Relationships fail. This is an undeniable fact of life. However, knowing this is not enough to ease the pain of losing someone you love. How, then, can we cope with heartbreak, wonders Vanessa Tai.
Sometimes, despite your best intentions and efforts, a relationship doesn’t work out. It could be due to a myriad of factors but the end-result is always the same – heartache and disappointment.
I wish I could tell you it’ll eventually be okay, that time heals all wounds, and all the other tripe self-help articles may tell you. But I am not you. I can’t and won’t pretend to know what you’re going through.
Especially when I, myself, don’t know for sure if you ever truly recover from a broken heart.
However, I can tell you this much: Don’t give up hope.
Romantic love can be complicated, twisted, and stomach-churningly unpredictable. Yet, we find ourselves drawn to it, time and again. Because, at its best, it is breathtaking and spectacular. I’m sure we’ve all seen how the power of love is strong enough to soften even the most hardened of hearts. Love is probably one of the only things in this world that can easily encompass good and bad, beautiful and ugly.
Even in its cheapened, shadowy versions — lust, infatuation, intrigue — there’s nothing quite like it. The quickened heart rates, the goofy grins, the quiet contentment. With so many rich emotions and experiences tangled up in it, it’s no wonder love is such an addictive drug. Despite the painful comedowns, people still keep chasing the high. Yes, the pain of losing someone you love — for whatever reason — can be unbearable. Whenever I go through heartbreak, I am an absolute wreck. I can’t sleep, I’m crying all the time and I am a complete bummer to be around. However, I also recognise it’s unhealthy to dwell on the loss and what could have been, so I create my own coping mechanisms to deal with the pain.
So, here’s my humble recommendation: Simply be happy that you had the privilege of loving someone and being loved in return … no matter how short-lived.
Think about it. Each day, you encounter hundreds, if not thousands of people. Yet, this one person, no different from any other person, wanders into your life and for some reason, both of you establish a connection. I can tell you, this is not a common occurrence, which is what makes it so valuable. Maybe it starts with physical attraction or maybe you discover a similar love for obscure music. Or maybe you just find it strangely easy to open up and talk to each other. Whatever it is, a connection is made and no matter the duration of your relationship, it still stings when the connection gets broken. That’s because it’s human nature to crave connection so when it’s rudely ripped away from you, it will definitely hurt.
However, the important thing to remember is, don’t focus on the pain.
Yes, you may have made mistakes, you may have gotten hurt, you may even have been betrayed … but the lessons you will learn about life and love are infinitely precious. It is often through our darkest episodes that we gain the most illuminating insights about ourselves. I’ll like to believe that if you make a conscious effort to get better (versus becoming bitter), it nudges you along to an even more fulfilling relationship down the road. Because, you know, life is a series of connections. Just because this connection did not work out does not mean another will not in future.
Yes, you may never heal entirely. It still breaks my heart whenever I think of certain people I care about and everything we could have been. But all it takes is a single happy memory to dull everything else and dare I say it, even make the pain worth it. No matter how fleeting my love affairs are, they never fail to make me feel excited and alive all over again.
Because when I love somebody — recklessly and with wild abandon — it feels like I am living life at the edge of a rollercoaster, instead of just cruising along on a subway.
And it feels fucking amazing.
So I wouldn’t have it any other way. No regrets.
Love In Lines is a special under the Relationship section of Material World. The four founders each takes a week in a month to talk about dealing with love from different perspectives. Founder Vanessa Tai talks about navigating the often-confusing world of singledom. Stay tuned for more!
About The Author: Vanessa Tai is a founder of Material World who has previously worked on magazines Simply Her and Cosmopolitan Singapore. Now a freelance writer and a full-time contributor to this website, the 27-year-old dreams of attending every single major music festival before she turns 30. Follow her on Twitter @VannTaiTweets.