What’s the difference between men and women after a breakup?
If the internet memes are true, it’s that men are happier immediately after a breakup, but then crash and feel heartbroken after a few months. For women, the opposite: they are hit with more physical pain at first, but recover faster.
This lends itself to some interesting theories about the differences between men and women (as Matt and I discuss in our latest podcast).
Perhaps men refuse to feel their emotions until later. Or they get excited by all the possible new mates they can have, only to be disappointed when it doesn’t happen (or their new mates don’t live up to their previous girlfriend). Perhaps it comes down to simple biology, like the theory that women invest more in holding onto a relationship because of the importance of child-rearing.
It’s obvious this meme resonates when we look at short-term behaviour, but I’ve coached enough people now who hold onto heartbreak for years to know that full recovery in the long-term isn’t about gender: it’s about doing the right things.
There’s the old adage: time heals all wounds. But that only works if you don’t prod the wound, scratch at it, or indulge in new self-destructive behaviours that make it worse.
- Looking through old photos
- Making calls/texts to your ex
- Idealizing your past relationship and telling people they were your one true love
- Never forgiving yourself for mistakes you’ve made
Moving on from failure is not magic. It’s a decision.
If we don’t do the work, we get stuck forever. Look at the high school would-be varsity athelete who never lets go of an imaginary NFL career they had in their head. Look at the divorcee who will never allow themselves to love again because “men/women will only smash your heart”. Look at the entrepreneur who feels cheated of success and complains about pernicious co-founders, the fickle market, or ungrateful employees, and never puts it behind them.
When many people feel “stuck” in their love lives after heartbreak, it’s usually because they haven’t taken the necessary shifts to close this chapter of their lives.
1. Finding a bigger WHY
You need a purpose beyond being someone’s partner. A feeling that you always have value to offer. A feeling that someone would be lucky to be in a relationship with you.
When you find a purpose and a WHY big enough to keep living and loving, it won’t matter what disappointments you suffer along the way.
This takes time: you might have to completely rediscover where your life is going and what really matters. But it’s this that gives you the strength to know you are MORE than someone has a broken heart, MORE than someone who has been let down, MORE than a story of pain. You are also a story of surviving, of recovery, of a hundred other things that define you beyond your relationship. This is what gives you true power.
2. Believing you still have capacity to love someone
Our lives are defined by the stories we tell ourselves.
If your story is, “I lost the love of my life and I’ll never feel that way again”, it’s going to be almost impossible to truly give love to someone new.
If your story is, “I’ve been hurt, but that only makes my heart bigger and stronger”, you have a recipe for actually giving relationships a second chance.
Bottom line: if you feel stuck, start telling yourself a new story about what this suffering means for your future.
3. Having confidence to know you can handle future heartbreak
Ironically enough, going through shit lets you know one thing: you are able to go through shit.
Sure, you might not want to go through the same shit again. That’s why you have to learn the lessons of every break up. E.g. I’ll never date another party guy with alcohol dependency, or I’ll never put up with someone who disrespects me.
But if you do all the right things to take care of yourself, you’ll prove to yourself that you are stronger than you possibly know. And that should give you confidence to get back in the game. You know: hey, I didn’t die. I still have me. I still have my values. I still have my integrity.
And then you can get back in the game and put yourself on the line again. If we don’t, the only other option is to hide away from love forever. And there’s no fun in that ending to the story.
Maybe you’ve lived with a story of heartbreak for longer than you care to admit.
That’s ok, but now it’s time to re-write your story.
Hopefully by now you can see why it’s so crucial we get a handle on confidence once-and-for-all. So that we can develop an UNSHAKEABLE sense of self-worth and never settle for numbing ourselves and staying on the sidelines, or being tempted to settle for CRAPPY treatment again.
If you want to start this process, you need to begin changing the emotions you experience every single day. You need a method for tapping into those deep reserves of strength and inspiration you have to that you feel empowered to claim what you deserve. You need to actually build your core confidence so that no challenge, no rejection, no disappointment will make you bend on your deepest standards for your life.
Your life is short, and you have so much to give. Don’t let it go to waste by falling into those same ugly mental traps over and over again…
If you’re ready to get serious and do this now, come and join our next live virtual retreat at MHVirtualRetreat.com
This is the best way to finish this crazy year of 2021 stronger than ever, feeling ready to play at your best, and you can transform your self-esteem in 3 days with us so that you never settle for less than your worth again. Remember: without a way to tap into core confidence, no amount of techniques and tips will change your relationships.
Can’t wait to see you there – I hope you’re ready to finally discover your inner worth and live at the highest level.
It’s time to get out of the rut! 😉
Join us on our virtual retreat on March 18th-20th! Go to MHVirtualRetreat.com and spend a magical 3 days with us transforming your confidence and relationships…
(EARLY BIRD SPECIAL OFFER – book your spot before November 30th and get over 30% off the full price! Claim your ticket here)