Approach any person walking down the street, male or female, and he’ll have at least three stories to tell you from his book of love gone wrong.
The passive-aggressive grow bitter with these stories, the proactive overcompensate, the cunning seek revenge, and the obsessive philosophize about them.
We’re exploring the last category.
While everyone experiences heartbreak, each brokenhearted tale has a unique fingerprint that defines each individual.
You own your heartbreak in the game of romance, and it’s not a single-player configuration.
Heartbreak is commonly and understandably—but incorrectly—interpreted as a personal attack; we feel hurt, and don’t see anything beyond the pain. It’s all about what’s being done to us.
A heartbreaker breaks the heart of the heartbreakee.
Except it’s not that precise.
The heartbreaker has a better perspective of the heartbreak than the heartbreakee.
Those who break our hearts can often see ourselves more clearly than we can. While our minds are clouded with idealism and fantasy, they see reality. And they see that we are meant for something else.
They see who we really are and who we are meant to be (our identities) before we do. They know our destinies are elsewhere.
We’re consumed with betrayal, rejection, and jealousy—nauseous with the idea that someone else will have what we think we want.
Wrapped up in the throes of heartbreak, we could care less whether or not the circumstance that broke our hearts is actually right for us.
The heartbreaker doesn’t have such a contaminated view of the situation. She has enough clarity to do what needs to be done, even though there are damaging repercussions. Her identity also forms when she deals with heartbreak, and the act of breaking another’s heart is not painless.
It’s not your fault, and it’s not their fault. Your instinct is to feel screwed-over, but the person who shatters an illusion is not the one to blame.
Multiple partygoers devour the seven-layer dip of heartbreak from different angles.
A book about heartbreak may seem like relatable sob stories or feel-better mantras for victims of heartbreak, but those brokenhearted victims don’t exist.
We are all heartbreakers and heartbreakees.
Each person fluctuates between the two roles because we don’t stay the same and many stories unfold simultaneously.
Heartbreak is the dead end in a maze—the harsh truth that we don’t want to face until we have to, until there’s nowhere else to go. Sometimes we’re the unscalable wall that stops another dead in his tracks and sometimes we’re the exasperated, lost trekker.
The process of getting over heartbreak requires the recognition that heartbreak is not one-sided; it’s not an aggressive intrusion affecting innocent bystanders.
Heartbreak is life. If you’re living, you participate.
Stefanie Flaxman is the creator of Revision Fairy and author of a new book about heartbreak.
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