Thursday, December 3, 2009

Girl Talk Thursday: Heartbreak City


Today’s Girl Talk Thursday topic is heartbreaks.  Such a touchy topic…

As you may have gathered from previous posts, I’ve had my share of boyfriends. Which is not to say that this is a point of pride for me…

I can remember riding in the car with my mother on the way to the mall; I was in high school. My heart was freshly wounded by Some Dumb Guy.  A sappy love song came on the radio and began rubbing salt in my wound.  I was trying to be brave and keep my mind off the hurt and lonely feeling that comes with breakups, but this blasted song was knocking me down brick by brick.  I remember softly, reluctantly asking my mother, “Can you please change the station?”  She respectfully agreed, and silently honored my request.  I wonder what it was like to be My Mama in that moment.  Was she thinking, “I hate seeing her like this?” or “Such a drama queen…”.  (Probably some of both.)

I did not choose my boys wisely, to say the least.  I’ve alluded to my own issues with self-esteem here before.  Here’s the bottom line: I didn’t like myself very much, so I liked just about anyone who liked me.  The truth hurts, but doesn’t make it any less true.

As you can imagine, with little to no standards for Qualifying Candidates, I got burned quite a bit.  Looking back, it seems like most guys dumped me when they had another waiting in the wings.  (Perhaps they were smarter than I give them credit for…)  That fact, of course, made it so much harder to accept.  The jealousy. The betrayal. 

And then, there was one guy that really was a jerk.  In his defense, he had no good role models.  His parents had split when he was young, young, young.  His mother lived on other side of the country and he didn’t know her AT ALL until his father, who spent a lifetime freely sharing his own twisted version of love with his sons, died.  So, along came the boy.  He liked me.  So, I considered and (of course) agreed to a date.  All was hunky-dory for a while.  I, in keeping with my own traditions, began allowing my entire life to revolve around Dumb Guy of the Moment. 

A smart enough person learns to see this as a source of control and power…and get used to it.  Often, they decide to keep things moving along the path of their choice, regardless of your thoughts.  Bottom line, I got hurt.  It hurt before it was over.  It hurt because I let it.  I was too stupid to see that I was worth more than that. I didn’t have the courage or perspective to realize I would be happier and better off without him.  I was scared and didn’t want to be alone.

Then, one day, it clicked.  I was done.  It was over.  I had had enough.  I shed my fair share of tears and wallowed in my sorrow with a few supportive friends, and then, as quickly as a baby falls asleep in their pureed peas, I flushed it.  Like a faucet, I turned it off.

FireDaddy and I during our "courtship".A few days later, I met my husband.  He was supposed to be a rebound.  I just wanted a distraction to help me launch myself down a new road.  Turns out that road was a interstate with no end in sight. Funny how things work out. 


All of this “woe is me, innocent victim” talk is not, of course to say that I didn’t do my fair share of burning, as well.  I never maliciously intended to hurt, but misunderstandings happen and people change.  Girls are stupid in high school, as are boys.  And, hindsight is 20-20.  As it turns out, some girls – some “friends” – have ulterior motives behind their “advice”. 

“I feel so conflicted…I ‘love’ (because, when you’re young you think it’s love) So-And-So, but I kind of like Other Dude, too.  I don’t know what to do…”

“Oh, you should go for it…you and So-And-So are growing apart.  Follow your heart.  Go for Other Dude.  Here, why don’t I help you write the break-up note…”

A few days later, guess who’s comforting So-And-So?  Oh, look!  Now they’re a couple!  As for me and Other Dude?  Yeah.  That one will live in infamy forever among my family as the one to whom I said, “This isn’t going to last long.”  I don’t know if I said that to him, or just to my family.  But, it’s true.  I said it to someone.


As an adult, I’ve decided that heartbreaks come as a result of personal expectations.  (Wish I could claim credit for this profound statement, but a co-worker taught me this.)  We all have expectations for the people in our lives.  We have expectations for who and what boyfriends/husbands/lovers/friends/family members are and how they should behave.  These expectations, though, are rarely, if ever, explicitly discussed, they are often vastly different from one person to the next.  We get hurt when people don’t meet our unspoken expectations.

I expected boys would care about my feelings.

