When You Have A Broken Heart

My little one (7 years old) recently asked what she’s supposed to do if I die. Her sister (9 years old) didn’t seem quite as concerned (not even a little), but I decided to share my answer with both of them anyway.

I told them there will be a shiva after the funeral with lots of cake, and there better be some tears. I explained that I have one friend who will come by when it’s time to divide up my purses, and Daddy’s not allowed to get married for AT LEAST 2 years.

They will also have the blog. They will have “Dim Sum and Doughnuts.”

There is a search engine built right into “Dim Sum and Doughnuts,” so all they have to do is punch in words until they find the answers they’re looking for. The problem, is time. My dad used to say “We live on a string,” and he was right. Life is unpredictable. 

But that’s a lot of pressure; I have a lot to say, about a lot things. So, in that spirit, I bring you this because I think it’s an important topic and one that will inevitably come up for my girls:

When You Have A Broken Heart 

When your heart feels like it’s breaking, it sucks and it hurts. But, for most people who enter into some kind of relationship, it’s inevitable. Below are some examples of how a heart can feel broken, and they can be mixed. If you have something to add in the comments, please do. #ItTakesAVillage

When It’s Unrequited Love: This is the Starter Pack for love. Carrying a torch for someone who doesn’t feel the same is not unusual. At least for me, it wasn’t. In elementary school, I was The Sh*t. I ran the 50 yard dash LIKE A BOSS and boys picked up on that heat. But in middle school and high school, none of the boys I loved, loved me back. Well, some did, but a lot didn’t.

I didn’t know it at the time, and I probably would’t have listened anyway, but boys not loving me back only helped me in the end. It taught me how to be friends with them instead, and that has served me very well.  Plus, it’s good that most of the boys didn’t love me back. I wasn’t ready for that kind of attention yet. I would have been even more out of control than I already was.

When You Get Cheated On: Stings. Stings bad. Blow to the EGO. Actually, I take that back. That’s not always true. The first time I got cheated on, it didn’t hurt as much as it did piss me off. I was in college, and one of my friends saw him–dumb ass that he was, kissing some girl in her sorority. He was hot, I didn’t blame the girl, but NO. There were lots of other guys around. I needed no part of being cheated on. #BoyBye. (Except we’re still friends, but he’s a dummy for doing that.)

When You Get Blindsided: The break up you don’t even see coming. Those are the real mind fu*ks because you will spend an INORDINATE amount of time replaying everything in your head—what you said, what he said, what you should have said, what you wished you said. It’s time consuming and draining. You will lose sleep and you will obsess. The thing is—that process is important. It sucks SO bad, but it won’t go without its lessons about him, and you.

When You Screwed Around With Him Because You Like Him, But He Isn’t Calling: Also known as The Hump & Dump. That’s some rough action, but you asked for it. Sorry. What in the world made you think it was OK to screw around with a guy you’re not “for real” dating? You don’t give that sh*t away for free! NO, YOU DO NOT. Boys need to earn that. I’m not going to say a romance NEVER blooms from a slide into 3rd, but on balance, if you screw around with a guy too early, it’s over—and he’s off to tell his friends before you even zip up your pants. #LATER

When It Means Something To You, But It’s A Bootie Call To Him: Get right with that ASAP, or get out. But you won’t. You won’t get out, because these boys are fun, and they’re addictive. Eyes wide open! Know your time together is finite and when it’s over, accept that it’s over and be happy you had that kind of fun. He’s a rambling man. He can’t be held down by anyone, not even you. Consider yourself lucky; he picked you for a bit, and a little bit goes a long way with these guys. The end crashes like the Demon Drop, but the memories will last a lifetime. Have fun and don’t expect anything. And don’t get pregnant.

