Holding degrees in Human Sexuality and Biology, Dr. Megan Stubbs is an energetic multi-media savvy sex and relationships expert, and she's also a contributor to Mend. She believes that sex should be fun and uses her lighthearted, intelligent, and humorous delivery to make it happen.
We asked Megan a few questions about heartbreak and she opened up about learning to take her time throughout the healing process.
If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?
"I would tell my younger self that it will take time to mend. Longer than you anticipate. Not that there is a specific amount of time required, but because of the way I am, I know that to untangle myself from that person and those feelings will take more time that a weekend or a month. The deeper you go with someone, the longer it will take you to come back up."
What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?
"I used to pride myself on being so tough. Tears were for the weak. Showing emotion has changed for me. I know now that it is truly brave to be vulnerable, not a closed off ice queen. Just because you aren’t crying in public and documenting your day to day sadness on Facebook doesn’t mean that you don’t feel those emotions. I have an elastic heart, much like Sia’s song. And most importantly, that there is always a ‘next’. Even on my darkest days, I keep in mind that my current state is not my forever. There is always something coming towards me."
What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?
"First and foremost, purge the other person from my life. That means deletion, blocking, and removal of all things that remind me of them. You may saw you want to be done, but your brain chemistry says otherwise. I want to remove anything that will trigger me into a flood of memories and ‘what ifs’ with that person. I help my mind mend by leveling out and relearning what it means to not have that person in my life anymore."
"For one particularly bad breakup I dove into audio books. I couldn’t stand to be alone in my head so I inserted other voices and stories. I would fall asleep to them to keep my mind off of my own sad story. I honestly went through well over a hundred. But for me, it worked. Time and space heal. I was also kind to myself, I ate really well and spent a lot of time with my dog. He was and still is a great influence in my well-being. I can’t just lay in bed and wallow in pity for days, I have someone counting on me to show up. Plus he is an amazing snuggler. Friends are also great for healing your hurt. They shook me out of my funk and helped me realize that they weren’t the one for me anyway."
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 think my vices came about in mental replay. Reliving moments and wondering what if or questioning myself with decision made long ago. I ultimately realized that its a waste of my energy to dwell in that place. It doesn’t serve me to live in the past."
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?
"The biggest lesson that I’ve learned about my love life is that the more I learn, the less I feel like I know. Haha, how messed up is that? I think so often we are searching for rules, and tips, and techniques, to help making the navigation of this space easier and unfortunately love and relationships cannot be distilled down into a checklist. Love is complex and ever-changing. All we can do is be honest, clear in our communication, and hope that someone will do the same for us. I want a relationship, but I am in no hurry to settle."
Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?
"I think it depends on the situation. For me, there is always the purge that takes place, but only a few have made it back into the social media sphere (not friend space) and that was after much time had passed. As far as being friends, I believe that wholly depends on your ability to communicate and be honest about your feelings. That being said, I am only friends with one ex."
What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?
"Despite all of the heartbreak and wall building, I ultimately know that closed hearts cannot find love. And no matter how shitty things were and how awful I felt, I have to put yourself back out there. I have friends who have beautiful relationships and I want that for myself and my future partner. The brightness of my future outshines the pain of my past."
What is your favorite song about heartbreak?
"So many good ones!
Borgore - Best
Banks - This Is What It Feels Like
The Internet - Just Sayin
Lapsley - Tell Me The Truth
Lapsley - Hurt Me
Sia - Elastic Heart
Lana Del Rey - Ride"
What is your favorite movie about heartbreak?
"Honestly I don’t watch movies about heartbreak. Yes I’m the like 1% who has never seen The Notebook. Maybe one day in the future, but for now I am content to enjoy action and comedy."