The Heart Break Syndrome

MARCH 30, 2014

Photo by Emily Long

I had my heart broken about a year ago. It was a tremendously painful experience. It was the type of pain I would not have believed existed had I not experienced it for myself. I was in an exciting, happy, committed relationship. He was older than me, 15 years older, but we found the age gap worked really well for us. I enjoyed going to bed early, reading at home and relaxing with my dog, Moose. Our lifestyles and hobbies lined up perfectly, we both loved travel and adventure, and we loved spending time together.

We had been dating just over a year and had enjoyed many trips together to Seattle, Whistler, Montreal & Boston. We also enjoyed our time in Vancouver, hiking, seeing friends, and exploring the city together. I had a dog going into the relationship, and he understood my relationship with Moose. Moose is my best friend, he sleeps in my bed and he means everything to me – finding someone who is okay with that can be difficult, but he embraced it, and they enjoyed ‘man time’ after I went to bed. We were a very happy little family.

The shock came a few days after he came back from a business trip abroad. We were getting ready to go out for dinner, I was in my robe blow drying my hair. He came into my room and said he needed to talk to me. Hair still dripping, I followed him into the living room; there was something in his tone that made me instantly realize this was serious. And just like that he ended it – no explanation, no drama, no fighting – he was just done.

At first there was shock, and then there was pain. A lot of pain. I couldn’t go more than a few minutes without crying. Like so many other types of pain, as time went on, it started to fade, slowly and surely. I finally started to believe there was light at the end of the tunnel. Since then I’ve been in one relationship, but I fear the pain of my previous heartbreak has ruined the chance of anything being ‘forever.’

As I reflect on my feelings and take time for myself, I start to worry I am becoming my ex. I worry I will flee a great relationship at any second with zero explanation. Was he the product of a terribly broken heart, and has he now passed that along to me? Is heart break a contagious condition that you just pass it along?

Perhaps I just need more time to heal, or maybe I am accepting the fact that we are all truly alone in this world? I am hopeful that time will provide me with some clarity. As for now, I watch the sunset over the ocean with Moose, and we walk home together. He doesn’t ask questions, or worry about the future, or care about what may or may not happen. Maybe a more canine outlook is all any of us really need.

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