Words: Antonina Ross
Photography: Anyee Ilieva
SHAG's heartbreak angels give us the definitive guide in how to break up, how to be broken up with and how to bounce back...
Unfortunately most of us have grown familiar with heartbreak. But the first time we go through it, it shakes us up - flips our world upside down and we are left to heal by ourselves, usually with a new and unfamiliar pain.
It can cause us to doubt ourselves and lose our way, it can lead us into a spiral of over analyzing and self-hatred, and we are never truly prepared for it. We may feel like we need to chase closure, and in some cases with a ‘peaceful’ breakup, we might be lucky enough to obtain it - but in a lot of cases closure comes with time and acceptance. That is the bitter pill we all have to swallow. And though we are never truly prepared for the pain, we also never truly understand how much strength we have in us until the time comes that we heal and move on.
A time when that person who meant so much and was a best friend for so long no longer pops into our heads out of the blue bringing with them a pain in our chests and a feeling of worthlessness. It all comes with patience and acceptance - a surrender to the process, if things were meant to be they would have been, you gave it your best shot, it izz what it izz.
When we go through the pain and out the other side, we realise how strong we have become. And though it sucks, it’s a transformative state which rips you out of your comfort zone, and you’re left with a gratifying feeling, a sense of power. Looking back, when you let go of what once was and detach yourself from feelings of guilt, longing and doubt, whatever the situation may be - you are left with a new sense of perseverance and growth. With each heartbreak, it hits easier than the last. When you throw yourself into self acceptance and love, nothing that shook you before can shake you again. The armour around your heart grows and your intuition knows when something is wrong. It doesn't mean it will feel any easier, but with our realisation that we can have many ‘soul’ connections - not just one ‘soulmate’ a
lifetime, moving on becomes integral.
As with everything, don't let your gentleness and kindness be swept away with the pain. Truly moving on means you have the strength to open up and be vulnerable again with someone new. If you are going through it now, keep reminding yourself that all it takes is time, however hard it is to believe. Eventually you just get bored with being sad, and when that time comes, oh boy will you be a force to be reckoned with.
Below, we speak to Malaurie and Salome - our heartbreak angels - about their experiences and get some insight on their healing processes.
What is heartbreak to you?
Salome: I think heartbreak is the moment you realise that someone who meant so much to you for a specific amount of time is officially gone. It's just like that person was your heart. And now they are gone so you just can't deal with that.
Malaurie: For me, heartbreak does not necessarily mean the person is gone - heartbreak, I think, is the moment when you realise that someone that you feel you love more than yourself has done something to hurt you. Someone can break your heart without leaving.
When was the first time that you had your heart broken?
Malaurie: I was so young. I was in love with my best friend when I was like 12/13. At the time I kept denying it but I actually suffered through it - it was so hard. He had love for me but it was as a best friend and I was so in love with him that I would do anything he wanted. It was hard. It took me such a long time to get over it too. Even now when I see him it sometimes brings back the memory of those feelings.
Salome: The first time I got my heart broken was when I was 16. And honestly, it's a traumatic fucking experience - I never expected to be that affected by a boy that I liked. I think I was heartbroken because it's like I gave so much to that person and I sacrificed so much for that person. It was like, how can I have just given you all of this trust and time and love for you to just completely disrespect me. I was not expecting it - but I haven't been heartbroken since, this was like my first and last relationship. I did get heartbroken a second time, but it was with the same person. I did feel severe disappointment, and it did hurt my heart, but it wasn't the same as the first time where it feels like someone has ripped something out of you.
How do you get over someone?
Malaurie: You wait it out. You smoke, you drink a lot - you try to escape. Someday you bounce back and forget about it. It will still hurt, but you tell yourself “okay, shit hurts, but I have to move on.” If you don't express it it's just gonna take longer. You need to let yourself be sad, let yourself heal and find your confidence again. Last time it happened to me it took me about two weeks, but everyone's healing time is different, be patient with yourself but don't bottle things up.
Salome: For me it's more like I need to have closure with the person so that even if I'm going to be thinking about it I know I have said everything I needed to say and heard everything I needed to hear. Until that moment I'm going to be overthinking everything and I'm going to have so many questions. I think you need answers to be able to stitch yourself up sometimes.
But what if the other person doesn't want to give you the answers?
Malaurie: When I didn't get answers personally I thought, okay, so that person is not for me and this is why we're not together. I think closure comes with acceptance from both sides. Even if your partner is not giving you the answers you want, at least you've accepted that. I feel that when you accept the situation and accept it’s over that's when you allow yourself to heal. For me closure sometimes just raises more questions - the times that I have tried to get closure and lay everything out on the table I end up having the same conversation over and over again until it becomes so draining and I just get sick of it.
How do you know if someone's into you?
Salome: I am really bad at that. Unless it's someone who is being super flirty.
Malaurie: But even the ones who are so bait and so open about everything end up also being fuckers. So at this point I don't know honestly - the best way for me to know something is if someone says it. I'll never truly believe someone's into me if he doesn't say it. doesn't look at But otherwise, I think you know - there's some part of you which knows that there's a connection with someone and that you guys have something. But at the same time sometimes our minds play games too and some guys are just used to having multiple connections like that with anyone. These days I'm just a bit wary about it. It would just be so much better if the person just tells you they’re into you it would just make things so much easier. I don't like the game.
Does having your heart broken affect how you see yourself?
Salome: Yeah, the first time I got my heart broken the boy was basically telling me “oh, but like I prefer this…” which made me think “oh so I'm obviously not good enough in this area, I'm not pretty enough, I'm not skinny enough or I'm not this, I’m not that...:”. It made me have so much self doubt and it was the most horrendous experience. I think that experience has taught me to not beat myself up so much the next time I get my heart broken. I definitely won't think “obviously if he cheated on me it's my fault because I didn't look like this or like that” or “well I didn't do this or that”. I'm thankful that happened when I was 16 - I was so young, it has definitely taught me to respect myself.
Did it make you stronger?
Salome: It took me time - I'm only really getting over this relationship very recently. It's definitely helped me realise someone's love for you has nothing to do with the love that you should have for yourself, and the way that that person sees you is not necessarily how you are.
Malaurie: Honestly, I've been so disappointed I stopped beating myself up about it. Obviously you're always going to question your actions, but I never let it get to my confidence or whatever, I think to myself “okay if it's not him there will be another one”. But it does affect a lot of things. When I’m heartbroken I don't even feel like putting effort in myself, I don't feel like putting makeup on - I don't feel like making myself look good. I think that's just how I react to something that is going on in my life. So I don't really beat myself up about it anymore, but I used to, and a lot of experiences have taught me that it has nothing to do with me really, some people are just assholes. If you don't appreciate the juice, don't have it.