I’ve made all my best decisions hurt. I’ve bounced back from heartbreak with stunning results. My whole career is based on the processing of grief and the wisdom within it. I know what you are thinking as you sit there with your broken heart, “Go blow it out your ass, braggy!” Ha. I get it.
You are in no mood for yet another think piece about the virtues of being crushed by love. It sucks, that’s it, goodbye! Ok, I don’t disagree but you started reading so some part of you must want what I have to offer.
You want to know why heartbreak is good for you.
To be fair, rejection in the form of removed love is a sting like no other. All that was valuable about us now seems gone. The world as we know it seems cruel and unyielding and all we want is to feel love again. The hours drag by as we replay every mistake we made, blaming ourselves relentlessly for things we couldn’t have helped. We pummel ourselves with unanswerable questions.
“Why would they say this if they meant that?”
“What did I do wrong?”
“What’s wrong with me?”
We wait for messages or texts that never come, our value dropping with each passing moment. We are debilitated.
We can’t outrun it. It’s interminable.
I remember sleepless nights and dragging days just wondering how I was going to fill the hours before trying to not sleep again.
I remember being very hurt by the world as though this thing had been done to me as some sort of karmic retaliation.
I remember someone telling me that this was all cathartic, that “heartbreak is good for you, it’s character building.” Only to think, “I don’t want my character built I want my girlfriend back.”
Platitudes about the benefits of a broken heart were lost on me in those early days of heartbreak. I couldn’t see the good in all of the bad.
But then, something happens when we finally (and truly) let go.
We take a shower. A good one with a loofa. We clean the dishes and we put them away. We show up on time for work. We remember what music we like. We smile at that person at the laundromat. We have a conversation with a friend and can actually hear them when they say we are great.
Some time goes by before we check our messages and hope pokes its head in. Not all at once, but piece by piece.
We start to see that maybe they weren’t as great as we’d made them out to be.
This is where the pain of being heartbroken suddenly goes from adversary to ally.
We push ourselves harder at the gym. We think about the things we put on hold while we were in the relationship and we move on them. Hell, we try things we never thought we would.
More days go by without constantly scouring social media. We begin to fantasize about other possibilities. Whole new vistas open up where there were none before.
We start improving on the us from before because this us is going to choose better this time.
We are growing. We are benefitting from our former heartbreak in ways we didn’t know where possible.
Because we’ve accepted the premise that this is what life had in store for us and if we’d only be patient, we’d see that life has something even better planned, better than we thought possible. When we let go of what we have planned and let life unfold we experience the benefits of a broken heart.
This post was written by Greg Behrendt
Greg is not just a dear friend of mine. He is a New York Times bestselling author, comedian, musician, life coach, and positivity trainer. Greg has sold over 4 million books. Most notably, the co-authored He’s Just Not That Into You and It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken. Greg has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey show multiple times as well the Today Show and The View. He was a consultant for three consecutive seasons on Sex and the City. I could keep going on and on. You can learn more about him here.
Greg just launched his personal site and is offering coaching services. He has helped clients of mine with relationship issues, breakups, and self-improvement more than my words could ever express. Greg gets it, he’s been there, and he genuinely cares.
Well I’m no stranger to this site as I was looking for answers to my severely broken heart. I’m a year this week into my still broken heart yes it’s a little better I still blame myself but yes there are always 2 sides. Last week I found out my girl moved on 5 months after we broke up yet she still stalked my social media even tho we never spoke again or followed each other.
I keep coming bk here because I’m not alone in this world of healing and I feel like we are all trying to find peace.
Thankyou for this tanya xx
You are definitely not alone in this <3 It sounds like she moved on without truly moving on. Keep staying on your white horse, never give her the satisfaction of your reaction and just remember...
No person or relationship is ever worth your peace, mental health, and happiness. You got this. And anytime you need to be reminded that you will (and ARE) getting through this, just come back here. Thank you for being a part of this tribe. You are loved and believed in.
