If you ever find yourself heartbroken, 18 and back in the year 2007, I would highly recommend not listening to One Republic’s “Apologize,” or Band of Horses’ “No One’s Gonna Love You" on repeat, alone in your dorm room.
It was like I was purposely sabotaging myself from feeling better. Listening to the lyrics, “No one is ever gonna love you more than I do” only made me cry myself into oblivion.
People, take my advice: when you are sad, DO NOT LISTEN TO SAD SONGS. Cry it out a few times, but then go watch “Pitch Perfect” and cheer yourself up. Do not torture yourself.
When I suddenly found myself single during my freshman year of college, I had this aching pain in my chest. My heart actually felt broken. It was so bad that I called my mom and asked if I was going to be okay (self-diagnosed hypochondriac.)
So many people navigate heartbreak and come out feeling okay. Why did this affect me so much? When we see our friends continuously giving second, third and tenth chances to guys who are wrong for them, we wonder why they can’t listen to our advice and stop communication. Are some of us just gluttons for punishment?
Even if the breakup ended amicably, what prevents us from moving on?
1. It was your first love.
There’s a theory that if you fell in love during adolescence, like I did when I was 16, the person will be imprinted on you like a biological bond.
If this were accurate, there should be no question as to the reason why we can't get over our first loves. Unfortunately, if this were true, we would never be able to bond with anyone after the first person with whom we fell in love.
Though we may have strong emotional memories, they are not imprints. It is our choice whether we ultimately rekindle the relationship or let the person go.
2. You’re into the idea, not the person.
You can’t get over this person because he or she provided so much for you at a pivotal time in your life. He or she made you feel loved, treasured and safe.
You were a part of a couple and you felt you that had a place in the world, with your partner. You miss the idea of being with SOMEONE — it’s just not necessarily this person.
3. You only remember the good times, not the problems.
Of course, our stupid brains keep flashing happy memories to us. You only remember the secret love notes he left around your house, the silly made up nicknames and the way he decorated your room when you came back from Europe for a month.
Your brain doesn’t want you to remember how jealous and needy he was or how he betrayed you.
4. He or she was your most recent relationship.
You can’t get over this person because you can’t remember what dating anyone else is like! You don’t want to get back to that awful dating scene and you know you will inevitably compare every new person to your ex.
But, this is just because it was your most recent relationship. Eventually, when you meet someone great, you will eventually be able to let the last person go and move on.
5. You made a mistake and let go of someone you took for granted.
Don’t beat yourself up too much about this one. Maybe you’ve heard the quote, “People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which it is, you’ll know exactly what to do.” Maybe you ended things with this person because you needed to explore what else was out there and were too young to make a lifetime commitment.
You broke up with this person because you thought he or she would always be there. You thought you might be able to do your own thing for a while, but when you were ready to come back, he had already moved on.
It’s ok. As F. Scott Fitzgerald would say (and I would agree), “I believe there are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice.” You will find another, different love.
6. You want what you can’t have.
You were fine when things ended, but now that he is dating someone else, you want it back. From what you could tell by stalking his Facebook, you can tell she’s really cute and looks like a lot of fun.
You could probably even be friends with her. You don’t want him, but that doesn’t mean that someone else can have him. This is the classic “grass is greener on the other side” scenario. You just want what you can’t have now that you can't have it.
7. Maybe you truly are meant to be together.
A part of you truly believes that this person is your soul mate. Despite what happened, you will try to figure out a way back to each other. You honestly can't see being with anyone else.
If any of these apply to you, realize that you are not alone but know the difference between what your heart wants and what your brain is telling you.
Look at the situation logically, and consider why you truly didn’t work out, unless you sincerely believe that the seventh reason applies to you.
If you think any of these apply to a friend, the best thing you can do is to not force her to “get over it.” Despite how much it hurts you to see your friend navigate such emotional turmoil, it is not your business.
No matter how many times you offer advice, ultimately, your friend will do what he or she wants to do, regardless of your opinion.
For whatever reason, these special exes are important to us. I like to think of the experience as a scar — it was painful once, but now it’s just a faint reminder that it used to hurt.
That doesn’t mean you can’t move on and be happy with someone else. Despite the hurt, you will always have wonderful memories to reflect upon nostalgically.
Photo via We Heart It