When people think about heartbreak, they almost immediately fall into the realm of romance. Having their stomach drop when they see their freshly estranged lover in an embrace, even if it’s casual and brought on by a few drinks, with a relatively attractive new friend. Passionately consuming old emails, unblinking, trying to re-imagine, for the hundredth time, what it felt like to be with them. Digging through dresser drawers and shelves with stacked clothes for something that may have retained the slightest scent. Or at least a strong memory that hadn’t been unearthed yet.
One should never undermine this sort of heartbreak, of course. For it’s the sharpest, and most enduring sort.
But there are other heartbreaks, too. And as life chugs along, they become more and more prevalent, and sometimes, comparably gut-wrenching.
Because it’s only appropriate that once one’s love life starts to settle down, the world finds other ways to keep them on their (now blue and battered) toes.
My number one cause for heartbreak of late has been friendships. It’s my own fault. I always approach things with the highest of high expectations, always believing that everyone will go above and beyond, pick me up when I’m down, and generally look out for me. This is ridiculous of course, because everyone has to look after themselves, first and foremost. And I, as an adult woman, should have realized that quite some time ago.
And so I find myself frequently burned. And heartbroken. And taken advantage of. And seriously confused.
The same way I felt when I was 13 and the boy I liked didn’t like me back. A lingering feeling of crushed.
I’ve realized that friendships change as people grow. I’ll never have those quixotic-type friendships again. I’ll never feel that symbiotic, mutual reliance that makes friendships flourish. I’ll never trust in the same way. I’ll never put anyone before myself (with the exception of family). I’ve learned my lessons and know that while walls are a bit too opaque, a translucent glass shield should always exist. And I should always be prepared to retreat behind it, if only for a bit.
That way, next time, at least I’ll have preserved myself from the get-go. And I can sit back and say I knew it was coming. Because a blindsided heartbreak is the absolute worst sort.
But no big deal. This will be better for all of us.