In the entire course of my lifetime, I’ve been truly heartbroken…three times.
Two were romantic interests, and one was a close friend.
Yes, I’ve experienced and been through a number of toxic or incompatible relationships, but I can safely say that there were only three instances where I felt so emotionally torn up inside that I couldn’t even function properly throughout my day-to-day life. And no, I am not being overdramatic. When somebody truly means THAT much to you, you can actually feel this sort of hollow emptiness inside - a gut-wrenching feeling that feels like you are lacking something (or in this case, someone) important in your life.
To me, heartbreak is an extremely painful feeling that made me feel like I reached the weakest and most vulnerable point in my life. And in all honesty, only you can fix heartbreak on your own time, and nobody else can tell you how to feel or think when you’re going through heartbreak.
As just one influencer who is saturated within this overpopulated community of Instagram, I strongly feel that it is important to address both the good and bad experiences that I go through in life. To each their own, but I personally feel that I am able to be my most authentic and happy self when I am completely honest with you all. That being said, here are my three stories of heartbreak - all unique, all raw, and all unfiltered.
Heartbreak #1 (Romance)
My first heartbreak happened when my college boyfriend broke up with me abruptly after I got back late one night from the movies with a friend. Although the two of us had completely different personalities and lifestyles, we intriguingly fell for each other. Maybe it was our mutual positive vibes and how we always wanted to have a good time with our friends? Or, maybe it was because we shared a similar sense of humor?
You can think of him as the “bad boy influence” who drinks, raves, and flirts with a lot of women, and I was more of that innocent Asian girl who went to class, took cute Instagram photos with her friends, and trying out new brunch spots with my girls. I honestly don’t know how we ended up together - however it happened, all I know is that we made each other happy.
Whenever we got into an argument, a compromise was always reached at the end. “Sorry’s” were given when deserved, and “I love you’s” felt natural and genuine.
College rumor says that I turned this bad boy into a better person. Peers mentioned that he changed for the better and “behaved more” (LOL) because of me - and that is truly the dangerous part about who I am. When it comes to dating, I always think I can change someone to be their best self, when in reality, the only person who can choose to change is that very same individual.
However, like any other couple, we had certain fights that kept reoccurring. Then, there was one big issue that made me realize that things were headed downhill for good - to put frankly, the issue revolved around lying and dishonesty. From that point on, I knew that things in our relationship were getting shaky, but I didn’t realize that things were going to end the way that they did.
The night of our breakup, I owned a wonky phone that sometimes just lost its damn reception for no good reason at all (this is why I can’t use shitty phones anymore) and failed to receive incoming texts for at least 24 hours. We had an argument on the phone just before I hung up, and I ended up going to the movies with a friend. Throughout that hangout, I frantically kept checking my phone for incoming texts from my boyfriend - but received nothing.
“Crap”, I thought. He never ignores me like this. Well, let me just go to the movies and maybe he’ll text me back later.
Upon stepping out of 21 Jump Street (hilarious movie, btw), I received a flurry of texts from my boyfriend talking about how I wasn’t replying at all and that it gave him serious time to think that we should break up.
As pathetic as this is to admit, I begged for him back. Not just once, but multiple times. Honestly, I just couldn’t imagine my life without him. We went on a Disneyland getaway together. We ice skated with friends in the beautiful outdoors rink at the popular Union Square. We bought Super Smash Bros. for his Wii so we could kick each other’s asses. We had homecooking and movie dates. We had nights where we laid in bed side-by-side to talk about just anything. AND, we even had an interesting yet ratchet (LOL) love story on how we eventually became official. Honestly, I just didn’t want to throw away this history over a stupid cellular device problem. But despite all of these fun dates, our problems were rooted deep underground, and I just didn’t want to admit that. Eventually, I realized I needed to grow the fuck up and be an independent adult for once. Why should I have to beg or convince a significant other to stay in my life? It’s honestly not worth the effort.
Although my mind and lifestyle accepted the breakup, my heart simply just couldn’t handle it. I remember walking aimlessly to class, telling my friends jokingly (yet seriously) that I was going to die as a cat lady. I remember the day that I sacrificed a once-in-a-lifetime hyped up beach hangout with my hip hop club members to see my ex one more time, in hopes that maybe we can get back together. We didn’t.
All in all, if I can recollect my thoughts correctly, I think it took me a total of six months to get over this one-year relationship. Everybody heals and recovers at a different time, so with every individual, the breakup recovery time will vary.
But even when I thought I wouldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, I eventually did. Eventually, I learned how to live my life without him. I learned how to experience happiness without a significant other. Then, the day came when I learned how to love again.
