Whether it was a three-year relationship or a three-month intense adventure, learning to let go of a former partner and love again isn’t something we wish to go through. It doesn’t matter if it ended because you decided to do so, because your partner decided it, or because it just couldn’t be. It’s going to be tough.
We all get used to happiness very fast, so don’t blame yourself for picturing a future with your ex. You know by memory all those things we all fall in love with: their laugh, the way they played with your hair, their smell, the way they held your hand surprisingly at times… And you thought at times how you couldn’t imagine your life without them. It’s normal and I understand it. However, life does go on without them.
The first thing that you need to know, and you have already heard it too many times, is that time heals. Hear me out: I didn’t believe them either. I thought the pain would last for as long as I lived and I’d just have to learn to live with it, but it doesn’t. Your memories don’t fade away, but one day you will find yourself remembering them with a big smile. You were happy, and that’s something to be happy about, so now you’re not going to feel the need to cry anymore. You won’t wish to go back to the past, you will just wish to remember all the good things you lived with that person that made you (quoting the beautiful “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”) feel infinite.
The second thing I wish someone would have told me is that being sad is okay. Sometimes you can’t be happy, and if you aren’t told this, you will feel double as guilty. First because you are sad, and then again because you don’t think you have the right to be sad. Sometimes we stay in relationships that don’t make us happy anymore because we know that letting go of our routines with that person is going to make us suffer, but we can’t be afraid of suffering. It’s another part of life. If you haven’t watched “Inside Out”, I believe this break-up is a good time to do so.
We aren’t taught that sadness is indeed necessary for a good mental health. Being sad heals, and it allows us to recover our happiness once we are ready to do so.
There’s something I did that personally helped a lot: writing to my former love. Due to life circumstances, I couldn’t see that person again, so every time I missed him, I wrote him a letter. Those letters were definitely never sent, but taking the time to write what I felt, the things I missed about him, the things I would have wished to tell him… It was healing. Writing our story helped too, because I knew for sure that I didn’t want to forget what we had lived, I just wanted to be able to see it as a beautiful period in my life that had helped me grow, learn, and love myself better.
When I re-read those letters now I can hardly recognize myself in them. The pain and sadness I describe seems hard to handle. The fact that I don’t remember being that sad means I got past it. You can do it too.
My last piece of advice for anyone going through this situation is that being with other people does not help. Until you have fully recovered from your former love, trying to force yourself into new relationships will do much more bad for you than good, because you will feel guilty afterwards. I was alone for a very long time and I didn’t care. Don’t listen to what others say, listen to yourself and find your own time to try again.
Give yourself all the time you need . Cry. And cry again. Always keep in mind that you will get over this.
Just at the right time, when you are fully recovered and you’re okay by yourself, maybe a new person will come along. You don’t have to feel guilty for finding yourself feeling the same things you used to feel. Not even if sometimes you miss your former love.
Do not compare them, do not try to love them the same way. Allow yourself to rejoice in this new opportunity to feel infinite and don’t be scared of hurting again. Life is short, and it is precious, so don’t keep yourself out of the love game.
Stay strong and remember that it will get better.
Lots of love,