The Narrative Around Heartbreak

I haven’t had examples of healthy intimate relationships growing up and somehow I’m still open and optimistic about love & an intimate relationship.

I saw behaviors in my childhood that has made me guarded. On the other end of the spectrum with my father around, active, and present, I didn’t see the need or have the desire for a boyfriend when I was younger. I recall a young man asking me to be his girlfriend in high school and what I acquainted a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship to back then, I got all those things from my dad so I told him I didn’t see why. 😭 I can’t even imagine how they may have come across to a high school boy. 

It wasn’t until post college and into my career, I had my 1st real boyfriend/girlfriend relationship that resulted in heartbreak. He couldn’t marry me for familial reasons and had to marry someone else. I was hurt. More hurt because I never really envisioned or thought marriage or getting married and in that relationship it was close. Hurt from recognizing I had to start the journey all over again and if I’m being honest because this MF was getting what he always talked about —wife & kids. As time passed and I allowed myself to feel and express the emotions I felt, I also reflected. Reflected on the small things (services/acts nothing tangible) that I asked for and his reaction. I knew I should not have stayed in that relationship as long as I did, but I also did not know how to walk away. I recall us having a conversation probably a year earlier and me explicitly saying, “I don’t know what we are doing”. I even recall my grandmother telling me not to settle when he met my family. I didn’t read deep into what she meant, but at the time I just felt I didn’t plan on it and wouldn’t marry someone just because. I never felt desperate for a relationship or marriage. During that self-reflection, I recognized the risk & impact of him saying no or complaining about those small things I would ask him to do and a feeling of peace and assurance came over me. Knowing I didn’t know how to walk away and should have earlier, I felt it was my ancestors and the universal doing it for me. From every situation, I’m intentional in learning from them no matter the outcome. From this heartbreak, I’ve learned to:

  • Be more vocal & comfortable in speaking up - cultivate emotional intelligence.
  • Identify some core values & non-negotiables.
  • Confident in expressing my feelings, ready and accepting whatever the result is even if it’s the relationship ending - setting boundaries and asserting my needs.
  • Walk away a lot earlier when I see certain flags.
    • Which I’ve actually done in 4 situations since! I told myself months after that breakup and while working on myself I would be open to seeing where things go if I find a guy I’m interested in. 

The crazy thing I didn’t recognize nor had prior experience, was getting your heart broke from the non boyfriend/girlfriend relationships. Most recently I had a parent break my heart and to keep a 100, the other parent broke my heart over a decade ago. I didn’t realize it uNeil writing about this experience. I won’t tell their business but 10 years ago they came to visit me in Houston and I just happen to see a text message conversation with their sex buddy and remember being hurt at the time upon what I read. As an outsider of the situation/relationship, it seemed like my parent was settling for scraps and didn’t love themselves enough to want more. 

The other parent most recently, in my eyes, it’s the same thing self worth & love. It hurts me the parent doesn’t love themselves enough to stay away from a toxic and unhealthy person. They know I don’t approve nor respect the relationship because of how that person has used and mistreated them. So when I’m in town, my parent’s accessibility to that person becomes a bit more restrictive. Well what I wasn’t prepared for was to be asked to leave the house for a bit so that their friend could come over and I must say, I was hurt and heartbroken. I cried. But then I had to check myself because I am the one who communicated I didn’t want to be around when that person was around. I set that boundary and I always encourage my parent to do what makes them comfortable and want they want to do, not to make other people comfortable or happy including me. So I had to respect that. I just wish they acknowledged their worth and would do the work to heal from the unaddressed issues that causes them to move in the fashion that they do. They’ve communicated to me multiple times, not being happy in that situation, but obviously that battle is easier than working on themselves (at least in my eyes). We can’t care more about other people’s situation than them. One thing I’ve learned is when people are ready to make change, its only then that they will.

Through all of this, I’ve learned there’s positive that can come from heartbreak if you have the right mindset and approach to it. Having a growth and positive mindset, you will be intentional to learn from the heartbreak and not let it make you scorn to relationships. We do more harm to ourselves if we take baggage from a previous situation/relationship into another without giving it a fair chance. I challenge you to reconsider the narrative around heartbreak. The introspective journey after a breakup can act as a growth period, guiding us toward greater understanding of ourselves. It not only facilitates healing but also becomes a springboard for personal growth, resilience, and the pursuit of a more authentic and fulfilling life. As you will have more awareness of what you need, want, and will and will not tolerate.

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