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January 26, 2023

After a Breakup: Top 10 Things to Heal a Broken Heart

I’ve heard that January is the most popular month for break-ups. Why do so many dating couples call it quits in the first month of the year? The widely-held thought is because January is the shoulder between Christmas and Valentine’s Day. During the Christmas season, a guy often doesn’t want to be alone, or a girl feels the need to put up a front for others, even if the relationship is crumbling. So they muddle through and then break up before the fast-approaching February love holiday.

Maybe you’re in this situation. You just broke up with your boyfriend or girlfriend. Or, you know someone who did. Perhaps you see yourself in some or all of these scenarios:

You cry a lot.

You’re constantly sad or angry or (name an emotion).

Your heart is numb, like a frozen lake in a Minnesota winter.

You eat copious amounts of Dreyers ice cream or other treats to attempt to comfort yourself.

Your self-esteem feels like broken glass—shattered and scattered.

What do you do with those swirling emotions? And when the ice cream carton is empty, then what? In the long run, comfort food in moderation isn’t going to hurt you. But it’s not going to heal your broken heart.

There has to be another way to get rid of your pain.

When breakups happen, most women I know turn to food or to their friends for sage advice. Most guys I know do nothing. They say “you just get over it.” When pressed for details, like, “How do you get over it?,” they say, “You just do.” It’s as if they attempt to fix their hurting heart with duct tape, a guy’s go-to remedy for almost anything that’s broken.

Sadly, there are some things that duct tape just won’t fix.

But there is something infinitely better. Over the years I’ve had my share of heart-crushing breakups and I’ve found significant hope, comfort, and healing in the words God gave us in His Word, the Bible, and by connecting with God in prayer. Nothing compares to the honest conversations we can have talking and listening to the One who understands.

So if you—or someone you know—are going through a painful breakup, here are ten helpful things I’ve discovered while journeying from the dark days of a breakup to a brighter, joy-filled life. In “When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty” I coach readers to do these essential things:

 

1. You need to deal with your endings.

2. You need comfort and support.

3. You need to grieve your losses.

4. You need to deal with your emotions.

5. You need to experience God’s love.

6. You need to discover the power of forgiveness.

7. You need to learn to wait well.

8. You need to restore confidence and self-esteem.

9. You need to wake up to the rest of your life.

10. You need to make healthier choices next time.

 

Dealing with your losses is essential. You may have been dating a long time or a short time. Either way, you’ve lost some things: love or like (or both), friendship, affection, someone who “gets” you, and the hope of being married to this person, etc. It’s been said that if you don’t grieve well, you'll grieve all the time. It’s helpful to cry it out at home either alone or with a trusted friend. It’s helpful to journal your thoughts. And pray. And trust that God is not withholding something (someone) from you; He is protecting you and saving you for His best.

There’s a lot more to be said, and I will be sharing more about these topics in the days ahead in the Living Single blog. And, you can read more about each topic in my book, “When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty" (see link below).

In time, and with a lot of prayer and telling yourself the truth, you finally get to a place where you believe that letting go is truly possible. Instead of bouncing back, you bounce forward into a place of hope and new beginnings.

When you let God in and let God heal you, you can become better equipped to find the healthy and lasting love you truly desire.

The hopeful truth is this: God redeems loss and pain and heals the heart to love again. He is all about restoration and transformation—from sadness to joy, and from brokenness to wholeness.


From: When Love Ends and the Ice Cream Carton Is Empty: What You Need to Know About Your New Beginning, Jackie M. Johnson