The Gift of a Broken Heart

The gift of a broken heart
Photo Credit: Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

I was telling a friend about this blog today, and explaining why I’m so passionate about wanting to help spare my single girlfriends out there from so much of the heartbreak I went through, when I realized something.  About all that heartbreak.  It’s a gift.  Any time we experience a broken heart over someone who didn’t turn out to love us the way we loved them; any time we’re forced to face the reality of unrequited love; any time we’re left watching someone walk away from us, realizing we’re on our own again.  It’s a gift to be grateful for.  Really.

Let me explain.  Because I know that grateful is usually the very last thing we’re feeling when someone’s just told us we’re not the one for them.  But what if when any of these things happen to us, we could choose to hear the message that’s telling us something isn’t right, isn’t working, needs to change, needs some rethinking?  What if we could thank heaven, or the universe, or fate, or whatever it is we believe in, for not letting us go any further with someone who wasn’t on the same page we are?  What if we could really hear the message that he wasn’t the guy for us, our dreams about the relationship were beautiful and wonderful dreams, but he wasn’t the one to share them with. There’s someone else.  The real thing.  But it wasn’t this guy.  Regardless of how much we wanted it to be.  And I know firsthand just how much we can want it to be.

But what if instead of looking at the breakup that we didn’t want, what if we could see that it saved us from any more heartbreak, any more disappointment, any more pretense that everything was ok, any more being on the begging end doing whatever we could to turn things around when we were the only ones turning it?  Wouldn’t that change everything for us?   Because I can tell you firsthand that each time I was sure I was with the right guy, and each time it ended, if I had been able to see how different my life would have been if that relationship had worked out and I ended up with him, I would have missed out on what I now know is the way a relationship is supposed to feel.  With the guy that’s the true one for me, who treats me the way I deserve.  Who brings out the best in me.

So whether you’re going through it right now or when it happens down the road and you find yourself lamenting the loss of the guy who was supposed to be all that, your dream guy, the one who’s just broken your heart, take a moment to think about it as a gift.  Could it be that it’s because of this breakup that you have hope for the real thing?  Could it be that because he’s letting you go that he’s actually giving you the best gift he could?  The chance to get clear on who you really are, what you really want in a guy and how you’re going to use this experience to move on to the real thing, even though it’s so hard to believe it right now?  Let that sit with you and think about what you’re getting out of the relationship.  Does it make you feel better about yourself or worse?  Do you feel better about yourself when you’re with him, or do you feel like you’re always trying to be what he wants you to be?  And most importantly, can you see yourself living happily ever after with him?  Give yourself some time to mull those questions over. It’s ok if you can’t see it right now.  I didn’t either.  But one day, you will.

P.S.  Trust me on this one; no matter what you’re feeling right now, one day you will look back and wonder what you ever saw in this guy who right now means so much to you.  Because if he truly was the one for you, you’d still be together.  And you wouldn’t be feeling this way. He’s not a bad guy, he’s just not the right one for you.  He knows it, and you know it too.  It’s just hard to accept sometimes when your heart is still with his.  And his isn’t with yours anymore.  I know.  It’s hard.  Feel the pain.  Cry those tears.  And when you’re ready, remind yourself it’s a gift.  You don’t know how much of one, but one day, you will.  Really.


  1. Lori says

    Just wish there were a divine painkiller for the pain ... I thought I was doing better here recently with letting go, but reading this article brought it all back and I realize I'm really not doing as good as I thought, and still have a ways to go ... hope she is right about this gift thing ... I really hope she is right.

