Author: Stéphanie Deslauriers, psychoeducator
Wanting to love and be loved is so natural and normal! But sometimes getting there is more complicated than expected. 😳
If you’re experiencing heartbreak or want to help a friend who is, this article is for you. Keep reading to find out more.
Expectations for your first romantic relationship
Since childhood, you’ve been exposed to romantic love stories in books or Disney movies. So it’s not surprising that you tend to idealize romantic relationships and want to get butterflies and the whole range of intense emotions that come with such relationships.
But unfortunately, you may have to face heartbreak; the person you had a crush on doesn’t feel the same way or, after being in a relationship for a while, you and your partner break up. 💔
Have you ever experienced a breakup? It’s intense and heart-wrenching, isn’t it? Whether you left your boyfriend/girlfriend or they left you, it’s a big disappointment. 😔
You may feel that no one understands you, that you are alone in the world and that your life is meaningless.
Others experience this disappointment less intensely. Everyone is different, but it’s important not to compare yourself to others and to deal with your emotions in your own way.
Regardless of how you feel, the best way to get over an emotion, whatever it may be, is to accept it without judgment. For example:
“I am aware that I’m feeling sadness, disappointment and a sense of injustice. It’s uncomfortable to feel all this but I know that it’s temporary and that it will pass.”
And, indeed, it does eventually pass. Magically? No. But, with time, by taking your mind off things, focusing on what you like to do, being around people who make you feel good, writing, listening to music, reading, watching a good movie, unwinding through sports, while at the same time accepting that the emotion you experienced is still with you and that sometimes you need to stop, listen to it and let it go. For example, think of a sandcastle on the shore that slowly gets eroded by the waves until it disappears completely. Your sadness is the sandcastle, and time is the waves. Even if it takes a certain amount of time, the pain of your heartbreak will lessen and you’ll eventually feel better.
Keeping your self-esteem
When your boyfriend or girlfriend leaves you, you feel sad and maybe rejected. Experiencing rejection can be hard on your self-esteem—you might feel like keeping to yourself and your self-confidence may be affected. How can you maintain your self-esteem when you’re in such a situation?
- Focus on those who are there for you: your friends and family, for example;
- Remind yourself of your qualities and skills: Are you a generous person? Are you good at your sport or in a certain school subject?;
- Do activities that you like and that make you feel good: draw, listen to music, go shopping with friends, etc.