How the mind processes heartbreak (The psychology of a heartbreak)

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We all have felt heartbroken at some point in life. Some are feeling this way right now while reading this article. The ones that have proceeded to hurt others have also at one point felt heartbroken as well. The love world appears to be divided into the heartbroken and the heartbreakers. The heartbreakers were at one point also heartbroken and the heartbroken are planning to break hearts. Collins dictionary define heartbreak as a very great sadness and emotional suffering, especially after the end of a love affair or close relationship.

There are two types of heartbreaks that I want us to acknowledge and look closely at; a heartbreak from infancy stage and a heartbreak from our partners.

Heartbreak from infancy stage

When we’re just 0-3 years, in infancy stage, our mothers are the ones who take care of us. They breastfeed us, bathe us, clothe and make us laugh. We begin to trust them and eventually we fall in love with them. Mothers mark the beginning of our love life.

According to Eric Erickson, an infant learns to trust or not trust their mothers based on the treatment they receive. They are the ones who give us an idea of what love is and in turn we learn how to love. It is of great importance to note that if an infant is harshly treated in this stage, he/she doesn’t get to learn how love feels like and how to love.

The infant gets hurt and heartbroken. The mind in order to protect the infant develops beliefs not to trust anyone in the world so as to avoid getting hurt. This belief continues to adulthood and he/ she may have difficulties in trusting others and investing in serious relationships. It’s unfortunate that sometimes we fall in love with people who are afraid to fall in love with us. In the middle of a great relationship they may turn and start saying they can no longer continue with the relationship. In order to find peace, trust others and learn to love again one has to open up to his/her partner and let them know how they feel. If they’re unable to open to their partners, they can talk to a therapist.

Heartbreak from our partners

I still vividly remember my first heartbreak. I was just a 16 year old kid but what we had was amazing. One day when I got home from seeing her I received a bomb message, “we cannot continue dating”. My heart started racing and I literally fainted for a few minutes. It is one memory that I won’t forget in my entire life. The years moved by, I healed and fell in love again in 2019. I thought this relationship was going to last and had found my wife. I had introduced her as my friend to my family and had even visited her family but again you never know what will hit you. This happened last year November but I finally healed this week and decided to comfort someone who’s been hurt and wish to find peace within, without losing his true self in the process.

How does the mind respond to a heartbreak? I believe many mechanisms and feelings are employed during a heartbreak. These include feelings of inferiority, shyness and defense mechanism

Feelings of inferiority

A heartbreak is usually associated with feelings of inferiority. One may start thinking about the negative things that might have made their partner leave them. These are the thoughts we should always avoid. I have been there but what made my last heartbreak not that painful was the fact that I reminded myself of my worth and made my mind think she was the one who lost, not me.  If he/she cheats don’t start analyzing why he or she cheated, rather tell yourself he/she lost a gem. He/she fell for you because she saw something in you but then along the way they realized they couldn’t keep up with your worth and value.

Sometimes people break up with us not because we’re not good for them but because we’re too good for them. They may start narrating that we’ve been suffocating them and they cannot keep up with faking. One man once said, don’t chase people, work and improve yourself , under these two principles, the right ones will find their way into your life. One thing we must never do is try to be someone we are not. For the importance of being ourselves check my previous article on 5 ways to set yourself free and live an Alphalife.


When the relationship is going well and we are deeply enjoying each other’s company, we tend to want to let the world know how much we love our partners. We post each other on Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp. I have been there too and I know we always feel compelled to post. There is no problem with posting our partners but the problem arises when we break up with them. We may feel like explaining to the whole world what happened.

We may feel like people are laughing at us or we embarrassed them.  If you happen to feel this way, know that it’s just your mind playing tricks with you. The truth is; our beliefs and our thoughts are far from the actual scenario. Try focusing on yourself and seek comfort from your close friends. If you notice someone you know undergoing this experience, reach out to them and comfort them because tomorrow they will be comforting you.

Defense mechanism

In my previous articles I stretched the role of the mind in mental distress. The mind always aim to make us feel better and alleviate the pain. The mind can resort to negative or positive defense mechanism to protect itself from the future pain. These defense mechanisms are fueled by our feelings and thoughts during the experience. The person may learn to trust less, love less and avoid opening their hearts to anyone they meet. We must always pay close attention to our thoughts because they shape our personalities. A negative defense is recognized by thoughts such as; “all boys are players”, “if you want to survive, you have to love less”, “Mjolo the pandemic, they’ll hurt you” etc. and a positive defense mechanism is recognized by thoughts these thoughts: “I have faith, I’ll find the right person ”, “maybe he/she was just the wrong one” etc.

It is a known fact that human beings were made to love and be loved and apart from that we cease to exist. Before dating anyone make sure you select someone who cares for and love other human beings, don’t rely on true love at first sight. The truth is, once you find your true match you’ll know and that is when you’ll place a ring on their ring finger and settle to have babies. Do not give up on love. God is love and one who does not love is not from God.

I explored the psychology of love and the mysteries underlying sexual relationships breakups in Fission, my relationship book that I’m currently working on, which I hope will be a guide to mutual and deep sexual relationships. Lookout for its release soon.

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2 thoughts on “How the mind processes heartbreak (The psychology of a heartbreak)”

  1. In a situation where one was under the influence of negative defensive mechanisms and ended up drifting apart from a partner/breaking up with them, whom (after reflecting back) you realize they actually loved you. Would you recommend going back to the person and trying to mend things or to just move on?

    1. Hey Michy
      Sometimes we rarely recognize our defense mechanisms but once we do, it then propels us to seek inner peace. I’d say listen to your heart after answering this question;Do you still love him? If you do then mend things. Don’t go back to him if only because you feel like he loved you. It should be a mutual relationship.

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