Heartbreak #2 (Friendship)
So what I recently learned about myself is the fact that I only endure genuine heartbreak when the other party turns a total 360 out of nowhere and starts to disrespect me. When somebody you love aims to tear you down on purpose, it hurts a shitload. It hurts way more than a stranger on the internet calling you “ugly”. It hurts way more than accidentally being shocked by that damn metal handlebar near the walkways while your sneakers are brushing up against the casino carpet of The Venetian at Las Vegas. Emotional pain can sometimes be more traumatic than physical pain, as the mind often plays tricks on you and can come up with an innumerable amount of excuses as to why he ghosted you after that amazing date or why she started talking shit about you behind your back to your closest friends at your own birthday party.
In all honesty, I’ve had my share of toxic friendships that I easily moved on from or didn’t get as hurt by, but I will say that one particular friendship broke my heart into many fractured pieces. Because of this one specific friend, I learned two very important lessons. When you think you know somebody, even for years, it’s very possible for that friend to change in the blink of an eye if something doesn’t go his/her way. Second of all, I learned that the more you give from your heart, the more pain you can receive as well.
Although I never labeled her as my best friend, she was pretty much a best friend, or at least one of my closest friends. We saw each other anywhere from 1 - 5 times per week, laughing over silly jokes, bonding over our love for animals, and chatting about work-related stuff. The reason we got along so well was because we shared pretty similar interests, but more specifically, we shared really similar morals/visions in both the work field and life in general.
I don’t want to go too deep into details out of respect, but all I can really say is that after we had a falling out, she completely changed the way she treated me. After three years of friendship, I didn’t realize that somebody could flip a switch and turn a total 360.
She cussed at me. She said hurtful things that aimed to make me feel like a piece of shit - in fact, she wasn’t even afraid to hold back how many hurtful things she said to me. She couldn’t look me in the eyes anymore.
Although I didn’t cry upfront and knew that dropping this person from my life would greatly improve my lifestyle, my heart felt completely empty. I felt like I had lost someone important in my life, despite the way I was verbally abused and emotionally tortured.
Honestly, I was so torn from this experience that I couldn’t even focus on work without thinking of her and the hurtful things she said to me. Whenever I tried to blog or create content, I ended up replaying the heartbreaking texts that she sent on repeat. Eventually, I told myself that enough was enough - I was suffering mentally and needed to give myself a clean break from it all. Because the damage was so bad, all I could really do was watch an Asian drama rom-com on Netflix to temporarily distract me from the heartache. Also, I always check in with one of my best friends whenever I run into a problem, and she knows just how much pain I endured from this broken friendship. As a supportive friend should, I believe she told me to just bounce back into work as soon as I was mentally ready again. I’m truly grateful to have her in my life.
Oh, but do you want to know what the funniest (yet not really funny) part about this “friendship breakup” was? I actually broke up with my boyfriend (at the time) during that SAME week, so I technically lost TWO people in my life that week. Heh, ain’t life grand (sarcasm intended). And yet, losing one of my closest friends drove me up the wall way more than losing my boyfriend (we weren’t really that compatible anyways and ended things on more mature terms) so this emotional reaction really told me just how much she meant to me.
I wish it didn’t have to end like this, but it did - and this experience taught me a lot of things. From this broken friendship, I learned that if you offer somebody your full heart to somebody with the wrong hands, he/she will do whatever they can to abuse that power. To make you feel like shit. To make you feel regretful. To make you feel hurt.
In all honesty, it sickens me when people will abuse their power when it comes to love. If I knew that somebody genuinely cared for me, even if it didn’t end on good terms, I wouldn’t go out of my way to hurt somebody. Instead, I would try to end things as civilly as possible, but this doesn’t always happen - and that’s life for ya.
All in all, it’s like I always say - you can be nice to everybody, but only trust few. Spread love, happiness, and positivity whenever you can, but keep your heart guarded until you’re absolutely sure you can let somebody in. This is something that I know I will continue to struggle with because I know that I love and trust too easily. However, I hope with time, I’ll learn to apply this learning lesson to my everyday life.
Heartbreak #3 (Romance)
Now, this is the story of a recent heartbreak that serves as the reason for my nightmares every single night for the last two weeks in a row. I figured I’d share this story with you guys in hopes that by pouring out my thoughts, I would be able to get this feeling out of my system (and most importantly, out of my goddamn dreams)! Let’s start.
