I fell in mutual love for the first time last July. In January, that relationship came to an end and I had to close that chapter of my life, well before I was ready.
Now, five months later- I am confronting the prospect of going on a date with someone else. I’m finding it immensely difficult- almost impossible to let go of my first love and open myself up to the possibility of somebody new.
Has anyone experienced this same thing? The idea that no one could ever been right again, simply because they are not the person you have in your mind.
And what do you do?
I’m sorry to hear your relationship didn’t work out @EarthMama. It’s honestly one of the toughest things we can go through. For me, the tricky bit was that I kept comparing the people I was dating to my ex. They didn’t make me laugh as much, or know how to deal with my crabby moods, or interact with my friends as well. It took time and determination to keep putting myself out there, and repeating to any rational part of my brain that would listen that everyone is different and that doesn’t have to mean better or worse than my ex. Do you want to start dating again, or do you feel like you need to in order to get over this feeling?
Thanks @ElleBelle! That’s exactly it! I definitely want to! But I vacillate between that confidence and the need to curl up into a ball and call my ex… I totally agree that it’s about courage and just getting up and out and putting yourself in the way of life! I also agree that comparison can be a really hard thing.
I do try to remember though that a big criteria for me, and I’m sure for most people in a relationship- is for it to be entirely mutual; to be receiving as much as you are giving in love. And therefore, a relationship that has ended has likely not done those things and retreating back to that place is probably romanticising it.
It’s a tough topic!
Hi @EarthMama, a close friend of mine took two years to move on from her ex so you are not alone in finding it difficult. It is easy to compare people to each other, but every single person is different and you will feel different things with different people. If you’re ready to date, why not give this new person a chance and see what happens? However, I totally agree with @ElleBelle – deep down if you are not ready to date, don’t rush into it! But at the same time, it’s important to focus on moving forward, learning what you can from that past relationship and realising that that part of your life is now over as painful as it may be. Sorry I may not be of much help, but I want you to know that you will love again, and in time you may even realise that your relationship ending was for the best. Love can be very hard and very painful but it’s honestly a miracle we have the opportunity of experiencing it in the first place.
@EarthMama been there, bought the t-shirt. I thought this guy was my “soulmate” and that we were made for each other and no one else would “get” me. I feel for ya, gal. Honestly I want to tell you that there is a quick fix to all of this, and I wish there was, but I haven’t found it yet. Whoever said time heals all wounds was right. Let yourself feel all of the ugly emotions, the good, the bad, and ride it out like a wave. Bit by bit you will find yourself thinking about him less and one day you will wake up and find that you haven’t thought about him in a while.
As for your new date, I’m a strong believer in putting yourself back out there and going on dates with no expectations. It can often be a good exercise in understanding that you can enjoy the company of someone new and flex those dating muscles, as often as you like. Also being honest with your new person about where you’re at mentally will help in managing any expectations that they might have about what they’d like out of the relationship. If you’re not ready to give your all, let them know. It’s totally fine saying “hey, I just want to hang out and take it slow for now.”
Take this time to do whatever you want: travel, stay out late with your friends, sleep in, eat ice cream, climb a mountain; whatever it takes for you to realise that there is a world out there that exists independently of the person you loved and it’s all there waiting to be explored.
Much love. xox
Hey @EarthMama, This was me a few years back with my first boyfriend. I fell in love quick and fell hard when we broke up. The hardest thing I found was that even though I thought I was ready I kept comparing these new people to my ex, and was never really able to give them a chance.
The thing I found most helpful and when this stopped happening was when I started focusing on myself and doing new things for me. Not sure if this helps, but you’ll know when you’re ready 🙂
Hey @EarthMama, big hugs. I totally understand. My first serious relationship break up was still hard, even though I had made the decision to break up six months earlier. You do need to allow yourself time to heal, but also don’t cut yourself off to other experiences. Obviously there’s something amazing about this person that you find yourself pondering dating again, just enjoy the company and realise it will be a different experience to your previous relationship (and it should be, because they are an ex for a reason ;))
@ElleBelle ugh, that comparison thing is the worst and so hard to avoid. So easy to say someone you just met or started seeing doesn’t get you like someone you spent lots of time with but so unfair!
@ElleBelle @jessica @champagnepapi @mak_trouble891 @NickiPower @CloakOfAsh Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am so overwhelmed and humbled by the love in your responses. It is so comforting to hear that this experience is a common one, however painful.
I especially loved what you said @champagnepapi about rediscovering the world! This totally resonated and I am fully committed to the importance of forging one’s own identity before even contemplating entering another relationship.
I went on the date two days ago! It was nice. Tricky at first and I am not really interested in seeing him again (which I kindly let him know) but overall, I am really glad I took the plunge. For anyone tuning in and having the same crisis, get the ball rolling! Certainly be upfront and honest about where you are at emotionally, but gift yourself the experience of meeting new people. Even if they turn out to be someone you are not particularly interested in, it is lovely to remember you’ve got what it takes to converse with another.
In this moment, my solitude is sweet and I’m gonna take care of me for awhile!
Thank you again for your love <3
That’s awesome @EarthMama self care after a breakup is super important and can really make a difference in how move forward 🙂
@EarthMama it was great to read your update! Hope you’re doing better than before. xoxo
Well done @EarthMama for putting yourself out there. Good luck with the next date, and the next, and the next (if that’s what you want).