It’s amazing how your first broken heart feels like the end of the world. Until your next broken heart which makes the one prior feel like a farce. I can recall how completely crushed I felt when my college boyfriend transferred schools and dumped me. Little did I know at the time that he was doing me a huge favor, but in the moment I was utterly obliterated. I didn’t know what to do with myself or who I was without him. I kept in touch with his family as a way to feel connected to him and as a way to delay having to deal with what was next for me. I had immersed myself into us as a couple and had not spoken to my friends at length in many months. I had to swallow my pride and call them. Of course they all understood as everyone goes through that relationship phase at least once in their lives. They allowed me to commiserate and I’m sure were bored to death when all I could do was talk about my ex, but they stayed by my side until I got it out of my system.
Finally, I had recovered. I had gotten to the point where I realized that him breaking my heart was the best thing he could have ever done for me. I was over him and moving on—just in time for him to come home on winter break and call me. Eight times over a two-hour period. Didn’t he know about Caller ID? I was flattered and quite pleased with myself. He wanted me back and I now had the power, but I also had the strength to tell him to bug off. I pondered what to do for a few hours, I admit, and even called those girlfriends to confirm my decision to not call him back. I knew that he was not right for me, and I knew that I deserved better. He hadn’t set a high bar for the next boyfriend, but at least I knew I would never settle for something that low again either. Of course, I went on to have heartbreaks much, much worse than I could have ever imagined back then but I learned that I would survive and go on to be stronger regardless of the circumstances. This proved itself when my marriage was crumbling. I experienced massive heartbreak once I realized that my marriage couldn’t be saved, and so I mourned the marriage and gained the strength to leave—partly due to the lessons I learned as an innocent twenty-year-old. I had learned that I would survive, that the bar was set higher once again, and that I wouldn’t settle even if it meant being a divorced, single mother.
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