A lot of people don’t know this but there are different levels of breakups.

Some hurt really bad for a while and then eventually we get over them

Some hurt less than we are expecting (though I will admit that this is rare)

And then you have the “soul crushing breakups.”

These are the kind of breakups that shake us up for years. For many, it can feel like their hearts are exploding when in reality they are just beating fine.

So, how do you deal with these “soul crushing breakups?”

Do you simply accept the situation for what it is and work on moving on?


Do you refuse to accept the situation and try to get your ex back?

This was the question I posed to Samantha Burns, the millennial love expert.

Now, I have had the pleasure of interviewing a lot of different guests but I was absolutely blown away with what Samantha had to say. In fact, throughout the interview I referred to her as my new favorite expert.

This is something you don’t want to miss, trust me.

Here’s How To Survive A Soul Crushing Breakup

What We Talk About In This Episode

  • Samantha’s fascinating tradition with her wedding dress
  • Samantha’s new book
  • Core values and their importance in a relationship
  • The “Perfect Match Theory”
  • Grass Is Greener Syndrome
  • The cold trukey cutoff
  • Infidelity in relationships
  • And Much More
Do you have a chance of getting him back?
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Important Links Mentioned In This Episode

Interview Transcript

  • Alright today, I want to welcome Samantha Burns. Now, I’m already off on a tangent. We haven’t even gotten started. You know my wife’s maiden name was Burn?

  • Oh. really?

  • Yeah! Burns versus Burn, but close you know. But Samantha, you’re like the most popular person I think we’ve ever had ever. Like you’ve been featured, you name a place you have been there. Like Bustle, Your Tango, ah what else do I have written down here? Today, Women’s health, like I feel like I should bow to you or something. You’re like super popular. And you have dubbed yourself as the millennial love expert. So, why don’t you talk a little bit about what you do and then we can kind of relate it to break ups?

  • Sure so, I am by trade a licensed mental health councilor. So, I have a private  practice. I do therapy with couples and individuals and it’s mostly all relationship oriented and obviously from that stand some different mental health issues whether it’s depression or anxiety or trauma from past relationships but I really focus on relationship. And then from there, I saw a need in the community for more of dating coaching, consulting service because couples would come into me or maybe someone coming in contemplating a break up and eventually if they did go through this break up, we do all the nitty gritty recovery work that came with the break up and then eventually get them to this happy, healthier place and they were ready to date again. And if they have been in a relationship for long time–modern day dating is changing constantly. So, they’ve been at in the market for a while and they really needed help but online dating and swiping dating app and meeting people.

  • Tinder.

  • Yeah, Tinder and–

  • What’s the new one? Bumble or something?

  • 01:45 For a little while, I actually loved Bumble and on Bumble, the woman has to initiate. So, you can kind of cut down on those creepy messages. And I’m so–really helping women and men as well navigate their dating life to create–you know more confident, and self esteem and more fulfilling love life and then from there, have and maintain a successful happy relationship. So, I really kind of full cycle from everything. Starting with the break up to dating again and then really finding–I call it dating with intend and then finding that person a perfect match that they want to settle with longer term.

  • Yeah, you know, you strike me as someone who’s really passionate about this. I could just tell by the way you talk. And where you’ve been featured, you’ve been featured on this really popular video program by Your Tango. What’s that called? Experts or something?

  • Your Tango Experts. So, they usually gather a small panel of experts in the field and we kind of do some research to ask what are the most popular questions that we received. What do people really want to know? And we filmed kind of little, you know 2-3 minute blurbs and a bunch of different questions that they put up through their site online and it’s just a great way to tackle some of this questions. I write a lot. So, I’m typically writing but it’s fun to have opportunity to do more video work.

  • Yeah, yeah and when you go to your website, lovesuccessfully.com, that is like the first thing that is there. Like, someone’s asking about online dating and you’re talking about how you married your husband and you met him through online dating. But yeah, I mean, the perfect way to brand yourself but also I was like, “Wow this woman’s like serious, she knows her stuff.”

  • Thank you!

  • Now, when I was kind of like looking into your background, I learned some interesting things about you and probably even though it’s completely unrelated to exes or break ups, this is something that I think a lot of women listening to the show are probably going to be interested in. And you received like national attention for this wedding dress anniversary type idea and I wanted to get your take on what that is and why every woman probably should do this?

  • Sure, it’s funny you bring that up actually.  A tv station in the UK did a phone call with me to say, they might want to do a longer feature on one of their viral type of TV show.

  • Well, congratulations!

  • Thank you! It’s funny that you bring that up. So, what you’re referencing for lady listeners is that every yeary on my wedding anniversary, I put on my gown and I go have an adventure with my husband. So, I could be something that we like to do daily as a couple. So, our first year we went and played golf and then we got chocolate chip pancakes and just have a bunch of family went out to Cape Cod and outside of the 04:33 Massachusettes and took kind of a week to celebrate that with our first anniversary. And this past year we did a Boston Harbor Cruise at Sunset which was lovely and we had the whole dance floor to ourselves because it was a Wednesday night.


