Silvia Haupt Kozonova is the co-founder of online magazine Fashion MAP and proud part of the Prague Fashion Week team. We asked Silvia a few questions about her experience with heartbreak and she shared how self love, honesty and mutual effort contribute to healthy relationships.
If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?
"I wish my younger self could have seen the first heartbreak as something inevitable. I wish she had been aware of the necessity and forming power of a broken heart and known that it is all just a part of the journey. I would hug her and tell her to stop chasing her ex and instead have fun. Nothing drives a boy more mad than a girl who doesn’t give a damn about him anymore."
What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?
"Every heartbreak taught me something different. All of them were pretty deep cuts and took longer to really recover from. What they for sure had in common is one clear message: no matter what, I can handle it. No matter how broken, unhappy, lonely or disappointed I was, I always handled it. Sometimes when you're in a relationship, you feel like you can't manage big shifts or hard times without your loved one. Partners are often not only our lovers. The older we get, the more hats our partners has to wear. They are our best friends, our most trusted people, advisers, flat mates, family and suddenly one day, they are gone. The best realization is understanding that no matter what, you don’t really need them anyway. Sure it's better to be with somebody, but it's not necessary. You can handle everything that life brings alone. This realization was a game changer for me."
What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?
"I have amazing and very patient friends. So they are my first aid in any situation. What also helps is to stop any interaction with your ex partner. Everything is usually already said anyway. I don’t need more confirmation that the other person doesn’t value me anymore and I'm sure he won't start to just because I'm being needy. Then I just try to spoil myself a bit. Nice clothing, parties, small things that makes me happy. Exercising helps a lot - you are literally forcing your body to create happy hormones. Shifting your attention from the pain to some new projects or work is like a blessing. However, the most important thing is to write down your thoughts any time you feel like talking about the situation over and over again. Understanding what you have done wrong in the relationship and what you can do better next time is the best. By self-analyzing you can at least learn from what you are going through because if you didn’t learn anything new from a breakup then your pain was just a big waste of time."
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?
"The lowest point in my recent breakup was checking my ex boyfriend’s new girlfriend's YouTube channel. She was singing while playing the piano and looked super good. It was 3 months after our breakup. It was winter time and I was lonely. I remember sitting on the bed and after her second refrain, I started crying so heavily, you couldn’t hear her voice anymore. I felt like I was in some pathetic movie scene– I could almost imagine the camera shifting from one corner of the room to the other… It was so sad that it was even funny. And from tears I burst into laughter. And just like that from one minute to the other, I was good. To stop checking his social media was the best idea ever. Every time I feel the urge to know what my ex partner is up to, I literally stop myself. I’m sure he is happy and that's great, but it has nothing to do with me anymore. It's not my story. So why should I bother?"
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?
"I think I am just beginning to learn what love really means. But so far I have 3 main realizations:
1. Love yourself first, no matter what. If you don't put yourself first, you will lose yourself and in the end your lover will, as well. It's not ego-centric, It's healthy.
2. In every relationship there are two people who have to work on it. It's always 50:50 – action and reaction. It sounds simple, but in fact it's hard to realize when one is in doubt about whether he/she should do more for the sake of love. When you think your partner doesn’t do enough for your relationship, he probably doesn’t. But it’s definitely not up to you to make it work for both of you.
3. Love should be about honesty and trust and once that is gone, the whole world won't manage to keep you two together. No matter how hard it is, you should be honest with each other. (Sounds like a cliché, but it's the fundamental base)"
Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?
"I don’t consider social media as some kind of a bond between two people. Liking somebody’s picture doesn’t make you great friends. Sometimes there is no way for two lovers to just be friends. But I believe in certain cases there is a possibility to see if a friendship can work out better then a romantic relationship did. I would love to stay friends with my exes though, because I think all of them are great people and I’m always happy when they are doing well. (I mean, at the time, I wished they would move to some special land created just for the “exes” with no other girls and no wifi)"
What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?
"My friend once said that you can’t date anybody worse than your ex. You learn so much more about yourself, about things you want in a relationship or what you don’t want, that the next time will logically be even better. And that’s what keeps me going. The promise of a greater guy, who is right now somewhere out there, maybe learning how to not be an asshole :D"
What is your favorite song about heartbreak?
"When I'm heartbroken, I like listening to YouTube videos or motivational speakers like Tony Robbins or Xandria Ooi or songs from Iggy Azalea."
What projects are you currently working on, and looking forward to most?
"The one thing about being single is gaining time for yourself and being able to create when you have new energy. I’m working right now on two main projects. Bringing local fashion in Czech and Slovakia to a new and more international level with Fashion Map. And the second thing is finally starting my own blog about fashion and relationships in general. I would love to write my own book in a year, so lets see! There are a lot of opportunities in the future and I'm super thrilled about all of them."