How can I get over a heart ache?

Written by Dr. Ginger Gabriel, Ph.D., M.F.T

heartacheHow do you get over a heart ache? I know they say time heals all wounds but who needs time when you’re heart broken? How do you get over an ex- boyfriend when you have to face him practically everyday? It just hurts to see a love that was once there but is not there now. We used to be so close and now we’re practically like strangers.

Advice: How long were you and this guy going together? It is important to know that you are in a grieving process. Some people make closer attachments than others and these are harder to break off. It is also true that the more physically intimate you are with another, the harder it is to break off. I’m pretty sure that is the main reason why the Bible says not to have intercourse or heavy petting until you are married. I don’t know how close the two of you got, but it sounds as though you are now going through a difficult time.

My suggestion is to find some activities to think about and get excited about. This year I had something kind of similar take place so I joined a gym and have begun to work out. I was amazed how many acquaintances also worked out at the gym. I have made some closer friends. I also joined Toastmasters and am developing my speaking skills (meeting new people) and I got a kayak (we have a lake nearby). These things have helped be avoid compulsively thinking about a painful situation. You also could watch all the old Jane Austin movies. Fill your odd time with old movies. You will get used to seeing unrequited love. Its called flooding. You may get a different perspective on your ex. That would be one way of handling it. Have you read Changes That Heal by Henry Cloud? This book is great at giving good information and new perspectives.

Dr. Ginger

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281 Responses to “How can I get over a heart ache?”

  • Chris says:

    Kelly….sorry to hear about your situation. sadly, it appears your boyfriend simply isnt willing to commit to you neither as your boyfriend nor your future husband. more than likely, his relationship with christ isnt what it should be if it exists at all which makes marrying someone like that very dangerous anyway. i would suggest that you draw near to jesus since he is the only one who can clarify to you these personal issues. log onto so you can find out how to live a life directed by God your father who loves you and knows who are the right people you need in your life. if you do know jesus already, be sure to have a strong Christian pastor who can orient you in walking with God according to his Word. i pray you would take those steps towards christ and his people. by surrounding yourself with godliness, you will not be distrubed if the ungodly do not care for you. blessings!

  • Kelly says:

    I have been with my bf for 8 years an I have never been able to trust him completely because of his love for other female attention. So me not trusting him cause a lot of problem but I found out he kissed another girl after we broke up for about 5 hours now I don’t what to do

  • Elkay says:

    Catherine Grace, there’s a phrase, “When life deals you lemons, make lemonade” and it sounds like you are seeking the Lord and thanking Him for His love first and foremost at a hard time in life.

    Life is like that at times for every one of us. Hurt or abandonment by a mate or good friend can bring us into a dark season. We do not understand why the Lord has allowed the trial or lets the pain continue.

    We may find ourselves doubting God when our expectations are dashed by the reality of our situation. That’s when we must remember three essential truths about the Lord:

    1. He is totally sovereign (Ps. 103:19). God has everything in His control even when we can’t perceive it.

    2. He is infinitely wise (Rom. 11:33-36). God knows every side of the situation (inside and out) and every event (past, present, and future).

    3. He loves perfectly (Ex. 34:6). Without exception, He always chooses what is best for us, even if it’s not easy.

    One of the keys to walking through dark valleys—those times when life seems to be crumbling and the future’s looking grim—is to embrace the reality of the Lord’s presence with us. At the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit comes to live permanently within the Christian and seals him or her as belonging to God forever. Because of the indwelling Spirit, we’re never apart from God. No circumstance, suffering, or loss can separate us from Him or His love (Rom. 8:35, 38-39).

    Lord, help Catherine Grace to worship You during the hard times. Help her to trust in You. Give her strength to praise you through all circumstances in life. Amen.

  • Catherine grace says:

    Wow i thank God he made me stumble upon this page husband of 15 years was having an affair with my son’s teacher.i got a phone call from my son to pick him up at the time my oldest daughter was with me and had her off we went,there in the parking lot was my X and the teacher I had to act like a lady my daughter well I can’t imagine what she felt.but she hurried right behind me where I asked the principal do you know where your teachers are? The kids that could see the parking lot were telling my son.he was crying waiting for me we picked up my other daughter and left our small privileged town where I was involved in every aspect of the school’s.
    Well I moved away to another town and never spoke bad about their father but there was really no contact on either partys.he gave me he’ll with money and never complained or talked about him all three children graduated college and are the best kids.i never dated all our free time was spent together the children were concerned about me and wanted me to start dating. Just the thought of it made me bury my head in life.i was so scared.i was a mess going threw the car wash and this great guy who seemed shy helped me pick and put on new license plate covers.we exchanged numbers and our first date was Feb 14 turned out we were childhood friends and had crushes on each other sounds great right.i loved him so much.but it was like he took from me he lied about everything he was first after a year with egg on my face to the day I left hurts worst then my divorce. Why? I think having a warm body next to me.i don’t sick I miss him so much.thank god I’ve been seeking out the Lord since we were struck with hurricane sandy.i thank god for his love.

