“No one is going to love you exactly like you imagine. No one is ever going to read your mind and take every star from the sky at the perfect time and hand it to you. No one is going to show up at your door on a horse, with a shoe you lost. Do you understand? That’s why you have to love yourself enough, so that any other love just adds more candles to the cake you’ve already iced.” – Stephanie Bennett-Henry
I’ve written before about conventional heartbreak. You know, the kind where you completely and utterly love somebody and put all of your faith and hope in them and trust that they are never going to hurt you and that they’ll never leave you… and they do. The kind where you finally share with somebody the trust and honesty and all of those fragile little qualities which you’ve kindled for so long, only for someone to come along and blow them all out.
But I never warned you about the biggest threat to your own heart because I never realised until now who it was. Or maybe I never wanted to admit it. Because, honestly? It’s scary. The person that has the most control and power over your own heartbreak is the only one in this world that you can’t ever run away from.
Because it’s you.
You see, we always think it’s somebody else’s fault when we get our heart broken. It’s his fault I can’t sleep and I’m up tossing and turning at nights because he never texted me back and I never found out WHY. It’s her fault I’m a wreck and can’t trust anyone because she started seeing somebody else and I can’t figure out WHY.
I know these things are not directly our fault. These are just classic examples of human beings being human beings and damaging each other. But at some stage in these journeys, and in any journey you embark on when you initiate any form of relationship with somebody, you create an expectation of them.
And that right there is when you open your heart up for warfare.
A lot of the time, we get hung up on the IDEA of a person. You meet someone and from the brief encounter that you have, you think they’re pretty great. You go home and you tell your closest friends you met somebody and you imagine and dream and wonder what they might be like. From just an innocent exchange in a bar, or a casual first date, you create a hype. You create an expectation. You create a person that doesn’t even exist, because it’s who you want them to be, not who they are.
Your brain is smart.
It will take what information it has and will fill the rest of the gaps with past knowledge, experience and reasoning to make what sense it can. And in some cases, like doing a crossword, solving a puzzle, this is really helpful. But in other cases, like trying to figure out a person, this becomes very dangerous. And THIS is where you hurt yourself. This is where you break your own heart with assumption.
In their silence and absence: when they’re not messaging you, when you’re not with them, you begin to fill the silences with what you’d like to hear; you create an expectation made up of things that they never intended or promised. They don’t text you back and so you make up reasons WHY they didn’t text back. They act a little bit funny one day and so you start to ponder all the things that might have attributed to this. This is not you being crazy. This is your brain doing its job.
But it’s actually not fair. It’s not fair to assume or expect that the girl/guy you bump into in the street and go on a date with is going to be the one that sweeps you off your feet. That’s an expectation that you’ve created for yourself and you will be disappointed. You will break your own heart. YES, people are dishonest and play games and mess you around but the biggest threat to yourself is you, because you, like all of us, get way too ahead of yourself.
“No one is going to love you like you imagine”
And every time you expect them to, you break your own heart. Not them.
Don’t always believe people when they say they’re going to do something. People are transient, shallow, disloyal, and people will disappoint you time and time again. Don’t be surprised. We live in a generation of people who don’t know how to commit, to anything: relationships, plans, a god damn coffee date. I lost count of the amount of times people had let me down, and so I stopped expecting. I stopped putting myself in a position where people could disappoint me, because that was the easiest way to protect myself. Without expectation, there can be no disappointment.
THE REALITY IS…
I wish everyone could be simple and upfront and honest and do the things that they said they would do. I wish that people would make it clear if they don’t and never did have any genuine interest in you. But the reality is, people don’t. And you break your own heart because you’re so fucking hung up on this romantic idea of a time when people stuck to their word and showed up and didn’t cancel plans and didn’t read your messages and never reply. But that’s not the reality we live in anymore, sweet peas. And if you want to protect your heart, you need to realise this. The sooner you do that, the better.
So how do I stop breaking my own heart?
You need to realise that nobody’s going to come and save you. Okay? I realised that a long time ago when I lay in the snow, waiting, waiting, and wondered why I couldn’t get warm. Every time you cry for help and hold out for somebody else to make it better, you set yourself up for disappointment. You break your heart a little bit more. The way you stop this from happening is from giving up those expectations, from getting yourself out of the snow. The way you stop breaking your own heart is by saving it.
You must stop waiting for somebody else to “fix” you or “complete” you. You are enough. You can do this on your own, I promise you. Have the courage to hold your own hand and sleep in your own bed and keep yourself safe and be independent and strong. The comfort you find in solitude does not make you weak, it makes you stronger than most. Embrace it.
Stop wasting your days moulding sandcastles by the sea just to occupy your hands, only to be disappointed when the waters come and wash it all away. What did you expect, sweet pea? A castle is only as strong as the bricks it is made of and you, my darling, should be building a fortress.
Build it so that one day, when that person does come along, you won’t be expecting them to dig you out of the sand you’ve been stuck in, because you dug yourself out long ago.
So that one day, when someone stops you in the street to tell you you’re beautiful, you won’t be hoping that they’ll be the one to “save you” because you saved your damn self.
So that one day, when you tell somebody about your life, you’ve got more to offer than endless stories of boys and girls who “broke your heart” because you guarded it in your fortress, high up on the hill, and you didn’t let its fate hang on the empty promises of empty people.
Quit playing in the sand and go build your stone fortress.
This is how you stop breaking your heart.
All my love,
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