Broken Hearts

What romantic heartbreak teaches us about selfless love and serving others
Broken Hearts

I've heard people pray for God to break their hearts; I've even prayed that prayer myself without giving it much thought. Maybe because I'd never had a broken heart before. Always a late bloomer, I fell swiftly in love for the first time at age 27, and shortly after I turned 28 I suffered my first romantic heartbreak. I'll call him Coen, for all the Coen brothers' movies I endured due to my serious crush on him.

Our time dating had been fun but wrought with the tension that happens between two people when they want two different things out of life and out of their relationship. One night Coen sent me a text asking if I'd meet him for dinner. He wanted to talk. Studies show that phrases like "We need to talk" are not followed by a marriage proposal or grandiose professions of love. I was getting dumped.

We met at the restaurant, ordered some food, and made small talk for a while. Then Coen looked into my eyes and told me he was walking away from what I had come to believe was "us." Had he been a doctor, he might as well have written me a prescription: "Take this broken heart, and don't call me in the morning."

I took it well—only because I had been crying my eyes out for two days prior, preparing my heart for the break. We somehow finished our meals while I expressed my bleeding heart and how much he meant to me, and he repeated, "I never meant to hurt you."

The Grieving Process

Breaking up sucks, but getting dumped is the worst. When you are the dumper, you walk away from a breakup conversation hurting, but feeling a sense of relief. When you are the dumpee, on the other hand, you leave with embarrassment, hoping your stabbed heart will wait to bleed until you are in the privacy of your own bedroom closet, praying your ego will retain its elasticity until you are alone with the thoughts of what must be wrong with you to make you so unlovable.

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