I remember the first time my heart was broken. I remember sitting on the cracked linoleum floor of the kitchen in my rented university house, thinking the pain would eat me whole from the inside. That I would, in fact, die from it. I remember trying to go out, to put on a face, to admit to everyone that I had moved on, yet the alcohol and the pain of being out in the world again, alone this time, only pushed me further into the hole. I remember searching every crowded bar for his face, wondering if tonight would be the night I’d see the man who destroyed me.

I remember missing or rather, ignoring, all the signs. I remember how naive and stupid and foolish I felt for not seeing them before…the calls, the texts, the passive attempts to get rid of me.

But I was young then and didn’t want to see the signs. I was naive and in love and needed the experience. Well, now I have it. And I know what to look for. I’m smarter and stronger and won’t be fooled again. I won’t be fooled, but I may get my heart broken again. Being smarter or older doesn’t save you from that. And for anyone going through that unrelenting pain of heartbreak, just know you’re not alone and your naivety isn’t the reason you deserve this pain. Every woman on this earth has felt it and every woman will continue to feel it. Don’t feel stupid and don’t feel ashamed for feeling this pain. Learn from this, grow from this, build from this.

Until you’re strong enough to go out without missing them, checking your phone a thousand times for a text, silently praying he’ll realize he made a mistake and ask for you back, relish in the heartbreak and the lessons of your sisters. For I’ve put this collection of quotes together for you, because in times of heartbreak one needs nothing more than someone there to just understand.

Always remember that when a man goes out of the room, he leaves everything in it behind. When a woman goes out, she carries everything that happened in the room along with her.
— Alice Munro

And it’s amazing how much noise people ignoring each other can make.
— Eoin Colfer, Benny and Babe

You have to learn to get up from the table when love is no longer being served.
– Nina Simone

People put so much effort into starting a relationship and so little effort into ending one.
— Marina Abramovic

Even now, in my thirties, whenever a romantic relationship ends, I find myself saying, He’s not the person I thought he was. From a distance a lover I knew so well becomes a man I do not recognize. I see him with his new girlfriend and even his posture is different. With her his stance is more solid, more aloof. I no longer see the cracks, the vulnerable places where he let me in. He is across the room at a party—with a little effort, an adjusted angle, our eyes would meet—but he might as well be on another continent. Have you met X? someone says to me, and I do not say, I used to share his bed. I used to know his passwords and his whims. Instead I say, in the same vague tone I reserve for elevators, I think we met once a long time ago. Because the person who he is with her is a stranger. A foreigner. Maybe the person he was with me was just a role he was trying on. And maybe the words he fed me were lines. But that doesn’t mean the relationship was any less real. It felt true to me.
—Elliott Holt

It was never about what he did to me. It was about what he took from me.
— Sandra Lidell

And I knew it. That’s the worst part: I knew it.
— Marguerite Duras, The North China Lover

It’s afterwards you realize that the feeling of happiness you had with a man didn’t necessarily prove that you loved him.
– Marguerite Duras

There is a limit to the amount of misery and disarray you will put up with, for love, just as there is a limit to the amount of mess you can stand around a house. You can’t know the limit beforehand, but you will know when you’ve reached it.
— Alice Munro, No Love Lost

It is stunning, it is a moment like no other,
when one’s lover comes in and says I do not love you anymore.
— Anne Carson, The Glass Essay

For what have I to thank you? For disappointment, melancholy, and tears; for unkindness, a bleeding heart and despairing thoughts.
– Mary Shelley

Founder of Words of Women

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