  • Me says:

    When you are betrayed and your heart is broken it’s ok to be down but it’s not ok to stay down.
    Work up to courage to continue by
    Finding hobbies
    Staying connected with friends and family
    Do things you enjoy
    In time you will feel better . Always love yourself as you are one who will never betray you

  • Shelley says:

    Thank you marc for your comment, as you continue to seek God’s grace, may He bless you with his love, in Jesus name /amen

  • Marc says:

    Hi..I have been betrayed too by someone who convinced me to trust him…the same guy convinced
    Me to move on n leave him..for no fault of it hurt me.I have never been in a relationship earlier
    Never wanted to either..I just wanted to get married and that’s it..this has been the worst happenings in my life
    There’s more to it..but anyway I’m back with Jesus.let no bad influence get in my way ever again.
    When in a circumstance where u feel empty n lost..turn to God for comfort n u will be at peace.

  • Chris says:

    margaret devastated…father we lift up margaret to you now, knowing that as she gives her heart to you each day and has other godly women pray with and over her too, that this season of grief will pass. knowing that you have a plan for our lives, we want to follow your will and not ours. help margaret to know and understand, seek and do your will. she will find that her life will have peace knowing that she wants to please only you. in jesus name amen.

  • Me says:

    Although you do love this man he was just an illusion.
    He was pretending to be someone he is not. I’m sure the man of your dreams would not be a cheater. This man was.
    In time you will realize his bad side and not only focus on his good sides. You will move on and meet a real man

  • Maricris says:


    You will eventually move on, it takes time and give ur heartache to The Lord. There’s a reason why The Lord didn’t let you be with him, god works in mysterious way. Jt remember you are worth more that that and don’t deserved anything less. God has brought you another man, a man that will be there for you. It takes time to heal all heartache you will eventually love the new man in your life. Jt believe and trust in The Lord. I will pray for you.

  • I was with a man for 4 years and engaged 2. At first I was not attracted to him and only wanted to be friends. That didn’t last long before I fell madly in love with him. I loved this man more than I ever loved anyone before all except my children of course but relationship wise. In Oct, he broke up with me for someone else he had been cheating with the past year and after 3 months of our breakup, he and she are in love and planning to be married. My heart is so broken. No matter what I do, how much I pray, meeting new people, spending time with family, talking with friends, I cry my heart out everyday. I absolutelylove this man more than I ever thought I could love anyone.. Recently I have met someone else who is crazy about me. Knows the story of my ex and wants to be right at my side every step of the way. He wants commitment and family life. Part of me wants to give it a chance but I love my ex so much it is preventing me from moving on and this guy knows this but yet he won’t let go. Please pray for me. I don’t see how I’m going to get past this hurt. I am so torn. So devastated. I lost the man of my dreams.

  • Kathryn Kathryn says:

    Hi Carla, This is very sad for you. It sounds as if you are from a culture where the children have to do what the parents says even in the realm of love and marriage. That’s really tough but please realise that your boyfriend is probably also suffering as he must have given up his former girlfriend to be friends with you and maybe she is being forced into a relationship that she did not really want. You will be grieving now but I trust that soon you will meet someone who will be the special person that you are seeking to love, marry and start a family. Please do not give up hope. God is good, may He bless you at this time and as you seek to move on.

  • carla says:

    I’ve been asking myself for too long weather I made the right choice of leaving my boyfriend or not. All he showed to me was pleasant and he never did anything to hurt me.The problems started when his family prefers someone who had a good standing in life and has a good family background for him. Actually it was his ex-girlfriend.I can’t blame his family, either I would think the same if I were in their shoe. It hurts to see that he did nothing about it. He never fight for me. I want our relationship to last but I’m not martyr not to see what his doing. I’m a girl, there is no way for me to chase him. I love him. Please I need you advice

  • Sharon says:

    good article and good comments coming out of this article

  • kaleya j says:

    I have been with my husband for 9 years, we had to part due to violence. I was not ready as much as it sound stupid but I believed in the marriage. Its now 7 months, it was hard to not be able to hold him, but it got better. I decided to go to church and just rebuild my life. And then I see him there what a surprise. So many emotions running through my head so now I have to start over with the healing process. And then I cant go back to church because he goes there. The thought of seeing him with someone else will hurt even more. I understand what you all are going through. Its a process, emotional ups and down. This too shall pass.

  • Shelley says:

    Dear Father God.

