If We Didn’t Have Heartbreak: A Valentine’s Day Special!

by shewastheyoungamerican

Hey guys! It’s Valentine’s Day! Chocolate! Roses! Oddly High Volumes of People Dining Out on a Tuesday! Single People Being Sad! Huzzah!

Yes, yes today is Valentine’s Day. Though it’s a day intended to celebrate love, it’s also a day of icy cold bitterness cast out into the world by those sans partner. You can’t really blame ‘em either. It’s not like Christmas where all of the left out Jewish people get to go out for Chinese food and see a movie. There’s no alternative on Valentine’s Day…except avoidance or outward protest. Both of which are kind of lame.

For many of the adrift lovers, the bittersweet romantics, the women scorned, the cynics, and the woefully heartbroken … Valentine’s Day is a day to feel it all over again. To feel the break-up. To remember when you first met. How different he/she was then. You might not even recognize this person now. And yet, there are things you can’t scratch out of your memory. How that person tried to woo you. How hard they wanted you. That person really wanted you, then. That day you stayed in bed for 8 hours. The nothing days, which in retrospect were some of the most meaningful. Then you think about the decline. Be it short and sudden or long and drawn out. You will most likely feel it all again today. You might not spend the day in bed, crying like you once did over this person…but you haven’t forgotten the marks they left on you. Or maybe you’re remembering the people you left. Maybe you’re wondering, “Why did I do that, again?” or wondering where they are. Regardless of what side of heartbreak you’re on, the worst questions you might ask yourself today, “Is s/he happier without me?” or “Has s/he moved on and I haven’t?” and perhaps worst of all, “Was is it all worth it?”

It’s a shame that, even after loving someone, we question whether or not we should have taken the risk. The results (especially on a day like today) feel like they didn’t outweigh the rewards (sometimes). Love is supposed to be that intangible thing that keeps the world going. It’s what makes us crazy, but in the best way. It’s what we’re not supposed to apologize for. Regretting it? Ouch.

HOWEVER! If we didn’t have heartbreak, think of all the things we’d be missing out on. If it wasn’t for heartbreak, we wouldn’t have:

Adele’s 21. (Whether you’re ‘Rolling in the Deep’ and craving revenge or rumpled up over ‘Someone Like You’…this album…THIS ALBUM)

John Keats. My god, this man knew how to write a poem, especially love poems. Oh, and he passed at the young age of 25. So when you’re reading his gut-wrenching verses, remember, “HE KNEW HE WAS DYING WHEN HE WROTE THIS.” Which also reminds me:

If we didn’t have heartbreak, we wouldn’t have much poetry.

We wouldn’t have some of the best songs the Beatles ever wrote. And if you’re heartbroken, you’ve got John, Paul, George, and Ringo to keep you company.

We wouldn’t have the tormented psyches of history’s greatest artists (you could also hand this one over to opium, but really, it was love/confused sexuality that made the best stuff).

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami.

History, perhaps. The men who made war. The people who tore apart the world. The people who changed it for the better. The people who invented. They all loved. And lost.

Facebook, Twitter, etc. These things stay alive because even the best of us know that information is out there and we just keep clicking. Even if it’ll do more harm than good.

If we didn’t have heartbreak we wouldn’t have stand-up comedy.

Or sit-coms.

Or rom-coms.

Or sorta-coms.

Or dark-coms.

The world would be less funny without heartache.

Without heartbreaks, we wouldn’t know that we had friends who would be our feet and legs to keep us stable and moving when we felt like we no longer could.

Without broken hearts, we wouldn’t know that we can/have/will get past it…and become different, more alive and aware people.


Jurassic Park. I haven’t figured out the logic to this one yet, but it’s there. Somehow.

Romeo, Juliet, Lysander, Demetrius, Helena, Hermia, Viola, Orsino, Ophelia, Hamlet. Etc.

Reasons to pass notes to your best friend when you should be paying attention to your English, Trig, or Biology lesson.

We wouldn’t have reasons to fall in love with Paris, New York, San Francisco, London, Venice or anywhere else that’s wildly, wonderfully, impossibly romantic. They take in the lonely as much as those in love.

Oscar Wilde.

A reason to angrily throw a cocktail in someone’s face (I’ve always wanted to do that).

The bittersweetness of your high school prom.

Some oddly poignant fortune cookies.

Ugly crying!

Indie rock. Indie films.


Really great recipes (I imagine revenge cooking can be a lot like revenge sex)

YouTube. Would we really watch hours of funny cat videos if we weren’t trying to distract ourselves from something?

“Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

I’m going to bring my final argument back to the Beatles. My all-time favorite song of theirs is “In My Life.” If we don’t love and lose, if we don’t go places and leave pieces of ourselves, if we don’t give ourselves wholly to other people only to have them take it and run…we wouldn’t know how good it is to have real love. Be it from friends, family, boyfriends, girlfriends, lovers, husbands, and wives. “But of all these friends and lovers/ There is no one compares with you/ And these memories lose their meaning when I think of love as something new/Though I know I’ll never lose affection for people and things that went before/ I know I’ll often stop and think about them/In my life I love you more.” We all have that one person (or two, or three) who we will always carry with us. A relationship that wasn’t easy to shake. Memories. First loves. A broken heart. And hey, that’s okay. Keep those things. Use them and know that they will become part of the reason why “In My Life” is perhaps, the most true love song ever written. Heartache is not the end of love. It’s the reason why we know it’s real. Even if the person you loved didn’t love you the same way. Feel everything.