18 In Break-Ups/ Love & Relationships

How Much Heartbreak Can A Person Take and Still Survive?

Never lose yourself while trying to hold on to someone who doesn’t care about losing you.— Unknown

Some days I wonder how much is too much.  How much more heartache can one person handle before falling to pieces.  At what point do you give up and say enough is enough?

No matter how much I believe in love or how hard I try it always seems to fall apart.

I don’t know what it is or why it happens or how many stupid lessons I still need to learn, but I’m getting close to my breaking point.

Do you ever give and give and love and love and wonder why things don’t get better?    Do you continually work on yourself but find nothing changing and the only constant is the continual heartbreak that leaves you wondering…..

How much heartbreak can one person take and still survive?

A little or A Lot?

They say, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, but does it always?  Maybe what it’s really doing is killing you little by little.   Maybe one person can only take so much before they give up.

I’m running out of fingers to count all the times that I’ve been heartbroken and disappointed. Actually, I probably ran out long ago.

Every time you think you have finally met “The One” and it turns out to be untrue it’s like a stab in the heart and my heart is so full of holes that it probably looks like a sprinkler. Every time you invest your energy and your hopes and your dreams in someone and those dreams are squashed it becomes harder and harder to pick yourself back up again.

The feelings you have for the other person don’t have to be long standing or deep or even true, but when they represent something that you’ve always wanted and it is torn away from you and you don’t really know why the pain is heart wrenching and the disappointment piles up one upon the other.

Why do I say all this?

A while ago I met a man.  We talked a little and then we had our first date.  We went for coffee and we strolled along the pier.  I felt safe and comfortable with him.  We seemed to want all the same things and agreed we were both ready for something serious.  I didn’t have butterflies or undeniable chemistry, but he seemed to have the qualities I wanted so I figured I’d see what happened.

As the days progressed he told me everything I wanted to hear.  He told me how he would cherish me and treat me like a princess.  He told me I was beautiful and that he wanted to be with me forever.  He even told me he loved me.  I know it seemed soon and I should have been more guarded, but who doesn’t want to hear that or believe that or want it all to be true?  We all do.

Three weeks into the relationship we went to Hawaii together.  Okay, maybe this was a stupid idea on my part, but I’m all about adventure and saying, “why the heck not?”  I don’t know what happened, but at some point during the first day things changed.  No longer was he saying, “We” no longer was he complimenting me and no longer did he ask me about myself or seem concerned about getting to know me.

Yet again, I knew it was happening and I felt powerless to stop it.  I didn’t know what to say or do and like an utter moron, again, I did and said nothing.  Everything became surface.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good.

But, what had I done and what had I said to change things? I don’t know if it was something I did, or if I could have prevented this happening or if I simply chose wrong for the hundredth time (yes, I exaggerate).  Could I have done something differently or was it predestined that this man and I were not meant for each other?

He never said a word to me during the trip that something was off, but I could feel it.  Why didn’t he just tell me? Why did he give up so easily and why did I think he would be any different?

When Do You Stop?

At some point the heartbreak becomes too overwhelming and the disappointment too much to handle.  Although I didn’t know this man very long he represented yet another link in the chain of brokenness.  He represented another sadness, another broken promise and another “what if”.

I’m not sure why it hit me so hard. Again, I didn’t know him long enough to fall in love with him or create any deep feelings.  Maybe it’s the loss.  He was another loss. Losses piles on top of losses and these losses become so much and they become so heavy and so deep getting out from under them feels impossible.

So, do you stop loving?  Do you stop trying?  How do you pick yourself up off the floor and go at it again when your heart is broken a little bit more and you feel that nothing will ever work out so why bother?

Right now I will try to stop crying. Right now I will accept that I’m sad and lonely and hurt and feel empty inside.  Right now I will wish that I could be back at that place where I was happy and believing in a future for the first time in a long time and I will learn to accept that it was all a fiction.

I can’t do anything else.  I can’t change the past.  I can’t predict the future.  I can’t tell you if how long it will take for my heart to be open again or if it will be open.

