Love, Loss and Life Lessons: Searching for Meaning in Heartbreak


When I’m going through a breakup, I am truly pathetic.

Even if I’m the one doing the breaking up, you’ll find me crying face down into my pillow, inaudibly wailing lyrics to Sinead O’Connor’s Nothing Compares 2 U — I guess that’s the Pisces in me.

After a wet season’s worth of tears, I turn Sinead down so I can hear over my self-loathing. I reflect on the experience and l learn what I can from it, otherwise the time, energy and mascara have all been in vain.

Over the journey, I’ve had four significant breakups that help guide me through the treacherous, booby-trapped field that is life and love.

The first begun while watching Batman and Robin during my formative years. Instead of being inspired by The Dark Knight’s crime-fighting abilities, the movie triggered my sexual awakening.

No, I didn’t fall for Bruce Wayne’s chiselled jaw. I fell for Poison Ivy — the seductive, yet homicidal lobotomist with a poisonous kiss (This probably says a lot about my taste in women…).

The problems began when my letters to Ivy went unanswered, however, the tipping point came when I realised Poison Ivy wasn’t Poison Ivy. She was Uma Thurman in costume. The deception left me feeling betrayed and alone, so I abruptly ended things.

It was a tough introduction to love but an important lesson to learn — no matter how smart or beautiful she is — never trust a villain.

Thankfully my second relationship was slightly more mutual.

As I’m sure you’re aware, the pressures of high school extend far beyond good grades.

Very quickly people are crushing on each other, experimenting with relationships, holding hands, kissing and before you know it, it eventually leads to sex.

Knowing all of this, like most horny teens, I set out on the lookout for what I thought was love.

The girl I had my eye one — some names and details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals — was Regina George.

Between you, me and the entire graduating class of 2010, Regina was also somewhat of a villain.

After a year of dating, I was absolutely smitten with her, however, this quickly changed when I discovered that Regina had been sleeping with an AFL player. At the time I was a mad football fanatic and wannabe athlete, so, there was nothing more emasculating than having your girlfriend cheat on you with a professional footballer.

In a desperate attempt to redeem some form of pride I had, I tried rekindling our relationship. What followed was six volatile months with threats of more disloyalty if I dared to not toe the line. Ultimately the relationship dissipated into nothingness, with my spirit long been broken.

These very important years of self-discovery, underpinned by insecurity and an ego-bruising experience, left me in a deep depression. For years I was a complete and utter mess.

With help from friends and family, I eventually recovered, although it wasn’t without learning another important lesson — be kind and when you can’t, try again.

Warner Bros.

Although I moved on, I don’t think I found complete solace until I met my next girlfriend and the first love of my life, five years later.

Florence and I were both very passionate people but that’s pretty much where our similarities ended. Subsequently, there was a lot of heated arguments.

Once we argued for so long, we forgot what we were arguing about, so we stopped… only to begin arguing over what it was that we were arguing about in the first place.

With every disagreement, there was an equal opposite reaction, a fierce love that always brought us back together.

We struggled for three-years — some good, bad and great, but eventually, we grew tired of arguing so we stopped once and for all, agreeing to call things quits.

Although I was at peace with the decision, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how two people, who cared so deeply about one other, couldn’t see eye to eye. It wasn’t until that damn optical illusion dress went viral that I finally figured it out- sometimes, despite everyone’s best intentions, logic or science, you’ll see white and I’ll see blue. Leading to my next lesson- diplomacy for the win.

That brings me to my last relationship, which spoiler alert, also ends in a breakup.

Tamara and I clicked instantly.

She was funny, spontaneous and a ripping good time. She inspired me to step outside of my comfort zone, challenging me to become a better person. Even better? We agreed on absolutely everything!

Unfortunately, after a few months, cracks started appearing. It soon became clear Tamara was battling some internal demons.

I tried my best to help aid the situation, however, Tamara began using me as a life raft when she was in knee-deep water. She became co-dependent, placing her life’s purpose in me rather than in herself.

The imbalance took its toll and eventually the relationship ended. It didn’t take long to understand the importance of independence and self-love, forming my last life lesson- love isn’t the answer.

Love’s tough, heartbreak’s hard and unfortunately, I don’t have the answers but I’m not worried because my relationships have taught me, they’re somewhere deep within.

The cruel irony? It takes a lifetime to discover them all.

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