Lessons I Learned from Heart Break

This is a part that I have hidden from my blogging world for the most part. If you have been following with me on my blogging journey for a while and more specifically on Instagram (follow me @_thepinkchickadee!), then you probably know that I had a rather short-lived relationship my Senior year of college. Along with that relationship, I had a few potential relationships that never came to be during my college years. I have always been a sucker for a good love story, and am obsessed with many romantic comedies and those of Disney movies. However, the world can be a lot less magical when it comes to the world of heart break.

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A little back story: I was in a relationship my Senior year of college for a few months. The most ironic thing about this relationship was that it started and ended in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic and right before vaccines became widespread and distributed to the general public. My ex-girlfriend lived in a North Carolina city a few hours away from me in Raleigh, North Carolina (where I was at the time for college). We made an effort to see one another between our two respective cities during those times. In North Carolina and especially within my Meredith College population, it is very frequent that people will get married in their early-mid 20’s. People committed to one another at a young age (sometimes even middle school sweethearts) and get married soon after their college years end. The pressure to commit was REAL in college. During that relationship, there was definitely immediate talk about commitment and marriage. I had intended to stay in North Carolina to be close to her and started doing my job search there, too. Along with the pressure to be in a committed, long withstanding relationship, I started to realize that the person I was putting my all into was not giving me that same all in return. She had taken advantage of me in different ways, too. I was bending over BACKWARDS to give her my all with barely anything in return. Needless to say, when I called off the relationship and chose to break up with her, I did so for me and only me. I knew that I deserved and was worth more than anything she could give me, especially when I was giving 100% and getting only 5% in return. The break up was not received well on her end. I lost multiple. I repeat multiple friends over this break up. I definitely realized then and there who would stick around and who didn’t. There was a vague blog post about the break up after it happened, as I was filled with so much self love and empowerment when I chose to break the relationship off. Read it here: https://pinkchickadee.com/2021/02/21/sunday-scaries-starting-out-single/

Throughout my college experiences, I had multiple romantic interactions with others, whether it be flirting in the Instagram or Snapchat DM’s, in-person via passing, or many peeks to one another at events. I began to gravitate towards them and some I developed a crush on. Many of them that I crushed on I had hoped for a relationship with, some more than others. One of these folks that I had encountered with with on and off more so in a crush-like way for multiple years. At one point in time, my friends and I definitely thought that the two of us were going to start dating. BUT, that ended up being far far far from the case. It was a wave after wave of heartbreak versus excitement. A lot of interactions and flirting throughout the years, yet a lot go distance too. Through it all, I just hung onto the hope that it would all magically work out in my romantically favored mind for the long run. Today and tomorrow and everyday after, that is far from the case. However, due to varying reasons, no relationship was ever pursued with any of my so-called college crushes. This is something that I have never shared, yet still pertains to the ways in which I cope and have learned from dealing with heartbreak and feels raw to me to this day.

I have even *yes, even* tried the dating apps. BUT, I could never seem to be on a dating app for more than a week at any given time. I have talked to others and even had phone calls with others via dating apps, but the idea of meeting someone on a dating app and meeting someone for the sole purpose of dating them is something that makes me uncomfortable to no end. I have tried and tried dating apps from time to time again. But, overtime, I have come to the conclusion that they are not the right path for me to eventually enter into a relationship. The funniest part is that the last time I used a dating app, I forgot that I even had it and kept forgetting to use it. Read more on that here: https://pinkchickadee.com/2021/11/14/relationship-sundays-why-i-dont-use-dating-apps/

The truth is: heartbreak HURTS. It is painful. It is raw. And, it makes us more vulnerable than we sometimes ever want to be. Though, at the same time, heartbreak makes us all stronger and prepares us for the right person that we are meant to be with. It also allows us to give ourselves grace, admire ourselves for who we are, and love ourselves through thick and thin for the imperfect person that we are.

When I moved to Washington, DC, I decided to for the sole purpose of having the chance at a fresh start. I would be able to focus on myself, my confidence, and go after my dreams. These dreams that were MINE and not even thinking about keeping someone else’s in mind. Carrie Bradshaw says in Sex and the City that “women move to New York City for two things: labels and love”. Not going to lie, I partially felt that way about my move to Washington, DC – I could live just steps away from ALL the beautiful high-end preppy boutiques along with their respective outlet stores AND have a better shot at loving myself and, when I’m ready, someone else. In my Junior year of college – one of my WORST years for heartbreak – I kept envisioning myself living it up in Washington, DC post-graduation. I am glad I am today.

Lessons I Learned From Heartbreak

  1. You ALWAYS have yourself – You probably have witnessed one relationship come and go or a hopeful romance fade away. But, at the end of the day, you have yourself to fall back on. Your mind. Your thoughts. Your self worth and how you view it. We live in our thoughts day in and day out. All of those things are with you whether or not you’re dating somebody. When heartbroken over someone else, our self worth could feel diminished. But, our thoughts and mindful thinking are always with us. Be someone you can turn to in the good, the bad, and the ugly. Be proud of yourself and do things for YOU. People come and go. At the end of the day, we always have ourselves to turn to.
  2. We are not meant for this person – This has always been a HARD pill for me to swallow. Hey, we may have just been rejected by someone else romantically and that SUCKS. For whatever reason, this person that we had so hoped to date has chosen to either break up or not date us at all. We may have EVEN envisioned a lifelong future with this person. We picture this person as the perfect person for us. It sucks when we are let down. But, surprise, we are not meant to be with this person, no MATTER how great for us they may seem. My cousin once told me this and I will tell you, too: try just try to picture and list out AS many reasons as you can as to why this person is not right for you. Overtime, you’ll realize it too.
  3. Self love is the BEST love – Through it all, we must continue to work on loving ourselves. Admire the progress that YOU made. Be proud of you. And, most importantly, take care of yourself. Take a walk, find a hobby outside of work, go to therapy, or cook a nice meal. Hold yourself accountable. Perhaps, find an accountability partner, too (mine is my bestie Shivani and my Mom!!!).
  4. Contentment comes from within – We cannot fully be content based on what others think, say, or do. Contentment must come from within. And, a lot of that contentment comes from working on loving yourself. My ex-girlfriend told me that she had “never been happier than with me” and that she was depressed before we dated. That is a scary truth. Happiness does not come from another relationship, no matter who you are with. You must find that joy and happiness from within yourself first.
  5. All of this heartbreak is preparing you for the right person – Yep, you heard me right – all of the heartbreaks and all that you’ve survived are preparing you to meet the right person for you. Deciding NOT to settle for someone who isn’t right for you is only allowing you to make that UPGRADE to the person who is. Now, when I say the right person for you, remember that they are not going to be perfect by any means. They may not even be who you perfectly envision yourself being with either and even anything but. But, they WILL be right for you and you WILL see it when the time is RIGHT for you both. And, it will be great. They say that all of the frogs come before you kiss your Prince. That is the reality with all things dating and relationships. Trust me, you’ll be better off having known your worth, loving yourself, and continuing to work on YOU when it comes time to meet and fall in love with your perfect one.

Now, to, shop for labels and focus on self love!

XOXO – Katie <3

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