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First a disclaimer. Initially, I was completely torn about writing this article on heart broken stories and breakup recovery. I waffled about it all week. I would write a paragraph, shake my head, and close the draft. Then I’d open it again. Argh.
As you already know, I don’t make too many references to my personal life on this blog, because I firmly believe privacy is important on the internet for safety and social reasons. I don’t like feeling vulnerable either. Toughness protects my ego, I guess.
Regardless, I still felt the strong urge to write about this topic. Writing has always been therapeutic for me. Besides, if I help someone else, it will be worth all the headaches so here goes nothing. Dun, dun, dun.
My Heart Broken Life Experience
Time for the cold hard truth. My heart’s been broken a few times since moving to north New Jersey. No, I won’t name specific people, or go into great detail about any of these relationships here. All I’ll say is modern dating is the literal worst. I’m taking a break for the summer (thank god).
Anyway, despite not being “buddy buddy” with some my exes, I still don’t think it’s my place to run “smear campaigns” about them or make it easy for my readers find their social media handles. Their privacy needs to be respected too.
And, sure, I’m petty sometimes, but I also believe in karma and fairness, and wouldn’t want someone publicly ranting about me – especially not to an audience of 20,000+ people.
Besides this post isn’t about them. Instead I want to impart a message about the emotional healing process for me and you – especially if you’re going through a rough time. Being your own best friend is the way to go.
Oh, and it’s about how cool New York City is. Haha. My heart broken stories always seem to take place in New York.
Heart Broken Stories: New York City Edition
You guys, I’ve noticed a pattern in my life, which is running to New York after a relationship ends. Actually, I’ve visited New York three separate times due to romantic fallouts, haha.
Why New York City? Well. I feel as if I can completely be myself in the Big Apple. I’m free.
New Jersey sometimes suffocates me. Why? Everyone seems to follow the same road that I deviate from on a regular basis. In the New Jersey suburbs, I feel as if everyone has it figured out by getting married or engaged, owning property, and starting families. Meanwhile, in New York City, singleness is okay. Having your own business or blog is more than okay. Entrepreneurship is actually encouraged! Renting an apartment is the norm, not the exception. You’re not a financial failure for not immediately investing in property.
New York City is a place containing millions of people who have incredibly diverse dreams and goals, and I feel as if I can embrace myself – strengths and weaknesses and everything. I actually don’t compare myself to others as I wander through Central Park’s lush greenery or ogle at a funky art exhibit at the Whitney Museum of American Art. My emotional well being is safe.
New York loves me and I love New York.
Further Reading: A Complete “Solo Travel New York” Guide
Best Places for Emotional Healing in New York
On this blog, I’ve already spoken about traveling with a broken heart and why it helps cure you, but what if you can’t travel anywhere? Staycations in New York have saved my mental well being a million times. Staycations rock.
Furthermore, New York City is a wonderful place to heal from any emotional pain, not just romantic ills. You’ll never feel bored here. I wanted to talk about some of the best spots in New York to help you through the stages of emotional healing.
Oh, and I realize that this list is very “Manhattan” heavy. I’ll add more places as I continue to explore New York City’s other boroughs, I promise.
Read More: On Embracing Your Singleness and Being Happy
1. Central Park, Manhattan
All heart broken stories can be fixed in Central Park. There is so much to see and do. For example, I love strolling along Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir and sitting at Bethesda Terrace. I’ve meditated in Central Park or at least thought deeply about my past relationships. And I’ve always come to the conclusion that I didn’t deserve to be treated that way. It’s so liberating.
Go to Central Park for peace. You won’t regret it. Not to mention, it’s easy to do a self-guided walking tour of Central Park without paying a dime. Explore til your heart’s content.
I recommend dedicating an entire afternoon to Central Park to clear your head. You’ll feel so much better at the end of your visit.
2. The Cloisters, Manhattan
The Cloisters is the Met’s medieval art museum. Located way uptown in Fort George and Inwood, the Cloisters feel a world away from Midtown’s craziness. The art is displayed inside buildings originally taken from four French abbeys. You’re shut off from the modern world, and it’s a fantastic feeling particularly for those of you going through heartbreak or another emotional challenge.
Don’t miss the unicorn tapestries either! The story behind them is incredible. Absolutely incredible.
After seeing the Met Cloisters, you need to take a scenic walk around Fort Tyron Park and look at the Hudson River. So beautiful.
3. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manhattan
Eeee, my favorite museum is the Met. I’ll never get bored of visiting the Met.
After all, it’s one of the most famous art museums in the world for a good reason. Firstly, it’s the biggest art museum in the entire United States. Its collections are extraordinarily varied – ranging from Ancient Egyptian works to Ancient Greece sculptures to paintings created by all European masters and much more! You can even wander inside a pyramid. Yes, a real pyramid. It’s my favorite room inside the Met!