    No one was really there. So, 04:49 and we went had fun and the whole idea behind it, there’s kind of a few reasons why I want to do it. I was inspired on the day to kind of declared this tradition. Just because it was such a special fantastic magical night and I said,”Well, how can we kind of get back to this feeling and relive this experience?’ And I was like, “Well, I spent money on my dress. So, I want to get a good use out of it. I worked my butt of to get into good shape. You know for the wedding, so this is a fun way to kind of keep my fitness goals in check. It’s a really great way. You know, I walk out in this dress and my husband is flooded with all this memories from our wedding day and we kind of like rekindle that romance there. And then we create really fun passionate new memories together when we go out and have an adventure.


    And actually, there’s kind of some sciency behind it too where anytime you have, you explore the unknown, you take a risk, you are suprised, there’s  an element–these elements activate the rewards center of your brain and there’s this burst of dopamine which is a neurotransmitter and makes us feel giddy and excited and inlove again. So, you’re kind of activating that system and even though it’s a tradition. So, he knows I’m wearing the dress, well there’s the whole–every year we’re alternating who’s planning the date. So, there’s this surprise element and realistically when you go out on to the town in your wedding dress, there’s always surprise elements because you won’t know who’s going to come to you or what you’re going to end up doing and it’s just kind of an adventure that we take in it. You know it really gets us like reliving those moments and creating special new ones.

  • Yeah, I mean you must get so–just so I have this straight. You wear the dress the entire adventure right?

  • Whatever we’re doing. So, when we went golfing. I did. I wore it at the driving range when we were warming up for a bucket or two of balls and then I wasn’t going to walk the whole 18 holes in my gown. So, I did change out but it was fun and you know, people on the–

  • That’s what I was getting at, you must get so much attention because I remember when my wife and I got married, even when we were just walking into the hotel, like everyone stops because it’s like “Oh wow! That’s the bride!” You must get so much attention every year when you do this and it has to make you feel good too!

  • Absolutely! I means it’s fun! Some people are uncomfortable with attention. I’m like an open book and I’m like let’s do this and it’s fun and it just gets me interacting with people and as a therapist and a marriage councilor. It’s interesting because people come up to us and ask us, or they say congratulations and my husband and I say, “Well, this is actually just an anniversary tradition.” And then they say, “Oh how long have you been married? or this is what we’re doing for our anniversary.” Or if it’s an older couple who’s has been together 50 years they–I say what’s your best advice and it’ s just nice to hear what other couples think and after that whole article went viral.


    I mean thousands and thousands of comments because it went on major websites, all across the entire world and it was great to see so many inspired brides saying, “Oh, I’m going to give this a try. My first anniversary is coming up.” or someone– I mean people started emailing me photos of them doing their own tradition. So, there was one woman on like a wake board out in the water or like jet skiing and some barbecuing burgers in their backyard in her dress. So, it was just a fun way to kind of connect and hopefully inspire people to priotize their anniversary ultimately but doing something a little  above and you know beyond to make it special, I think is fun.

  • Yeah, it’s funny. My wife and I’s anniversary is tomorrow actually and the great–the craziest part and probably why I asked you about this is a week ago, she wanted like–I don’t know how to put it, like one of those mannequins that you could put like dresses on. I guess seamstresses like have them but she wanted it for her wedding dress because it was in the closet and never been taken out since the day she wore it. So, she put it up, she’s getting it like clean. So it looks spick and span but I am-even though I know for a fact she’ll say no because she’ll be too shy to do it. I’m going to say, “Hey, you should wear that out tomorrow!” And see what she says.

  • Absolutely! And so, one thing that I did that people ask is, I don’t get it cleaned. I’m just like whatever happens to it, it gets dirty, I think that kind of creates you know a more meaningfulness behind this because like, this stain is from the chocolate chip.

  • You could tell a story for whatever like the little stain. That’s pretty clever.

  • Absolutely because you know, it’s just in the back in your closet. A lot of women just kind of forget about it. And I said, bust it out and put it on.

  • I love the idea. Of course, it’s completely like off on the tangent. Just me following my own curiosity but let’s get back to the break ups here. Now, I’m going to ask you a question and it’s probably one of the questions that I get asked the most. So, someone or I guess the people listening to this. They’re kind of at the cross roads where they’re trying to decide whether to get over their ex or try to get their ex back. Now, I was asked, pretty much everyone now that I interview what they do. Because I have my own strategies but I like to compare my strategies to other really, really intelligent people. So, in your opinion, how should someone tell if they should try to get their ex back or simply move on?

  • So, that’s a great question and gosh, I could talk about this for hours. So, I’ll kind of try to like keep concise.

  • It’s all good! It’s all good.

  • I have a book hopefully coming out within the next year, called breaking up and bouncing back. And It’s all about how to survive a soul crushing break up and develop healthy skills to a happy dating life. So, within that book, I kind of come at this from all different angles but let’s see. First, I really don’t think–I think getting back together and it actually working long term, developing to a marriage and being with your partner forever is rare. It’s the exception of the rule. So, most of the time, as I actually think that it was a break up because something was broken and through the break up process I really help clients discover, what was foundation-ally wrong and that could be things like core values.

