They always say that love finds you when you’re least expecting it

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After enduring a rather painful and traumatic break up, the last thing you expect to find is love. Not until you’ve at least had some time by yourself first, to find yourself, to love yourself, right?

Well, that’s what I thought until I met him.

It had been two months since I had ended things with my ex. After a year or so of arguing, crying, raging and ranting we were both exhausted. It clearly wasn’t working for either of us. Although it was a mutual decision, it still was a hard one to make. After being so close to someone for so long it seemed weird to imagine life without them. The snippets between the storms where we would make each other laugh, comfort each other and be each other’s shoulder to cry on, would dissolve into distant memories. He would become a stranger, a stranger that I once loved.

After my breakup, I moved cities to start a new job as a data management assistant for a holiday letting company. It was as boring as it sounds but it provided a good distraction. My head was still a mess. I thought about my ex frequently replaying our arguments over and over again. I ruminated on the “What if’s”. What if things had been different?

Despite this, it was during this time that I met him. The him that would remain with me since our first date to the present, giving me eight months of joy that I didn’t think I’d have for a very long time.

When I told my friends and family they were skeptical. I understood. How could I have possible found someone else so soon? I wasn’t ready — or so they thought.

. . .
You can’t measure the time between loves
I have often been advised to wait for a certain number of weeks or months (depending on the length of my relationship) before entering the dating scene again.

But what’s the point of waiting just for the sake of waiting?

What’s the point of holding off love just to fulfill your designated time away from it?

I am not suggesting that you instantly look for your next love after a breakup but why not leave your heart ajar, open to new possibilities rather than forcing it closed because you are scared of getting hurt again. Don’t let your past experiences put you off from making new ones.

The period between relationships has nothing to do with quantifiable length, but rather what feels right for you. To love so soon after a breakup shouldn’t be viewed as weak, it should be viewed as brave. A brave move from someone vulnerable, who is once again seeking happiness.

. . .
You don’t need to love yourself to start a new relationship
Most people are familiar with the famous phrase “How can you expect to be loved if you cant even love yourself?”. It’s inspiring for sure, but loving myself proved a lot harder than it looked.

With my own demons and struggles I had instead come to accept myself for who I was, nothing more and nothing less. Loving myself seemed too unrealistic for me to accomplish. Don’t get me wrong for those that can, my hat goes off to you, but for those that struggle let me tell you now from my own personal experience, it is not an essential ingredient for starting a new relationship.

In fact I have found that being in a relationship has helped grow my appreciation for myself a lot more. With the frequent encouragement from him and his little whispers in my ear reminding me of my good traits helped to boost my confidence dramatically.

Whilst it is no one’s job to be your emotional crutch, there is no harm in being supported and encouraged to appreciate yourself by a partner who appreciates you. Let them show you why they love you and together you can go through the process of “loving yourself” as well as loving each other.

. . .
You don’t need to fear the rebound effect
Rebounds often happen due to emotional instability coupled with a fast-paced physical relationship. It is usually short-lived because the intensity of this is purely to distract oneself from one’s ex. This means the rebound effect is mostly down to the intensity and speed of the relationship rather than due to the actual time between different partners.

This was something that I was very conscious about when I met him at my summer job. I was scared of us becoming “just a rebound” which would curse us from the very beginning, suffocating a potential future together. I voiced these opinions from the start and as a result we went especially slowly, careful not to get too intoxicated too soon. We worked on building a solid connection rather than an intense fuse which would only last for the duration of the summer.

. . .
You don’t need fixing for you to move on
In textbook terms, I wasn’t ready for a new relationship. I was a bundle of mixed emotions, my head still confused and coming to terms with my breakup. However, it was in these times that I unexpectedly found my best relationship yet.

I wasn’t a broken person that needed to be fixed. Nor did I look at him to fix me. I was merely a person struggling but open to companionship. This led me to the laughs, the chats, the love that would soon be exchanged between us. Whilst these didn’t “fix” my confused head, they showed me light through the darkness so that in my own time I could move on from my breakup whilst simultaneously beginning a new adventure.

. . .

Thank you for reading.

This post was previously published on Hello, Love and is republished here with permission from the author.


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