    • Jane says

      Lori - When you're in the middle of it, it's the hardest thing to trust, and to believe, but it's that very belief that makes all the difference in the world! It's a process that takes time, with the only way of getting to the other side being the necessary time of going through it - pain and all. There really is a reason for everything, even the things that make no sense to us right now. Hang in there, and know that I'm here for you if you want to "talk" - you can email me any time. :-)

  2. kieona coleman says

    How am I able to ge over this hurt and pain if were still friends? he says he loves me, he calls me babe, when were together he just stares at me and smiles and starts playing with me. he says there is no other girl on my level and he loves no one else but me, a week before the break up he even told me he could see himself spending the rest of his life with me. he also said that im his "first" as in i took his virginity and Im his"first" as in his first love. He says he wants to be friends with me because he cant picture me not being his life. when were around each other he tells me how awesome i am and he thanked me for being one of the realest and supportive girls in his life. He talks to alot of girls now that were broken up but he recently asked me what kind of condoms did we use to wear when we were together so that he can be safe when he has sex with other girls :( were friends on facebook so i see his comments to other girls and it still hurts? your advice would be greatly appreciated. will this hurt ever go away?

    • Jane says

      The hurt will eventually go away, Kieona, but it never feels like it ever will when you're in the thick of it like you are right now. But it will. One day, when you learn to love and respect yourself so much that you refuse to settle for anything less than the real thing and refuse to accept any crumbs - no matter how good they feel. It sounds like what you need most right now is some time and space away from this person who clearly isn't able to give you what you need. Eventually, you will come to see this, but for now, focus on you and your life which is worth so much more than you can even realize right now.

  3. Christina says

    Hi Jane, I really love your site. Me and my boyfriend recently broke up because of his commitment issues and it is so hard dealing with these feelings. I can identify with so many of your posts. This happened a couple of weeks ago but he is still calling me everyday and its so hard for me to cut it off completely. But I want to because I know its the best thing. I really love what you wrote above abour refusing to accept any crumbs even though they may feel good. Thats the boat I am in right now. I feel a hole in my heart without him but talking to him and seeing him fills that hole temporarily. I am accepting the crumbs! I want to be strong, but I dont know what its going to take.

    • Jane says

      Oh Christina, this sounds like such a hard place for you right now. You are being so strong, refusing to accept those crumbs and determining to be strong enough to choose you and the hope of a healthier relationship that honors and respects you and your needs as much as his, but how difficult it can be for someone else to accept this! And so it makes sense that even as you struggle with this, you are meeting with even more resistance from him to pull you back into the relationship and see if this is really what you want.

      If you truly know in your heart that you have done the right thing here, then believe in yourself, and your decision and honor and respect both you and your boyfriend by staying true to your decision by focusing on every other area of your life except where he is concerned, to help give you some space from him to see all that you have without him. Of course he keeps calling you because you interrupted his plans and his life that sounds like it was working so well for him! You are getting such a strong resistance from him because he was quite happy with the relationship just the way it was! But if you are having doubts, and not just because of his reaction now, but because you are wondering if you may have missed something or acted to hastily, then explore those further, remembering all that you truly are and all that you deserve.

      This is the hardest part, but very soon, if this is the right decision, you will know by how much better you will feel when you can finally break free of someone who isn't honoring your light, who doesn't give you the respect you deserve, and who isn't there to remind you how it feels to be with someone who isn't fully able to commit to you, to settle for less of a committed relationship than your heart truly desires. That is never too much to ask, and always what naturally happens when you are with someone who is right for you!

  4. InWaiting says

    Hi Jane, thank you for this site, I have enjoyed this post and feel like I will try to look at my breakup in the way you stated, although it feels like it is killing me! Literally. You stated this "Because if he truly was the one for you, you’d still be together.", do you not believe in time changing a person, and them possibly being the one in the future? Allowing God, time and life to mature them? Or once its done, you just conclude they aren't the right one for you at all? Thank you.

    • Jane says

      Anything is always possible, IW. The problem is that so many of us are such believers to the detriment of our beautiful selves, that we live in this state of hoping and wishing and waiting and believing that he will come around and we will still live happily ever. When we think like this, we put our own lives on hold, we wait, and we hope and we wait and hope some more and we forget to take care of the one person who is worth more than any man or his promises. Ourselves. And so often, we forget to see a breakup as a gift, as a reality check that we weren't on the same page with someone else and that we are now free to find someone who we will be compatible with. But it is so hard to see when you're in the thick of it and when all you want is to be able to turn back the clock and somehow change what has become all too real.

