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You’re Allowed to Have Someone Who Broke Your Heart

“I don’t know what that song is,” I text my best friend back, “Should I?”

“Sad modern country song about a break up. Shame on me for assuming you would have cried to it at some point.”

A devastatingly accurate read. 

A few days later, as I listened to the song while washing dishes, I decided I didn’t love love it and it certainly wasn’t something to make me cry, thank you very much. 

Perhaps I’m past crying at sad breakup songs. To test the theory, I queued up the modern country break up song that has been making me cry for years. At essentially the first chord, I was in shambles. 

Again, a devastatingly accurate read. 

As I stood in the kitchen of the apartment I share with my incredible partner of two and a half years, I wondered why it was that this song could still dig deep into my heart and leave me sobbing into soap suds.

You’re allowed to have someone who broke your heart.

No matter how much time passes, no matter how much clarity distance brings, no matter how much we change, it is perhaps only natural to cry at broken hearted memories.

Despite it all, I try not to look back at past relationships with disdain or regret or shame. I also try not to think of the “what ifs?” It feels unproductive at best and deeply damaging at worst. But I also try to be gentle with the heart that loved. And it's the heart that loved that will always love.

To be perfectly clear: I have put in a lot of time and work to get to a healthy place with past relationships and situations. In the slang-y sense of the word, I am very “over” each of my exes. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t love them. And that doesn’t mean my heart didn’t shatter in its own way with each goodbye. And, at least in my case, that doesn’t mean I can ever stop caring.

So when the chorus picks up and I feel the memories rush in, I cry. I cry because even though I am so unbelievably happy in my life and my love, I have someone(s) who broke my heart. 

No amount of hindsight or “knowing better now” can change that. And I don’t want it to. 

I want to be someone who, even years later, will remember how it feels to be that raw and vulnerable and numb. I want to be someone who can validate that loss in others, even if it feels so unreasonable to an outside eye. And I want to be someone who learns from every experience… and who finally, especially, thank goodness, learned from the bad.

Perhaps it is, then, a bit of both. Crying for the broken heart. Crying for the younger version of myself. Crying for the joy that is what I rebuilt my world into. 

Crying because, even with a broken heart, we still fall in love again.


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