Man mourns girlfriend who “wasn’t in love with him anymore” | StaceyNHerrera

**This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events that I have experienced firsthand; used with permission.

“I can’t believe she left me,” my friend said as he cried into my lap. It had been a week since his girlfriend told him that she “was n’t in love with him anymore,” and he was still in disbelief. I felt awful for him, but I knew that there was nothing I could do to change the situation.

“I’m sorry,” I replied, “but you need to accept that she’s gone and move on.”

He fainted and wiped his tears before getting up and walking away. But I knew from experience that it takes more than grit and bootstrap pulling to recover from heartbreak.

It was tough to see my friend going through such pain, but I knew that eventually, he would be able to move on. Time heals all wounds, as they say. And in the meantime, I would be there for him as a shoulder to cry on. And cry on it he did, for more than two years.

Like most people, my friend discovered the hard way that falling in love is much easier than falling out of love. And getting over a broken heart is one of the most challenging things you’ll ever have to do in your life.

Why is falling out of love so hard?

When you fall in love, it feels like everything is perfect. You have found the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, and you can’t imagine being without them. But then something happens, and the love is gone. It’s like a switch flipped, and you can’t turn it back on.

Falling out of love is hard because it feels like you are losing a part of yourself. The person you fell in love with was a reflection of who you are, and now that they are gone, you feel lost and confused.

It’s also hard because you loved this person enough to let them in. And now that they are gone, you feel like you will never let someone get that close to you again.

But just because falling out of love is hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

In a 2005 study, Dr. Helen E. Fisher, a biological anthropologist, studied the brains of 17 people using MRIs to discover how the brain responds to being in love. The study concluded that the parts of the brain responsible for hunger, thirst, and feelings of reward and wellbeing become activated when people are in love. As a result, Dr. Fisher believes that love is “a drive, not an emotion.”

In other words, love is a basic human need, like food and water. And just like you shouldn’t force yourself to eat when you’re not hungry, you shouldn’t force yourself to love someone when your feelings have changed.

But that also means that you can’t force yourself not to love someone just because they’ve stopped loving you. The only way to stop loving someone is to treat it like any other addiction: by going through withdrawal.

love withdrawal

With drawing of any kind is difficult to endure, love withdrawal is no different.

The first step is to accept that the love is gone and that you need to move on. This is hard, but it’s essential. If you can’t accept that the relationship is over, you will never be able to heal and move forward.

The next step is to give yourself time to grieve. While grieving is uncomfortable, it is not optional. You need to allow yourself to feel the pain of losing the person you love. This pain is a natural part of the healing process.

Be kind to yourself during the grieving process. Give yourself permission to cry, eat ice cream for breakfast, or take a day off. Do whatever you need to do to make yourself feel better.

Beware of love band-aids

As the grieving dissipates, you might feel compelled to fill the void your love once filled with something or someone else, but beware. This is called “love substitution,” and it rarely works.

Love substitutes are like band aids; they might make you feel better in the short term, but they won’t heal the wound. The only way to heal a broken heart is to give yourself time and space to do it.

These are the steps that I helped my friend move through. It took a long time for him to get to the other side, but he made it. And eventually, his heart healed. He took his time before dating again, and when he did, he was ready.

If you are struggling to get over a broken heart, know that you are not alone. And while it might feel like it will never end, the pain will eventually go away, and you will be able to love again.

What about you? Have you ever had your heart broken? How did you get through it?

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