      So yes, while I do believe if someone is truly the one for you, it is possible that you will be together one day if you are both equally ready for each other, the reality is always that this happens because both people are on the same page, they both want the same thing with each other, and they're both willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen. It is always possible for someone to get there, to be ready for what you are already ready for, but don't waste another moment of your beautiful life waiting around for someone to change while you miss out on the life that is your own, and all that is awaiting for you to just embrace it.

      Take your time to grieve, to feel every motion that you're going through - and yes, I know all too well that feeling that this is actually killing you. There is no way to understand this unless you've been through it yourself. But when you are ready to see beyond this moment, focus on the reality of what is - and what was - and not the fantasy of that place where we always want to go. Don't let yourself take this as a rejection for any part of who you are or all that you still have to offer. There is still so much more to come, whether with him, or with someone else who will be on your page, who will be looking for the same thing you are and who will be willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen. That's what you deserve, IW, and that's the way real love is meant to be!

      • InWaiting says

        Thank you so much for replying! Your words helped and clarified my question. I'm sure you get tons of emails, but I'd like to share my story with you in confidence, since stumbling upon this website, has been a God send, and I know it wasn't a coincidence or mere stroke of luck for me to come across it. If I email would you respond, with your thoughts/encouragement? If not, I understand.

        • Jane says

          I do, IW, but I'd love to hear from you and I'd be honored to hear your story, to give you a sense that you're not alone, that someone understands you and hears what you're going through. I may not be able to respond as quickly as I'd like to due to the sheer volume of emails I receive these days, but know that I will get back to you just as soon as I can and I am always here for you!

  5. hopeless says

    I talked to this guy for over a year. He was deployed most of it he was stationed somewhere else when he returned but we still talked. It's been 5 months since I've talked to him... and since he last visited. I'm so hung up over this guy. I can't shake it. I'm scared to make the move to talk because I know better. I know he's not ready to become anything. .. and being so far apart would maybe make things more confusing. I can't get him out of my head. .everything reminds me of him everywhere I turn it's something. I just need to get this off of my chest. Idk if anyone will read this but here it is.

    • Jane says

      Ask yourself why, Hopeless. Why does he hold so much power over you? What does he have that you feel you don't that keeps you so tied to someone else? You're not alone in what you're going through; so many of us have encountered someone we just can't "get out of our head". But there's always a reason. Find that reason and you'll release yourself.

  6. Peculiar says

    i love this site jane.. thank you for your post. am currently go through difficult love issues... i have been with this guy for 4years.. we broke up last year due to complications. He's kinda older than me. 10years age difference.. i love him much even after breaking up.. and he loves me too but "time" n complications like friends and my parents..

    He loves me but wants me to wait it out to see if i really need him or want him because he feels its too early to make irrational decisions and make me keep my life on hold because of him...

    He keeps saying what will be will be and that i should live my life for the time being.. He told me he cant

    • Jane says

      So glad what you're finding here is resonating so much with you, Peculiar. Love is never enough if you can't live with someone else's terms and he can't live with yours. That's what being on the same page is all about; and why it matters oh so much. He has some great advice for you; "that i should live my life for the time being", but it's also telling that he would say this to you at all.

  7. Peculiar says

    i love this site jane.. thank you for your post. am currently go through difficult love issues... i have been with this guy for 4years.. we broke up last year due to complications. He's kinda older than me. 10years age difference.. i love him much even after breaking up.. and he loves me too but "time" n complications like friends and my parents..

    He loves me but wants me to wait it out to see if i really need him or want him because he feels its too early to make irrational decisions and make me keep my life on hold because of him...

    He keeps saying what will be will be and that i should live my life for the time being.. He told me we can't get back together until i graduate from the university n thats in 2years if he still be there

    i understand this but am so scared of losing him.. we shared so much together and its almost like am waiting for him. It all hurts so much. So close but so far. What should I do?! :'(

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