Sometimes I fear that too much heartbreak can literally kill you.  But, for now I’m still alive and for now I will put a band-aid over  the holes and as each day goes by I will regain my strength and look to the future because the past is over.

Even when you think you have found your breaking point you pick yourself up, smile and tell yourself that it wasn’t meant to be and no matter what you’ll be okay.

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  • Reply
    03/18/2017 at 10:28 pm

    I’m going through this now. Dumped three times in the last 2 1/2 years. All three guys started by telling me how great they thought I was, only to not want a relationship a few months down the line. It helps to know I’m not alone in this struggle.

    • Reply
      Carrie L. Burns
      03/19/2017 at 10:14 am

      I’m sorry Etica. Break-ups are tough. Focus on yourself and your part in the relationships. Maybe you weren’t truly ready. Keep focusing on the positive and eventually the right one will come along. I’m sure of it.

    • Reply
      03/25/2017 at 1:30 am

      I’m a man but can relate to this so much. It’s my life with the genders switched. It really doesn’t take very deep feelings on your part for a hole to punch its way into your heart when it ends. I think the worst part is that each time it happens, all the old wounds are ripped open once again. Despite all this pain, reading articles like this give me hope because I know I’m not alone. I hope you find happiness with someone soon.

      • Reply
        Carrie L. Burns
        03/25/2017 at 9:40 am

        Thank you Harry. That’s the amazing thing about love and heartbreak…we can survive it. We can learn from it and change ourselves to bring someone better into our life. It’s exactly what I did and about 10 months after that break-up the most amazing man came into my life and I’m so thankful I didn’t give up!

  • Reply
    Shaquanna Meeks
    07/14/2017 at 10:20 pm

    Thank you for this post. It made me cry. I can relate to this 100%.

    • Reply
      Carrie L. Burns
      07/15/2017 at 9:26 am

      Luckily….it gets better! It always does….

      • Reply
        09/29/2017 at 3:43 am

        I’m with a girl right now and it seems like she quit caring i fell in love with her I was in a relationship 4 years before her and she made me happy again happier then I ever was and well she just doesn’t give me the time of day anymore calls me names laughs at me tells me I’m stupid and tonight I was giving her advice and she told me to shut the hell up I don’t need your stupid advice that really hurts to know that your not worth anything to them i don’t know why I keep letting it happen but I do I just pick myself up and tell her you know there will come a time I say enough is enough and she laughed and said yeah whatever

        • Reply
          Carrie L. Burns
          09/29/2017 at 11:41 am

          One: Never give a girl advice unless she asks. Most of the time we just want to talk/vent. We don’t want you to fix it. Two: Ask yourself what YOU are getting out of the relationship and WHY you would want to stay with someone who treats you poorly? Maybe it’s time for a break and/or some self reflection?

  • Reply
    07/18/2017 at 10:20 am

    Jeez…I just read this after a guy I had fallen in love with over 8 months broke up wth me in a text and wont speak to me. Most painful thing ever. I love your entire blog, thank you for sharing. I haven’t felt like many people really understand the depth of pain I feel – it sounds like you do. Thank you.

    • Reply
      Carrie L. Burns
      07/18/2017 at 12:43 pm

      What a Sh** thing to do. I have been there a few times and it’s the worst feeling ever. Just remember that it speaks volumes about THEM and not about YOU. Hang in there.

  • Reply
    07/18/2017 at 1:30 pm

    Is it really about him and not me? My dad left my mom kind of sort of unexpectedly when I was 14. And I always kind of blamed her, because she was so negative, difficult, uncompromising, bitchy… I am really afraid of being the same way. I was pretty negative and difficult however I was VERY aware of it and VERY willing to try to get some help, whereas my mom will never ever compromise. I was always baffled ar the fact that she didn’t realize why he left. T was so obvious to me. So now I find myself stuck in guilt. That’s what’s getting me, is that I feel responsible. I very much tried to compromise but was going through a difficult time in life that he obviously didn’t want to stand by me, through.

    im struggling with how to get through this. And we did speak a few times since he left, we actually decided that we would go to therapy (which my mom would NEVER do. She doesn’t think that ANY of this was her fault). He came back for a few days and then took off again (for work) and we were going to try to work it out but he always felt disconnected, and when I got upset at him (cause I was bending backwards) for not working with me, he totally shut down and said he has “hardened his heart to me”. And hasn’t spoken to me since.

