The Broken Heart Toolkit is taking the world of self-help books by storm. Paul Thorn, its author, gives Female First readers his top 10 tips for the newly single.

Paul Thorn

Paul Thorn

Understand your pain

The ‘mechanics’ of a broken heart work in a very similar way to an addiction. Don’t be put off by this word. The 16th Century definition of being an addict was to be ‘bound or devoted’ to something. The emotional pain experienced when a relationship ends is because you’re cut off or deprived of the person you think you need. In effect, it’s a kind of withdrawal process.

Don’t kid yourself

When you obsess about someone you’re keeping them present in your mind. But that’s an illusion we create to deceive ourselves. By obsessing we are keeping it current inside us, we are merely avoiding the pain of letting go.

Avoid creating crisis and drama

Part of obsession can be to seek out or to create crisis and drama in an attempt to connect in some way with the focus of our attention. Check your motives before you act on impulse. Such negative actions can take you back the start of the withdrawal process.

Be dignified. Do this for you

Acceptance of a situation or of the circumstances we find ourselves in isn’t resignation. It is dignified. It is the surrender of our dreams, desires and people that we truly let go.

Reconnect with yourself

Sometimes in a relationship it’s possible to emotionally ‘merge’ with someone else. Our emotional state becomes dependent on the emotions and actions of someone else. They become one. When this happens you have lost sight of YOU! By developing better emotional independence you reconnect with yourself and minimize the pain of withdrawal.

Give yourself time and space to heal

Really bump up your self-care. Metaphorically go into ‘chrysalis’. You will need space and time to allow the withdrawal process to unfold with minimal interference.

Avoid your ex

Just like dealing with an addiction it means abstinence from the person we are ‘bound or devoted’ to. For example, avoiding them in places where we may see them (if possible) and asking others about their well-being. It also means not spying on their social media or having a conniption on it for the world to see. Remember, do it with dignity! There is a positive emotional pay-off later.

Take a step back from communicating

Not communicating with your ex (by any means) is helpful in the short-term, but it’s a temporary state that we allow for ourselves whilst in ‘chrysalis’ and we go through withdrawal. ‘Chrysalis’ isn’t a place we hide in forever.

Choose Change

A broken heart is an excellent opportunity for change, inaction is a choice also. The Broken Heart Toolkit presents a set of ‘tools’ to build a more resilient sense of emotional independence - if this is what you choose to do.

Remain Open

Try not to slam the door to your heart shut. In all probability you will love again, and can take what you have learned from your painful experience and use it positively. Own it! A broken heart has the potential to be the best gift your ex could have given you.


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