When You Turn Into A Psycho: These guys. TOXIC. I want to be able to tell you to walk away (RUN!) from these guys, but I can’t. These guys are the worst, but also the BEST. They are constant adrenaline. Your love will be strong, but these are NOT the guys you marry. YOU BETTER HEAR THAT NOW, because you won’t when you’re in it. These relationships are on FIRE. Any breakup will be futile because one of the two of you won’t “accept” it. It’s a cycle-of-psycho. But it’s an addiction, and addiction can lead us to do crazy things. I pulled some bat sh*t cuckoo stuff when I was younger with guys who pushed me to my limits—things I’m not proud of— (although two of the things are kind of impressive). But I was young and dumb. Whatareyagonna do?

broken heart

When You Love Him, But He’s Not Right For You: These breakups are a killer because they aren’t due to lack of love or any other matter of the heart. They’re about other things: cultural or religious differences, disparate values, unrealized expectations. Maybe you’re not getting out what you’re putting in, or maybe you’ve just outgrown the person…? Whatever it is, someone is making the brave decision to cut their losses before resentment settles in. It’s hard because it’s not personal. It’s just not working anymore and you know (cognitively) that it won’t in the future. It’s a breakup driven by the head, not the heart. It’s the “right” thing to do, but still, there’s a huge void when it’s over, and everything hurts. A lot.

All breakups hurt. That’s why we feel like we are suffering from “heartbreak.” But really, it’s not heartbreak, it’s heartache. The way you are feeling right now, you won’t feel like this forever. There will be someone who gets you the same way, or in better ways. You will be happy again. You will recover.

It just takes time.

But in the meantime, mourn it. Whether you had no other choice but to end it, or you got dumped during dinner—attention needs to be paid. Take some time for yourself, or call your friends: Order a pizza, break open a carton of ice cream, or a bottle of wine (or both), and mourn that sh*t.


Just not for too long. If you mourn an aching heart for too long, it will get unhealthy and unproductive, and—quite honestly—kind of weird. Once you come to terms with the fact that a purpose has been served, and you’re lucky for the growth and memories, it will be time to move on. You will get moving again. It may take 3 weeks or 3 days or 3 hours, but sooner or later the pit in your stomach will start to subside, and the hole in your heart will get filled with new people and new memories.

These coveted people we choose to be with for however long, they all play an important part in our story. If it doesn’t work out, it will only help in leading you to the one you’re supposed to be with—so respect the time you had, learn more about what you need, and acknowledge the moment you’re in.

And then get back to good, so you’re ready to go when the next one shows up.

Because he will.


Thank you for being here!

XO, The DS+D Crew


  1. Lisa K on August 23, 2016 at 8:00 am

    Yes. And when they read it the first time they will roll their eyes. When they read it the second time they will get angry because they won’t believe they will ever get over whichever one it is. When they read it the third time they will be old enough to sit down and share with you and together you will crack up. But I have one piece of input for you. I would change Heart Break to Heart Ache. An aching heart gets better. And stronger. A truly broken heart never gets put back together again. May they never truly have a broken heart. But may they experience the power of recovering from any heart ache. With much love….

    • Robyn on August 23, 2016 at 9:26 am

      I am going to make the appropriate changes RIGHT NOW. I thank you so much. You are one hundred percent correct.
      PS. When I was writing it, I kept saying to myself that they would throw the computer and be like “She doesn’t know what she’s talking about! I will NEVER get over him!!!” Because I would have done that FOR SURE.
      XOXOXO Thank you!!! R

    • Robyn on August 23, 2016 at 9:38 am

      Ok, I changed it. I feel a lot better about it myself. Something was tugging at me and I couldn’t figure it out. That’s what it was. I feel like it’s whole now. Thank you. Maybe the next one I write in this vain, you will read first?

  2. Heather Mai on August 23, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Hahaha loved this one Robyn!! You’re so so right!! Time heals everything ? I personally have been on this exact journey, but have been single for almost two years in September (happy anniversary to me ?), and since being single for quite some time now I’ve really had a chance to think about what you’re saying. When breakups, or rejection happens it’s like you’re whole world comes crashing down, and oh man does it HURT. But then a month later, you’re asking yourself, “what was I thinking, I deserve so much more than that d-bag.” And of course other times it takes a lot longer, even years to heal. But being single has allowed me to appreciate all of those relationships in ways I probably wouldn’t if I had just went right back into another one. So I just thought it would be important to let your girls know that it’s a great thing to be single, to learn to love yourself, and appreciate the lessons you’ve learned from all the a-holes along the way. Because I feel like I know myself so well, have a love for myself that would be hard to beat, and that the next relationship that comes my way will be a really good one cuz I know better. And hopefully he’s the one ? But if not that’s okay too!


