heart break

If you feel like your heart has broken, you’re not alone. Just about everyone experiences the type of grief we call heartbreak at one time or another – and some people seem to have their hearts broken many times throughout their lives. Just think about all the songs you’ve heard on the radio about broken hearts! Of course, it’s not really your heart but your feelings that are hurt.

Lots of things can cause heartbreak. Sometimes you might experience the pain of a romantic relationship that ends before you’re ready. It might be because you love someone who doesn’t feel the same way. Or maybe you’ve lost a friend or relative or someone else you care about. The causes may be different, but the feeling of loss is the same – whether it’s the loss of something real or the loss of something you only hoped for. People describe heartbreak as a feeling of heaviness, emptiness, and sadness.
Although poets have written about the pain of heartbreak for thousands of years, when it’s happening to you, you may feel like no one else in the world has ever felt the same. Or maybe you feel like every sad song was written just for you and your situation!

If you’re recovering from a broken heart, there are things you can do to lessen the pain. Here are some tips that might help:

· Share your feelings. Sharing your feelings with someone you trust may help you to feel better. That could mean simply talking with a friend or family member. For some, letting the tears flow seems to help them heal faster. For others, simply hanging out together and doing things you normally enjoy, like seeing a movie or going to a concert, can be comforting. Somehow just being with someone who cares about you can make things feel a little better.

· Take good care of yourself. A broken heart can be very stressful. But don’t let the rest of your body get broken, too. Get lots of sleep, eat healthy foods, and exercise regularly to minimize stress and depression and give your self esteem a boost.

· Remember what’s good about you. Sometimes people with broken hearts start to blame themselves for what’s happened. They may be really down on themselves, exaggerating their faults as though they did something to deserve the unhappiness they’re experiencing. If you find this happening to you, nip it in the bud! Remind yourself of your good qualities, and if you can’t think of them because your broken heart is clouding your view, get your friends to help you remember what’s good about you.

· Keep yourself busy. Sometimes this is difficult when you’re coping with sadness and grief, but it really helps. This is a great time to redecorate your room or try a new hobby. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about what happened, it just means you should focus on other things, too.

· Give yourself time. It takes time for sadness to go away. Almost everyone thinks they won’t feel normal again, but the human spirit is amazing – and the heart almost always does heal after a while. But how long will that take? That depends on what caused your heartbroken feeling – and on how you deal with loss and how quickly you tend to bounce back from things. Mending a broken heart can take from a couple of days to many weeks – and sometimes even months.

While we’re at it, we might as well mention a few things that won’t help. Like getting angry (or desperate) and trying to hurt yourself or someone else, drinking or taking drugs to feel better or become numb, or locking yourself up in a dark room.

Sometimes, though, the sadness is so deep – or lasts so long – that a person may need some extra support to deal with a broken heart. For someone who is not starting to feel better after a few weeks or who continues to experience signs of depression, talking to a psychologist or other mental health professional can be very helpful.

So, be patient with yourself – and let the healing begin.

The Rebound
AKA the Revenge Shag, The Beer Goggle Relationship or the Love That Knows No Shame, this is a familiar pick-me-up situation. People slag off rebound relationships but they can sometimes do wonders for your self esteem. Most of the time, you know this new relationship won’t last anyway and hey, it’s a damn sight better than sitting at home trying to call your ex for the 100th time. At the very least, you’ll learn about what you don’t want in a new guy.

Rituals, schmituals
Don’t suppress the urge to burn and/or discard of things if feel you need to do so. Any reminders of happier times should be placed in a box and locked away till you know for sure what you want to do with them. If you’re angry, this is actually a good thing. Burn them! Make a huge bonfire and spit into it. Perform an ancient dance of joy that you finally got rid of That Bastard. Now isn’t the time to be nice, it’s time to be tough and bring out all the big, bad memories.

