A Broken Heart

April 23 2015 | by

DEAR FRIAR RICK: I have had a wonderful love affair with a girl which lasted for over 4 years. She then graduated from college before I did, and she found a good job almost immediately. After a few months she met a man, who is much taller than her, and she soon terminated our relationship – in fact she doesn’t even consider me as a friend any more.

Now everyone tells me that she was not good enough for me, that there are plenty of other women out there who are even better than she was, and so on. However, this doesn’t remove the hurt I feel inside. Moreover, I just can’t understand how and why a person, who loved me so deeply, could end a relationship in this way. Because of this, I keep thinking of her day and night.


A broken heart is a painful thing indeed. Our college years are precious in that it’s when we often have many firsts. The combination of youthful exuberance, hormones, and the perspective of having nothing but possibilities ahead creates quite an intoxicating mix. It makes breaking up all the more difficult. And break up with you she did quite clearly. Although your feelings may be raw and your head still full of thoughts for her, you will, in time, move on to live and love again. It gets better.

I am concerned though with one point that you raise in your letter. You write that she met someone who is much taller than you. How is that relevant? Did she say it was the issue for her breaking up with you? If that’s the case, then good riddance! If it wasn’t her reason, why have you focused on it? Do you have feelings of inadequacy regarding your height? This is something which you may want to examine a little bit more closely as it may affect you in future relationships. My hunch is that this was a college romance that just ran its course. It’s sad, but it might just be that. Take the time you need to heal, but move on and start by building friendships with women, and nice and easy the romance will come.


Dear Friar Rick: My 24-year-old daughter works as a nurse. She is a beautiful, healthy woman, and has many good-looking guys interested in her, even though she is engaged to be married with a nice, serious-minded man.

The problem is that, even though she has everything in life, she seems to be unhappy and bored. She often makes strange comments like that there is no God, that there is no life after death, and that there is no such thing as ‘true love’ because the stark reality is that we all live and die alone.

I am a simple mother with only a grade school education, and I just don’t know what to say to her when she comes out with these things.


There is no such thing as a ‘simple mother.’  Mothers are the world’s greatest experts in the gift of life and love. So please give yourself due credit. It is this love for your beautiful daughter that makes you attune to the deeper issues that maybe are affecting her. Your daughter is 24, so she has probably recently finished her education as a nurse and is really in the early years of her career. Nursing is not unlike being a mother; it too requires a great deal of love. Nurses are agents of healing and care, but they also witness a great deal of suffering and pain. Many people who work in health care can tell you stories of patients that are forgotten, abandoned and who die alone. It can be quite disheartening.

My suggestion is that you help your daughter to recognize that she needs to take care of herself in order to be able to help others. It’s similar to what I tell parents. A married couple’s first responsibility is to love one another. Children come second. If the couple is not strong in its love and care, then they will not be there long-term for the children. The same is true for nurses and others in the healing professions. Self-care is critical for maintaining a healthy life. A good place to start is a book by Dr. Robert Wicks: Overcoming Secondary Stress in Medical and Nursing Practice: A Guide to Professional Resilience and Personal Well-Being. She might also look for a support group of health professionals where she can share her ups and downs in a safe place.

Updated on October 06 2016