I became a heartbreak coach because of the almost 15 years I spent attracting multiple Mr. Unavailables, and consistently being at a loss on how to navigate the excruciating pain every time I got my heart broken.
Intellectually, I understood that I was the common denominator, so I found myself baffled by the hot and cold partners I continued to call in, despite my best efforts for me to be the change.
I ended up spending years soul-searching and researching, and ultimately created a process on how to nurse a broken heart and stop attracting unavailable partners, both for myself and my clients.
I then went to work on calling in a love I’d never experienced in the 38 years I’d walked this earth, but when he arrived, that old, familiar, crippling anxiety kicked right back in, despite in my bones knowing he was different from the others.
Every time I was with Larry, I felt safe, giddy, and genuinely adored—a bizarre combo to experience, considering I’d never had that before.
Not only did he consistently check in without being too aggressive, but I was blown away by his efforts while handling a very demanding job, living 80 miles away, and being an incredible father to his four children.
When he wasn’t working or with them, he made all his time for me.
I rarely had to guess his level of interest (I think everyone guesses a little at the beginning), and I never once wondered if and when I’d see him again.
So naturally, I FREAKED OUT!
But thanks to the tools I’d learned and developed, I was able to approach this new kind of love I’d been dreaming of more consciously and clearly, amid this very new kind of anxiety…
Anxiety over finally landing the man of my dreams, instead of anxiety over a man crushing my dreams.
I wasn’t always flawless at executing some of the steps I offer below, but for sure, I don’t think I’d be this blissfully happy, secure, and madly in love, a year and a half later, without them.
Editor’s note: Although this article uses male pronouns, the advice applies to all sexual orientations and gender identities.
1. I hired a life coach.
Working through my feelings and overwhelming emotions with a professional was key for me. Amid all the excitement of falling for Mr. Right, the panic and fear around waiting for the other shoe to drop was daunting and made it hard to fully enjoy this supposedly wonderful time, falling for someone who was actually showing up! Instead of unloading this fear on him or on my friends, it was important that I walk my own walk and explore old traumas resurfacing, as I allowed my heart to open up again.
2. I made my anxiety about me.
For years, I believed my anxiety was based on who I was or wasn’t dating. Now I recognize that my thoughts create my feelings and my results—not my relationship status or the guy I’m seeing. Catching the automatic thoughts my brain was producing about my new man, versus attaching to them and making them factual or his fault, was a game-changer. This next level of self-awareness invited me to stay in my lane about my own thoughts and feelings, instead of projecting them onto him.
3. I asked him the right questions early on.
Very early on, I asked what he was looking for. We also discussed how he didn’t want more children, at the beginning of the relationship. I had questions about his relationship history too. At the end of the day, there are no guarantees, even if someone you’re newly interested in gives you all the right answers, but you can prevent yourself from a lot of pain and heartache if you discover a deal-breaker, sooner than later.
4. I allowed myself to be vulnerable.
“Vulnerability” was one of the hallmarks of a great relationship that I said I was looking for on my Bumble profile! I was open and honest about who I was and what I was looking for, from day one. And when real feelings started to develop, I expressed them at what felt like the right time, and eventually opened up about my fear of getting hurt. This was AFTER I worked through my own anxiety because of my own brain, which had nothing to do with him. (Step 2.) There’s a big difference between working on your own fears based on past experiences, versus looking to someone to constantly give you reassurance.
5. I was willing to let my heart get broken.
Even as a heartbreak coach, the thought of my boyfriend changing his mind one day makes my stomach drop. I truly believe heartbreak is one of the most excruciating kinds of emotional pain one can experience, but we have to be willing to let ourselves experience it if we want to fall in love. There are never any guarantees, even if you end up meeting him at the end of the aisle. Knowing that I’ve got me no matter what, despite how painful it would be to lose him, as well as the best tools to process, heal, and grow from the experience, allows me to show up as my best, most authentic self and appreciate the present moment with him.
Again, the above steps were not always executed flawlessly!
I don’t think falling for someone great who actually shows up, after years of games being played on your heart, will ever feel so easy and seamless, no matter how much work you do to prepare for his arrival. But, when you rise to the occasion to be your truest self—all the while consciously managing your anxiety, which will inevitably come along for the ride—the right partner will not only meet you there, but will be so worth all the discomfort of the healing and the growth.