It's been a year.

Well, just over a year anyway. Just over a year since I made the biggest decision of my life and ended my long term relationship of almost eight years. It feels like a lifetime ago to me now. So much has changed in the past twelve months. Some positive, some negative, but mostly positive.

Now while I'm not normally one to dwell on the past, I do like to learn from it, and if I can share what I have learned in order to help other people then why the hell not? If I can give even just one person in the same position that I was in this time last year some peace of mind that things will get better, then I feel like writing this post is worth it. I've decided to write this post in a Q & A style, answering the questions that I myself was asking shortly after the break up. I know that the answers other people gave helped me, so hopefully my answers will help someone else too.

Q: Will I ever love again?
A: Yes. Of course. It may not feel like it in the first few months after breaking up, but once you make the leap into this sea of other fish that everyone keeps talking about, you will quickly be swept up in the excitement of a fresh start and being seen with a fresh pair of eyes. Even if you don't fall in love again straight away, by putting yourself out there you will meet people who reawaken your soul and help you to see the beauty inside yourself that you had long forgotten about. You will feel so many emotions that you had forgotten even existed. Pretty soon one of these emotions will be love. And it will be magical.

Q: Will finding a new relationship be difficult?
A: Short answer, yes. You will probably date a bunch of different people, likely in quick succession, trying to find the one who is worth your time. After investing eight years of your life into someone who just wasn't as invested as you, you will undoubtedly become very fickle and not want to settle down unless you find someone who is ultimately worth the risk of potentially losing another huge chunk of your life to. This isn't necessarily a bad thing though. You will learn a lot about yourself very quickly. You will also learn a lot about other people and be immersed in a bunch of different, exciting situations that you never would have been in otherwise. Even once you find someone to settle down with though, things will still be difficult. Issues from your past relationship may rise to the surface, causing insecurities and doubts and unfortunately comparison. It is how you choose to react to these issues that will make things difficult or not. I've found that by simply sitting quietly with these issues to reflect and learn from them, you can turn these into a positive.

Q: What is the hardest thing about starting a new relationship from scratch?
A: The hardest thing I've found with starting a new relationship is breaking old habits. Going from living with someone and being in their pocket everyday to only seeing someone 2-3 times a week has been a real challenge for me. I find myself coming across as clingy because, let's face it, when you're falling in love with someone all you want to do is spend time with them, never mind adding the habit of being with someone everyday to the mix. I've learned to embrace the fresh start though, and now I find our time apart to be just as important as our time together, as it gives us the chance to miss each other as well as focus on our individual goals - giving us something to talk about when we are together again. Something else I've found hard is having to wait for things that you were already used to having. Like a relationship with your partners family. Knowing their childhood secrets. Learning their deepest fears and their biggest goals. These are all things you have to look forward to though, so if you think about it like this it can really only be a positive.

Q: What if things don't work out?
A: Then come back to this post. If there's one thing I've learned it's that there are no guarantees in life. There are only lessons to be made, connections to be formed, and feelings to be felt. If it feels good in the moment and benefits your emotional happiness in the present, this all you can really ask for in life. If things change, react accordingly. Do what feels right for you. It's never too late for a second chance.

I wish you guys all the luck in life in love!



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