I’ve been thinking about how we have periods of ‘mourning’ for the losses we suffer. This is seen as more acceptable when someone dies but people still expect you to get over it fairly quickly. If you’re still grieving six months later people will question what is wrong with you, and ask shouldn’t you be over that by now. There’s this perception that we should be able to put thoughts of the person aside and just move on.
When a relationship falls apart there is usually a period we go through where we take time to reflect, to deal with the hurt, to assess the damage. The length of this period can vary depending on many things; how bad the loss was, how hurt you got along the way, how betrayed you felt. I think we need this period of mourning just as much for relationship losses as for any other bereavement. For me it’s also a time to ask myself; what did I learn and what can I do differently next time. Or quite often it’s a time where I blame myself; if I was thinner, prettier, funnier, smarter, more interesting, etc. then maybe it would have worked out.
This feeling that it must be my fault drips through into meeting new guys. I am so scared I will get hurt that I keep everything close and struggle to verbalise my feelings, so I don’t tell the guy, “Hey I like you. You’re nice and make my heart flip-flop”, I tell him “Hey you’ve got a good arse/eyes/shoulders/etc”. I focus on the superficial stuff, because if I don’t tell him he has my heart, he can’t rip it out and stomp on it. Right? Well, actually no. What seems to happen is they think I’m not really interested, or that I’m shallow and materialistic, and therefore not worth the time or effort. And yet again I find myself alone. I know I do this but I seem to be stuck in a pattern that I can’t break. I’m not willing to take a leap of faith that a guy won’t hurt me, because the guys in my past HAVE hurt me, but did they hurt me only because I didn’t give them everything they needed to know so they wouldn’t hurt me?
However, recently I have met an actual nice guy. I like him a lot. I have managed to tell him that I like him. I’ve also had a few wobbles, that I know made me look a bit crazy (possibly a lot crazy), but you know what, not only is he still here but he is being really sweet about it. He is always assuring me that he’s my friend and he doesn’t want to mess me around or hurt me. Maybe I’m being naive but I actually believe him. And I like that he is my friend first and foremost, it’s not just about getting into my pants. I’m not saying he’s my next big love just that he is my friend, and I am very grateful for him to showing me not all men are going to screw with my head…….or heart.
I think the definition of a broken heart is realising you love someone more than they love you, and/or in a totally different way. And I am sick of having my heart broken. But maybe it doesn’t have to be about how you are loved, maybe what really matters is that you are loved.
*A version of this post was posted as a guest blog on Charlie’s blog at CharlieInThePool.