    So, maybe you both were on different pages about wanting kids or your religion or your work life balance or where you wanted to live in the country and the list goes on and on. So, this are kind of big core values that we shouldn’t compromise on. The only time I think appropriate, and again there’s exceptions but generally times when it’s a good idea to get back with your ex or to have conversations about should we get back together are things where it either came down to kind of like timing or location. So, maybe the person you’re dating got into a grad program across the country and they really needed to focus on their phd and their studies and they were not in a place to form like a long lasting forever relationship or they got transferred to Australia for their work and again, weren’t in this place to make it a priority.

    So, the thing I tell everyone is, to have the best most satisfying relationship, you have to be at a point in your life where you’re choosing to make your relationship a priority. And not just when you’re courting your partner but everyday. So, even if it’s 20 minutes, just 20 minutes that you have because you’re both really busy with work or crying babies or others things going on. To turn off your phones, to make eye contact with each other and to really connect for 20 minutes. But I found it, you know someone can’t make it a priority like 12:31 there’s a timing issue where long distance issues, it probably will never be a priority or you’re going to be compromising on your core values which you should never settle for that. So, does that make sense?

  • Yeah, complete sense. In fact, a lot of the experts that I have interviewed so far say very similar things. That you should have your values that you’ll never back down on and I even had someone who even said, if you’re at different wavelengths, you know, that’s a common reason to know maybe you shouldn’t try to get back with your ex.

  • Well, one–can I just interject your?

  • Yes, you can.

  • So, one tool that I use it’s called, what I call my perfect match theory. And this makes a lot of sense to my mind and I work my clients to this and I talk a little bit about it in my book. It’s that, I believe every person you date kind of falls on the scale from 1-100. With a 100 being your perfect match, when you’re with your perfect match, again, this isn’t a perfect person because those don’t exist. But your perfect, it’s your really well aligned. They get core values, personality, what you want out of life, your goals, your two peas in a pod. And then we all kind of move down on the scale from there. So, moving down again means the different things are a little misaligned.

    So, maybe you, I ask people to say, realistically, if you’re being totally honest with yourself, what percent match is your partner or your ex? So, one say, assign their ex  a number. Let’s say 80%. My next question is, so that means if they’re 80%, 20% of things you wish were different, in your ideal partner you wish it was a different way. So, now the question is, other 20%, what things do you think that you can live with and accept as is for the rest of your life because you can’t change people. And those are going to remain the same, you can’t be with them expecting them to change or what of those 20% of things are a deal breaker? In which case, you have to end the relationship and move on. And I think a lot of people get hung up and struggle with identifying those as deal breakers because they’ve invested time and money and energy and finances and commitment into a person. And they would rather kind of think, “Well, they’re going to change.” or, “I could just fix this.” instead of really stepping back and getting honest with yourself and labeling it as a deal breaker.

  • Yeah, yeah, it just makes me think. I do a lot of research too and one of the things that I’ve found or stumbled across rather was, I was trying to answer the question, what makes human beings commit to one another because a lot of people who come to my website, they’re at this point where maybe they go after the guy–if it’s a woman for example, they go after the guy who’s their ex and they’re really not supposed to go after you know. It will be smarter for them to move on and yet, I’ll tell them that exact thing and they won’t listen. They’ll just try to get them back. And so, I always get the question, well how can I make him recommit to me. And so I started looking into this, and I came up with this idea of the interdependence theory. Have you ever heard of this?

  • No, go on.

  • Ok, teaching lesson here. Let me put my cap now.. Just kidding! So, the interdependence theory poses that human beings, they commit to one another on a cost and benefit scenario. So, we’re trying to maximize the benefits and minimize the costs. And you can look at those costs and benefits based on three categories. You have the satisfaction rate. So, how satisfied you are with the relationship. The alternative rate, if you’re sitting there and you’re always thinking there’s someone better then you’re more likely to leave. And then investment, which is what you were just talking about there. How much time, money, etc, you’ve invested in the relationship. And so, a lot of what you’re talking about I feel really hits on those core values, those three categories.

  • Well, number 2 you brought up, remind me what it was called.

  • Alternatives

  • So, that’s something I call nowadays the modern day dating. Is Grass is greener mentality.

  • Grass is greener syndrome, yeah.

  • People are really struggling to commit to some people because there’s so many options out there but I think that’s interesting. And the other thing we can’t ignore too is the brain science. So, when we’re –you know there’s been brain scans that is done that show that when we fall in love with a partner, it activates the same part of the brain as addiction.

  • Yeah, yeah, I cite that. Especially with break ups.

  • Yeah, it’s a withdrawal.

  • Right exactly.

  • We’re withdrawing from our partners and it’s fascinating. So, I think that there’s this neuro chemical cocktail that when we fall in love with someone we’re flooded with dopamine or adrenaline, oxytocin, 17:18 people. So, these are things that make us feel attached, connected, in love with them and that is that loving feeling. So, it’s not too as logical as practical of saying, “Well, I’m Jewish and you’re Jewish or I’m Catholic and you’re Catholic. I want kids and you want kids.”

