How many hearts have you broken?

I had an unpleasant conversation this evening during which I had to tell a gal that I don’t share the strong romantic feelings she has for me. It was awful. I’m not going to go into details, but this has been about two years in the making.

It occurs to me, as I sit here somewhat relieved that it’s done and no blood was shed, and also feeling somewhat awful for having obviously hurt her (she didn’t take it well), that I’ve had this feeling before. I can think of at least five times I’ve had this conversation with a woman who was clearly in love with me, and had to watch the heartbreak and sit there feeling the guilt and knowing there was nothing I could do to make it better.

It’s my view that this is just how things go in an active life: You go bumbling along, you get your heart broken a few times (lord knows I have), and you break a few hearts without meaning to. But I’m wondering; how many times is “normal”?

And so of course I turn to the Dope for some enlightenment; how many hearts have you folks broken? How many times have you folks intiated the conversation that begins, “I think we need to have a talk”?

I’m 31 and male, by the way; I’d appreciate knowing your age, sex, and marital status along with your answers. Thanks, folks.

Damn! “Initiated.”

25, male, single. Broken hearts: at least 5 or 6. Broken my current girlfriend’s heart twice already, will certainly do it again.

The thing that pisses me off is that I have never had my own broken. The amount of bad karma I must have accumulated up to this point is truly staggering. Just once I wish someone would remove these guilty feelings by ripping my heart out and showing it to me. Ain’t happened yet.

I don’t know that it is possible for me to fall in love. How’s that for sad?

Only broke one. And it broke mine to do it. On the bright side, a whole lot of stand-up comedy routines got much funnier afterward. There are some bits out there that you just cannot relate to until you have had your heart broken. Not much consolation, just an observation.

Three as far as I know.

Oh, btw, - 19, F, single.

I don’t know, one of them seemed deadly serious, the other two may just have been teenaged over-amplifying of feelings that did exist but may not have been as strong as they are made out to be by your average angst-ridden teen, a lot of whom decide that the first time they feel their heart quiver a little bit that they must be in love. Not that it’s impossible for a teenager to actually fall in love, I just think a lot of us mistake our feelings, in this respect, quite easily.

Or perhaps they were all deadly serious and I truly deserve all the guilt the memory of what I did to them supplies me with!

I think about 3 or 4, and I still feel guilty about them, one more so than the others. I’ve had mine broken just once, and once was enough. 25, female, currently dating someone - but taking it slow to minimise the risk of either of our hearts getting broken!

Gmork, is your sig line from Black Books, by any chance? Love it!

Jennyrosity - yup! A thousand points to you and the tasty biscuit treat of your choice! B.B. is the best comedy in years!
(Sorry for the slight hijacking. The thread will now be returned to it’s regular flight path.)

Gmork, showing wisdom beyond her years (no offense intended to you younger folk), cuts right to the heart of the matter. How does one rate the heartbreak/intensity/actuality of “heartbreak”? If the other person’s feelings are unreasonable or excessive, is it really heartbreak or is it some psychotic problem?

jackelope’s current problem is “two years in the making” and that sounds reasonable to me (that it should be heartbreak, I mean), but there may be others who fall in love in moments–and how real is that? NoCoolSpouseName and I agreed to marry the day we met, and actually did 6 weeks later–ten years ago.

Hmm…I seem to be stumbling here. jackelope wants to know about “normal”–but I think there’s no such thing…unless “bumbling along” is normal.

Hard stats: I’m M, 52, married 3 times divorced twice. I was on the road as a R&R guitar player for 10 years, and I’d have to guess Hearts I’ve Broken = too many to count.

[continued hijack]I take it Black Books is TV? I have not heard of such a thing.[/hijack]

I think any number is “normal” and acceptable as long as you’re not doing it on purpose.

Some people break hearts deliberately as if they’re out for revenge on the opposite sex.

Hi-jack: Black Books is a British sit-com, set in a book shop, starring an irascible, alcoholic Irish proprieter, an insane former accountant and a neurotic female neighbour. It’s from the same creator as Father Ted, if that means anything to you. And Gmork’s quite right, it is the funniest comedy in years, with some of the most quotable lines ever:
“I ate all your bees!”
“Posh food comes in towers. Get me a tower of soup!”.
“He had a tiny man in his hair, I got distracted”.
“So I’m on my way to get some fizzygood…”
“yeah, you know - fizzygoodmakefeelnice”.
“Oh - alka seltzer”.

I’ve broken quite a few, and also have had mine broken a few times. It’s no picnic, either way you slice it.

I’ve had my heart broken twice, and I’ve broken probably three, maybe four. Felt really shitty each time.


A girl I dated in highschool. She was getting way too clingy with me and was calling me up EVERY day. We were in 11th grade for chrissake! It was definately not working out for me, so I broke it off.

The funny thing is that it took her at least 4 years to get over me, maybe even longer. My girlfriend (now wife) and I ran into her at a McDonalds restaurant 4 years later. GF was being all lovey and kissy with me there, and ex-GF was working the counter and could not stop staring at us. GF did not know what had happened until after we left.

Thanks for the replies, all; I may not be God’s gift to women, but at least now I don’t think I’m his revenge on them either.

And by the way, I really did mean to put this in IMHO instead of Cafe Society.

Moved at OP’s request.

Female, 34 , married.

I have broken only one heart that i know of and i took the cowardly way out and made up a lie so that he would want to break up with me.

As for having my heart broken, i would have to say at least twice, maybe three. I was totally in love with an older man and he when told me that he didn’t feel the same way. The other time was recently, that’s all I’m going to say about that one. The maybe was a friend that i had sex with (quite frequently) and he decided he only wanted to be friends, which hurt at the time, but after fifteeen years we are still close friends, so it all turned out good in the end.

Jackelope, you should know that I am desperately in love with you. Please don’t tell me that you can’t reciprocate my feelings or I don’t know what I’ll do.

No, don’t turn away, I will not be ignored.

Wait, I didn’t mean it to come out like that. Please come back. I can make you love me. I’ll just waste away if you leave me. Wait…

My story is the same as Kyomara’s, except I’m currently married.

I, regrettably, have never felt the pain of hearbreak forced on me. I’ve felt terrible about doing the breaking, and avoiding that guilt has kept me in a few relationships longer than I should have been.

And I, too, fear the karmic repercussions of this. Why can’t the score be even? Now I’ve gotta watch my back.

Four. But one of them broke my heart first, so does that cancel out?

First was my first wife. She was devastated when I told her I made a mistake in marrying her.

Second was the rebound from the first wife. The divorce wasn’t final and wouldn’t be for some time, but the rebound was pressuring me. I told her that I didn’t know when I would be ready to marry again since I didn’t even know when the first one would be officially over. She was crying on the floor begging me to stay when I last saw her.

Third was a fling at work who fell really hard for me. I was just having fun. She had to go on leave to deal with it.

Fourth was the one who had broken my heart first. I was in love with her for years and she never reciprocated. I found someone else (my second wife) and told number four that we were getting married. She confessed that she had been in love with me for a couple of years but was afraid to say anything because she didn’t want to screw everything up (not very logical, but understandable). She didn’t take it well when I decided to go through with my second marriage.

I had my heart broken only one other time, by my first love.

Oh, I’m male, 35, and married.