How to cope with heartbreak
Valentine's Day is just around the corner; and love is in the air. Couples, new and old, are expressing their love for one another by simple words to lavish gifts. Groups of single friends use the holiday to celebrate their independence or find love in other singles. But, what most people don't think about: is the individuals suffering on Valentine's Day from a broken heart. Heartbreak is the instantaneous mood dampener for anyone's life. And around this time of year, heartbreak is the most bittersweet experience.
According to stageoflife.com, a survey website for teenagers and their issues, 66% of high school and college students admit to having had their heart broken. This happens more to girls than boys (70% of girls have had their heart broken verses 53% of boys). Heartbreak is not an uncommon occurrence, but in our culture now, people seem all too eager to dismiss the notion all together. By that, I mean the whole "get over it" attitude that people give to the ones with broken hearts.
In my experience, I have seen heartbreak both ways: as an outsider looking in and the one left broken in the dust. One of my closest friends Ellie* was dumped out of the blue by her boyfriend (who was like a brother to me). Only a day or two after, her ex openly galavants with a girl; that most of us suspected he was cheating on Ellie with. Ellie was heartbroken; but instead of love and support from our friends, she was told to "get over it" and "stop being a baby". It was appalling the way she was treated by a majority of our friends. Now, I too have suffered an ill-fated broken heart and I still am heartbroken over this boy: Jackson*. I have never made my personal issues a secret from people; which often scared people away. But not Jackson. He was (and still is) always chasing after me, caring about how I felt and what happened to me. I had hope that he would feel the same way I do; but to my dismay, he started dating a girl who treats him terribly. I was utterly shattered because we were so close to that point, but then everything was ripped out from under me. Once again, however, I was treated the same way that Ellie was: weighed down by "get over its" or "you shouldn't feel this/that way".
My advice is very clear for those who suffer from heartbreak: EMBRACE YOUR FEELINGS. Your feelings of sadness over this are normal, don't let anyone else tell you otherwise! You need time to grieve what you have lost or what could've been; not be interrupted by people who think they know better. Every person is different, so their processes of getting over tragedy are just as different. Some people might take 3 weeks while others might take 3 years; it's an individual process. That being said, take care of yourself and don't let heartbreak hurt you any harder than it has to. For people who have a heartbroken friend, my advice would be to be sympathetic. Be their for the person without trying to solve their problems. Listen to them cry, take them to a movie they want to see/go on a shopping trip/etc; just be a support system so that they feel loved and taken care of. Everyone deals with heartbreak at some point in their lives, they just shouldn't have to go it alone.
(*name changed for protection of identity)
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