingredients for long term significant intimacy. It is said that there are 3 types of relationships those that serve a reason, those that last a season and the rare, precious ones that last a lifetime. It helps to look at your relationship and figure out which type of relationship yours was…. Two people should not become one person in a relationship…. rather they should each become better people as a result of a relationship and grow and mature as a result of it. They should become MORE than what they were, never less. Two people who become one person are just two half people…. and so often one invests more than another and when the relationship splits up one person may have sacrificed more of themselves than the other. A relationship is actually a transaction in which reciprocity is rare.... i hate to say this but love and respect are not actually unconditional.... and one does need a "return' on one's investment.... Rather lose assets than lose yourself in the divorce! Yet, on the other hand we naturally and almost effortlessly invest in the things we value and love; and in a way, the more we invest the more we risk losing.... But by the same token if you walk away at the end not feeling loss or heartbreak, it means you were only half hearted in the relationship to start with! If you leave a relationship and look for the previous lover in all the new lovers you meet or hanker after that person as "the one that got away".... again, you did not give it your all, and as such, have unfinished business and will struggle to find closure!

Dido Blagden salutes an ex
A cheeky reminder

I choose to view the heart ache, heartbreak and hurt when a relationship ends, as evidence that I truly valued my intimate relationship… I really loved that lover! I invest everything I can into them, as one does (both consciously and subconsciously) with things one loves and values. If you value something you put in the time, the energy/ effort, the resources (not just financial) and people (ie you include them in your inner circle - belonging and connectedness is a fundamental human need). When I let go, it is easier to grieve BECAUSE I know I have invested my all (heart and soul).

More than just that, because I am cognisant of how important VALUES are in every relationship, and how they are personal and unique to each person, you actually start to realise you cannot take the disconnect and loss personally. A relationship is what it is, isn’t what it isn’t and will be what it’s going to be…. and this all depends on the individuals values and self worth! You cannot question your own self-worth based on someones intrinsic value system. It’s not that you weren’t good enough or weren’t deserving…. it’s simply that you weren’t the right fit for that specific person at that particular point in their lives. Values change and people grow, it’s not to say that it wouldn’t or couldn’t have worked at a different time. But at that point, where your relationship is failing, your values are at odds. They have other values and their priorities and things or people they find more significant, important, meaningful or purposeful to them than you or your relationship. You cannot force someone to love or value you which DOES NOT MEAN you are unloveable or without value, it just means you haven’t found the right person who deserves you, adores you and finds value in you! If you don’t remain authentically true to yourself and your own values, if you sacrifice them and try to mould yourself into the person you think it is that they need…. that is when you start becoming less in a relationship…. a half person! The cheerleader living vicariously through someone else. The aim is to grow together, grow up, grow old, grow bigger and bolder and greater than you were before…. not to become enmeshed and consumed and caged and diminished! At the end of the day, for me…. the way I deal with the heart ache and heart break is to choose not to become bitter and twisted or consumed with guilt, self doubt and questions….. Instead I choose to process the relationship, put into perspective and relegate the relationship (and the lover) into the past…. I let go and release them.

If I ever decide to give up on you....

I do not keep souvenirs or hostages…. I do not keep a piece of them (or the relationship) alive and current. I don’t “stay friends” simply because I don’t need or want the constant reminders (and especially in the early stages, I need to sever all contact to avoid the temptation to revisit something that for, whatever reasons, did not work.I prefer to focus on remembering them with gladness and appreciating and celebrating their role (and time spent) in my life. I choose to focus on remembering that person as someone I once loved rather than on someone I lost. Someone who at a point in my life had had meaningful and was significant. This, for me, is the most effective way to release the person (and the pain/loss) and move on, with the lesson and be greater and better as a result of the relationship! Forgiving and forgetting if necessary, but more just accepting that the person and relationship is no longer part of my life - the past is over, it has no power now. On occasion, they may pop into my thoughts and I remember them fondly for the role/ place/ or just some moment in time that we shared in my life. I choose to live and love fiercely. I don’t fear death or endings as much because I truly invest in living and loving, rather than just going through the motions and playing the game! I do not want to live the average life, I do not want mediocre lukewarm relationships, I do not want to exist in that comfortable and content rut.... I want to live life with risk, and not regret.... I want more than ordinary.... I dare to be EXTRAordinary!

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