    I really want to feel like it’s not me, and I hope it’s not. That’s kind of why I wanted him to go to therapy with me. I’ve done a lot of therapy on my own and have experienced a lot of guilt.

    I’m honestly just looking for anybody who can relate, at all.

  • Reply
    09/06/2017 at 7:37 pm

    Thank you for this. I am a man, but switch the roles and it fits me perfectly. I always find I give too much and never get it in return. With each breakup I find myself wanting to give up more and more. I suffer from major depressive disorder and struggle with suicidal thoughts, especially so when I get my heart broken over and over. Don’t know how I’m still here, but I am. I wouldn’t wish this pain on my worst enemy, but your words help knowing I’m not alone. I’m sorry you have had to deal with this too.

    • Reply
      Carrie L. Burns
      09/06/2017 at 8:54 pm

      You are never alone. We all just feel alone. I know exactly how you feel. Exactly. You’ll make it through. I promise.

  • Reply
    09/15/2017 at 5:31 pm

    I’m sorry your heart was breaking when you wrote this. I can relate to your post on so many levels, and in two other posts I just read.
    I hope you’re feeling stronger. I hope I feel stronger in 9 months. my heart is breaking so hard my chest and actual heart is hurting. In my case it was more a friend I (may have) permanently lost. I can accept it if a dating thumb didn’t work out, but my dearest friend? who in their right fuckimg mind would throw away an 8 year friendship that on the whole I believed to be positive for both of us?
    It’s really complicated and involves a significant other and some deceptions and miscommunications and childhood abuse PTSD triggers as well as finances.

    The details dont matter. My heart is just breaking and I miss my friend. And for now I still have to interact with him weekly bc we are part of the same religious community. I don’t know if it would be better self care to leave soon, or be better self care to stay in community, find other supportive friends/stay where everyone knows me and cares about me—yet cry every week because we both have roles that require us to be a few feet away from one another. I’d really prefer repairing the relationship but that takes 2 (and more in this case). like I said..it’s complicated.
    glad I stumbled across your blog.

    • Reply
      Carrie L. Burns
      09/18/2017 at 2:25 pm

      Life can be complicated. Heartbreak is the worst….but you (like all of us) will get over it in time. I promise. Carrie

  • Reply
    09/19/2017 at 5:36 pm

    Absolutely relate to this post. I was dating this man for 9 months, he lived 12 hours away, so it was a long distance relationship – that in itself is a struggle but things were great and I do mean great! Took a trip to Spain together just last month, when we got back to the states I put my house up for sale and put in a notice at my job, I was moving up to be with him. HE. WAS. THE. ONE. We had future plans, were looking at lots and house plans for when I moved up. Hours, HOURS after I sold my house I found out he was cheating on me with his ex-girlfriend. A person he says he doesn’t even like, never wants to be with again. He’s been groveling ever since for me to take him back. I won’t. I will never understand why people do the things they do.

    Thank you for the post, I’m sorry for the hurt you’re having but it’s comforting (if only a little) to know I’m not the only one going through a shit storm.

  • Reply
    09/20/2017 at 5:12 am


    Its so stupid to fall in-love to a narcissist. Yeah been there done that. its been three months and i cant still move on. She decided to off apart our relationship for five years. I gave her everything, my time, money,and for what she is right now. I never expected that we end up this way because of the promised that once we hold on. After a week of our breakup she already have a new one. I love her so much but i need to let her go.. How? I still dont know..Thank you for your blog because it helps..

    • Reply
      Carrie L. Burns
      09/20/2017 at 10:28 pm

      If she already has someone new then you deserve better and the question is why you would want to be with someone who respects you so little. Take some time for yourself. Hang in there!

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