Cassidy Bliss Cooper is a photographer, stylist and travel lover. We asked Cassidy about her experience with heartbreak and she opened up about the pivotal post-breakup trip she took to Nashville and what she learned from trying to be best friends with an ex.
If you think back to the first time you were heartbroken, what advice would you give to that younger version of yourself?
"If they don't put x amount of energy into you, don't put x amount of energy back into them. Why shed tears about someone who could care less, when you could be spending those tears and blood and sweat getting something else that makes you happy?"
What has heartbreak taught you about yourself?
"Sometimes it takes heartbreak to learn to love yourself more than someone else. Ultimately, when you love yourself the most, or at least use loving yourself as the base for how you deal with things, everything becomes a lot clearer."
What are your rituals during a breakup? What things/practices/people helped you mend?
"My last breakup was rough because I really lost my sense of who I was and who I was trying to become, so I booked a flight to Nashville and left for two weeks. I hadn't been there since I was a child and it was experiencing something new that was all mine, not his and not ours. I think having a big experience like that post-breakup is a perfect way to reconnect with yourself and see how many better things lie ahead."
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 was still in touch with my last ex for months after we broke up, starting with the attempt to be best friends still (learned from that mistake wow), all the way to trying to be a distant but supportive friend once we had both found new s/o's. I've had great friendships with many of my exes before but that was when I was younger, and I think more mature relationships have an intensity that don't lend themselves to that transition as easily. I took the time to focus on my girlfriends and my family and relationship with myself to learn how to distance myself from the dependency on my ex, and forcing myself to do that helped me realize I didn't need his support to feel supported."
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about love so far in your life?
"Relationships are not easy, but they shouldn't feel hard. The second part of that I grew up hearing from my parents, who have a strangely ideal beautiful loving marriage of 25 years. The first part I had to learn on my own, and realize the two could go together. You have to fight the urge to give up, but also recognize the red flags. The (hopefully few) issues you have in the beginning will be the issues you have for a long time - are those things you're ready to accept or work through together as a team? Hopefully the answer is yes, and if so then maybe you've found the one."
Do you think exes can be friends? Do you stay friends with your exes on social media?
"I've stayed friends with exes but never any serious ones. I think that's how you know it was life changing. I haven't found it healthy to stay updated with exes' lives, for your own mental well-being as well as for your future significant other's. Comparison is the thief of joy. And while it's tempting to say, "they were my best friend and we know so much about each other already," there are tons of people in this world that could treat you better as a friend and also not break your heart."
What keeps your heart open, despite the heartbreaks you’ve had in your life?
"I've never had a problem falling head over heels for someone. All I know is that each love gets greater, even when you think it can't. And that's what makes me feel like it's worth it, that feeling that love can feel better than last time. One day you'll find someone who finally feels as much love as you and it'll feel like you have overflowed your glass, and ideally that's your person and you'll just spend the rest of your life overflowing together."
What is your favorite song about heartbreak?
"I'm on a Rihanna kick and I'm not sorry about it. Kiss It Better hits me where it hurts, since I'm the queen of putting up with people's bs and still loving them, God knows why. The song is super real about the back and forth of whether the love is worth it or not, and ultimately waiting for them to take the chance to fix what they started. What are you willing to do? How much will you sacrifice, since so much of love is sacrifice?"