Breakups: 5 ways to keep your sanity (and help heal your heart)

It’s been nine years since the shittiest break-up in the universe was aired on Sex and The City. You remember. In season 6, episode 7, when the dude (Jack Burger) Carrie was just talking to her BFFs about ending it with (unbeknownst to him) beat her to the punch by splitting in the middle of the night, leaving a seven word break-up post-it in the dust. Yea, that break-up.

“I’m sorry. I can’t. Don’t hate me.”

Sure, its fiction, but being a die-hard SATC fan, I felt a little something when Carrie whacked that vase of carnations to the floor after her discovery. A wave of sorrow, anger, frustration, and empathy crept through my bones and I was once again impressed with how the writers of the show were able to hit a nerve.

Most of us have been there. Whether on a post-it (or these days, text message – both are equally gross), email, phone call or gasp in person, being told our love-partner wants out is one of the scariest and heart-breaking moments in our lives (surpassed only by the feeling you get when a nurse calls to schedule a timely in-person appointment – because your test results can’t be discussed over the phone – but that’s another level of scary).

Some would say the pain of a break-up is (in some ways) even harder to survive than losing a loved one to death. With loss of life, you have the brutal fact that the person is physically gone from this world – and however painful the process of accepting this fact – it’s that much harder to have the knowledge that your lost love is still walking around. Happy. Without you.

I remember my first heart-wrenching break-up. I was in my late 20s and we had been living

Christine Macdonald

Soul Mates?

Most of us have been there. We meet the perfect person who we feel completes us. We like the same movies, laugh at the same jokes. We find ourselves saying things like “you totally get me”, “where have you been my whole life?” and “we are soul mates!”

Fast forward a few months (or years) later and the glitter is washed away with the reality of life. And after wiping our tears, we come to the realization our perfect partner was anything but.

After dusting off my heart from yet another failed relationship, I am left to wonder: is there such a thing as soul mates?

It’s been said that there are many love life expectations and myths that repeatedly trip up even the most intelligent and otherwise successful people. That the “Love of my life” feeling can get us in to trouble. The quote “you don’t know who the love of your life is until the last day of your life” gives us pause to reflect on the many people who’ve come in and out of our lives after thinking they fit the bill.

I remember Charlotte from Sex and the City sharing her views on the subject. “Everyone knows you only get two great loves in your life”. A statement she revised from her previous thought of only having one, but since her divorce, she upped the number. So which is it, I wondered. If anyone knew about soul mates, clearly it’d be Charlotte.

Then I came back to reality. Not a place I’m used to living, when it comes to matters of the heart. I much prefer flying on the heels of denial and illusion – relying on the bells and whistles of romance to carry me through. But even bells and whistles need maintenance.

 

 

Love takes work. It’s not glamorous, but it’s real.

So when do you throw in the towel? When do you realize it’s time to make a change, making yourself available for your real soul mate? Or.. .was your ex your soul mate at the time? Is there even such a thing?

At (gasp) 43, I find myself starting over, but I am in a good place. I’m taking the lessons learned in my past and building a foundation for myself – and the next man in my life. He may not know me yet, but I  know what he’s getting in to, and that is something worth believing in.

So tell me: do you believe in soul mates? Are you with yours – or have you had more than one? I would love to hear your story.

Christine Macdonald