Natasha & Greg
Thank you for this beautiful post. It gives us hope. It’s very hard to find hope during heartbreak because we can only recognize hope in the shape and feeling of the one who was lost. In the absence of this person, hope also vanishes.This post provides such invaluable support as it describes what hope will actually come to look like. That it takes a form that we may not yet know to even look for. One of the most valuable things I learned from this blog was to keep moving through grief. That we are able to live and feel sad at the same time. This post so perfectly describes the crescendo of how starting even infinitesimally small — taking a shower, forcing a smile — will build, move, and raise your body and your heart to a place where you may even begin to feel that heartbreak truly is a karmic friend. Thank you for this! I love your work. Please write on this blog again!
I’m glad that you loved this as much as I do 🙂 Can’t wait for your next post! xoxo
Thank you! Appreciate your comment. Greg Behrendt
So I thought I was gonna go to bed and read this post tomorrow, but… I couldn’t help it , I just had to read it and it was the right decision. I remember getting advice on here from either Lorelle or Irena…saying that once you accept what is (people/situations) that’s when you can heal and here it is again.
I painfully agree that it is true, heartbreak does change you, for the better if you use it positively. I remember reading “ it’s called a break up because it’s broken “, reading the harsh truth I was trying to make excuses for , then finding PMS and still being faced with the harsh truth. It took a while, then I stopped fighting, I accepted the darkness wrapped in a gift box and said I’m not going to be a doormat anymore for anybody.
I’m human. It does hurt sometimes, I do fall of my white horse but then I remember, I’ve changed and I no longer accept certain things because of the painful heartbreak I went through.
I look at the amazing life Natasha and Greg have created, and I can definitely say heartbreak is beneficial if you take the lessons it presents??
Denise, this made me tear up (as most all of your incredible comments do). I believe in you and love you very much. It is amazing to see all of your progress, growth, and how YOU are creating your own life on your own terms in spite of the kind of heartbreak that connects us all.
What an accurate post ? I really needed this. Thank you Greg and to Natasha for always providing such value for us all. Greg I do have a question… when are you coming out with a new book?
Can’t wait for your book Natasha! You should both write one together ?
I am wondering the same thing! 🙂
Like most on this site each and every post pops up just when I need it.
I love the way Greg chronicled the interminable, agonizing, depleting, heartbreak and honest to goodness paralyzing pain.
ALL OF IT!
Lol…..I was hoping for the “insert relapse comment here” portion. At least for me. I got the very faint, possibly manifested somewhere between sleep deprivation, delerrim and the hope that that at this very moment l could give in, succumb, accept and get over it! (YEAH RIGHT! I wish my brain and heart were in sync.)
Anyway I was allowing my thoughts to linger of the endless possibilities of my future; my newfound freedom and future. Whooo hooooo!!!
It was tantalizing for a few minutes…..
BUT then the bigger set back: oh wait! Fu**k my newfound freedom. Double Fu**k the “l can do whatever I want” attitude.
So I realize that I am going to be cycling through the steps of grief, outrage,betrayal etc.. for a few more cycles.
Anyway I think that you are both AMAZING; Natasha and Greg.
Thank you for writing with impeccable grace, compassion, empathy, ihonesty, ntegrity, reassurance and above all genuine love.
The connection is powerful. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You help so many people!
I agree! 🙂 LOVED this post. I told Greg that he needs to do another post on the relapse/wash-rinse-repeat (I’ve definitely been there and you articulated it so well).
YES! There is nothing you should value and guard more than your freedom, mental (and physical) health, and peace. No more bs! Yay!
Through every one of your cycles (and beyond), we are all here for and with you.
So happy that you loved this post as much as I do.
Thank YOU for being a part of this tribe. All my love to you. xox
🙂 Silent partner thank you for your comment. Appreciated, Greg!
Thank you Greg! Beautifully said. Thanks to Natasha, I began my healing journey years ago. I do believe heartache and grief lead us to a better place. However, that journey can seem stagnant at times. That’s where I am. I have joy and hope most days, but am not at my full potential or living the life I know I was created for. Any words of wisdom for this stage of the other side of grief?
Thank you both! Looking forward to reading both your your books!
My pleasure, Greg Behrendt!
