Falling in love is one of life’s great pleasures … and breaking up one of its great miseries.

That’s where Jan Holland, the 152nd person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, comes in.

Jan is a divorce and relationship breakup coach who helps people deal with the pain of separation.

As Jan explained, separation can cause us to drag up uncomfortable feelings from our childhood, around issues such as self-worth and abandonment – especially if the other party ended the relationship.

Moving on can be hard, but we have to be willing to do the work, according to Jan. We need to realise that although we may have been mistreated, we can’t heal unless we stop seeing ourselves as a victim. We also need to focus on what we can control (our thoughts and actions) rather than what we can’t (our ex’s behaviour).

Jan speaks from experience: she went through a difficult divorce after a 30-year marriage. The process of moving on involved a lot of personal growth, which ultimately left her stronger and calmer.

Jan is great company: she’s smart, self-aware and very open. Those same qualities would make her an excellent coach.