If things had worked out the way I had planned, I would be starting my fourth month of marriage right about now. I’m not, and I’m glad. It wasn’t right, I wasn’t ready, and we were hasty about it. It’s taken me months of therapy and self-reflection to get to where I am today and be able to admit my own mistakes, and I think I’m finally ready to fall in love all over again. Here are some key points to remember if you're in the same boat.
It’s a long process.
It’s been 8 months since my last serious relationship ended, and I can confidently say that I now have a way more positive view of love and life. It hasn’t been easy, at all. Moving on, bettering yourself, and becoming ready to date again takes time and patience, strength and determination. It’s countless nights of crying yourself to sleep. Countless days of battling with anxiety and depression. I used to Google “how long does it take to get over someone” because I was desperate. I wanted a time frame for how long I would feel the way I did. PSA: break-ups are basically mourning. You are mourning the loss of a love. That’s equal to grief, and there is no timetable for that. It will take you however long it takes you. It could take you a month, six months, a year, or even a couple of years. It all depends on you. I’m also a firm believer that you will never be 100% over someone you once truly loved, and that you will also never be 100% ready for your next love. Moving on is a long process. You have to take your broken heart and build from it. It’s not an overnight realization.
You have to deal with your emotional baggage.
My break-up gave me abandonment issues. As much as I love telling people I’m dating again and having fun on dating apps, I’m honestly terrified. I constantly feel like whoever I’m dating or ‘talking’ to is going to up and disappear. I constantly have this knot in my stomach about it. The second someone changes their tone via text, or doesn’t send the usual amount of emojis, is the second when my mind goes full force overthinking mode. I will sit there and re-read every text trying to see if I did or said something ‘wrong' and if I’m about to be ghosted. It’s a huge battle for me, and my latest mountain to conquer in therapy. Letting go of my relationship anxiety, of my insecurities of never being ‘good enough’ for a guy, of never being loved again, and of being abandoned. I rush things for this exact reason. I think labels will be reassurance for me when in all reality, a label changes basically nothing. In my head I know this, but my anxiety is a monster of an irrational beast. Note to self: there is literally no reason to rush. Saying it again, for the people in the back: There. Is. No. Reason. To. Rush. Rushing will result in you getting hurt faster, and harder. Rushing will cause you to not see some very important deal breakers and red flags. Rushing will make you love the idea of love instead of the person. Been there, done all of that. It’s not fun, and the aftermath is not pretty. Validate yourself. Reassure yourself. It's going to be okay.
One person does not represent everyone out there.
I’m trying to teach myself that not everyone will hurt me, and they won’t all hurt you either. Not everyone will come into your life only to turn around and walk out. Not everyone will bring out your anxiety and depression. Not everyone will make you think you’re crazy. Not everyone will lie to you. Not everyone will manipulate you. Not everyone will say they don’t love you anymore. Not everyone will cheat on you. Not everyone will break you. One person does not represent everyone out there. Yes, this is italicized and bolded and underlined, because it is THAT important. Please re-read it again.
One day, you’ll get over it. There are sunny days ahead.
Normally when I write about my past relationships and issues, I’ll cry. It’s a journaling process for how I cope with my feelings and get past them. It’s like one of those dramatic movie moments (only my crying is much uglier). This time, I didn’t cry while writing this, and I think that means I'm okay. I’m stronger. I’m over it. I’m over him. Break-ups definitely make you stronger and teach you tough lessons. They’re normal, and important, and okay. Dating is stressful and definitely terrifying. You’re going to get hurt over and over and over again, but it’s worth the risk. Take the chance. One day your person will come.
You’re going to be just fine. You will fall in love again.