Drunk dialing
This one’s actually something you shouldn’t do. A good method is to entrust your mobile to your best friend…unless she’s actually the one who broke up your relationship. In which case you’ll want to bash her on the head with your phone (make sure you have a lawyer handy!). One way to stay on top of the game is to erase your ex’s number from the address book. Or failing that, just don’t take your cellphone with you if you’re aiming for a big night out. Trust me, the last thing you want to do is be talking to the man you still love after a few too many tequila shots. It’s not pretty and you can be sure he’ll be laughing about it with his mates the next day.

Learn something new
An old faithful is to pick up a new hobby or some such. Okay, okay…I know, it’s hard to peel yourself off that couch and do something, but you’ll be glad for it. All that frustration and sorrow needs to go somewhere so channel your extra energy into a positive activity such as volunteer work or poetry readings.

Staying mates with the louse
A little perspective is needed here. You can’t be friends with someone you’ve just dated, obviously, but given time, a phoenix might rise from the ashes of a failed relationship. Just make sure you’re trying the “friendship thing” for a good reason and not because you want the guy back. If you want them back, then you’re not friends…you’re just into self-torture.

Bring out the big bad memories
You’re allowed to be mad. He left you, didn’t he? He broke a whole bunch of promises, didn’t he? He made you believe he was gonna stick around and love you, but didn’t. Now is the time to trot out all the arguments you’ve ever had. What about the time when he left you watching TV with his parents while he went to the pub? Or how he made you cry when you were sick? Or the annoying way he chews his food? So many things to dislike, and so little to love… no wonder you’re better off without him!

Throw yourself into work
Normally, we at nzgirl advocate a work/life balance. No more! Living well is the best revenge…and what better way to rub his nose in it than to be top dog at work? If you have the confidence to really go for it and build up an amazing career, this will spill into other areas of your life. All of a sudden you’ll have more energy, more money, better contacts, a social life and new friends. You won’t even have five spare minutes to think about The Ex!

Do something out of the ordinary
My friend suggested something random such as going into the supermarket and breaking a bottle of wine, then walking away. While in real life, this wouldn’t be feasible unless you’re extremely brave, you could force yourself to do something you’ve always wanted to do, but never worked up the nerve. Skydiving is good for such an occasion, or getting the chop if you have long, lustrous locks your ex loved. If it’s always been something you wanted to do, then buy a house, or move out of the country. Make sure it’s something major enough to cause a significant ripple in your life.

This one’s for if you’ve tried everything else and it hasn’t helped. So give in already. Make yourself grieve. Think about all the nice, sweet, romantic times you’ll never have with the louse. You’ve lost the love of your life, you’ll never find anyone like him again, you can’t even think about being with anyone else, etc. Give yourself a time limit where you’re allowed to be sad – for example, take the day off work and stay home crying. If you need it, take the week off and go somewhere where you can mope to your heart’s content. Just make sure that the moping is going to be the jumping-point for a new path in your life and not what it’s going be like from now on.

Let it go
If you’ve done the other nine things on the list, then it’s time to let this one go. Chalk it up to experience as they say. There’s only so much you can rehash a relationship before it becomes nauseatingly boring. You know that woman in the movies, the one who always goes on about her ex? Notice how everyone in the film avoids her? That’s you – in real life. Sure, you’ll probably still think about it but the key is not to let that control you. Let it sizzle at the back of your brain,but occupy yourself with more important things…such as concentrating on making the kind of life you’ve always wanted.

Breaking up CAN be hard to do…

But luckily you have nzgirl to get you through the trauma that can result from a bitter bust-up and ensure you emerge with your dignity intact and no criminal prosecutions to your name.

Say you’ve just found out your man’s been doing the dirty on you, even worse it was with your best friend/sister/father (euw!). Chances are you feel like crap. You’re hurt, you’re humiliated and you’re so damn angry it’s consuming you.

While getting him back seems like the best idea to get you on track you’ll probably just end up making things worse for yourself.

