Heartbreak, Heart-whole!

The journey from heartbreak to heart-whole is never easy. But a change of perspective may help. 

The problem, dear bravehearts, goes something like this….Anne loves Bill, but Bill loves Jane who loves Alan who loves Sarah….and so on and so forth. These days it could also be Anne loves Bill who loves Jack. Nothing wrong with that. God bless Bill!

I think I heard something very similar to the refrain above in a Woody Allen film. I am unsure because it was too many years ago. But I do remember bursting into loud guffaws in the cinema where I was watching the film.

It’s true, isn’t it? How many of us spend too much time hankering after someone who has her or his eyes on someone else? My generation particularly had it bad. Brought up on a steady diet of Hindi films (the term Bollywood came much later) and Mills & Boon type romance novels, many of us were led to believe that love someone enough and soon they would appreciate it and turn to you. Especially if you were the good, loving girl (or nice, clean-cut boy) and not a femme fatale or handsome rake. Remember the love triangle in Jo Jeeta Wahi Sikandar (a hit Bollywood film)?

What baloney, I tell you. In real life, usually the femme fatales and the rakes win. After all, they are much more fun and exciting to be with. Not to mention being seen with a ‘hot’ guy or chick is a major ego boost. This statement is not meant to be disparaging of the rakes and the femme fatales. I had quite a few of both as close friends and trust me, they were nice people. Yes, they changed partners quite a few times but you know what? I think they had more kindness in them when it came to life in general than people who walked the straight and narrow.

At times, I even think people who flout societal norms are more courageous and see life like it really is. I laugh out aloud even today at the memory of this one really handsome guy plaintively complaining to me, “Why do you women cry foul when a guy doesn’t want a relationship to go on? Why does a woman cry, accusing the guy that he led her on by saying the words, I love you? When I tell a woman ‘I love you,’ I mean it with all my heart at that moment in time. But it is at that moment. So, why do women interpret those words to mean that I will love them forever?”

Mind, I am not for a moment advocating that you should play fast and loose with this love or romance thing. In fact, I think that it is really callous for someone to play around with someone’s else feelings, especially when they know they are really not interested. But equally, I will point out that the other person has to also bear some responsibility. Because, mostly, deep down, one knows that the relationship is not what it should be. In that case, if you are in it, you are inviting heartbreak – it’s as plain and simple as that.

So, if you choose to pin your hopes that the person of interest in your life will learn to love and appreciate you, remember you are making that choice. And it may or may not work out. Usually where it does work out, it’s a long arduous, painful path which will wind its way over many years. Are you ready for that?

Over the years, I remember advising a colleague who was conflicted over the choice of marrying a long, steady boyfriend or plunging into a relationship with this rake in office. What I told her then was, “It’s better to be the one who is loved rather than wear the shoe on the other foot.” Thankfully she married her long-standing boyfriend. I am not claiming the credit as I am sure she was wise enough to make the right decision. The only reason I am narrating the incident is because the thought fits the bill here.

But what about people who follow their heart recklessly and get their hearts broken? To them, I will say, remember you always knew that the guy or girl was never really into you. Sad, that they didn’t value the fact that they had such a staunch partner but hey, who knows what they were seeking? We all have the right to pursue our dreams, no? Why blame someone for not feeling the way you do? Just like you can’t help the way you feel, neither can they.

A change of perspective, from yours to the other, helps traverse the road from heartbreak to heart-whole. And from there, hopefully, to finding someone more right for you!

Many years later, settled in a more happy relationship, you will look back and smile at the better memories of a relationship past.

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