10 things I learned that time my heart broke...

Before you start reading this I have to say that I count myself very lucky to only have suffered with a broken heart once. My experience, while profound, was also very limited.

I have had 3 serious boyfriends in my life:

The happy go lucky stoner/hipster boyfriend: This relationship was a fun one, lots of good times where had, lots of concerts and music festivals were attended, lots of wine and weed consumed. When it ended, I was sad, but I knew it was exactly the right thing for both of us.

The friend I’ve known for over 10 years casually that has turned into the love of my life and father of my child boyfriend (we’re not married yet): I’ve often mentioned Regan and how amazing he is, so I wont go on about our relationship now. Suffice as to say, he is my person. I know this. We struggle and fight and things get hard and then they're amazing but even on our worst day, I know that my heart is meant for him.

Excuse my face, this was before I discovered the wonders of makeup. 
But this isn’t a tale about love cherished, this is a tale about love destroyed, and for that we need to head into my past, pre Regan, pre stoner boyfriend… all the way back to the doomed First Love & Crusher of my Heart, Hopes & Dreams boyfriend:

To quote Cheryl Crow, the first cut is deepest. That is no lie. I don’t want to go into the details about why our relationship ended but I will give you a bit of background so you can understand the mindset I had when it did end.

At the time I was quite young (22), I was living in Okinawa, Japan, which is often referred to as the poor man’s Hawaii. The thing about living on a tiny island is that you will begin to feel like you are living in a bubble, but you’ll enjoy it. “First love & crusher of my heart” (let’s call him James*) and I existed together in the bubble. He was an American mixed race Adonis and I a nerdy South African out for thrills and eager to live. I fell so hard. So. Hard.

Ours was a very steamy, passionate sort of relationship. We literally walked bare foot in the rain, we had sex in the ocean, we took dorky pictures in a photo booth… I sometimes wonder, did this really happen? Maybe I was in a coma and dreamt this all up… No I have photographic proof & stamps in my passport to corroborate. Plus the very real pain of a broken heart, which I fondly remember.

I was completely unprepared for our relationship to end, when it did end, I was in shock. I didn’t feel sadness or anger or hurt, I was just so shocked. Denial was my blanket and I had it wrapped so tightly around myself. The first rational thing I did was make arrangements to come home. I boarded my flight to Tokyo, had a 17 hour delay during which I Spoke to James* the heart crusher and I distinctly remember that it all felt normal. When I landed in Cape Town, my dad was at the airport waiting for me. It was November. I was broke, broken and miserable. Everyone was making Christmas plans. When the reality of our break up and my broken heart hit home, I hurt so much I thought I would die.

But I didn’t die. I carried on. And years later (7 to be exact) I can now tell you that having a broken heart is terrible, but it’s also a wonderfully unique learning opportunity. This is what my broken heart taught me:

When it’s over, it’s over. You cannot make someone love you. You must move on. It will hurt and you will cry, but you have to find the courage to let go.

Stalking their myspace (it was 7 years ago) won’t get you anywhere. You’ll just make yourself sick speculating about who they’re seeing, what their friends are saying about you, have they accepted friend requests from any well known skanks in your previous social circle. What you are looking for is: ARE THEY HAPPY WITHOUT YOU? Yes! Yes they are. It’s really painful to acknowledge that. But soon you’ll be happy too.

Don’t lie to garner sympathy. You can’t call him and say you broke your leg. He may feel bad for you but he wont want you back. Don’t try to hit his friends up with sad tales of woe in the hopes they’ll share even one nugget of his life sans you. They wont. This goes back to #1 – you must move on.

Crying helps. But it can also hinder. Guys I cried for 2 weeks, 2 weeks! I stayed in bed and I cried. Loudly. I was broke and therefore forced to live my parents, who were quite social during that period of time. It was summer, they had lots of bbq’s, get together’s, family days and what not. And the soundtrack to their summer was my gut wrenching sobs, my ugly crying. I was so shameless. Looking back, I think I should have been allowed maybe 1 week of crying and moping. What ended up happening was that I cried myself into a depression. When the tears dried up, a bone numbing sadness took their place. I was truly pathetic.

Having a broken heart can feel like you heart has literally broken. I know it is dramatic, but a very real physical pain accompanies a broken heart. It is actually quite surprising. I didn’t know that sadness could hurt, but it does. And this pain makes even the simplest task like shaving your legs seem impossible.

Food will either become your enemy or your best friend (depending on your personality). Unfortunately for me, food is always my best friend when I am in emotional crisis mode. I am a comfort eater. So in addition to having a broken heart, I was also getting fat.

Friends are like medicine for a broken a heart. I am blessed to have the friends I have. They came over to my parent’s house, armed with lots of menthol ciggies, bottles of wine and literally forced me to wash my hair and leave the house. Even though my first outing was for a walk in the park. I slowly felt like I could do this. I could live without James*.

Get off your ass. I started working out and got a job I took my life back and I felt so empowered and amazing. Obviously I had to share this with James* -- I am a complete moron. Yes, I did mail him to say hi and to brag/regale him with all of my current successes. Yes it only made me look like the fool who even after 3 months was still thinking about him. He replied, my heart ached, I had a good cry and then I just kept going. Eventually a day would go by and I wouldn’t even think of him.

The day will come when you start to feel ok. You wont long for your ex. You wont concoct imaginary scenarios where they realize how much they want you and come storming back into your life. You wont even stalk their various social media profiles. You will approach life not as a sad, hurt little puppy but rather as bold, brave little puppy… Full of joi de vivre! It will feel wonderful.

Robyn said it best: The only way your heart will mend is when you learn to love again. Listen to me; you will fall in love again. And when you do, you will know, that your broken heart is now mended.

Don’t be afraid to love someone once you’ve had your heart broken. Life is too short to be a bitter cat lady.


Nikki Lincoln

Thanks for reading my little blog! I'm Nikki, writer, mom, passionate foodie and bookworm. In addition to my blog, I also craft creative and engaging content for various FMCG brands and a few events companies.

On my blog you'll find parenting tales, tips and advice, occasionally a recipe or two, products reviews and once in a while even a giveaway. If you'd like to say hi or find out more about working with me or my writing services please pop me a mail: nikki.lincoln@gmail.com

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