No one is immune from a heartbreak. We all get served a good one. And there is one heartbreak that sends us back to factory settings. One that completely vaccinates us from any future heartbreak. It is the heartbreak that shatters all illusions we may have been born with about love and romance.
Heartbreaks make us bitter, cynical, and sometimes lifeless, literally. They always sound like the end of the world. Because sometimes we get too attached to people and when they leave, we feel rudderless. Time stands still.
But as they say, time heals and a year or two later from the time you were dumped, you look back and wonder what you were losing sleep over. Suddenly, all that is in the past and you are ready to move on.
How do you know you are ready to move on.
1.Your appetite is back
One of the most nefarious and horrible things about being dumped and being heartbroken is that you lose appetite not just for food, but for pretty much everything you love in life. This can go on for extended periods of time. Losing weight is not uncommon for those who get served proper character development.
When heartbroken, all foods taste like a boiled mattress. The very thought of food nauseates you. Before long, the signs begin to manifest themselves; dry lips, emaciated, loss of interest in the things that you liked.
Where you liked reading, it becomes such a chore. Where you liked swimming, it stops to make meaning. Where you liked hobbies like jogging, playing indoor games, you become so numb, and the hobbies become awful distractions that you’d rather not indulge in.
But when you heal, your appetite sneaks back. Suddenly, you can gobble that steak like no man or woman’s business. You can down the entire cake dessert. You enjoy your wine or whisky. Food now makes sense. Some people recover their appetite and go overboard and even add some weight.
Suddenly, you regain your old interests. You are skin-dipping, you are jogging, you are reading your books.
Your skin reinvigorates itself. And you gain your mojo and vitality and people around you will notice it.
2. You get your sleep back
There are different types of insomnia. But the worst type is heartbreak-related insomnia. Man. You can’t sleep. Your mind plays sick “what ifs?
You think of the wasted time, the wasted opportunities. The couldas, shouldas, wouldas, oughtas. The worst thing that can happen is to be on the receiving end of a heartbreak. Your tormentor moves on pretty much and you are stuck in sleepless nights, playing Linkin Park’s Numb and other bad love songs.
The worst thing about heartbreak-related insomnia is that you have nothing to do. You can’t read, watch, so you stay in bed: helpless. And Lord! How slow time moves when you are an insomniac from a recent heartbreak!
The insomnia is fed by the fear of never ever going to get the boy or the girl you wanted. Because the one and the only has gone. The scary thing is that you meant nothing to the people who just conveniently dumped you. The realization that you are dispensable can grow on you like a horrible skin rash. What keeps you awake is you examining your worth.
However, with time, you get your sleep back. Partly because there is nothing you can do. And partly because you realize, there is nothing you can do, and you have to take it on the chin and hope for a better future. Also, as the ex recedes to the recesses of our memories, we get new experiences that slowly replace them, and life goes on.
3. No chance of ever drunk-texting them
Some relationships end with such finality, there is no chance of further communication. But initially, there is denial, and some people stay in touch, forlornly hoping that the party leaving can change their mind. There are those silly texts, memes, and shit we share with our exes when the breakup is still afresh.
But over time, we learn the futility of it all and start to love ourselves. One way to know that you have grown and learnt your lessons from the breakup, is when you stop all contact with the ex. Some even block their exes. Well, if it works. Some don’t necessarily block them on phone, but they mentally block them, for good.
The best test, especially for men is that even at one’s most drunk and stupid, you will never text your ex. Even after particularly binge-drinking Gilbeys, which messes up the brain like shit, your brain knows its limit and will never ever mess you up as to text them.
4. You talk and think about the ex less
After the breakup, in the ensuing months, it is not uncommon to talk about nothing but your ex. Your pain, what you did or didn’t do. Your friends and family grow tired of such stories. Often you can’t help yourself.
But once you heal, you will realise that your ex is no longer part of your conversations. They rarely show up in your daily convos, unless mentioned in passing. The beauty about this part is that this is a very organic process. That you slowly forget about them and what they did, breaking your heart, no longer matters.
5. You are ready and willing to move on
You no longer look at love through the lens of the previous heartbreak. When you meet a new person, you are willing to embrace the idea of them loving you. And you can love again. Of course, now, you are alert to any red flag, any nonsense, and will sooner walk out of bad deal than stick with someone because of desperation.
You are willing to throw yourself into the dating pool, but now, your eyes are open, your heart will be for pumping blood, and your antenna is well-tuned. No more surprises. You can smell BS from very far. You can sense danger from far. Nobody will ever ghost you or take advantage of you.
6. You don’t a damn about your ex’s moves
Some exes are petty. And would love to live their lives on social media, if only to prove a point. They will put their new catches online. Always ‘happy’ and ‘giggly’. They will upload their pictures, their new jobs, their promotions, their businesses. Whereas they may be doing this for themselves, there are those eager to prove a point to you that they can nab themselves a partner, can succeed in business without you, commonly, most do these to make you feel bad about yourself.
Once you have moved on, even if your ex had the grandest wedding, went on to be a president of a country, or became very successful, it doesn’t matter to you.
You may have or not have blocked them. Some friends will find a way of sharing the screenshots of your ex’s boss moves, ex’s new catch, ex’s wedding, and all. But you will politely text back, “Good for them”. And you will carry on with your life, unbothered.
You are not necessarily happy for them, or anything, you just don’t care. To you, they are dead or may well be dead.
7. Your moves are not determined by your ex
On the other hand, whatever you do, is not determined by a desire to prove a point to your ex. You are looking for a man or a woman to prove a point that you still ‘have a market’. You are not looking for a job or a promotion so that you can make your ex jealous of leaving you for the gem you are.
You don’t look forward to hearing stories of your ex being in a shitty situation so that you can celebrate. There is a petty schadenfreude we all get a kick from hearing that the ones they left us for is treating them badly.
When you move on, your moves in life are determined by your personal goals. Your own mission. Not some silly desire to prove a point to anyone.