Introduction to Heartbreak Philosophy, Part 2: What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Heartbreak Philosophy. Photo Credit – Flickr: Kay FlickrIn Introduction to Heartbreak Philosophy, Part 1, I noted that the cause of heartbreak is commonly considered to be lost love.

Since the first step to getting over heartbreak is defining the cause that separates the sadness of heartbreak from other painful emotions, love tends to be the default answer.

However, if lost love is the cause of heartbreak, you would then have to define love, and an argument about love and heartbreak becomes circular very quickly.

Can you be heartbroken even if you didn’t actually love someone/something you lost, or is the fact that you’re heartbroken an indicator that you did indeed love what you lost?

My heartbreak philosophy exists without the traditional notions of lost love and focuses more on the concept of loss.

Changing circumstances bring about the loss that causes heartbreak, and it can exist whether or not you loved the person or thing that you lost.

You may be heartbroken because you lost something that you love, or you may be heartbroken because you lost something familiar that caused you comfort regardless of whether you actually loved it or not.

To Overcome Heartbreak, you must pinpoint the emotions, independent of love, that make up heartbreak and analyze the benefits of those feelings in order to create new emotions that make you feel better.

I discuss heartbreak as:

a growing pain that occurs when you lose something you want to maintain

You were content with a certain state, and now that it has fallen apart, you are heartbroken.

My main argument states that the casual, common notion of heartbreak is a vague and false state. When it is dissected into specific emotions with individual causes and effects, they are states that play key roles in identity formation throughout life.

A heartbroken state impacts identity cultivation and sheds light on one’s current identity. A weak (or lost) sense of self makes one vulnerable to the effects of heartbreak.

To support this claim, my heartbreak philosophy has five goals:

  1. Define heartbreak as a state of loss, independent of love
  2. Examine the causes and effects of the emotions that compose heartbreak
  3. Demonstrate heartbreak’s recurring role in identity formation
  4. Outline heartbreak as a self-development tool that cultivates identity
  5. Decrease the pain associated with heartbreak
Your responses to loss can either consume you and perpetuate heartbreaking circumstances, or your heartbreak stories can contribute to the creation of remedies for future painful situations.
Get Over HeartbreakStefanie Flaxman is the creator of @RevisionFairy and author of a new book about heartbreak.

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