I believe that conventional wisdom says that you cannot or at a minimum should not start a new relationship when you are still mourning an old relationship. In the abstract, one can be incredibly rational. One can look at their place on the planet and in their life and think “nope, not going to go down that path right now” and thus avoid all sorts of drama.
However, I also live in a real and not abstract world and I know that things don’t always work the way that we “think” that they should. At the end of 2013/beginning of 2014, I got my heart broken. Big time. Among the worst heart break of my life. Perhaps I’ll talk about that later but that’s not what I am writing about today. In the days and weeks during that time, I was convinced that I would never find love again. I thought I would date again, I browsed to Meet Single men on InterracialDatingCentral.com. I couldn’t imagine going through the rest of my life without some sort of romantic life but I knew in the depths of my soul that I was done with LOVE. I felt at that point that my love was nothing short of toxic and that the worst thing that I could do to someone I loved was to love them back.
How did I get there? It wasn’t a pretty journey. It was the culmination of a very toxic relationship and opening myself up completely to the absolutely wrong person. What I took from that experience was that I was flawed and broken instead of the idea that the mistake I made was opening myself up to the wrong person – not the fact that I opened myself up at all.
And for those of you playing at home? That kind of attitude isn’t a great one. Thankfully at the time I was working with a great coach and had a very good therapist and I was able to see the situation for what it was. Not the story I told myself about it but for what it actually was. A toxic mess that I was so much better for being away from.
Time moved slowly and my heart began to heal. But there was still a fracture that was being healed. And is still being healed. Now if I were single, this wouldn’t be that big of a deal. But I’m not. I’ve been dating an incredibly wonderful man for over 6 months now. And I am falling in love with him. Well, I am in love with him but every day that love grows deeper and stronger. And yet, I am still healing. There are days and days when I don’t even think of that hurt and then there are days when I find myself choked up in the car because of a song, a smell, a thought. And to make it more complicated, he is healing from his own heartbreak. We’re quite the pair.
But what I have learned in this relationship is that you can hold space for both of these things at one time. You can fall in love, you can be in love, you can enjoy a new person in your life while at the same time, still be in the process of healing from a past loss. You can hold the space you need to recover from a loss while giving yourself time to work on something new. And you can love someone while they are going through that too. And that’s where I have found that it gets tricky.
When someone you love is still grieving an old wound, you have to be present enough in the process to remember – that pain isn’t about you. And it isn’t personal. When you love someone, you can give them the space that they need. When they need to wallow, you need to be able to give them that space to wallow and not use that as an excuse to spin stories that just aren’t true.
Broken hearts and pain take time to recover from but it doesn’t mean the rest of your life has to be put on hold, you just need to be willing to make space for all of your feelings – no matter what they are.
I'm a single lady living in the suburbs of Philadelphia with 2 cats named Leo and Toby (after characters on "The West Wing" - one day I will have the ability to recite the entire series by heart.That's a noble goal, yes?).
I've had a varied career doing a bunch of technical stuff that isn't that interesting to folks who aren't doing it but my real passion is writing.I also get the fabulous pleasure of coaching people from time to time and that brings me amazing joy and energy.
If you want to hang with me there are things you should know:I curse.A lot.I like hoppy beer.A lot.I like big and deep red wines. A lot. I adore my friends.A lot, a lot.I am passionate about politics (or a big geek about them - you choose).I'm an accidental but rather passionate Unitarian and few things make me happier than my dining room table surrounded by people I love.And picking paint colors, let's not forget that. Find me online here.