I expected they might “love” me forever - because, to me, love is forever.

I expected that they would be honorable and do the right thing.

I expected they would tell me the truth.

I expected that my girlfriends had my best interest in mind.

I expected they were being honorable, too.

I expected that, should someone truly care about me, they would fight for me.  They would come to me and say, “I don’t want to lose you.”

I expected wrong.


Even today, I live with heartbreak from time to time.  Who doesn’t?  My husband breaks my heart.  My children break my heart.  My friends break my heart.  My family breaks my heart.  That’s life. 

What I’m learning is that I must adjust my expectations.  The only person I can truly EXPECT anything from, is myself, because that is the only person I can – or want to - control.  I must expect more from myself than I do from others.  I’ve learned that, while I continue to open my heart to the loving people around me – who, like me, are just doing the best they can everyday, I need to give myself the unconditional love that I cannot always expect from others

And that, my friends, is harder than it seems.



I don’t like that this has been such a depressing post. So, to share a “feel good” with you…check out this video. You’ll like it, I promise!


  1. "As an adult, I’ve decided that heartbreaks come as a result of personal expectations."

    Truer words were never spoken. It took me a long time to realize this after my whole loss of friendship I blogged about today. It sucks though, that we set ourselves up for disappointment. But to not to would mean living a life devoid of hope and love. Which is worse?

    Pureed peas also made my post today.

    Sending you love. Great post!

  2. Expectations get the best of me no matter how hard I try to lower them (or not have them at all). That is sage advice.

  3. I think I may be your opposite!!!

    Expectations of how others will treat and care for me have definitely caused me pain. But, I would not call it heartbreak. After reading your post, I have realized I do not think I have ever had my heart broken! How sad is that?!?! Have people caused me to hurt? Yes, my family, friends and boys have caused me sadness and disappointment.

    But, I don't think I have ever fully given my heart to someone. The first one of those "dumb boys of the moment" that came into my life threw me for such a loop and changed my life and I do not think I have ever been the same person. One moment in my life completely changed me... I hold back in relationships, I don't give everything away (including my control and love).

    Now, being a mother is truly testing me....and teaching me to love fully, 100%. Thank you for the post - has given me lots to think about and I will definitely have a reflective evening.

    :) Katie S.

  4. *sniffle* (I told you, I'm a mess today.) So many thoughts, I don't know where to start. Most importantly, I love that picture of you. So pretty!

    It's rare that we (or at least I) read blogs where we know the true identity of the author's "anonymous" subjects, so it was weird to know who you were talking about. That comment really is neither here nor there, just an observation that struck me as I was reading and felt compelled to share for some reason. It's funny, as I was reading, a ton of memory flashes of you and Dumb Guy of the Moment came to the forefront of my mind. It was like I was walking by you and him in A Hall all over again. Memory is such a weird thing. (And totally giggling about "This isn't going to last long" with Other Dude.)

    "...heartbreaks come as a result of personal expectations." Wow, so true. I wish I had known this forever ago, but I guess that's part of growing up. Of course, I think that even our expectations of ourselves can cause heartbreak. Sometimes we expect more of ourselves than humanly possible, and that can be as big of a letdown as when a loved one disappoints you.

    The other thing that really struck me (and then I promise to shut up) is how our perceptions of other people can be so far from the truth. From how I saw you when we were in high school, I never would have guessed that you didn't like yourself, as you said. All I saw was a confident girl who had a lot going on for her. Maybe it's also partly that hero worship that's inevitable when you're hanging out with older kids.

    Anyway, I guess I'll stop spewing my verbal vomit now... Such a wonderfully honest post. Thank you! I'm so impressed with how all of you GTT ladies have literally poured your hearts out to the rest of us. Some of us are much too chicken to do that. :)

  5. This reminded me of a book I read recently: How Good Do We Have To Be? by ? Kushman. I don't agree with some of his theological points (not taking the Bible literally in places where I think it is meant to be), but I can overlook those for the points he's allowed me to see - basically what you said. People are going to let you down. Expect it. Be willing to work around it. I don't think you should stop having expectations of people, but knowing that they are going to let you down and you're going to forgive them for it is helpful.


Care to comment? Be my guest! Just remember, be classy -- not too sassy! (My young fans may be reading!)

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