DOES YOUR RELATIONSHIP HAVE AN EXPIRY DATE?
Sometimes relationships aren’t built to last a lifetime because friendship has a life cycle. No matter what age we are, or how strong we tend to be, as long as we are alive and in love, there’s always a chance our heart will break. Falling in love again soon, on the other hand, won’t heal the heart. On the contrary, it might just get in the way of the mending process. Recent studies have shown that at the end of a love relationship, either because of a break-up or divorce, your body actually suffers physical deprivation. It turns out the chemistry of love is real and It’s called phenyl-ethyl-al-mine and creates a response somewhat like an amphetamine high. When a loving relationship ends, the brain stops producing the phenyl-ethyl-al-mine (love drug) and immediately starts feeling its loss. The resulting symptoms are very much like those of amphetamine withdrawal, primarily depression and apathy. (If you find yourself gorging on chocolate, you might be trying to cure yourself; chocolate is full of phenyl-ethyl-al-mine.) People describe heartbreak as a feeling of heaviness, emptiness, and sadness.
Most broken hearts heal themselves in six months to a year. The anger, frustration, and hostility that follow an ended relationship will fade in time. Doing things with friends, trying new and different kinds of activities that will bring new people into your life, casual dating, maybe joining a group of people who are going through the same pain and can share their experiences, all these activities help the cure. But rushing headlong into another serious relationship before you’re healed will most likely bring you more pain. In order to enjoy a successful love you have to come to terms with the one that’s past. You have to understand yourself and other. If you take enough time to do that and to let your broken hearts mend, you’ll be ready to try again, and with time you’ll have a better sense of what you’re doing. Let’s face it, no matter how old we are, we can still be fools when it comes to love.
For some people, however, the pain of a broken heart does not heal with time. Their suffering is prolonged and serious, and they are unable to cope, unsure of themselves, moody, often unable to function around the house or at work. With enough time on our side, people usually get over heartbreak. The only way to get over heartbreak is by letting your heart break, and then putting it back together. You might figure this out by accident, especially with enough time and support from family and friends. So if time does not mend a broken heart, consider help from a therapist.
Once our hearts are bruised and burned from a relationship that ended, we have two options: we can close off pieces of our heart so that one day no one will be able to get inside. Or we can love again deeply, just as intensely as we did before. Henri Nouwen, an author urges to love again because the heart only expands with the love we are able to pour forth. He writes:
The more you have loved and have allowed yourself to suffer because of your love, the more you will be able to let your heart grow wider and deeper. When your love is truly giving and receiving, those whom you love will not leave your heart even when they depart from you. The pain of rejection, absence, and death can become fruitful. Yes, as you love deeply the ground of your heart will be broken more and more, but you will rejoice in the abundance of the fruit it will bear.
According to Angelowicz, the end of a relationship carries similar characteristics to the death of a loved one, even if it’s on a much lower scale. Give both you and your former lover some time to mourn the death of the relationship before you try to spark a friendship. When both hearts have healed and, when you’ve both moved on and found closure, move towards a friendship. People say that the quickest way to get over a breakup is to meet and date new love interests. And, according to Angelowicz, having another person in your love life can help you become friends with an ex as well. For one thing, it will keep you from having urges of getting back together. Just don’t discuss your awesome, blossoming love with your ex. Friends or not, it’s always a good idea to remain respectful. It’s easy to talk about your past relationship with your ex because he’s the one who is most familiar with the situation, but Angelowicz says to avoid analysing what went wrong when you were together. There are other resources for that: Your friends, therapist, or even a journal. Keep the focus on the current friendship, not the past relationship
More-than-friendly feelings for your ex may arise when you’re trying to work on being platonic friends. If this happens, says Angelowicz, take some time away from each other and evaluate the circumstance. It can be tempting to get back together with your ex, but only do so if you are completely certain that that is the best thing for you. Acting on impulse is rarely a good thing!