Heartbreak Is Critical
This is just one of those critical life experiences, like how no one can truly appreciate eating in a restaurant until they’ve waited tables or manned the line back in the kitchen. You simply can’t appreciate love until it’s been taken from you against your will.
Getting dumped — I mean a big one, getting your heart ripped out of your chest — is sickly character building. Soul-aching loss, begging and pleading, total despondence, sudden destruction of personal identity… this stuff, after making you feel like walking into traffic, eventually makes you a stronger, more independent person that knows how delicate and deserving of attention love actually is. Even better, heartbreak is a sure-fire path to garnering a real sense of empathy for others in all matters of sadness and loss.
Once you have been utterly destroyed by a breakup, when the next love comes along, and it’s good, it is just indescribably satisfying. I’ve never gone days without water, but it can’t be far from that… this rush of excitement and satiation when you have a real gut feeling about someone new. Can’t beat it.
So imagine having a meaningful relationship with some selfish commitment-phobe who has felt none of these things. No thanks. If you find yourself dating someone who has pulled the trigger on every relationship they’ve ever been in… keep your guard up. They’re suspect.
Taking all this one step further, I would avoid being associated with anyone who claims to have never experienced serious personal failure. Like getting dumped (a personal failure in its own way), everyone needs to feel this roller coaster of emotion — the high of taking a big risk and the low of falling flat on your face — before officially graduating into adulthood. Never losing is for spoiled little kids.
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© 2012, Ian Mathias
I do think that you need to have those lows in order to appreciate the highs, but I don’t necessarily agree that it has to be a drop, a quick shove off a cliff that leaves you bloody and broken at the bottom. Perhaps you think the same and simply used getting dumped as an example to clarify your point, because after all, your title is heartbreak and that is merely one form of it. There’s also a chance I don’t understand because I never have been in that situation. But something, I feel, that shouldn’t be overlooked is the unceasing longing for what you know you can’t have. Perhaps it is within grasp, but insecurities or twisted visions of reality keep you from it. The path to the bottom of the pit is not steep but you reach the bottom regardless. And I would argue the journey down can wreck just as much havoc on a soul.
I’ve been in both places.
Always staying in the “friend zone” but never getting to be the one with the relationship. Wanting more but not knowing how to get there so you convince yourself it’s not that important.
Then you get what you’ve been wanting for so long. But you’ve spent so long warping your sense of love that you can’t possibly have a healthy relationship.
Both situations are equally painful. But having someone say “I don’t love you anymore” and then later finding out that they love someone else has been much more instructive. I actually feel more complete for having experienced it despite the fact that I’m still picking up the pieces of my marriage and myself.
That long, slow slide down into the pit that doesn’t leave you much strength to climb out — I could have done without that. It did nothing for me but take away decades from my life where I couldn’t grow past my version of reality.
The journey (for me anyway) wasnt so much long it was more life long, drawn out, always trying to grab for that brass ring….which goes along with the perfection discussion. Never paying attention to what I had…but paying attention to that one that was paying attention to me just because I was taken maybe….I know that this doesn’t sound profound or large word educated but it was an action that I have regretted for a while….great chapter….
my friend sent me this link after rejecting me. it helps a bit to deal with the pain. thank you.