13 Ways You Love Differently After Having Your Heart Broken

13 Ways You Love Differently After Having Your Heart Broken ©iStock/keira01

Having our heart broken can change us, sure, but we always have the capacity to allow it to change us in good ways, as opposed to shutting us off from finding love again. Whether or not we’ve found peace with heartbreak, every relationship that comes after will always be different because of what we’ve been through.

  1. We love tentatively. Sometimes when we experience heartbreak, it’s hard to imagine the next relationship working out any better, so we approach with more caution than we did the last time around. This is smart, but it can make us come off as a bit aloof. Hopefully, the right guy will understand.
  2. We jump all in. On the opposite end of the spectrum, sometimes losing love — whether or not it was our own decision — makes us careful not to waste any time with people we feel seriously about, so we try to throw ourselves into a new love so we don’t waste a single second.
  3. It takes effort to leave behind our issues with our ex. It’s hard sometimes, especially when people have similar characteristics, but we try as hard as possible to leave the past in the past. You might project some of your past issues onto your new guy, but you have to remember that they’re two completely different people.
  4. We try not to make the same mistakes. Things didn’t work out last time — in fact, they might have even gone pretty badly — and we certainly don’t want to make the same mistakes again if we can help it. That’s sometimes easier said than done, of course.
  5. We do still make mistakes. Try as we might not to repeat the things we’ve done wrong in the past, we still aren’t perfect and we’re bound to make some mistakes. Plus, we’re dealing with a completely different person than before, and that’s unpredictable and sometimes downright scary.
  6. We nurse our insecurities. We don’t want to assume the worst, but sometimes we wonder about about silly things, like if this wonderful guy really even likes us (as if he would be pretending). It’s unfair to project those thoughts onto the guy we’re seeing, but it’s hard not to sometimes.
  7. Our rawness can be an asset. Going through a breakup isn’t all bad, when our emotions are closer to the surface, it can make us more sensitive and empathetic to other people that we love, as well.
  8. We can be overly suspicious. Going through a breakup where there was dishonesty involved can make it hard to trust again without being more aware than you were before. Again, it’s important to remember that this guy isn’t the last one you were with. He’s his own person, so don’t punish him for what your ex did.
  9. We’re absolutely terrified sometimes. It’s unlikely that anyone who’s been hurt doesn’t feel fear from time to time, but when we love despite our fear is when we really benefit from it. Push yourself to be brave — you never know what the reward might be.
  10. We’re more likely to spot red flags. Being on guard isn’t all bad. When we’re keeping our eyes open, we’re more likely to spot things that we ignored the last time around. Sure, you can be too paranoid if you let yourself get carried away, but a little awareness is a good thing.
  11. We get realistic about what we want. Going through a heartbreak can be sobering in many ways and bring us back to earth, making us more likely to make logical decisions rather than ones based on having our heads in the clouds.
  12. We get stronger. There’s nothing wrong with a broken heart if we know we can make it whole again. That’s one way to expand the heart, if we allow it. Learning and moving on despite the challenges will always make us stronger.
  13. We realize that this love is different. Whether or not the next love is the one that will last forever, when we love again, we realize that no two loves will ever be the same, and that’s OK. Ultimately, that can be what makes it great.
Kate Ferguson is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blog and magazine genres. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce. Look for article links, updates, (and the occasional joke) on Twitter @KateFerg or @WriterKateFerg, or check out her personal blog ThatsRandomKate.blogspot.com