Can I EVER Bounce Back From My Heart-Wrenching Breakup?

Ah, the memories and the lessons learned from the pain of unrequited love.

In 5th grade, I fell in love with a boy with the flat-top haircut who sat in front of me. My little heart pitter-pattered when he was around me, but I had to be satisfied with just being his friend. We were in school together from that point until graduation and even attended the same college for a few years.

I was always the buddy — "one of the guys" — relegated to the side lines of his life. A trusted confidant and pained observer of his string of girlfriends and lovers.

Thankfully, my heart was finally warmed by a different crush, and even though ours was yet another situation where he had no clue how I felt, at least I finally broke free of that young love obsession!

Those unhealthy behavior patterns of falling in love with guys who didn’t love me and then wallowing in rejection became my standard. This insanity persisted into my twenties where I found myself in a loveless marriage that ended in the worst form of rejection — infidelity!

But with some counseling and a better sense of self-worth, I managed to finally fall in love with someone who loved me. We had a great marriage until he unexpectedly passed away after only 10 years together. Talk about feelings of abandonment!

Stricken with grief, I did what many of us do and fell right back into that old destructive pattern. I was so lonely and lost that I allowed myself to get sucked into an unhealthy relationship again. It was doomed to fail from the beginning. I was so drugged by that feeling of being needed and wanted that I ignored all the red flags and lost my sense of self respect once more.

He left. Of course he left. I tried desperately and pitifully to hang on. The ironic end to this story is that he did come back, but by then I'd already come to my senses and realized I didn't need him, much less want him. His rejection gave me the chance to focus on myself and re-examine why I slipped back into my old patterns.

I finally faced the grief I had buried and ignored and I got back to experiencing the joys of being me!

If this feels familiar to you or you’re struggling with your own feelings of rejection, take a few minutes to watch this video. YourTango Experts Senior VP Melanie Gorman talks about the struggle of rejection and how best to handle it with our panel of experts — Psychologist Stan Tatkin, Counselor/Dating Coach Sue Mandel, and Counselor/Dating Coach Samantha Burns.

If you want to hear more advice from these experts, visit their websites and reach out to Stan, Sue or Samantha