My third heartbreak was from a man who ended up cutting things off with me (or you can say essentially ghosting me) spontaneously when I thought that everything was progressing forward. From going on multiple dates to meeting my closest friends to triple dates to chatting about weekend getaways, I thought I finally found a partner who had all the same interests as I did and who saw life from the same positive perspective that I saw it from.
I think the reason that I fell for him was because he was pretty much a male version of me (LOL, I know this sounds weird, but hear me out). First off, he is an entrepreneur like me. In his free time, he loves learning about anything - photography, videography, music editing, graphic design, etc. Hell, I thought that his photography was better than mine, and I’m the professional photographer here! Just the level of discipline and expertise that he had in almost every field that I loved in astounded me, and this high level of ambition reeled my interest even further.
Honestly, we didn’t date for very long, but the reason that I felt so hurt when he ended things was because he was one of the most compatible guys that I’ve dated in a long while. In the end, I think he scared himself, thinking things were getting too serious too quickly, and peaced out. Never have I once pressured him into a relationship, but he made up his mind and simply gave up without wanting to hear my opinion or thoughts. And again, this is also the type of person I shouldn’t waste my energy on - somebody who doesn’t even consider or value my feelings.
Again, like the first heartbreak, as much as I wanted to question his thoughts, I needed the help of my close friends to convince me that I was better off moving on. My closest friends have always warned me, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” but to be honest, I AM the type of person who cannot date multiple men at once and prefer to give my all in one relationship. Because of my trusting and vulnerable personality, I often end up shattered whenever I meet a potential partner who ends up changing their mind for whatever reason.
Sure, I can easily satisfy my friends by saying that I will date a bunch of people at once, but that’s just not the kind of person I am and I’ve learned to accept that. I learned that with dating, you have to be honest with yourself and that nobody can give you their two cents on what’s best for you.
But, a takeaway that I did learn with my friends is to never assume or set certain expectations while dating. Get to know each other first and go with the flow, but don’t picture a certain type of life with this person until things get more serious and you’re both on the same page. This is also something I need to work on, and hope that I can with time as well.
So, where do I go from here?
Well, to be honest, my heart still aches to this very day. Each day does feel progressively better and better, and I don’t think of him much as I go through my work day. However, my subconscious says otherwise, as he keeps appearing in my nightmares and I wish it would stop. However, the heart wants what it wants, and I guess my heart is not fully over him yet.
However, to end this blog post on a more positive and inspirational note, my solution to getting over a heartbreak is to pour out your feelings (whether it’s to a friend, written on paper, or typed out in a blog post) and to distract yourself as much as possible. Hit the gym more often. Schedule a coffee date with somebody you haven’t seen in a while. Do more self-love and self-care activities. Keep moving, keep doing, and never look back. As soon as you get into the “I wonder why” or “what if” questionnaires, that’s dangerous territory that you want to escape as soon as possible. Instead, just accept that the breakup was just another learning chapter in your life, embrace how you are currently feeling (it’s okay to feel torn and hurt - it’s a part of life), and move on to focus on YOURSELF.
Luckily, I personally feel like I have been able to get over this guy faster than I imagined is because of the fact that I am making sure that I am using all of my work and free time as productively as possible so that there is no time to THINK about him. And to be honest, I am also addicted to productivity, hah.
At this very moment in time, I personally want to spend more time on myself these days. This means, creating more aesthetic and quality content that will help and inspire you guys. This means, focusing on my photography business and getting better at my craft - psst, be sure to follow @michellesunphotography on Instagram if you haven’t already! This means, learning more about various skincare ingredients and what products best work for my skin. This means, incorporating stretching back into my everyday routine. That means, whipping up new healthy recipes in the kitchen and sharing them with you all!
But most importantly, this means allowing myself to go with the flow of life and to not force myself to follow society’s standards of when it is the “prime time “ to move out, settle down, and/or get married.
Life is truly beautiful when you move at your own pace, so why rush? Why live your life by rules created by the norm when society has a completely different pathway and lifestyle that isn’t your own?
After all, I truly believe that if you are a good person with good intentions, life will throw you something beautiful once in a while when you least expect it. With that being said, I hope that I can find that beauty and inner peace once again as soon as my heart mends. To those who have experienced or are currently experiencing heartbreak, you’re not alone in this journey and just know that you always have the support system of your friends and family to steer you in the right direction. You can definitely count on loved ones during a time like this - that’s what loved ones are for, after all. To help you through the good and bad times in life.
And to those those who made it this far, thank you for reading this personal chapter of my life - it truly means the world when I can share my honest thoughts with the world. I love you guys so much, and hope that you can find inner peace with any previous of your heartbreaks because life is much more enjoyable when you let go of grudges and welcome acceptance with open arms.