Natasha Chandel is an award-winning creative executive and producer, overall funny girl based in LA and she’s currently writing for Mr. Iglesias on Netflix. She also hosts the popular comedy dating podcast, Kinda Dating, where she breaks down the dating world and tries to figure out why so many people have commitment issues!
If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?
The first time I was truly heartbroken I actually broke up with the person, and yes, I was still extremely upset about it because we had been together for four years. That Natasha was scared she made the wrong decision because we didn’t have a “problem”. I ended a long relationship because of a feeling that we were going in a different direction. I would tell her to always trust her gut feeling, don’t second guess yourself, because I did make the right decision in the end.
Now I also remember the first time my heart was broken, which was a different kind of heartbreak because I was cheated on. Funny enough, I would tell her the same thing – trust your gut feeling (you know when something’s off) and know you will come out of the darkness. You can’t see it then, especially in the middle of all the thoughts and feelings and regret and pain and anger, but the truth is, the sun always rises the next day. I’d tell her to feel her feelings, don’t suppress it and then let it go and trust the Universe.
What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?
Heartbreak taught me the most about myself – it taught me how strong I was (I always survived), it helped me look within at my own shortcomings and understand why I was accepting less than what I deserved. I’ve become a much better, stronger, focused person in relationships because of what I went through; it also taught me what I want and don’t want in a relationship with someone else and with myself. Heartbreak put me on the journey of enlightenment; it broke me down so I could put myself together.
What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?
This is a great question because I like to have a lot of fun after a breakup ha ha! I do my crying, I talk to my best girlfriends and Mom, and then I tell the former that I wanna go out. I usually take a good ol’ trip to Vegas, enjoy myself, see there is much more to life than that relationship and I tend to come back in a better place. But the work is daily – I try to do ONE thing everyday for myself and it has to be something that makes me happy (a massage, watching my favorite show), I try to stay social but give myself “me time”. I also reflect a lot and write. Some of my best writing has come post breakups.
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?
Definitely! I tend to do two things: romanticize and social stalk (I’m not afraid to admit that, I think most people do)! With romanticizing I used to immediately forget all the bad stuff and only remember the good things, then I’d feel regret or miss that person. I realized it was my way of keeping them alive because I was too scared to see what else was out there. I’ve overcome that over the years by, honestly, writing down and actively remembering why the relationship didn’t work. I’m not poking a voodoo doll of the guy anywhere, but I’m reminding myself why I should never go back. When I was in a very toxic relationship, where the guy would keep convincing me back, I had to learn to hold on to hate (which was so abnormal for me) but sometimes anger protects you. Just don’t actually let it overtake you and become vengeful.
Checking social media is always a hard one because of access. I had to block my ex when we broke up so I wouldn’t be inclined to look, all my friends deleted him, and when I feel like checking now I stop a second and put my phone down. I let the feeling wash away and remember it’s about me, not him. And knowing what he’s up to will do nothing to improve my life. It’s hard but it has to be done!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?
Love isn’t a feeling, it’s an action. And when it’s right, it’s easy.
Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?
I did an episode of this on my podcast and the guest was my ex! He put it well, you’re probably not going to be friends but you can be friendLY. My relationship with my exes varies – some I cannot communicate with in any capacity, and some I refer for jobs! There’s no hard and fast rule, but do what is best for YOU and not the other person. If the other person is still toxic in your life or talking to them puts you in a bad place then make the right decision for yourself and walk away. You can always be friendly later in life when you’re in a better place.
What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?
I’ve learned life and people aren’t black or white, good or bad, right or wrong. I’ve learned that everyone in a relationship is human and we make human mistakes. I can forgive someone and choose not to be with them; I can love someone and know they aren’t right for me. I now take truth as a gift versus a curse, so learning the truth about a person sooner than later makes me a very lucky girl because you can say “on to the next one”, some people find out the truth too late. Ideally the truth about the right person will end up being: they are an awesome human being and that will be the ultimate gift. I’ve also learned to focus on good relationships and couples in my life, they give me hope and I’ve changed my attitude very actively to say “there are plenty of nice guys in the world and I will only be with a nice guy.”
What is your favorite song about heartbreak (if you have one)?
Omg, I had Bruno Mars’ “Grenade” on loop for two hours once. I didn’t realize it until my friend who was over asked if I was okay ha ha.
What is your favorite movie about heartbreak (if you have one)?
I don’t like sad movies. One of my favorite romantic movies, though, is “The Notebook”. Baby making movie right there.
What projects are you currently working on, and looking forward to most?
I’m currently still producing my dating podcast, Kinda Dating. It’s so fascinating taking a deeper dive into the psyche through dating. I’m also very excited about a few scripted and unscripted shows I’m developing, a couple on dating and a few not at all. I love creating so I look forward to doing that at all times.