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Steps to move on from a heartbreak

By Mitchell Munyaradzi Gumbo

There is a passage in the timeless “The Wizard of Oz” . Tin Woodman returns and says “I shall take the heart … for brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.”  To which the Wizard replies “As for you, my galvanized friend, you want a heart. You don’t know how lucky you are not to have one. Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable”.

Mitchell Munyaradzi Gumbo
Mitchell Munyaradzi Gumbo

I read the passage eons ago but it struck me then, people do fear broken hearts. When I got into the dating game myself and got mine broken too, I realized that calling it a broken heart is a gross understatement for when love dies, it’s not only the heart the heart that is in pain but your whole body as well.

Colors are dulled, food loses its taste, life itself loses its meaning. A break up has the power to drive you into thinking that maybe you are worse than useless. You wonder, why was I left? Am I getting fat or slim? Do I smell? Am I unattractive?

Reader, it’s NOT ALWAYS your fault that you are left! To be rejected by someone doesn’t mean you should also reject yourself or that you should think of yourself as a lesser person. It doesn’t mean that nobody will ever love you anymore.

Remember that only ONE person has rejected you at the moment, and it only hurt so much because to you, that person’s opinion symbolized the opinion of the whole world, of God but the saving grace is this, that person is NOT GOD! Hallelujah …. There is life after love.

Being a person of faith has taught me that all things happen together for my good ,YES, including break-ups. GOD will never dispossess you of what’s good if He doesn’t have what’s better in store for you. He made them leave their fishing jobs for even a greater purpose!

Your best days (read that lovers) are not behind you but ahead of you…. Consider this account on Luke 5 v 8 “When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”. Peter here is telling Jesus to go away, rejecting Him.

One would think, at face value, that Jesus had done something wrong. On the contrary Jesus had so blessed Peter with a huge catch of fish! Sometimes they reject you not because you are bad but because they can’t stand your awesomeness!  That should cheer you up…

So, what do you do when that one person you dreamt of growing old and gray with decides to drop the bombshell? Do you kill yourself? GOD forbid! That person is not the world’s last born! The crux of this article is to share with the reader some ways to get over a devastating break up.

1. Its OK …. To be sad and emotional

A lot of us try to play superhuman and bottle up emotions. Cuff that! You loved that person and you created memories together therefore their leaving will hurt a wee bit (nah, it will hurt much) .

Allow yourself time to grieve but don’t make it your staple…..bottling the anger and sadness will only prolong the grieving process. Some fundis swear by crying, they say it’s a therapeutic process. The end goal is moving on but I don’t want you to move on with baggage.

2. Talk

Its not a cliché but rather a timeless dictum “A problem shared is a problem half solved” . You got that one person whom you can just pour your heart to. Find him/her and talk to them. Be very open and honest.

Even if it is difficult for you to talk about your feelings with other people, it is very important to find a way to do so when you are grieving. Knowing that others are aware of your feelings will make you feel less alone with your pain and will help you heal. Journaling can also be a helpful outlet for your feelings.

3. Cut communications

Calling them or Whatsapping them either apologizing or reminiscing or scolding them won’t help you move along. Cut communications. As much as communication builds relationships, lack of it kills it! We call it the starving process!

In this social media age, it’s also imperative that I say something like this ” Your ex’s Facebook page is a no-go area!”  Going to “check” on them will keep you bound. On the flip side STOP trying to win them back by your Facebook page.

People end up resorting to thirsty tactics like posing nude to gain back their exes. They are gone! Ex means exited and expired! You will realize that letting go is way easier than carrying along dead weight. Don’t app them or text…BLOCK BLOCK BLOCK!

4. Rid the mementos

You know that song, movie, novel, picture collage that reminds you of him/her? Rid it! For looking at it and feasting on it will only awaken passions that should be dead. When GOD wanted Israel to forget about Egypt, He gave them a stern warning “You shall never return that way to Egypt again” Deuteronomy 17 v 16 …. Don’t hold on to the past or anything that reminds you of it.

5. Find new hobbies

 A divorce or breakup is a beginning as well as an end. Take the opportunity to explore new interests and activities. Pursuing fun, new activities gives you a chance to enjoy life in the here-and-now, rather than dwelling on the past.


It is a paradox really but it is in loving that we are loved! During your break up, reach out to others. Help at a shelter, visit a children’s home. Sow love out there! Watching smiles on the faces of people and realizing that those smiles are caused by you is therapeutic.

7. Don’t date … yet

Hurt people hurt others. The pressure to get into a relationship soon after a break up is intense but DON’T! No one wants to be a rebound….allow yourself time to heal, to realize that not all people are like your “evil” ex. Only then can you appreciate the love that comes from the new lover.

Reader, you must make a decision that you are going to move on. It wont happen automatically. You will have to rise up and say, ‘I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am, I’m not going to let this get the best of me. I’m moving on with my life


Mitchell Munyaradzi Gumbo is a male Social Psychology student with a keen interest in Human Behavior and Interpersonal Relationships.

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@mitchelgumbo (Twitter)