    Lord I lift up anyone who is going through a heart ache in there lives. I pray that you will heal and comfort them in this time of need from You. In Jesus Mighty name Amen

  • mac2life says:

    I want to thank you all for your help and comments. OMOLARA, your words really opened my eyes….thank you for all.

    thank you.

  • Same boat says:

    Thank you to Anthony hurt and Camili, I love your comments and really want to thank you for your wonderful comments, taking some of your advices =-).

    To Mrs. M, you have done nothing wrong. Be yourself and keep trying to do everything right not only for him/or anyone else, but for yourself. You are the only person who can love yourself the way you want it to be so that is why you need to do EVERYTHING for you. It’s been 5 months after my last post and it still feels like yesterday, but I’m so much better now, I’ve beginning to love myself much more now.

  • Mrs. M says:

    How do I deal with a cheating husband? He moved out 4 months ago and is already seeing a child to him she is almost 35 years younger than he is. I just found out that he spent Valentine’s with her and took her out of town to meet his family. We have been together 11 years and married 3. I am so very hurt. I did all the right things I thought I pray & fasted before I married him asking Gods will. I have an ex- husband for the very same reason cheating. My now husband knows what I went through with my ex now here I go again. I don’t understand what I am doing wrong. Even after my husband moved out I prayed, fasted and even gave a seed faith offering and ask God to move and so far everything that I did not what to happen has. So I want to know is it me? What I am doing wrong? I have done EVERYTHING I was told that God said do the best I could and so far it as not work out. I love my husband very much and I want Gods will in my life but I am tired of the hurt. My faith is so weak right now. I see others that are married and doing fine and never go to church do not even talk about God or anything been happy for years. That is all I want is a happy marriage and live for the Lord is that too much to ask? Should I still hold on for my marriage or give up?

  • Camili says:

    Something to keep the light on inside when it hurts so much. I can see many people here have some BIG hurt to recover from. Love is never simple because it is always changing. Remember that the person you love who has hurt you, is the person you know best. You know that the love that they have found now will also change…. Don’t compare yourself. you are still beautiful and you need to see that you are strong. Treat yourself kindly, give yourself some time to take care of yourself, do some things your always wanted to do. Almost like a bucket list. Get to know who you are without the other person.

    What they left behind, will be someone that another person will love and want very much… So please look after that. It’s a painful time but someone needs you… You’ll see who they are in your family. Someone will come into your world again and the best thing you can do for them is to look after yourself. Hold your head up, cry it out and then just believe.

    Gods plan and desire is that you are happy. This will come…


  • Michael Jantzen M. Jantzen says:

    Hello Anthony Hurt, from reading your story I could sense your pain. You have clearly been dealt a blow. But I also sensed your hope. You are making it through the grieving process in a healthy way and not letting this blow cripple you forever. You might also want to read our article called “Life After Divorce: Now What?” Plus, if you’re finding yourself running into stumbling blocks during the healing process, you may want to connect with one of our confidential online mentors. We would connect you with someone who has experience helping people who’ve gone through similar things. Here’s the link: Take care.

  • Anthony Hurt says:

    Jan,29, 2014
    I never thought I would ever go through the painful break that i have seen so many go through.Finally out of nowhere i was dropped a bomb right before me. when I thought all was well, she told me we are first it was a like a dream, but when she told me she is seeing someone else,it became real and forever gut torturing pain.Pain that just wont leave me;panic attacks,no sleep, no eat, no life. All i can think of is her and him doing what we did. At times i compared myself to/ with him which only made my pain more intense. What he had was more than I. How in the hell could this be, yesterday was great,fun, laughter,Casinos, no signs of ever detaching. The love i felt, the intimacy all over the house and now, not a sign that she we ever exited. For sure the pain is here and now and the worst i ever felt. Not even shrapnel on my back could cover the pain i feel day in and day out throughout my mind and body. Today with courage, I learned the The Serenity Prayer…I will never change her, but I have all the tools to change me. She opened my heart without knowing it, I realized i had much to be grateful for including her. She is the best tool for my greatest change. I miss her, but I am grateful I still have me and that she is alive and happy, Amen

  • Doris Beck D. Beck says:

    Thank you for that suggestion Lyn!

  • Lyn says:

    I found to be a great resource. Very supportive community of people going through the same thing.

  • Shelley says:

    Dear Father God.