    There’s also the chemical piece and that’s what happens too when people–I call it dating with intent. Like they’re not intentional and as practical and logical when they fall in love, that’s why when people start having sex too soon in the relationship. They’re flooded with all these hormones and it gives them false sense of falling in love with them and eventually once our bodies grow tolerant to our partner and we kind of come out of that honeymoon stage, we’re left with this person that now we’re starting to see all their flaws and what maligns and then we feel like, “Well, I just invested all this time into them.

    I need to keep going.” Whereas, if you dated with intent and waited a little bit to really kind of figure out, dig deeper, before you start having sex and doing things that release all this wonderful hormones, you can hopefully pick smarter. I call it like dating smarter, choosing smarter. So, I think that plays a big role that the neurochemistry.

  • Yeah, I absolutely–I buy into that a 100% and I think you brought up a really interesting point about the chemistry when you actually have sex. Because one issue that I see a lot of my clients or visitor rather, having, is they have sex with their ex. You know? And what does that do? It just makes them cling on to them more and more. Rather than, I always say, “Well, wait ’til you have the commitment again before you sleep with him. ” But it’s just insane to me, how many people make this mistake over and over but I guess love isn’t ruled by logic, it’s ruled by emotions often.

  • Sure and so I dive into this topic in my book and it’s all about–so, I kind of–I did research. I have a survey out and I got people to respond to them and I incorporate a lot of this people’s response into my book. And when I did, I broke the data into two categories and I found that–I titled them, “The hanging on hook up” and “The cold turkey cut off”.

    Some people were really good on having one break up conversation, exchanging their belongings and really setting firm boundaries and moving on. More people fell into the hanging on hook up category where they continued to have sex, to make out, to talk and communicate, and so what they don’t realize in those situation, every time you engage with them, you talk to them, communicate, sleep with them, text them, bump into them, it’s this little trigger.

    It’s a little 19:52 I think of it as like I said, it relates back to the addiction framework. You know it’s like relapsing. It’s taking a drink or getting high and then all of a sudden your body starts to go into withdrawals where you miss them again, where you’re craving them again and you’re setting yourself back a little bit every time. So, to get over your ex is really important to set firm break up boundaries.

  • Yeah, one of the firm boundaries that we recommend on exboyfriend recovery is the no contact rule which is pretty broad but I have a very specific way which I teach it and you’d be shocked how many people–well, they nod their heads and agree and then do the exact opposite. They just engage in the addictive behavior over and over and over again.

    And often times we found that people who actually move on from their ex, have a much better chance of getting them back. Now, I don’t know if it’s because maybe they’re thinking a little bit more clearly, maybe the addiction so much is gone so, they’re acting they should to maybe re-attract the partner but it’s interesting that you bring that up. Now, I want to switch gears a little bit and talk about what can someone do when they come to the conclusion, “Hey, I want to get over my ex.” But they’re having a really hard time breaking those addictive behaviors. What can they do to break that addictive behavior of talking to their ex, making out, having sex?

  • Sure. So, lots of ideas. First is kind of creating an ex free environment. So, obviously, removing them from social media. Like literally blocking them because they’ll still come up in your friend’s photos. So, removing them from all sorts of social media. If you want it temporarily, what I suggest to people is, “You know, do something so sentimental.

    I mean you don’t necessarily need to vaporize your ex from your life but go through, save a bunch of your photos that make you happy or make you really sad right now or places you’ve traveled and special family memories. Save them onto a flash drive and give your flash drive to a friend.” Or I call it your break up box.

    You can put everything in there that’s kind of tucked away out of sight, out of mind for a while. So, that’s one piece. My research I actually found out that the two most helpful in getting over your ex and when I say helpful things. coping skills, so healthy coping skills. They’re not drinking, they’re not sleeping around.

  • Right. Not a good way to get over your ex.

  • Right. Where was exercise. And so obviously what we know about exercise, it releases a ton of endorphins and dopamine that makes us happy, decrease stress, decrease depression and anxiety. So, exercise is fabulous and then you can like work on hot break up bod.

  • Yeah, right. Perfectly aligns into that.

  • Yes, and the other really helpful skill was quality time with supportive friends. So, sometimes we alienate or we feel that we’re burboning our friends or like they sick up hearing our stories so we kind of alienate and isolate ourselves away from them. So, it’s really important. And if you get to that point where you feel like your friends are like, “Listen, I can’t hear this anymore. You got to get over it.” That’s a good time to seek out a counselor or a coach like me, who’s objective and can really help you professionally and move forward.

  • Yeah, I mean, pretty much everything you said is music to my ears because these are things I recommend doing during the no contact rule. To try to faciliate getting over your ex right?

  • And I think with the no contact, what you are saying is, you know, if they cut off contact and they take some time apart they’re more likely to get back together with their ex which is funny because that actually really true to the situation that I had with my big ex that inspired my whole break up book.

    With that, you know if you think about it, if you’re still in contact, you’re feeling insecure, you’re feeling needy and anxious and you’re crying and you’re not stepping forward with that independent, confident, my life doesn’t revolve around you energy that’s attractive, that’s sexy, that’s mysterious.