Keep in mind that you won’t see every piece of art in one day. I feel like I need to go to the Met at least five times to see everything.
Lastly, the Met always has special exhibits for you to check out in addition to its permanent collections. Don’t miss out. You’ll see something new every time you go visit.
Plan Your Trip: Book Accommodation in New York City
4. The Strand Bookstore, Manhattan
Who doesn’t love bookstores? The Strand is one of my absolute favorite places in the entire city! Go to the Rare Book Collection room. Even if you can’t afford anything, these books are still really cool to see in person.
And buy some used books if you’re on a budget. Maybe invest in the best personal improvement books and make your exes mad jealous (a girl can dream, right?) with your jaw-dropping transformation.
Ultimately, visiting the Strand Bookstore will reactivate your love for reading! Definitely check it out.
5. The High Line Park, Manhattan
Do you want to see the streets of Manhattan from a different view? Have you ever wanted to walk along the train tracks, but are too scared of getting run over?
Then go to High Line Park located in Chelsea and the Meatpacking District. This walk, somehow combining the best of urban design and nature, will help you re-collect your thoughts. If you come here on an uncrowded day, snag a spot in one of the lounge chairs and soak up the sun. Like Central Park, High Line Park is free for everyone and open every single day.
6. The Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan — Brooklyn
Who doesn’t love walking the Brooklyn Bridge? It’s free, and on a sunny day, you see gorgeous clear views of the Financial District in downtown Manhattan. Walking the Brooklyn Bridge is touristy and very crowded, but it’s still a nice stroll that allows you to collect your thoughts when going through personal difficulties. I know I’ve walked this bridge more than once as I thought about events in my own life. Plus the design is very cool. Take plenty of pictures.
Be careful of the bikes, though. They’re insane, haha.
7. The Whitney Museum of American Art, Manhattan
I recently visited The Whitney for the first time and loved it! In particular, I loved all the outdoor galleries and rooftop views of Manhattan, Hoboken, and Jersey City. Sitting outside is relaxing, as well as checking out the poignant modern American art.
On my own visit to the Whitney, I thought about how lucky I am even though I’ve dealt with some lousy situations. In retrospect, there’s no avoiding disappointment, but we can’t go through life ungrateful either. A lot of the work here speaks loudly regarding political and social issues, and really makes you contemplate your own privilege in the world. It’s humbling.
More Information: Buy Your Guidebook to New York City
Final Note: How to Recover from a Breakup
As always, I’m here to help you guys. I’m not a relationship expert (hahahahaaaaa), but we’ve all experienced breakups in our lives. And they suck big time. No denying that.
But, remember, at the end of the day, you have the power to not allow your heart broken stories to ruin your self-esteem. Here are my suggestions for surviving heartbreak and transforming into a stronger person. Best of luck.
1. Don’t Suffer in Silence
Just got dumped out of nowhere? Had to dump your ex for not disclosing his marital status? Feel like hot garbage? Then talk to your closest friends and family. It’s time to bring out the cheerleaders.
Now I understand going through a breakup might feel embarrassing, but trust me, staying quiet will make you feel a million times worse. I used to stay quiet to protect my exes, but, eh, screw that. Now whenever I deal with breakups, I tell everyone in my social circle exactly what happened and why it happened, and I’ve only ever received loving support in return.
Talk to someone. No one will think you deserved the pain, unless you purposely ran over your ex with your car or something, haha.
2. Be Incredibly Kind to Yourself
You deserve love. I’m stating the obvious, I know, but breakups make you feel as if you’re not worthy of compassion. Which is BS. Take all the thoughtfulness you devoted to your relationship and flip it back onto you. It’s time to spoil yourself.
What does this mean? Buy yourself gifts. Take yourself on spa dates. Eat all the delicious foods and don’t bother counting calories. Buy a membership to your favorite art museum. Be totally and completely selfish. It’s your time to thrive.
Don’t act stingy with money either. I’m not saying you ought to go into crippling debt, because your ex broke your heart, but instead of saving that $100, splurge on yourself. You can save money next month. As long as your bills are paid do whatever you want to make yourself feel great.
3. Remember One Person’s Opinion Isn’t Reality
Ugh, I’ve come across a lot of love advice that’s – quite frankly – nasty and unhelpful and damaging. “Useful” suggestions like “he’s not that into you” or “she doesn’t want a relationship … with YOU.” Barf. Spare me the brutal honesty, jerkface.
Actually, no, I’m gonna rant about internet love advice. Buckle in.
