Whatever You Do, Don’t Break My Heart

I think suggesting that my heart is fragile is cliche. But more than cliche, I think saying it suggests that it is more fragile than any other person’s heart and to suggest that their heart doesn’t need to be handled with as much care as your own is insulting.

Prior to my breakup with my daughter’s father, I had prided myself on never having my heartbroken and never being dumped. I had successfully navigated the one previous relationship I was in, prior to him, without having my world shatter to pieces the way it did for every teenage girl in every prime time sitcom or drama after her first breakup. Granted that my breakup then was with someone I wasn’t really interested in and I was starting my summer before college, it wasn’t quite as difficult as I anticipated. I’m also almost certain that he wasn’t too hurt by it, given that he was moving out of the state as well. But my breakup with my daughter’s father seemingly cut me down to size and reminded me that I’m not invincible.

When I generally talk about that breakup, I usually address my anger and frustration in the whole situation, rather than the hurt and the heartbreak. In my opinion, it’s alot easier to get people to become angry and frustrated with you, then it is to get them to feel sad with you. People have a natural tendency to want revenge and in retelling the emotional strife that was my breakup, I usually get enough commentary about what that person would have done if it were them to feel better not only about how I felt but also about my actions.

But the actual heartbreak of the relationship, is something I’ve never discussed, mainly because it was always so hard to explain that aching feeling in my chest that consumed me night and day and brought me to tears on more than one occasion. Not even the nights of being especially spiteful and vengeful were enough to assist in warding that pain off.

I was devastated.

There’s nothing like having your trust broken in front of your face and having the person who broke it, pretty much tell you deserved it and that it’s not that big of a deal. There’s nothing like watching the person you care about deliberately hurt you and not even attempt to create at the very least a plausible lie to cover it up. Or even worse, having that person try to tell you it’s all in your head and you are overreacting, using your feelings against you, to prove you incapable of being sound and reasonable.

Just thinking about the heartbreak of that relationship is enough to send me straight into my feelings and want to drown the world out with a bottle of wine and sappy love songs about love gone wrong. But I digress.

In starting my new relationship, I began to realize that not only had I developed triggers from my relationship with my daughter’s father, but that I was dealing with a man who had triggers of his own from his past relationships. And there we were trying to navigate this newfound love, while trying to avoid the land mimes are exes set for us. Both of us arguing about each other overreacting for triggering a trigger, telling each other to stop making us pay for our exes’ mistakes, and threatening to walk out on each other more times than I’m happy to admit.

At the end of the day, our fights were nothing more than who’s heart needed to be handled with more care than the other, and every time it was stated, without explicitly being stated, we cringed at our feelings being negated for the sake of the other.

But why should we have to tell people to be careful with our hearts? Why do we have to preface that they are fragile or that they’ve experience trauma previously? Why is that always the precursor to the start of any new relationship?

In thinking about my current relationship, we are happiest when we aren’t trying to protect our hearts from each other. We enjoy each other’s presence more when we aren’t guarding our hearts with everything we have. Yes, we have our triggers and we stumble across them, but in realizing that our fights are nothing more than us aggressively shouting, ‘don’t break my heart’, I no longer stress them as the end of our happiness and/or our relationship and moreso of a ‘let me show you that I won’t.’

At the end of the day, I don’t need to walk around prefacing everything with ‘my heart is fragile’ and ‘don’t break my heart’, because I’ve realized the only way someone can honestly break your heart is when you snatch it back to quickly from them or put it too high on a pedestal that no one can reach.

I’m sure there are people that may disagree with me and have a different philosophy on heartbreak, and granted that I don’t have as much experience with heartbreak, they may be right. But my heartbreak with my ex had very little to do with him breaking my heart, and more with me snatching it back so quickly out of anger that it got dropped. Any possible heartbreak that I might endure with my current boyfriend will more than likely be caused by a very similar reaction.

But I’m hoping that I won’t have to go through that again and that I won’t have anymore foreseeable breakups in the near future.


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