My second heartbreak gave me so much clarity. Don’t get me wrong, I learned so much from the first one but the lessons from the first heartbreak didn’t really kick in until I was experiencing the second. I know you’re thinking “damn girl, how many times has your heart been broken?” To be honest, plenty. I’m a lover girl. And moreover, heartbreaks come from family, friends, events, and; most commonly talked about, romantic lovers. So let’s dive into what broken romantic love taught me the second time around.
The First Time Won’t Be The Only Time
First times for me are always memorable. And my first time loving someone romantically truly felt magical, as it should. The butterflies stayed, and the outside world faded when I was with my person. I’d never willingly spent so much time with a person outside of my siblings or cousins, and loved every second of it. When things ended, I think the reason it was so hard for me to pick up and move on was mainly rooted in the fact that I never thought I’d feel that type of bliss again. Because I’d never felt it before. There was a long time where I was shut out to the idea of even trying to experience love again — a very necessary grieving period, but when I happened to stumble upon it, it was definitely an “aha” moment. I guess I can call my second time the light at the end of the tunnel and a grasp on the grieving process. When I was hurt again, I was able to walk away from the situation less distraught and more optimistic because I’d overcome a feeling like this before. At times, while grieving, it was almost exciting to know that I’d get another chance and the love will only get better.
Heartbreak can Grow Your Emotional Intelligence
Losing my naivete made me love and leave differently the second time around. If you’d asked why I loved the first boy, all I could tell you was that we had fun together. If you’d asked why I loved the second boy, it was because I felt loved and supported and respected, all on top of having so much fun with him. Having people in your life to simply have fun with is such a win, but I’ve found it to never be enough to sustain a connection that also involves physical touch and an emotional bond. Now I am able to have the unconscious conversation with myself about my “why”. For such a long time, I was taught to question: what is my “why” in my career and professional life? Why am I doing the things I do or performing this specific work, but I’ve also learned to ask myself “why am I loving this person?” This question doesn’t have to be for external consumption, but it helps me so much to be able to pinpoint why I am showing up the way that I am.
Boundaries Are For Me Not You
Post my second heartbreak, setting boundaries has become a natural way of operating versus just a reaction to bad behavior. The first time I loved, I did everything I could (and couldn’t) do to fit this role of an unconditional lover. But all love has conditions. All relationships have conditions. I can’t love someone who makes me feel terrible, and realistically it almost does the opposite and causes resentment. The second heartbreak showed me that I am loved for being my authentic self, and not for how much weight I can carry. Although long term love can be a test at times, I will never again feel like I have to pass one in order to be sought after in the first place. As I grew, I was able to better pinpoint what I was willing to accept and what kind of access I would allow people to have to me. Love is best operated under conditions.
Self-Reflection and Healing are Inevitable
The second heartbreak just so happened to be aligned with a lapse of time. With that time, came so much internal work and personal growth. In between the first and the second heartbreak, I spent plenty of alone time finding and doing things that made me happy. After having a better understanding of what made me happy and how I wanted to feel, I had better vision in terms of the relationships I accepted. I’d started therapy by then and had a better awareness of my emotions, the importance of experiencing them, and how to listen to them. Most importantly, my confidence grew. As I came to terms with my worth and how divine I am, I was able to function as such, with those around me.
My second heartbreak was influential because it allowed me to experience love realistically and not just through infatuation. It’s a beautiful example of how taking one step back can bring you three steps forward, and losing, is sometimes only to gain.
Asya is an accounting and finance professional who loves fiction novels, travel, writing, nature, and being a plant mom.