    And so, we’re kind of like all intense then we’re pushing this person away and repelling them but when they can step back and get distance and your life goes on, your life doesn’t end when someone breaks up with you even though it feels that way at first.

    You know, I think that’s what it is, it’s like you’re stepping into this like new life, you’re creating a new sense of purpose, you have new goals for yourself and that’s attractive. Whether or not that attracts your ex, that will definitely help you attract a new good partner.

  • Exactly. Yeah, and sometimes, attracting that new partner is what you need to have a like lightbulb moment where you realize, “Hmm, I don’t want to get him back anymore.” And I interviewed someone who had really interesting advice of dating yourself.

    So, basically, taking yourself out on dates, how you would want your partner to take you out on a date. So, if your partner takes you out to a really, really nice restaurant, treat yourself to a really nice restaurant. And if you start engaging in this behaviors and you start realizing, “Oh, my ex never did this to me or for me.” You’ve come to the realization that maybe you don’t want to get back with this person.

  • And once you start doing that and you like yourself, you start realizing that, you know we attract people who view us in a similar light that we view ourselves. So, all of a sudden like, “Wow, I’m more confident and outgoing and sophisticated and happy and now my ex comes back into the picture and he’s still viewing me how I used to be and that’s not who I am anymore.”

  • Yeah,it’s–man, you really know your stuff. I have to say. Now, the other thing I wanted to talk to you about–because this is something that really fascinated me when I was researching you, is your thesis on infidelity. So, for those of you who don’t know. You have a Master’s degree in counseling psychology and you said you wrote your thesis on the gender differences and infidelity. So, I was wondering if you want to talk a little bit about that because I have never talked about infidelity in an interview before and unfortunately, a lot of people listening to this are dealing with that.

  • Absolutely. So, a big part of my practice, my therapy is coupling–counseling couples through an affair and what I feel passionately about–because nowadays there’s like all this shame for staying and sometimes people are so quick to jump to divorce because they feel that external pressure that their family and friends will look down on them and not respect them for staying and what I found through my research and through my practice is that I help a lot of couples come out stronger as a team when they actually put in the work and the commitment to working through an affair or a cheating incident that you know–come out to have better relationships and than they did before the infidelity. I mean infidelity is really a crack, it’s a symptom. Right?

    It’s a symptom of something bigger going on in the relationship. Some other dynamic that’s not working for you. And so, you know,a lot of my qualitative research was in conclusive in that we don’t know exactly what the differences are but because those conflicting theories but what we do know is that men tend to cheat more often for kind of sexual reasons. They don’t feel that their sexual needs are being met or their having sex as frequently as they want or you know their partner is ignoring those sexual needs.

    Whereas women, tend to be unfaithful more often when they are emotional needs are not being met. When they don’t feel loved and appreciated. When they feel disconnected from their partner. What we do know is that, you know, cheating for both genders is more common when you’re going through a big life transition. So, having a kid or you lose or gain a new job or maybe someone in the family is having like a medical illness.

  • Oh, would death be one? Like someone close in your family dies and you react in a way like the-? I didn’t actually know that. So, it does make a lot of sense though. Something kind of triggered. Maybe you, thinking differently about your life and you react to that way perhaps?

  • Absolutely. So, transitions are big. 28:15 unfulfilled expectations about the relationship. So gender differences there. More so, maybe one partner has more expectations for sexual need. One has more expectations for connection or closeness. Often times, infidelity happens when one partner is kind of saying, “I need more of you. I want to be closer to you.”

    And the other responds with distance and you know through an affair or through cheating not distance. Another one was like earning more than  $30,000  per year. That you’re more at risk. So, I mean realistically that’s like, well at that point, you know, you can pay your bills. So, it’s more about like can I afford a hotel? Can I winde and dine with someone else to kind of support you know the–

  • the habit.

  • Absolutely. And the other part of my research that I think is really important and you know since the years that I did it, you see more and more of it but the fact that emotional infidelity has just a significant consequences on a relationship as physical infidelity. So, you could be just as likely to break up or the relationship fall apart or get divorced because of incidents of emotional infidelity. I just feel like emotional infidelity has a fuzzier, grayer boundary where people don’t necessarily know when they’re engaging in it.

    So, I mean common symptoms are kind of behaviors of emotional infidelity. Let’s say you’re the one cheating, would be, you know getting–sharing news with a co-worker that you know you should always be going first to your partner to share. Getting  excited when a coworker friend is texting and you know that you’re excited.. We know why we’re excited or we know when we’re flattered when someone you know finds us attractive or something like that but it’s kind of keeping that secret or you know, closing your email, your phone when your partner comes into the room or looking forward to seeing that friend or coworker at work the next day or planning your outfits around them or hoping that they’re going to your company’s happy hour.

    So, this little behaviors are actually part of emotional infidelity. And so, I really encourage couples, you know maybe someone hits on you or says something flirtatious with you, bring it on to your partner and share it with them and use that as a chance to kind of–to bond. You know if someone hit on me at the grocery store, I’ll go home and tell my husband, “Guess what happened today?”

