We’ve all been there — crying on the floor, with an agonizing ache in our entire being, a lump in our throat, an unsettled nervousness in our gut. We’ve had the same thoughts running through our minds: I hate them. I miss them. Why couldn’t they be better? I miss what we used to have. I hope I never see them ever again.
We all know what the end of a relationship feels like. It’s loss. It’s grief. It’s heartbreak — and it’s the kind of heartbreak that takes up so much space in your mind at any given moment. Everything reminds you of them.
But then, one day, it all stops. The tears dry and happen less frequently, if at all. The thoughts are banished to the back of your mind. You no longer feel like you’re going through the motions. You no longer feel anger, resentment, or hurt. You no longer look back on the relationship and think about what went wrong or what could’ve been different, because you don’t look back on the relationship at all. You feel indifferent. You feel at peace.
Healing is a gradual process. It will take time. Healing is ugly and challenging, but it is important. Here’s how you know you’ve officially healed from your heartbreak:
You feel a sense of closure.
When I was going through a breakup, I expressed to my therapist how I wanted to know if I mattered to him at all. She then asked me, “What will knowing this do for your healing?”
It took me a long time to realize that maybe I didn’t need to know the answer to that. I didn’t need to know what he thought or felt about our breakup or what he was feeling and thinking now. Wondering it in the first place was an answer within itself — and that gave me the closure I needed.
Through a lot of tears and conversations with my therapist and friends, I developed a solid understanding of why the relationship ended and what I learned from it.
You’ve found acceptance.
You’ve come to terms with the fact that the relationship has ended. You’ve accepted the relationship for what it is. You no longer have hope you’ll get back together and you no longer wallow and wish for things to go back to the way they were.
You feel emotionally lighter.
Maybe you’re feeling less sad, less angry, less resentful, or overall more emotionally stable. Maybe you’ve even forgiven them. Maybe you’re not concerned with what they’re doing or who they’re with — and you’re not checking up on them on social media. You don’t even have them blocked anymore, because that would mean still having an attachment to them. You’re not burdened by them because they’re not even on your radar.
Overall, you feel emotionally lighter.
You’ve started taking care of yourself.
Going through a breakup and managing all the feelings of heartbreak can be exhausting. But when you finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, you start to also see how much space there is for you and your healing.
You are no longer tethered to someone who is hindering your growth. Now, you are developing healthy habits and self-care routines. You’re recentering yourself. You’re getting enough sleep, you’re eating well, and moving your body. You’re exploring new skills, taking up new hobbies, and stepping outside of your comfort zone. You’re open to socializing and meeting new people. Overall, you’re going through a glowup!
You’re thinking about yourself and your future.
You’re no longer focusing on the relationship, what went wrong, or how it ended. Now, you’re focusing on you. You’re thinking about your future and your personal goals. You’re making plans for your life.
And then eventually, you will find yourself open to love. You’ll start to look at relationships in a different light and you will no longer have heartbreak define your attitude towards love.
Healing takes time. Be patient with yourself. Give yourself grace. Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist if needed.