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Heartbreak – what to do?

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 287 views

Lovesickness is one of the most painful emotional experiences a person has in their life. The loss of a loved one plunges the abandoned person into an existential crisis. The grief over a failed relationship can be as deep as that after the death of a loved one. Read here why lovesickness occurs and what helps against it.

Why does lovesickness happen?

Infatuation is like a drug: like nicotine or cocaine, it causes the reward center in the brain to be activated. The messenger substances dopamine and adrenaline are released, which ensure a high feeling. Anyone who is abandoned by a loved one is in withdrawal, so to speak. This has been shown by studies in which newly separated people looked at pictures of their exes.

A brain scan revealed that the same brain areas were active in them as in people who craved nicotine or cocaine. And like an addict, the abandoned person first clings to the object of his desire, chases after it, perhaps humiliates himself in order to get at his personal addictive substance on two legs.

Unlike a broken leg, a broken heart takes much longer to heal. How deep the pain goes and how long it takes for someone to get over their grief varies greatly. Lovesickness hits those who have been abandoned for whom the partner was not only a life partner but also, for example, financial provider, twice as hard.

Because with the separation, one’s own social status often decreases. People who have sacrificed their career or their desire to have children for a partnership often feel betrayed in more ways than one.

People who have made their partner the sole focus of their lives and who have defined themselves through them are particularly caught in a tailspin. For them, the separation is not only painful and a blow to the ego, but also a loss of identity.

This is how lovesickness works!

Like all severe life crises, lovesickness comes in phases. They can overlap, there can be setbacks, but ultimately they are all necessary to cope with heartbreak.

shock rigidity

If the separation is pronounced, the first step is shock. Such a reaction is typical of a traumatic experience. Feeling emotionless and numb, you stand beside yourself until the pain of loss sets in.

cling and fight

Most Forsaken try to fight for the relationship first. They write love letters, swear to change, offer to get involved in previously rejected life models, cry, rage, beg, humiliate themselves or even act as stalker for a while.

resignation and despair

If none of this works, the last spark of hope will eventually disappear. Only now does despair strike. Helplessness, fear, self-doubt and hopelessness are spreading. During this phase, some even slip into a severe depression and develop suicidal thoughts. You can only find your way out of this situation with the help of medication or therapy.

Acceptance and reorientation

At some point you will be able to accept the loss and let go. Not only does the longing and the tormenting feeling of not being able to be happy without your partner subside, but also the anger and hatred towards him.

The Forsaken pick up the shards of their egos and their lives and set about reclaiming their zest for life. Some may find that the breakup was actually positive for them in the end. He may realize that he himself was no longer happy in the relationship, that his ex-partner was by no means perfect. After all, some people enjoy being free after the breakup, breaking new ground, catching up on what they have neglected for the sake of their partner and developing further.

It helps with lovesickness

If you are heartbroken, there are a number of tips to help you get over it.

take time to mourn

Anyone who is lovesick can cry, rage, complain, sag. It’s also okay to slow down for a while, not to function perfectly, to lower the demands on yourself.

accept help

Confide in other people – your friends, your family or those who share your fate on the Internet. If you’ve been feeling really bad for a long time, you should seek help from a doctor or psychologist.

keep distance

Even if it is difficult for you: In the beginning, you should definitely avoid contact with your ex-partner as much as possible. Phone calls, meetings or even sex can only end painfully for you. In order to overcome separation, you need distance. Only when you are back on solid ground and have broken away from your old love may you be able to meet each other on a new level.


Writing in a diary or writing letters to your ex-partner (which, however, should never be sent!) help to process what has happened. Listen to yourself: What is good for you?

seek change

Treat yourself. Renovate the apartment, clear out the clutter, throw mental ballast overboard with the clutter. Find new activities that you enjoy or that are good for you. Dance or learn yoga , take a painting class, get a sailing license or learn karate .

Say goodbye to the victim role

In the beginning, it’s healthy to feel anger and rage at your partner, and maybe even indulge in fantasies of revenge. In the long run, however, you should avoid blaming your ex-partner and belittling him or her in front of yourself or others. As a “poor victim” you are weak, only if you discard this role can you regain strength, optimism and joie de vivre.

Men and women suffer differently

Both women and men suffer when their partner separates. But they process the pain differently. Women tend to become lethargic when they are lovesick, giving in to their pain. Men repress and throw themselves into professional and private activities, they try to keep up the facade.

Women talk about their grief and pain, with friends, family members or co-workers, for hours, over and over again. Men feel ashamed when they are abandoned – and therefore do not talk to anyone about it. They also often react aggressively.

While many men console themselves with new sex partners whenever possible and thus pep up their damaged ego, women usually put the subject of sex on hold for a long time. Even with a new partnership, they usually take more time than abandoned men.

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