    • Robyn on August 23, 2016 at 7:53 pm

      I love EVERYTHING about this comment. I love the growth and the wisdom, but I especially love that you’re still in touch with us, and keeping up with DS+D. You’ve come a long way, my love. I’m proud of you. I knew you had it in you—and you know I knew. Stay with us, baby. We’re here for you! Keep on doing it right. You’re making me proud. XOXOXO

  3. marcia @ Menopausal Mother on August 23, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    GREAT list! I couldd have used this several years ago when my girls were teens—I would have tacked it up on the fridge as a constant reminder!

    • Robyn on August 23, 2016 at 7:55 pm

      You make me smile everytime I read something you write. I’m smiling extra big now because what you just wrote is meant for me, and I’m going to treasure it always. Thank you for being here. You know how much I respect and admire you. This means more than you know. XOXO R

  4. Deenie on August 24, 2016 at 9:18 am

    How did you get SO smart at such a young age !!!!!!!!!!!! Your insight is scarry !!! XOXOXOXO

    • Robyn on August 24, 2016 at 11:20 am

      What’s most special to me about you being here, and being a part of DS+D, is that you were really only in my life for a short period of time. Your impact lives on though. I was always happy to see you because you a bright and shiny person, but full of warmth. Real warmth. I’m feeling very lucky right now that you kept up with us, and with me. Love you, Deenie XOXOXO

  5. Sharon on August 24, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Great article! You are teaching your kids how to be resilient. Too many kids are not taught how to handle adversity in simple things let alone serious issues like losing a loved one. My kids are very familiar with the phrase, “Suck it up, Buttercup!” You are one fine mom!

    • Robyn on August 24, 2016 at 9:57 pm

      I just saw a shirt that said that when I was up north! Had I known, I would have gotten it for you to grab when you need it! (That would have been funny.) I’m glad you liked this one. I laughed and cried when I wrote it. I was miserable at the time of (almost) all of those breakups, and I know my kids will be to, but they’re all important.
      Plus, oddly enough, when I finished writing it, I realized I’m still friends with every one of the guys I refer to. They all mean as much to me as the memories they gave me.
      Love you. Thank you for being here. We need you here. 🙂
      XOXO R

  6. Julie M on August 25, 2016 at 3:50 am

    Love this. So right on!

    • Robyn on August 26, 2016 at 9:10 am

      I love you because you are so right on! I’m glad you liked it, Malks. TY!

  7. Brian Lev on August 26, 2016 at 2:29 am

    Robyn, your italicized intro hit a little close to home; there’s been enough funerary action in my niece’s life of late that she’s been asking a few questions. I’m hoping to leave as useful a legacy as you’re working on.

    Coming at your list from the “other side” I have to say you hit most of the nails squarely on the head. (I say “most of” because I came up with a couple of scenarios that might be part of a later sequel to this post… but you nailed the ones you listed.) The males of the species often suffer from the same situations you presented, and your presentation was, as usual, pretty well balanced. I’m proud to say that I’ve been part of the entourage of some of the more negative guys you mention and told them “STOP THAT!” and in some cases when they didn’t it ended the friendship. (And yeah, in a couple of others I did the “guy thing” and just tried to ignore the gorilla in the corner of the room until I and the rest of the entourage had to run from the shrapnel from the inevitable explosion. We’re all young & stoopid at some point in our lives.)

    And you might be surprised at how many of my fellow Y-chromosome humans KNOW to never ask a woman eating ice cream straight out of the box how she’s doing. <8-P

    • Robyn on August 26, 2016 at 9:14 am

      I’m glad this one hit you in all the right places! Love hearing the male perspective! I was talking about this piece with a girlfriend of mine last night and we were laughing that I’m still friends with all of the guys I wrote about. We went through stuff together, we were a part of each other’s lives (even though some of the parts were crazy). Going through the breakups was always hard, but I can’t imagine who I’d be now if I didn’t go through all of that crap with them. And lots of ice cream… XOXOXO Thank you, as always, for being here. I love hearing from you because I know you’re doing it right in your little corner of the world.