    Lord I lift up my sister/brother to You at this time in there life, that You will comfort them and help them in there time of need. In Jesus Mighty name Amen

  • omolara says:

    Emotional injury are worse than death.To love and fall in love are two different things.To fall in love is a feeling of warmth and ectasy,bottom line is all about yourself.To love is mature acceptance of imperfection,care,sacrifice,it is a decision to give your care,strength and weakness.Emotional injury can be caused by betrayal,rejection and loss.healing an emotional injury is different from getting over it.people deceive theirselves,by engaging in activities(external) that divert their attention.That is wrong!you may be hurt deeply and get over it,after 10 years,you see something or someone that reminds you of the event,you heart starts aching.Not everyone are the same,friends may deceive you saying”stop crying,lets chill out”,you know yourself,deep inside you there is an injury.The steps are useful for healing:
    1)Accept you have been hurt,know how you feel,tell it out,write it out,measure your heart
    2)I am a christian,the word of God is life,it pierces true all wounds.Study your holy book,pray to God,pour out your sorrow to him,tell him,he love you so much,and is always ready to help
    3)acknowledge that everything happens for a reason.There is an advantage to this event
    4)console yourself by hearing others plight
    5)give out love
    6)do not bottle up grief,cry and cry,do not avoid it
    7)do not ever compare saying”but emeli is happily married,why not me?”.You are You,you are not emeli!the saddest people on earth,compare theirselves with others,you are unique of God creation.
    My name is omolara,am 15 years old,just know i love you very much,and you are worth dying for…muaah

  • Alfred says:

    Alfred says:
    I believe that time does not heal any wounds —– unless, during that time, someone is doing something about it. Dr. G. Gabriel makes some very good points, guiding hurting souls to recover from heartache! A friend of mine who suffers from extreme traumatic stress, likes to read, as that gives him someone else’s worries to think about (rather than his own). Diversion is good therapy.
    Dear “Heartbroken” and “Same Boat”, God did not say that He would help us avoid all troubles and pains, but he said He’d help us through them! I have to think of the shepherd who has his flock of sheep in an upland pasture. There is even better grazing in a pasture that is still higher up, but there is a mountain stream separating him form that greener pasture. To get there he has to take his flock through that valley. It is a dangerous territory, but that is where the fresh water flows. The sheep follow their Shepherd, for they trust him and know that he will see them through. They climb up out of that valley, strengthened and full of new hope and courage, for they made it through the valley.
    Come, hurting soul, trust the Good Shepherd to see you through, drink deeply from the Water of Life, and climb up to the greener pastures waiting for you. Mind you, with that may also come greater responsibilities, but God will never ask us to do more than what He knows we can handle (with His help). Remember, the Holy Spirit is your Guide, Comforter and Friend. When you look in the mirror each morning, tell yourself that you have much to be thankful for and much to look forward to. Blessings!

  • ALEI says:

    so much hurt.!! were almost3 yrs with 1 kid, my parents doesnt want him, in 3 yrs we face many trials, he confront me that he was tired about our family problem in my side, he loves me so much and i know it, i just realized that he has friend who he cried on shoulder, they had a sex, i was so hurt when i knew it, and i confront him, and it was true, he cried and say sorry, but everything change between me & I after that happen, and he confront me that he loves that the girl, i washurt, and i realized its time to letting him go, i hope i will more stronger for my 1 yr old son, i cried more!! i can get over. i still love him and i still do, and he said that he still love me but the whole world was agaisnt US ever since!

  • Same boat says:

    Heartbroken, I know how you feel, I’ve just ended my 10 years of relationship with my ex and i’m so hurt too, but what I realized was that at least it is better to know now than later. I’m sorry for your lost and I know how you feel. It’s very painful and I don’t wish this upon anyone. Lately, I’ve been going to the gym and it has helped me alot. You should too, and think about it, your health is the most important thing that you should keep up to date. I know that it’s harder than what u and I think, but there’s really nothing we can do but to move on. Improve yourself and create the best of you, you will ever create. Happiness comes to those who becomes wiser and smarter. Wish you the best and I hope I will get through this as well. Good Luck.

  • heartbroken says:

    I never thought i would experience heart ache. My fiancee recently left me for some other guy. We have been involved with each other for almost 12 years, next year June was going to be our marriage. 2 months ago we had an argument, it was just like all the previous arguments we have had, but then she came up to me and said she did not to marry because she loved someone else. When I heard this I was destroyed. We have been together since childhood, almost 12 years and now that we were about to be married, she fell in love with someone else in just 3 months? I cant eat, cant sleep. It is as if I have a big rock crushing my heart. I don’t know when this hurt will end. I am a guy and I dont cry ever but recently I have been crying unintentionally. it is so painful

  • Michael Jantzen Michael Jantzen says:

    Maria Lopez,

    Thank you for sharing about your struggle to detach yourself from that man at work. You mentioned that you cried to the Lord and begged to get over him. Sex (even when people just call it ‘casual’ or ‘friends with benefits’) always creates an emotional bind to a person. This can last for years.

    I would encourage you to make use of one of our confidential online mentors. Talking it out could help you make the right decisions to detach every emotional and psychological cord that still binds you to that relationship. And sometimes we need help to cry out to the Lord together. One of our confidential mentors would love to pray for you through this painful process. Just click here:

    Thank you.

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