Learning To Love Again After A Heartbreak

The story of your first love's heartbreak is well-known: one day you meet someone who makes you do silly things like thinking forever exists, you feel inexplicably drawn to this person and convince yourself you would never feel this way about anyone else. You give them your heart with full trust, believing they'd always have your best interest and always love you on your ugliest days.

And then, with time, you start to justify the pain and suffering in the name of "love" and the nagging thought that you'd never love anyone else the same way again starts to appear.

No matter how we try to twist it, it will always be a tale as old as time as we can all relate one way or another. Which is why these love songs - as well as heartbroken songs - are so popular. My story isn't much different to many out there already, many will more than likely be able to relate. I felt it would be interesting to write about my side and it would be a good read for anyone who's into these kinds of things, too.

"...it wasn't my choice to love you but it was mine to leave"- Lang Leav, Memories

Hai and I were together for over 3 years and for the majority of our time together, we both knew that we were gradually losing each other. I think we both had a tingling feeling that it wasn't going to last, but we loved each other and we knew we just wanted to be together.

In the end, it was me who pulled the plug. I know I broke him when I did so and I'm not about to play the victim. The way I see it: he was breaking my heart over and over during our time together and I broke his when we broke up. That's not me trying to cover myself either, I just want to emphasise that no one was innocent in this, I was a horrible girlfriend and he was not a good boyfriend. My intention is not to villainize him as I harbour no malicious or bitter feelings towards him. There will always be two sides of the story, and this is mine.

The guilt
You spend your early years promising each other you'll always love them and you would never leave, so when you meet someone new a massive sense of guilt is dropped onto your shoulders. We talked about having kids and growing old together, how dare I abandon what we had planned and everything we went through?

There was a heavy sense of obligation which was hard to shake off, no matter how much I tried to tell myself I was my own person and don't owe anything to him. I felt like I didn't deserve to be happy, especially not when I was the one that had left him. On top of my own guilt, I had people around me projecting the very same feelings onto me.

Of course I was the devil, I was the one who left him. But they didn't know anything. They only knew what they were told, they didn't live through the pain like I did.

Getting over this stage was easy; those people making me feel bad were not my friends and leaving them behind was easy. As soon as the negative people were out of my life, it was easy to allow myself to feel happy again. I was starting to love life and I didn't have to hold myself back from falling for someone else.

The confusion
When you're so used to one kind of love for so long and then start experiencing a different kind, it gets confusing real fast.

When my feelings for Ash started to surface, my line of thinking during that time was, "Well, either this one is real or the other." The feelings were massively different, I found myself questioning and invalidating my feelings for my previous relationship; was that even real? Or was I just some dumb kid who convinced herself it was love when it wasn't even close?

This stage was not influenced by the people around me, it was all my internal conflict so it wasn't as easy as leaving the people behind. There was a lot going on during that period; perfecting my CV, applying for placements, dealing with constant streams of email rejections, deadlines, exams etc...

It was hard to take a minute off and breathe. I'll let you in on the conclusion I came to when I finally had the time to think: you are capable of loving more than one person in your lifetime.  I know, duh right? You would not believe the revelation I had when I finally accepted that.

I embraced the fact that what Hai and I had were real, and even though it was different and even toxic to what I have with my current guy, that takes nothing away from it. I know I love Ash with all my freaking heart but I also know that I loved Hai with all I had then, too.

When we're young, we think being with someone for a few years is so long. When in reality, a 3 or 4-year relationship is nothing. If you play your game right and live to about 90 years old, 3 years with someone when you were a teenager was simply a blip - a story you'll always look back upon fondly as you tell your grandkids about your first love.

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