To my daughter(s),
It’s your first heartbreak. And it hurts. I’m writing this two months after my first heartbreak and I thought I would write this to you because when you experience your first heartbreak I don’t know if I will remember how I felt, what I did to cope, and the encouragement that I received from friends and family that loved me. So, I am writing this to you because maybe you will want to listen to me as a 19 year old girl who experienced heartbreak.
My first boyfriend was Ben. It was my freshman year of college and we started dating the July before I headed off to Belmont. We only dated for two months, but he was my first. Details of our relationship don’t really matter except that we made many memories, he told me he loved me, I did the same, and I meant it. He broke up with me after a couple months because he thought that we were headed in different directions when it comes to life. He lead a very different lifestyle and didn’t love the Lord like I did. For these reasons, he decided that we should not continue on in our relationship.
I was devastated…to say the least. My world came crashing down because I thought that things were going well and he hadn’t communicated any of his worries to me. He called me at 12:30 at night to tell me all of this over the phone. I broke down and let me tell you, my mom was the first person I called as I cried in my dorm room. And she picked me up at 2:00 in the morning in the pouring rain. And she drove me home as I cried. She didn’t say you deserve better or you’ll be okay, and for that I am so thankful. And what I want you to take from that is, let it hurt. Feel the pain because that is the first step in beginning to heal.
As I walked into my house that night, my dad was waiting for me. He held me when I walked through the door and I cried on his shoulder. He started to cry too. And from that I want you to know that your dad loves you. He sees his daughter hurting and it breaks his heart. Know that he cares for you more than you probably know. Lean into him and let him make you feel beautiful and loved after a boy breaks your heart for the first time.
Here are some of the tips I would give you.
Continue. Don’t lay in bed. Do your normal activities. Wake up, put on some makeup, especially red lipstick, and wear your best outfit. Go to classes. Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And eat some chocolate whenever you feel you need to.
Lean into your girlfriends. They have the best advice sometimes. They will be the ones to say you deserve better. And you do, even though you don’t believe it right now.
Listen to some music that bashes guys. It really will help. Turn it up as loud as you can and scream it at the top of your lungs. You will feel better.
Cry. Cry. Cry. There is something that helps in crying. You have to pull it together at some point, but for now just let it out.
Don’t delete all your pictures with him. While they may be painful reminders of the past, he is part of your past and you will carry memories with him for a while.
Don’t talk bad about him to your friends. That only says something about you. Have grace and mercy because it helps you heal and it keeps your heart from hardening towards him. You never know when he will walk back into your life. I believe that the Lord places people in your life for reasons we don’t know sometimes. And he has a purpose.
Don’t listen to what others say your ex is saying. Chances are he never really said that, and it only makes you hurt more.
Try your hardest to use grace. Yes, he said things that were mean and that hurt, but that’s just a defense mechanism. Show him grace because he will appreciate that later on and you will grow from it, which is after all the point of relationships, whether they end poorly or not.
When memories of things you guys did together start flooding back into your mind, let them hit you. Smile because they happened and they were good, but then reflect them back to God. Those memories will never leave you because you shared time, emotions, and physicality with him, but know that they can be sweet and can help you move on.
Lastly, know that your mom is there for you. She loves you more than anything you know. She is going to be there while you cry. She experienced this too, and while you won’t want to share every single detail of your relationship with me, know that I probably can guess. And that’s not meant to shame you, it’s meant to encourage you.
It hurts right now and don’t discount that. But know that things will get better. The first couple weeks are the worst. But eventually you will look back and say you made it. It made you stronger. It made you learn. It helped you love. It helped you learn about losing.
With much love!