Below are some of the things you may feel like doing. We’ve got some pretty convincing arguments as to why you shouldn’t and, even better, we’ve come up with alternatives which won’t end up making you look like the fool.

What you want to do: Pour out your heart to him in a 10 page letter detailing all the hurts and injustices you suffered throughout the relationship and the sacrifices you made for him.
Why you shouldn’t: Once that letter is out there you have no control over it and you can’t get it back – do you really want his new woman sniggering over your feelings?
What you should do instead: By all means write the letter, it’s one of the most therapeutic things you can do. Take as long as you need on it and get everything down on paper – it’ll make you feel heaps better to get your side out. But DO NOT under any circumstances let it leave your room. Lock it away, burn it, stuff it under your bed or give it to your best friend to look after.

Note – The art of letter writing is a somewhat quaint tradition, so if you’re tempted to go for a heart pouring via email just remember how easy it is for email to be forwarded to hundreds of people just by pressing a button. Your ex may find your letter entertaining, flick it on to some mates and before you know it your cousin in Venezuela has received it.

What you want to do: Send a vicious email to his work, detailing all the things you know about him that you’re pretty sure his boss isn’t aware of.
Why you shouldn’t: Chances are you’re going to come across as vindictive, psycho and seriously unbalanced. If his boss trusts him then it’s unlikely your email will get him fired. Plus do you want to risk him turning the tables on you with this one?
What you should do instead: This, my friend, is precisely what your friends are for. Chances are if he was enough of a prick to get you that upset they hate him too, so they’ll relish the chance to bitch and moan about him.

Note – if there is even the remotest possibility you will get back together then do not involve your friends. You’re setting yourself up for mucho awkwardness further down the track.

What you want to do: Call/text/turn up at his house after several bottles of wine, with tears streaming down your face.
Why you shouldn’t do it: One word – dignity. You’d probably like to still have some of it the next day when you wake up needing to puke with mascara down to your chin. If you do the “turn up at the door option” you may get a sympathy shag, but it’s likely you’ll be even more miserable the next day when it turns out he still doesn’t want a bar of you.
What you should do instead: There’s no easy fix for this one, although getting someone else to hold on to your cellphone is a good start. Chances are when they refuse to give it back you’ll flee in a taxi to do the desperate-door-step thing then no one can really help you. You could always go home with someone else to keep you distracted, but if a one-night stand isn’t your thing then just write the word “Dignity” on your hand in vivid and hope it triggers a response in your booze-fuddled brain.

What you want to do: Be his friend and maintain the same connection that you once had, but without the sexual side.
Why you shouldn’t do it: Because no matter how much it seems like a good idea at the time and how much of a void they are leaving in your life, this technique invariably ends in tears. It takes a few hard-earned lessons to realise that cold-turkey is the best way to go, because otherwise for one or other of you this option is just too hard. Feelings get in the way and are easily misinterpreted and what happens when one of you finds someone else…
What you should do instead: Be civil if you have to be in contact, but otherwise stay away. Give it time to let the dust settle and the feelings die down. Rekindle friendships with those other friends you already have, but have been neglected during the relationship.

What you want to do: Take to his car with a large hammer, axe or set of keys.
Why you shouldn’t do it: Ok, we have to take some responsibility for putting this one in your mind, but seriously there is one pretty big deterrent here i.e. THE LAW! No boy is worth getting into that sort of trouble for.
What you should do instead: That’s simple – let us do it for you. Click here to watch our smash up video. Over and over and over again. Work on your Zen mind techniques and visualise replacing the car we used with Mr-Nasty-Ex’s pride and joy. That’ll help you sleep at night.

Just remember: Every guy who breaks your heart only makes you stronger and more aware of what you won’t put up with in a relationship.

Don’t taint all guys with the same brush as the one who hurt you, but learn from the experience and try and fall for a different type of guy next time.


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