    And tell him about it and it’s something that we kind of like joke about the next time we’re in the grocery store and it allows us to come together. And you know naturally, we’re animals, we’re humans, we’re going to find other people attractive but it comes down to like acknowledging it and knowing when that’s happening and even sharing that with your partner so, that it’s something that you’re both in on together because as soon as one person’s in and the other person’s out, it’s a really slippery slope.

  • Yeah now, while you were talking I had two questions or two thoughts when you’re talking. I guess it was a perfect segway. So, do you think a lot of the cheating or infidelity issues happen because maybe one person is  maybe too afraid to have a conversation? Maybe sit back down with their partner and say, “Here’s what happened, here are the things I’m feeling. I just want to let you know. I just want to get it out.”

    Because ultimately you’re going to sit down and have that conversation. In that back of your mind you’re going to think, there are going to be consequences for this. This person could potentially leave me.

    Do you think a lot of infidelity issues can be nipped in the bud if this happens, if you have this difficult kind of conversations and sort of like the example you just gave of someone hitting on your in the grocery story and you telling your husband. That’s a difficult conversation that not every woman will want to tell their partner because they’re afraid their partner will take it the wrong way perhaps?

  • Right? Well I think I take that for granted because since day 1, my husband and I have had really amazing communication which actually started around you know, talking about my ex, my ex wanted to get back with me and like I didn’t know what to do and all this drama which is in my book but–

  • Buy the book people!!

  • Buy the book! But ok, so the most important word to me when I think about statisfying healthy happy relationship is the word intimacy. So, not just physical intimacy but emotional intimacy and emotional intimacy happens though connection, through talking, through eye contact, through holding your partner and really seeing them and talking to them. And a lot of couples that come to me are lacking in intimacy in their relationship and that comes down to communication, an open communication and ultimately knowing you know, is your partner there for you?

    You want to know that when you’re upset about something, you’re hurt about something or resentful about something that you can talk to your partner and that they hear you, they understand you, they validate your emotional experiences, that they’re present for you but often times one person is attacking or blaming. The other one is shutting down and withdrawing and we see this kind of dysfunctional dance going on and so, you know for couples who don’t naturally communicate well, like yes, I think it would be easier for them or cheating happens, yes, because there is this disconnection and they feeling lonely, they feel apart. There’s lacking intimacy.

    There’s tons of different ways to start increasing intimacy in your relationship but my absolute favorite which I feel like is this kind of magical power in relationships is the practice of gratitude. So, gratitude research, and there’s been plenty of psychological research about gratitude. It shows us that not only are couples who practice gratitude–and I’ll explain what that means. Not only are they happier or more connected or more loving towards each other but they also view the other person as more attentive to their needs, they feel more comfortable bringing up issues with their partner and they view their partner as more validating.

    So, I’m not suggesting to just jump into a high tension conflict issue with your partner and communicate about it. If that’s not something you’re used to doing but start from the positive direction where practicing gratitude. So saying one thing, one specific thing that you’re thankful or grateful or appreciative for about your partner that day. So something thoughtful that they’ve done for you. So, I really appreciate that you took out the trash tonight and that you just kind of do that without me having to ask you. Simple. I’m really, really thankful that you did those dishes tonight. It was so helpful to have you and have help out after I cooked the meal or I really appreciate that you sending me that cute text today, it made me laugh or smile.

    So, anything, it doesn’t have to be big but what you’ll see is that–and I suggest that nightly, daily gratitude practice. So, every night before bed, sharing something you’re grateful with each other and what you’ll notice is that change in behavior. So, you’re going to start behaving in a way that says, “Did I do something nice for my partner today? Because I know that they have to thank me for something like–and so you start thinking what can I do for them or let me make sure I check something good off my list. And you start behaving in better ways. And so what we know then from research it says that, you’ll have an easier time bringing up issues with your partner if you practice this. That over time I think that’s a really smart easy way for couples who are kind of rocky with their communications. Start with the positive communication.

  • Yeah, it’s really interesting that you brought this up because my dad who’s been married to my mom for 35-40 years now, he always talks to me about this kind in this study. So, he found this study, he’s always citing it to me. It’s for every 5 kind action that you do to your partner–what was it? It’s a 5-1 ratio. So, for every 5–you’ve ever heard. Like 87% of married–

  • 36:27

  • Yeah, I think so.

  • Like affirmative statements, positive statements that compliment your partner for every 1 negative and what they found is actually like, it’s a predictor of divorce. And of the other thing that I wanted to bring up to you when we were kind of talking about just like love and picking a partner and infidelity and what we’re talking about now, it kind of relates in. I was at a couple’s therapy conference last week. And one of the presenters Helen Fisher was sharing some research that divorce is most common for women between the ages of 25-29 and then between 30-34, in their 4th year of marriage when they have 1 child together.

  • Interesting.

  • So, the concept in what we’re talking about there was why do we mate for life when so many other species don’t? And are we supposed to? And what does this mean? And kind of what she was saying is there’s three different kind of types of love and brain regions that get activated in love and one is for sex drive, one is for romantic kind of partner and longer term attachment and it’s the idea about you know this kind of cycle of love is that, it’s enough time to hyper focus on a partner, woo them, win them over, get married, have a baby together, and then by about 4 years old baby is technically growing up evolutionary.

