"Guys are jerks!" Sara snarled.
My friend was hurting. We sat at my kitchen table and Sara told me about her boomerang boyfriend who had just broken up with her—again. She attacked the bowl of Super Duper Chocolate Fudge ice cream in front of her and shared her story.
Sara and Clark (as in the fictional dual-identity man, Clark Kent) had dated for more than a year, and he broke up with her (the first time) because his company transferred him to an office far, far away. OK, like four states away. And he didn't want to do the long-distance dating thing, so he broke it off.
It took Sara a long time to get over him. But she didn't really "grieve the loss." She tried to soothe the pain by distracting herself with working long hours and pouring herself into her job.
Then one day, about three years later, Clark waltzed back into her life. He called and said he had moved back to town. He asked her to have dinner. Clark was charming and witty, and soon the fun and flirting turned into "Can I see you tomorrow?"
Weeks passed and they continued to get to know each other all over again. But Sara noticed that "boomerang boyfriend" Clark was pulling away—texting her less often, not returning her calls, being distant.
Then nothing. Complete silence.
Sara was hurt and confused. She couldn't understand how Clark was kind and attentive one minute, then "gone guy" the next. What had happened?
My friend scraped the bottom of her bowl, and pointed her ice cream spoon at me. "You know, I really liked him. I really thought we could have been good together," she lamented.
I felt her pain. Indeed, I could relate.
Sadly, I'd been in that situation before. Breakups are hard; no doubt about it. Whether you're the one who got dumped or the dump-ee, getting over someone you really liked or loved isn't easy.
So, what's a girl (or guy) to do?
Talk him into getting back together with you? No. Get revenge? No. Stalk his social media? No.
Give him what he wants. Let him see what life is like without you. Get on with your life. Maybe he will come around, maybe not. Either way, you will keep your self-respect intact.
What I've learned from getting over breakups are four main things to get you out of the hurt and pain and back into joy again: Grieve it. Let it go. Give it time. Tell yourself the truth.
Easy? No. Possible? Yes. Thankfully, yes.
Get the comfort and support you need from close friends or family. Cry it out. Get the Kleenex and let the tears flow. Punch a pillow. Find a good Christian counselor. Sure, you can wallow for a bit, but not forever. Eat the ice cream. Buy the shoes. Then, get on with the healing process.
Let it go.
Healing from a breakup—whether you were together for months or years—is a process. Feel your feelings. Don't stuff them down or bury them. Feel. Deal. Heal. And most importantly, stay away from this person. Don't call or text him. Keep your dignity. Release the person. Release the pain to God in prayer. And hold on to hope. Even if you want to be friends with him down the road, you will both need time to cool off and gain perspective.
Give it time.
Healing doesn't happen overnight. Just like it takes time to heal a broken arm, it takes time to heal a broken heart. How long it takes is different for everyone. The more physically or emotionally intimate you were with someone, the longer the heart-healing process will take.
Tell yourself the truth.
Going through a breakup can affect your self-esteem. You may be telling yourself things that are harsh or simply not true, like "No one will ever love me" or "What's wrong with me that he left me?"
You need to tell yourself the truth about yourself and about your situation. Maybe the breakup wasn't about you. Maybe he wasn't ready. Maybe he doesn't know how to love someone in a healthy way.
The truth is…Just because you got rejected doesn’t make you a "reject."
The truth is…God wants the best for you. He may be protecting you, and saving you for a person who is better suited for a relationship with you.
The truth is…you have something to offer. Don't let one person’s opinion of you define who you are.
Repeat after me:
• I am worth being loved well.
• I don't want someone who doesn't want me.
• God has the BEST for me. And I am going to trust God, the One who loves me most, for His best in my love life—and my whole life.
Also, not all guys are jerks. Sure, some are. But there are men out there who will treat you in a loving way consistently. When the right guy for you comes along, he won’t be hot and cold—pursuing you and then vanishing into the night air. You won't have to guess if he likes you or not. You will know. Because he will show you and he will tell you.
So, I told my friend Sara, and I will encourage you with this:
Talk to God in prayer. Give him your heartache. Tell Him all about it. Tell yourself the truth—and believe it. Because "the truth will set you free" (Romans 8:32).
Trust God. He loves you. More than you know. And He wants the best for his sons and daughters.
Now, go out and be your wonderful self. You can do this. God is with you and He is for you.
The rest of your life is waiting. And the best is yet to come.