#howimend Arianna Thomopoulos (The Modern Day Girlfriend) On How She Healed Her Heart
By Kate Paguinto
Arianna Thomopoulos is no stranger to the subject of heartbreak. The lifestyle and relationship blogger behind The Modern Day Girlfriend has built a loyal following sharing personal stories and compassionate advice about how to stay connected when dating in the digital age. She opened up with us about how work, friends and ice cream helped her cope with her own heartbreak.
If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?
"The advice I would have given to my younger self is that even though you’re in the midst of what feels like the worst heartbreak of your life, your heart hurts like hell and you might feel like you will NEVER EVER get over it, you will. I would remind myself that the actual pain I was feeling is real and you should allow yourself to feel it but know that the pain will not last forever.
In time it will lessen, you will remember the heartbreak but you won’t actually remember what the heartbreak 'felt' like. You learn what you want or don’t want in your next relationship, what you will stand for, what you won’t stand for, who you want to be and who you don’t want to be.
Like a scar, each heartbreak is a reminder and a life lesson. You will find yourself looking at the scar. The pain of the healing process, the scab will get less itchy, you won’t keep going back to it to open the wound up again.
Once the scab is healed you will remember how you got the scar and steer clear of what led you to get it in the first place. As your life goes on, you will forget the scar is there and move forward in life, a little tougher than before."
What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?
"Heartbreak has taught me that I am a work in progress. Heartbreak has taught me that even when I thought I could never love again, let alone feel again, without the heartbreak/heartbreaks that I have had in my life, I would not be who I am today.
I am thankful for each heartbreak, as sucky and as painful as they were, and BOY were they life-shattering, altering heartbreaks, it always turned out for the better. For me, God was protecting me because he wasn’t done working on me yet, as well as the man he had planned for me.
My great grandma always said, 'There is no greater love than the next greatest love in your life.'
Heartbreak has taught me that I have to be complete on my own so I can be a compliment in my partner's life and vice versa."
What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?
"Besides eating a vat of ice cream and downing a bottle of wine on my couch with my dog? I surrounded myself with my girlfriends and I wrote, I wrote a lot.
A huge part of why I started The Modern Day Girlfriend is because I wanted people to have a safe place to go and talk about the difficulties of relationships in today’s society - from falling in love to heartbreak and more.
The Modern Day Girlfriend became my outlet and I realized I was not alone, which drives me everyday to be there for people who need a listening ear, inspiration or just a laugh.
Creating The Modern Day Girlfriend was probably one of the best things I could have done for myself and my heart. Find your outlet whether you are happy or sad and let it heal you and fuel you. You never know what amazing things can come from it."
Thinking back to breakups you’ve had, did you have any breakup vices (checking your ex’s Insta, etc) and how do you conquer them?
"I wrote a blog on The Modern Day Girlfriend exactly about this topic and how to deal with it in today’s digital society. It’s so much trickier nowadays with all the social media outlets that you can check. It’s like you insta-stalking.
If you are going through a break up I recommended heading over to The Modern Day Girlfriend to read about the 5 things to do after a break up! I stay clear of checking their social feeds. Yes, easier said than done but trust me you heart and head will thank you for it!"
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?
"That love is a beautiful thing. Love is something that connects us all and it doesn’t solely have to be between you and your partner but a love for life, friends, family, pets. LOVE is what makes the world go round. (Yes, I know that is a John Legend song). Not to sound corny or anything, but love although it can hurt like HELL, also can fill your soul fuller than ever before and the only way love can do that, I have learned, is that you have to LOVE yourself first and foremost because if you don’t love yourself how can anyone else?"
Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?
"This is a very, very, very loaded question for me. I am actually writing a blog on The Modern Day Girlfriend about it. I think that you can be friends depending on the circumstances. I typically have stayed friends with my exes. Although there are some I just can’t because my healing and their healing would never have happened had we stayed friends, especially right away. I believe you have to take the time to grow from the issues in the relationship and by not giving yourself the space and time to do so you will have a harder time getting over them no matter how hard you try.
Look, every person is different, every relationship is different. If you find yourself friends with an ex and you can keep it platonic and actually want to be friends than yes, go for it! I would love to hear your stories of how you were able to remain friends with an ex. Share your story with me and others at The Modern Day Girlfriend.
The last thing I will say about this topic is that I have come to find that there is one person who wants a little more than just friends. If that person isn’t you, then cut the cord."
What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?
"I don’t think it is something or the idea of someone who keeps my heart open. I was closed off for years but once I began feeling comfortable and secure in myself I had this strength that I never knew I had. It allowed me to navigate the waters of dating and not feel guilty.
I am also at a place in my life that I think no matter how many times I have had my heart broken I feel as though when you meet that right person you are willing to let your heart break again because the idea of not giving them that chance to actually hurt you would hurt more than not giving them the chance to."
What is your favorite song about heartbreak?
What is your favorite movie about heartbreak?
1. "P.S. I Love You"
2. "The Holiday"
3. "The Notebook"
4." My Life Without You"
What projects are you currently working on, and looking forward to most?
"I am working on a book, a show pilot and a candle line. I am just excited to talk, relate and engage with people and help them navigate the bumpy waters of living and loving in the digital age one app at a time."