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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Commentary: Heartbreak can be an opportunity for growth

Things to take away from experiencing the uncomfortable feeling


By RUMA POUDELL — arts@theaggie.org


Heartbreak: whether it’s over a romantic relationship, a crush or maybe even an unrequited love, it sucks. All of the cliches come to life as you sob to rom-coms and eat ice cream while sitting in bed. You wake up everyday with that person on your mind, then feel guilty about having them in your mind in the first place. Overall, being heartbroken is a nuanced, heavy feeling that requires time and attention for it to pass.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about heartbreak is the fact that you’re heartbroken over what you can’t have or what you have just lost. If your life outside of what is causing this feeling is going well, why does it suck so much? 

The answers to questions about love and heartbreak come with time and personal experience. On heartbreak, here are some things that I have learned. 

Once you let that go of the person or situation that is weighing on your heart, it clicks. A newfound sense of freedom and a fresh start feels better than almost anything else. And then, of course, that feeling can be fleeting and two days later you can still be thinking of them and missing them. The healing process is not linear in nature — cyclical is a better word. 

Throughout that healing process and the ups and downs of it, you might realize many things about yourself and the other people involved. 

You may ask yourself questions, such as “Why did I allow myself to get treated in a way that was not so great and even go back to them afterwards?” Or maybe you’ll think, “Sheesh, I will never go back to texting anyone daily ever, ever, ever again.” Perhaps you’ll even decide that you want the way you approach relationships as a whole to change in the future. 

Each relationship that you have, romantic or not, can teach you. And, in particular, romantic relationships can teach you a lot about yourself and things you need to work on. For example, there are well-known attachment styles, such as anxious and avoidant. If you identify which you are, it can be a lot easier to outline ways to become more secure in your relationships. 

One of the biggest things that a breakup can do for you is align you with your heart. Yes, at the time it will suck. You may even feel physical pain. But being able to experience your emotions, walk around and function while you go through it, and, eventually, overcome it, will help you understand what others may be going through. 

Having a broken heart can be an opportunity to grow kinder and more sensitive not only towards yourself, but others as well.


Written by: Ruma Poudell — arts@theaggie.org