    We had villages and the friends and family and people that help raise our kids. They’re a little more sustainable and don’t need our attention as much that way. So, and then evolutionarily, at that point, the man, who’s created to spread his seed and go out and you now procreate and have new babies, you know it feels like this child will surive. He’s invested time and resources into it. So, it’s really interesting like, when we see infidelity and divorce and marriages fail, you know, does it turn out after about that  year relationship mark when you know evolutionarily we’re predisposed to having babies.

  • Very, very interesting. I did not know that. I would love to read that study. That’s so fascinating. It makes so much sense too. And I supposed if you have the second child then the man would have to reinvest the time back in

  • Right.

  • It’s very interesting.

  • Because he wants his genes to pass on and to survive. So, absolutely. It kind of like ties into a few things `39:06 and it was fresh on my mind from that.

  • Yeah. I mean you’re just full of like interesting tidbits of information. Now, Samantha, where can people find you? I’m going to give you the floor. You basically promote yourself however you want. My audience is yours. So, don’t steal–

  • Ok, awesome! So, ladies.. so, I have my website www.lovesuccessfully.com and on this website you can contact me directly. Just fill out a form. If you have questions, you want to inquire about services. Again, I do individual and couples where–and dating consulting work and then I also have on my website, a bunch of articles. So, I tend to write in four categories: Breaking up, dating, increasing relationship satisfaction and coping with infidelity. So, I have different articles on those 4 topics. As well as I think I have  39:58 kinds of gifts and resources right now.

    So, one of them is a free ebook; Love successfully: 10 secrets you need to know right now. That’s all about the secret ingredients you need to cook up a happy relationship. So, that’s really great if you’re in a relationship or if you’re now single but kind of want to set yourself up for success in your next relationship. So, download that for free. Another one that’s probably relevant to people listening is I offer, it’s a 14 day tough love, break up bounce back support, where efveryday for two weeks you get a quote of mine. It’s kind of a tough love quote with a little few paragraphs of explanation.

    So, that’s kind of what I call when you’re in zombie mode at the very beginning of a really difficult break up and you really just need someone to kick you in the butt. That’s my job. So, check that out. And then lastly, I just put up on the website is called The good guy versus bad boy quiz. And it’s all about is the man you’re dating emotionally available or is he emotionally unavailable. So, you download it, you open it up. There’s a bunch of questions. I have some good tidbits of information and it kind of tells you, if you’re kind of wasting your time with this guy,in which case, you got to move on and I’ll give you some suggestions on how to do that and how to have an exclusivity talk. So, that’s all on lovesuccessfully,com and then I’m also on Facebook and Instagram. facebook/lovesuccessfully, Instagram: @lovesuccessfully.

  • And I’ll make sure I’ll link to everything she’s saying here. So, if you forget, you just come to the show notes of this episode, click and go to Samantha’s stuff but anyways continue with your Facebook, Instagram stuff.

  • Yeah, so on Instagram, I kind of like to do: it’s a mix but some behind the scenes of what projects I’m working on, what’s going on with me and my husband on the weekend, some inspirational quotes.

  • And I will say, I went to, that’s how I found the wedding dress thing. I saw it on Instagrams. So, yeah I can actually recommend, she’s got a lot of cool stuff and it’s always nice when you feel like you know the person. This is the first time Samantha and I have ever met but I felt like I kind of knew her before I even started talking to her. It’s just through looking though her Instagram stuff.

  • I appreciate that because I think it’s really important, you know, times are changing and as a millennial, specializing in millenials, I get wanting to, you know, see someone and know that they’re authentic or they’re genuine and they’re passionate about what they do and it’s very different from a traditional therapy role. We’re supposed to, you were taught to be like a blank slate here and to not let anyone know about your personal life or any of that information but I’m like,

    “Well, that doesn’t really work for my generation and people want to know about me and I want to be able to incorporate stories that I think will help them and motivate them for my own life.” So, that they know I went through some of the same exact thing that they’re going through. So, and then on Facebook also, I post a lot of articles and things going on and then I’m also on Twitter @loveexpertsam and sharing articles and different kind of fun research that I’ve found through other people.

  • Yeah, and again, if you forget all of this because I know it’s a lot, it will all be there on the show notes. I’ll link to every single thing she’s saying and I can’t–I honestly have to say, you are my new favorite dating expert. Like I am going to be coming to you for like statistics and stuff and I want to be like skyping you and say hey, I’m doing this article, can you give me good statistic on it? You are number 1 right now. So,–

  • Oh, I so appreciate that. You know, that makes me happy. So yesterday, last night, I’m not sure when this is going live. It was the day of the election results for Trump and Hillary and there was a ton of emotions.

  • Oh, yeah, yeah.

  • The city and the office and that was my very last client session and a lot of tears yesterday and I was sitting there with a couple that I just started working with and that they’ve done therapy in the past and they’re like, “Can we just tell you. We really appreciate working with you and like we just love that you’re full of so much data and research. And that it just makes me feel we’re actually doing something right and there something to back up what you’re telling us because in the past, we’re like we don’t know what we’re getting.” So, I was like that’s awesome! And the fact that you said that, that makes me feel really good.