Thank you for this article. I want to vent a bit if that is ok. I wish I am there already, as I am just starting it. I do not feel good. I am a bit depressed, and I know I did not do anything for him to lie and cheat causing me to leave him. And for the love of Christ, he still wont let me go. I have lost so much weight, I look anorexic. I do not sleep nor eat. 8 years wasted on someone who does not know what he wanted. Fake promises, fake life all was fake. I know that for ME, I will find it hard to recover from this. Maybe because I was married very long and this was my first boyfriend. I still do not understand how he proposed with a ring and all, while he was busy with 2 others from work. It got me thinking. I do know now that for him, I was his financial benefit with no kids or family. The others could not give him that. So, it is hard to get it that he was in it purely for his own gain. The hardest part is that I was comforting him cause of his workstress. Little did I know that this was not the only times. I decided to check his cctv footage and could not believe what I saw. Each time I left, someone else pitched and I was living with him. He told these girls he has all he needed and everything is his and he is still single for the last 15 years. So, what was I? We were engaged???? I silently took all my stuff away over last weekend, Womens Day. The same day I strew my parents ashes in a river as by prior arrangement. So, I am starting the recovery process as of last weekend. It is like I am totally numb. But readying the comments, I know someday I will get there.
I cannot believe all you’ve had to go through/are going through. I’m so sorry about the loss of your parents too <3 You are so strong.
This man has his own definition of love, commitment, monogamy, and honesty that is not conducive to reality. You are not alone on this (or ever). Keep coming back here to the blog. I believe in you and if I can get through it alone, we can do this together. You WILL get there.
All my love to you sister. xx
Sending hug Jen. Its always hard if someone uses love against you…to fool you and use you to get what they want. You’re worth more than this.
You’ll get through as Natasha promised. Maybe you can get coaching with her or a counselor to help you deal with it and grow even more beautiful and confident from this situation.
You are an angel ???? I love seeing this kind of connection, love, and support. Xox
🙂 I feel the same way about this post. Thanks Catherine.
You are so loved. XOX
Natasha and Greg this article and indeed this blog have been such a life line for me in recent weeks. I went No Contact 29 days ago, I set myself the challenge of 30 days after I found out my ex was sleeping with someone new. We had been together four years and the last few months of our relationship were hell. He moved out when I needed him most (my dad almost died and I was suffering with depression) and after months of him making no effort the whole thing blew up. I was not my best self and for a long time after that breakup I was weak and naïve and held out so much hope things would get better and that he would come back. But by staying on my white horse things have gradually got a little easier. There are still dark days, I really thought he was ‘The One’ and this heartbreak has shaken me to my very core even nine months on I’m feeling fragile. I’m trying to let heartbreak be my driving force but it’s hard when you still miss that person who made you feel so alive in the world. Your blog has helped though and I’m trying to learn as much as I can about this process so please continue your amazing posts both of you!
Thank you Taliah it really sounds like you are really in it. Keep up the good work and stay strong.
Breakups can totally get you to refocus on yourself. You get time to focus on your own growth, like in your career, your relationship with yourself and making new friend ships.
Its hard, but there is a beauty in being alone, living for you and falling in love with yourself.
This post was a huge reminder of the days after a breakup. I feel like most of my life has been spent healing. I love your books. I read one of them what felt like minutes after my relationship ended. I cried but I laughed too because there were so many truths to what you said. I didn’t want to hear it but you were correct about all of it. Thank you for your truths. It was hard but necessary and the laughter helped me. You have a fantastic perspective. Thank you again and thank you Natasha for sharing your friend with us. Love you and all you do.
Hi Natasha, I hope you see this,
I have been an avid reader of yours for awhile. I am going through a bad breakup. A boy I liked for a couple months this past summer and we shared the same internship, started getting complacent. He was horrible with money, lazy, very obnoxious, didn’t protect me at night when we were out, and did a bunch of little things that eventually added up to big things. I broke up with him and then he started hanging out and eventually dating a girl in the same program as us. This boy told me he loved me, told me he wanted to marry me, and I met his parents. I don’t understand how someone can get up and walk away and be with someone else in four days. At this point, I don’t want to be with him, but I hate how disrespected I feel and I want him to know how much it hurts. He cheated on me with her I later found out. Why do guys get into rebound relationships? It was so real for me.
