There will always be more love.
By Elizabeth Overstreet
Last updated on Oct 08, 2023
Photo: Diego Cervo | Canva
Learning to trust and love again after someone has shattered your heart is perhaps one of the most challenging things you do.
Once someone violates your trust and disrespects you, it can feel as though it’s impossible for you to recover from heartbreak. But, the good news is that you can.
Here are 8 critical things to remember when you’re broken and trying to find love again:
1. Realize we are all broken, and you are not alone
No one is perfect. Don’t let anyone ever make you think you are ‘less than’ because of the experiences you have had.
Everyone — and I mean every single person — brings some baggage to the relationship. Some of us are more loving, charming, funny, or wittier than others. But, even with those kinds of traits, those same individuals can have some less-than-desirable characteristics too. Some may struggle or have struggled with past personal challenges which could include emotional, or physical abuse, or maybe addiction to drugs, or alcohol. The bottom line is everyone owns and carries some baggage into the relationship.
Broken Heart to Dating Recovery Tip: Find someone who can mesh with who you are and complements you where you may lack a particular trait. E.g., if you are overly analytical, being with someone who is prone to make quicker decisions or take action can be a good fit. Or if you are an introvert, you could be an excellent fit for an extrovert who needs someone to balance out their need for constant interaction, activities, etc.
2. Take time to recover and recalibrate
If you just ended a relationship, I know your natural instinct is to keep it moving. What’s that saying, “the best way to get over someone is to get under someone.” Well, I’m here to tell you that while it seems like this works, people repeatedly hit the wall when they try to rush the process of not allowing themselves to heal from a broken heart before moving on to the next person.
Your heart is on the mend, and a mended heart doesn’t always work so well in heading into the next relationship endeavor. Somehow our emotions are pretty complicated, and if you haven’t had a chance to recover fully, you bring your unsorted emotional issues from one relationship to the next, not getting real traction, because you need time to heal.
Broken Heart to Dating Recovery Tip: Try this instead: take a break. I wouldn’t put an infinite time on your healing period. But, I would say taking the time you feel you need to be comfortable before entering into the next relationship will help you have a better chance at success in your future relationship.
3. Be open in your communication and also listen
Yes, you have to communicate. I know it can be a pain when your partner just can’t figure it out. But, here’s the critical part of communication: listening. Remember, your significant other can’t read your mind. You have to be willing to put in the work to help them stay connected to you.
Each person in a relationship has different communication styles. Tell your partner what you like and don’t like. Set some clear boundaries on how you agree to disagree. Spirited discussions between two people who love one another are okay. But, being disrespected during the process is always unacceptable, and one of the reasons communication breaks down.
Broken Heart to Dating Recovery Tip: If you can’t articulate what you want to say, here are a couple of ideas. Men and Women can communicate in different manners, as women can be more verbose. However, when talking to your man, he often may want you to get to the point.
4. Communication styles vary between men and women
Use highlights and overviews when conversing with him. Make it succinct and use a couple of examples to back up what you are saying. Then tell them what you want them to do to correct the matter.
And men: here’s some advice for you when communicating and listening. I realize when thinking your woman is complaining, talking it out is often her way of venting and getting it out of her head so she can figure it out. But she isn’t always looking for you to solve her problems.
Broken Heart to Recovery Tip: Get your point out there and be clear about what your expectations are from your partner. Let your partner know upfront if you want them to listen, are seeking their advice, or just need to vent. It sets a clear expectation of how they can help you.
5. Know when to walk away
Every relationship isn’t for you, no matter how much you might want to make it work. It is the hardest part to reconcile because sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants even if that particular person isn’t the right fit for you.
Coming from different backgrounds, and family experiences, and having wide and vast communication styles can make it extremely difficult for two people to stay together.
Misunderstanding, not listening to your partner, and not being willing to compromise can be non-starters if you keep reaching an impasse. The key is to know your dealbreakers up front. If you’re starting to feel bad more than good around them and no matter how much you communicate with them, you can’t get any resolution, you just might not be compatible.
Broken Heart to Dating Recovery Tip: Sometimes in looking for the right relationship, we fail to look for and focus on attributes that matter more, i.e., transparency in communication, shared expectations, honesty, moral values, consistency, etc. These are some of the qualities that help your relationship stand the test of time. If your partner lacks in the big things that keep a relationship whole, it might be time to move on.
6. Your emotions can obscure your thoughts
All of us are emotional creatures. When things are going your way, it’s easy to be cool in a relationship. But, the real test always comes when things are off kilter, you’re stressed, and not your best. The same goes for your partner too!
Can you manage through the challenging times or does it seem damn near impossible to function with the other person? Keep this in mind. Everyone is going to experience some difficulties. The key is to have the person in your life who can help you manage the problems and also help you to become better at getting through the complicated stuff.
Broken Heart to Dating Recovery Tip: Every relationship is going to have a moment that makes or breaks the relationship. Ask these things before you throw in the towel and decide to give up:
Can we get through this if we decide to work together and will this matter as much in 3, 5, 10 years?Will going through this situation make our relationship stronger?Is this something that you are upset with and want to move on from one of your non-negotiable areas in which you cannot deal with the fallout?
7. Focus on where you are improving and keep doing the work to get better
You are a work in progress. It’s easy to get down and focus on where you are failing. Don’t! Shut down that type of mental thinking.
And don’t let someone who has been in your life for a short period do that to you either. Their experience is their experience, and yours is yours! No one has walked in your shoes. And you don’t need their $.02 for everything you need to improve continually.
Keep some aspects of what you consider the more challenging aspects of your personality close to the vest and reveal them only when you feel your partner is ready, willing to be supportive, and accepting.
Broken Heart to Dating Recovery Tip: Some people will take what you tell them about areas in which you want to improve against you to make you feel bad and elevate themselves. But, in the meantime, take the time to be better because that will always benefit you too!
8. Don’t let roadblocks become permanent obstacles
Every relationship hits a barrier, but it doesn’t have to become a permanent obstacle. In fact, relationships that have some setbacks, in the beginning, can end up being stronger and having more of a solid foundation in the long run.
There is often a honeymoon period at the beginning of a relationship where things feel fluid and on point. But, inevitably, as you get to know each other more and you work to try to separate your past relationship experiences from your current one, you will have some disagreements, arguments, and moments where you want to give up.
Broken Heart to Dating Recovery Tip: Focus on the present, and slowly let the person build trust with you. It’s a process that takes time. If someone is in it to be with you, their entire approach will be more patient, loving, and understanding.
They will get that they need to reinforce certain things to you because you have been heartbroken before. One caveat, don’t blame them or immediately ascribe the same characteristics to them because you have experienced the same behavior with someone before them. Instead, give them a fair shot and let them build their relationship with you.
Being brokenhearted doesn’t signal the end of your ability to love again or be loved by someone else. Lessons learned from being in relationships that weren’t good for you carry you forward and help you appreciate love when you have a connection with someone that is good for you.
Learning how to love when you have had a broken heart offers great lessons on what led you to be heartbroken in previous relationships. What’s most important is not to allow your broken heart to be the reason you don’t recognize an opportunity for a new love of which you are deserving.
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Elizabeth Overstreet is an author, speaker, and relationship coach. She is the podcast host of Bedtalks, and she has been featured in Thought Catalog, Black Doctor, Garland Journal, Texas Metro News, and more.
This article was originally published at Thought Catalog. Reprinted with permission from the author.