The Benefits of Embracing Heartbreak

by | Feb 18, 2024

When it happens to you—if it already hasn’t, it will—getting your heart broken is painful. You may be one of those people who try to circumvent such pain by avoiding getting too involved in relationships. Of course, if you succeed in avoiding intimacy, you also miss out on some of the most joyous aspects of life. And, as it turns out, you may miss out on living a physically healthy life as well.


Loneliness can shorten your life span and could be as harmful as smoking or alcoholism. But having a relationship won’t mitigate the situation unless it’s a quality relationship. You can be lonely in a marriage, or you can suffer a high-conflict marriage, or both, and that is bound to be detrimental to your physical health. And, a bad, stressful relationship can contribute to memory loss and cognitive decline. Further, research shows that if you suffer from feeling shame, it may contribute to loneliness, addiction, depression, anxiety, and other unhappy conditions.

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So, is it worth risking heartbreak to find true love?


Love Requires Trust


You may decide to risk being vulnerable in order to develop a good relationship; then trust is essential. If you have difficulty trusting people, you may discover that is a lonely path. The more you resist trusting over time, the lonelier you become. You get out of practice trusting others, and a downward spiral makes it harder and harder to trust anybody as time goes on.


So how do you develop trust in a relationship? Researchers say it’s the little things. Small opportunities for communicating during day-to-day living become important. Agreeing with your partner in front of his friends. Offering a cup of tea when she’s feeling blue. A well-timed smile of reassurance. Small interactions that reinforce a trusting relationship are often more important than a big gesture.


Conversely, your relationship can wither when those opportunities to reinforce trust are squandered. Relationships seldom die from a major incident, but rather, a thousand tiny cuts.

You need to risk being vulnerable before you can develop trust. Your tolerance for that risk depends on your experiences and how much you are willing to gamble. You must risk enough to trust so you can trust enough to be vulnerable. You must risk heartbreak to find love.


Embrace the Heartbreak


When you are hurt, you can react by turning away from your partner or toward him, even though you feel injured by him. When you turn toward him, you are including your partner in your feelings. And when you lean into uncomfortable emotions and embrace them as part of living, then you can explore why you feel how you feel. You can embrace your emotions and even be curious about them.


Unfortunately, this is often counterintuitive. We are often taught as children to ignore or numb painful emotions. But when we experience hurt feelings or bitter disappointment, we can find ourselves closing off to wallow in our own sorrow and anger. A much better option is to acknowledge how we’re feeling, experience the heartbreak and vulnerability, and share with our partner when feasible.


Yes, you can be hurt when you’re vulnerable, but you can also experience joy, love, courage, and creativity. It’s your choice.



Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here:



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