First off, thank you so much for being with me for so long ???? I have so much to say and not enough time to type it all out (thank you so much for understanding – it’s hard for me to advise/answer in the comments but I will do the best I can). I’m so sorry that you are going through this; I’ve definitely been there. My best advice is to NOT explain anything to him. If he had the capacity to misrepresent himself, lie, and cheat… he will not have the capacity to empathize. It was real for you because you are a real and connected person. Telling him how hurt you are will be caviar to his ego. I know it’s so hard, but I would disappear. Toxic people don’t know what to do with silence. Hope this helps. Love you ?? You are not alone. Xox
Thank you. Yes, I need to start to focus and be myself again. This silent treatment and blame he gives me now is unreal. It is like I never existed. I think he is losing it if you ask me. Why give me silent treatment and at same time send smse I am useless as a person and he wont let me go. It is so confusing right now. Why call me stupid and dumm. I am not stupid at all. Very much hurt yes. This is the same pattern he used all these years. Up down up down till you eventually cave and question who you are as a person and what do you gain from keep going back. On HIS terms each times only to be repeated after a month or so again. So I am holding on I am not going to cave this time again. It is hard, extremely hard.
You CAN do this Jenna. We are all here for and believe in you. This is how you build unconditional confidence and self-love. It’s by making decisions like these (in light of having your own back and knowing what you will no longer tolerate). You got this. ??
Jenna, Even from a male. Pretty similar I went thru with ex. It was more than hell work to love her and treated me like I’m a plan Z or a no body.Never plan A or B (children/us) or any of priority until SHE have HER own free schedule time ON HER OWN TERM! Hid me under the bus. Poor together time quality. To her I’m just a poodle boy for her needs and “battery recharger” to Inflate n better herself for another guy that she lined up. Guess what!?! He turn out future faker to her! Sweet karma isn’t it!?! I know it hurts worse than hell once learned that being betrayed n cheated. Especially she shared our sacred love to someone else. You are not alone. Geez we accept our mistakes ignoring screaming red flags by giving an ocean of chances and patiences with empathizes turn outsell for nothing! Check out PMS ghosted post that LINDA wrote. It might help you! Regards. John.
Greg and Natasha,
PLEASE write a book together. This post…
Greg, it is as if you are living inside of my head and heart. I printed it out and put it on my wall. I copied it to the notes in my phone and every time I feel a “pain contraction” as Natasha says, it saves me. You may have just saved my life Greg. My fiancé bailed on me, on us, and on our wedding 48 hours before our wedding day. I have hope now. And to know that you and Natasha have both been there and are stronger as a result gives me hope. Please write a book together or do a podcast together and Greg, please tell us that you have another book in the works.
So thankful. Sending love from Miami.
Who knows, maybe we will Jenna. Thank you, Greg
Wow. Greg, you described everything I am feeling and gave me hope. I feel so invigorated and understood when I come here and this post is exactly what I didn’t know I needed. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart. Your books have saved me. ?
Ashley Thank you for saying so! Flattered. Greg
My scenario is sort of different, but similar. I first met a woman, online, on a dating site, just a little over two weeks ago (8-5), and the last week our connection became so strong that we couldn’t wait to meet in person. We spent 11, and 12 hours on the phone, couldn’t stop thinking/communicating with each other in the course. We finally met in person last Sunday, and I couldn’t tell if the date was going good, flat or bad. I was nervous, quiet, kept asking her if “she were having a good time”. She told me her language of love isn’t Affirmation (I didn’t know about the 5 Languages of Love until she mentioned it”. We ended up at her house, talked, had tea, and eventually, I left. Fast forward to this past Monday – we hadn’t talked as we had leading up to our date. Tuesday morning I texted her asking for her to call me and her response was “I don’t want to belabor this point, but I didn’t feel a connection when we met. I’m not looking for a platonic friend, so I wish you the best”. Fast forward today, Thursday, and I feel empty, depressed, sad and rejected. Is that too soon to feel this way about someone who I just met? And do you think she was too harsh with the way she pretty much discounted, and minimized my feelings and “dumped” me with such a vague explanation?
When I read others thoughts about break ups I find myself comforted that others have had situations similar to mine and the magnitude of love lost seems insurmountable. I sense the capacity within me to overcome the desperation, frightful loneliness, wistful memories of my past love and joy escapes me. I’m left only with never finding that which I have lost, it took a lifetime to find her and she gone as dead, except her heart beats to that of another likely.
Thank you for this post Greg and Natasha, I will try and hold it as close as I can till one day hopefully I can smile again.
I’m so glad that you loved this post as much as I do <3 Thank you my dear friend xox