A few weeks ago, my friend Jason and I went to dinner. We discussed work gossip and Ted Lasso and whether we should share the rigatoni, and then the conversation turned to breakups. We’ve been friends for 20 years, so we’ve helped each other through some heart-wrenching relationship shutdowns. Suddenly, he said something profound…

“When someone’s heartbroken, they often want someone with the exact profile as their ex — the same looks, the same sense of humor. When they imagine the future, they want that person. But you have to realize: you’re never going to find the same person with the same attributes, but you will find someone who makes you feel the same way.”

How beautiful is that? And how true.

When I was 22, my college boyfriend and I broke up because he was in Michigan and I was in New York and neither of us could budge on moving. My heart shattered. I was convinced that I’d never be happy again; I mean, how could I ever love anyone else? His dimples! His sweaters! The way he’d always look across the party, after he made a joke, to make sure I was laughing. But, after being crushingly sad for a while, I felt okay again. Other relationships came and went, and, a few years later, I met Alex. And, you’ll never believe it: he made me feel the same way. Only better. And safer. And even more in love.

Jason, you sly genius! Thank you for sharing this insight.

Thoughts? What advice would you add? Have you gone through a breakup recently — or are you going through one right now? If so, I’m sending you the biggest hug!!! It’s the worst!!!

P.S. A seven-step guide to heartbreak, and four things to tell a friend after a bad breakup. Also, my sister’s awesome dating tip.

(Photo from the movie Someone Great.)