Few of us get through life without a little heartbreak, but some of us get more than a little taste of it.
Heartache can last for months or years and keep us shut down and wounded. It can wrap us in fear and make it impossible to have another relationship. It can even turn us into someone bitter, mean, or heartless.
If heartbreak leads to a dry spell, here’s how to end it. If it knocks you on your butt, here’s how to gracefully (and gratefully) get back up. And if it takes away your ability to trust someone new, here are a few tips on how to open yourself up to love again.
Give yourself space and time. Healing takes a while and until you’re fully healed, you may feel vulnerable and not ready for a relationship. There is nothing wrong with that.
Take baby steps. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You don’t have to enter a fully committed relationship while you work on trusting someone new. You can date several people at once or take it slow with one person as you build trust slowly and naturally.
Think about what you really, really want out of life. Shutting down might feel safe after heartbreak. And not trusting people may feel like it offers you some kind of protection from getting hurt. But is that going to give you the life or relationship you want? If you want more love—and we hope you do—then commit to working on trust issues so you can love again.
Don’t assume. You might go through a phase where you assume that everyone is untrustworthy. (Or you might simply think every potential love interest is an ass.) We understand, but we can’t let you get stuck on that thought. There are trustworthy people out there. There are. Really. And you will meet them. (Okay, so there’s no guarantee that things will work out with even the kindest, most wonderful person, but just knowing there are people worthy of your trust and love can be a comfort.)
Don’t beat yourself up. Sometimes broken hearts hurt our confidence and we somehow feel like we’re not worthy of a trusting, loving partner. Banish that thought! You deserve everything that’s delicious, wonderful, and thrilling in this world, including love.
Stay in the moment. The past is over and you cannot change it. The future is unpredictable and you can drive yourself crazy worrying and wondering what someone might do or how you might feel. Try to stay in the here-and-now.
Consider counseling. Talking with supportive friends and family can be very helpful, but the right professional therapist can give you unbiased feedback and a healthy, new perspective. Plus they have tons of tools and techniques to get you and your heart open and trusting again.
You may be getting over your first big breakup, or even dealing with saving a marriage or keeping a family together in spite of broken trust. Whatever your situation, please know that rebuilding trust doesn’t happen overnight. But—with a smart plan, a compassionate approach, and the right support—you can move forward and trust again. You’ve just got to believe in yourself…and others.
We believe in you,
P.S. Wherever you are, we can help you find an awesome health center for checkups and birth control.