dealing with heartbreak

Dealing with a broken heart: how to believe in love again

by Eharmony Editorial Team - July 27, 2015

Are you one of the 6m UK adults who've given up on the idea of love? Break-up coach and writer Laura Yates talks break-ups and how to deal with a broken heart.

eharmony recently released the results of a survey, which revealed that one in eight adults in the UK have given up on the idea of love.

  • Six million UK adults (12%) have given up on finding love – including both singles and people in relationships.
  • Two fifths of singles (41%) have been alone for more than a decade

So it seems there are a lot of despondent people out there when it comes to love. The fact that so many say they want to find love yet have given up on it is a sad thing. Buy it’s not surprising. If you’ve already convinced yourself love doesn’t exist for you, you’re fighting a losing battle.

When it comes to dealing with heartbreak, it’s a normal reaction to put up those emotional barriers. The lower the expectation the less likely you’ll be let down, right? But what we often do is not get over the ex at all and instead put up those defences to compensate.

We hate all of the feelings that come with the end of a relationship or even bad dating experiences so we avoid them and often look for love again with our heads all over the place. It’s a harsh reality but you have to go through all of the hurt, anger, sadness, loneliness – really endure all of that soul-shattering stuff to heal properly. That might sound a bit woo woo, but to find love you have to truly believe it is out there for you. When you haven’t dealt with previous heartbreak, or at least accepted it and moved on, you’re competing with all kinds of negative attitudes that are going to hinder your chances of finding the real deal.

I know many people who go out dating (I’ve been guilty of it myself) after having their heart broken with the attitude of: ‘well, I doubt I’ll meet anyone but I suppose I should get back out there’. Imagine going on a first date with someone who already believes they could never have a connection with you? It’s a self-sabotaging thought process from the get-go and it doesn’t feel good for you or the people you’re dating.

Perhaps you’ve given up on dating altogether. This too is understandable because if you’re dealing with a broken heart it’s feels safer to deny yourself the opportunity to let it happen again. But one thing is for sure, if you’ve cut yourself off from the idea of love or a connection with someone, you probably won’t find it. 

If you have convinced yourself love isn’t for you, first of all think why that is. Do you need some more work on your previous heartbreak? If so, that’s fine! It will help you get to the core of all the emotions and issues you’re experiencing, figure them out and be more open to love in the future. If there are other practical things in your life that you feel are ‘getting in the way’ of love, are you doing something about that? Or are those just an excuse? Sometimes, we don’t have to have everything figured out to find love.

If you’ve battled the same issues in relationships over and over and you’ve convinced yourself you’re ‘jinxed’, maybe the type of people you’ve been in relationships with indicates where the problem is? Maybe it’s time to try something or someone different? Are there certain behaviours or habits you need to work on too?

It’s also about keeping things in perspective. A few bad dates don’t mean that you’re never going to find love.

I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t, on some level, fear love isn’t going to work out for them. But sometimes avoidance of rejection in love can only be overcome by taking a chance. Look at all the people you probably know who have had their hearts broken endless times and then unexpectedly found love. Or the people who have dated, dated and dated but then that one more first date led to something amazing.

If you know you want love you have to believe it’s there for you. Be clear on what’s important to you in a person and a relationship but stay open-minded about the type of people you date. If you need to do more in regards to making yourself happy or to feel better about other parts of your life, then be proactive about that.

To find love, you need to believe it’s out there for you. You’re much more likely to find a meaningful connection with someone if you actually believe in the possibility of it happening.