In particular, these type of “teehee! they just don’t like you!” responses infuriate me. Love Coaches and Reddit, can we stop shifting the onus of the blame onto someone who’s clearly hurt and understandably wants reassurance? It doesn’t do any good. In fact, it makes people pick apart their perceived flaws and ruminate over what they did wrong. Furthermore, it emboldens people to get away with bad behavior. Sure, maybe you two weren’t a good fit, but I’m sorry, someone who’s lukewarm staying in a relationship or dating situation and then drags it out is a million times worse. For example, I’ve led people on in the past, and my crappy actions had everything to do with my insecurities and selfishness. It wasn’t the other person’s fault at all. Quite frankly, I deserved all the blame, because hello, using others isn’t a good look. It’s gross as hell and unacceptable.
So instead I want you to approach your breakup from an alternate perspective. Your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend’s opinion isn’t reality. Need more proof? Ask other people in your life what qualities they like about you. Ask them if you deserve love. You’ll feel surprised, reassured, happy, and fulfilled by their responses. I promise.
Ultimately, just because your ex failed to see how incredible you are doesn’t mean you’re not incredible. He or she doesn’t have the power or right to measure your self-worth, confidence, significance, and value. Period. End of story. You’re better than that.
4. Let Them Go Their Merry Way
Personally, I don’t immediately reach out after a breakup, especially if I was the one who got dumped. What can I say. I’m prideful, haha. And chasing? Diminishes that pride.
Let your ex go. Don’t stalk your ex-boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever, on social media. Don’t send letters to their house. Don’t blow up their phones at 2 am. with weepy text messages. Desperate behavior won’t help you. I know I don’t want a restraining order slapped on my head.
And besides, letting them go proves that you care about them. Why? You’re respecting their wishes. You’re giving them what they want. You’re giving them the freedom to walk away. Even if you’re hurting, your ability to accept the breakup and live your best life speaks volume about your character. You should be proud of yourself.
And, yeah sure, on a pettier note, you don’t need someone who chose not to be a part of your life anyway. You’re worth so much more.
5. Don’t Feel Pressured to Stay Friends
I’m on friendly terms with some exes. In those cases, a lot of time passed meaning the breakups happened when we were both young and immature. I wouldn’t exactly call us “friends,” though.
However, you don’t need to stay friends with an ex if you don’t want to. Providing emotional support is no longer your responsibility. And why should you? This person hurt you.
At the end of the day, I firmly believe the offer to “stay friends” is the other person’s attempt to alleviate their own guilt. Don’t give them that chance. They made a decision and therefore they should deal with the consequences. I’m not saying this to be callous, but I believe your silent absence is fair and justified. Think about it. If you decide to quit your job, you don’t then ask your boss if they can still send one paycheck a month rather than two. It doesn’t make sense!
Your friendship is valuable. A person who broke your trust doesn’t deserve it. Let them face their choices without support from you. You are your own top priority.
6. Forgive Your Ex for Everything
“Whaaaat? I’m not forgiving her! She cheated on me!”
“Why would I forgive him?! He neglected me all the time!”
Folks, forgiveness isn’t for them. It’s for you. By not forgiving, you’ll bring a ton of emotional baggage into your next relationship and hurt some poor person who doesn’t deserve it.
As for me, I learned a profound lesson in forgiveness at The Women’s Travel Fest in 2018. My long term relationship was ready to fall apart (and it did, two or three days later), and I had a lot of resentment toward my boyfriend at the time. I didn’t understand why he never gave me the attention and care I knew I (deep down) deserved. I was angry at myself for not being good enough, which wasn’t even true, cause I’m freakin’ amazing.
Anyway, at the travel conference, Amanda Lindhout was one of the keynote speakers. She spoke about her captivity in Somalia, and how she eventually forgave her captors. The whole concept of forgiveness was utterly unknown to me. I carry grudges so a long time. So, after meeting her and explaining my own anger toward the world, she told me that I was meant to be at that conference and hugged me. She was right. I honestly don’t think I would’ve survived my approaching breakup without the motivation and self-love I cultivated at Women’s Travel Fest, as well as a newfound appreciation for forgiveness.
Now I always remind myself: if Amanda could forgive her kidnappers, then I can forgive a couple of romantic misadventures. Holding onto that bitterness only hurts me, no one else. I’m the container that holds these negative emotions. It’s best to let them go.
Note: Forgiveness doesn’t mean condoning someone else’s bad actions. If a person cheated on you or hit you, forgive them and then block his/her number forever.
I hope you, uh, enjoyed my heart broken stories. Or, if you’re going through a rough romantic patch, learned better ways to take care of yourself. Remember that you’re awesome and people love you. Make yourself a priority. And visit New York City, bwhaha.