  • You are one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever had on and sometimes I’ve had had people on that I have had to carry the interview but it’s certainly not the case with you.

  • 44:29 value and I hope the listeners really enjoyed what they heard and again like I am open and anyone wants to ask me any questions, happy to help.

  • Yeah, again you can find her at lovesuccessfully.com and she’s a superstar, Samantha Burns. Thank you so much.

  • Thank you so much!

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24 thoughts on “How To Survive A Soul Crushing Breakup (With Samantha Burns)”

  1. Avatar

    Hey thanks

    January 8, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    I guess at 32 I never pictured being with someone so young. Thanks Amor I really needed the support tonight.

    1. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      January 8, 2017 at 11:30 pm

      You’re welcome!

  2. Avatar

    I feel like a perv

    January 8, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Alright I’m almost 33 and my exgf just turned 21. We dated for 5 months and lived together the first month and she had always said that she was in love with me, and I with her. We are both tortured soul poets if you will and really connected with feelings and experiences. However, our philosophies are complete opposite. Despite this she said she wanted to finish school before getting married. Things were going great until December.
    The distance was 45min and we work opposite schedules. She always made a point to see me every day and I would meet her after work to take her out. Her parents didn’t know about me so I couldn’t go there.
    She broke up with me because something I said hit a dark spot in her and I caused her to have a panic attack. I was crushed and asked if she ever considered it in the past but she said she hadnt, but needs time to focus on herself. She wanted to talk but the next day I said we should go our separate ways.
    I soon regretted this and wrote two or three mean poems I know she saw. I than got desperate and called her tons of times, got a number blocked, than changed it and got blocked again. She answered and said this is the last time we speak and sounded annoyed. I haven’t called back. It’s only been about four or five days and I am making huge progress in self growth and planning the next phase.
    Just be honest with me. With everything I just said and the 12 year age gap do I stand a chance?
    Thanks, hope to hear from you with an answer (meaning I don’t want Chris) haha

    1. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      January 8, 2017 at 9:43 pm


      why do you feel like that? is it just because of the age gap? anyways, I think you do..just dont chase again. try to finish 30 days and keep improving even while rebuilding rapport with her

  3. Avatar


    January 5, 2017 at 2:11 am

    I was friends with my boyfriend for a year but I always really liked him. We went to the same place undergrad and went on a service trip together last spring. From the start my friends and I and everyone who knew him thought he was one of the most kind, respectful, trustworthy, and caring guys. We started talking more this summer when I would come back to visit and things started to get serious. He officially asked me out in September and we decided to try long distance. We would see each other 1-3 times a month and communicate everyday. He was always super kind to me. He’d tell me how much he cared about me and how lucky he thought he was. He said that I was so special to him and he would do anything for me. He is in the navy and was supposed to move farther away for school in January. I was supposed to go to his friends wedding with him New Year’s Eve. In December he started being even more flirty, sending pictures, and making plans for the night in the hotel room NYE. After the wedding I was going to spend more time with him and go back to his family’s home. I thought we were forming an even deeper relationship. I would tell him how much I like him and he would respond saying the same thing and how happy he was he asked me out. I was going to tell him I love him NYE. A couple of days before he started acting strange. He called and said I wasn’t his priority anymore, he didn’t care about me, and he didn’t even like me when he came to my house in November. He said it was all a lie and he just liked the emotional high from making out. He said he didn’t even think it would work when he asked me out in September. Meanwhile he’d still been calling me babe and saying he couldn’t wait to see me and really liked me. I’m a pretty private person and I opened up and let him into my life. Now I’m the one who was left heartbroken and hurt and blindsided by the break up. How do I get him to want me back or what do I do? I feel so hurt and he is acting nothing like the person I thought he was. It hurts even more knowing that he may not even miss me or the relationship if it’s true that he really hasn’t liked me for over a month.

    1. Avatar


      January 10, 2017 at 5:16 pm

      Thank you! I have read that article. I also wrote a letter to him saying all the good things I thought we had together. Is this ok to send after the 30 days?

    2. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      January 11, 2017 at 11:18 am

      nope.. that’s like chasing..

    3. Avatar


      January 9, 2017 at 3:26 pm

      But how do I do that if it’s long distance, he said I did nothing wrong and he hasn’t liked me for the past month and a half.

    4. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      January 9, 2017 at 7:02 pm

      by being active in social media.. you need to read and review the blog post i’ll link because that will help more than I can do.
      The Complete Guide To Getting An Ex Boyfriend Back In A Long Distance Relationship

    5. Avatar


      January 8, 2017 at 10:52 pm

      Yes I am working to improve myself everyday. I want to follow your advice I just don’t know what to do. I feel like he doesn’t even miss me or care about me.

    6. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      January 8, 2017 at 11:26 pm

      that’s why you have to iprove yourself.. to attract him back and to increase the chances of him missing you..

    7. Avatar

      EBR Team Member: Amor

      January 6, 2017 at 7:38 pm

      Hi C,

      Do you want to try the advice above? How active are you in improving yourself?