It’s very easy to forget how someone hurt you. It’s easy to forget what you didn’t appreciate about a situation or relationship and fall back into those same situations or patterns.
I had come out of a relationship that had stressed me out and made me unhappy, and I now understand what saved me from forgetting that hurt and falling back into those experiences with someone else.
Not long after I was out of that relationship, I met someone new. I went back and forth in my head for a while, wondering if it was too soon to date someone again. What is the right amount of time to wait before a new relationship?
I thought about whether I was giving myself enough time to grow and heal from my last one, and whether I’d still be able to grow and heal if I went so quickly into a new one. The fear of being judged by others for my decision is something I also struggled with.
I came to the conclusion that people enter your life when they do. This boy entered my life at that time, and I accepted that and wanted to pursue a relationship.
Now, even if a person meets someone they like, but doesn’t feel ready for a relationship—especially if they just came out of one—it is totally fine and can make a lot of sense to take a break from dating. It can also be extremely beneficial to do so.
But I felt at that time that I was emotionally ready to date someone again and that I was open to another relationship. I also realized that dating this boy didn’t have to hold me back from my reflections and growth—he could do just the opposite really. Which is exactly what happened.
I was associating pressures from my last relationship in feeling like I couldn’t grow, with this new boy, when I didn’t need to at all, and I’m so glad I came to that realization. The short time frame between my last and new relationship turned out to be an incredible blessing.
Because the hurt and dislike of certain things from my last relationship were still so fresh in my mind, I was incredibly clear about what I wanted. And what I didn’t want.
As my relationship with the boy developed, relationship decisions and boundaries were discussed, and my input was largely based off of my feelings from my previous one. Discussing those topics with a new partner while I still remembered what the old situation was like, gave me a lot of clarity about what I wanted and the drive to implement those wants.
It helped greatly that this boy was the complete opposite of the other. Through the entirety of our relationship, I felt incredibly free and like I could be and grow as my own person.
Him being the example that the things I wished to have in a partner could come true, helped me so much in believing my wants weren’t unattainable and that I could indeed find someone who would support me in the ways I appreciated. He was incredibly supportive of everything I wished for, and I will always be grateful for that.
On top of using past feelings to guide me in coming to relationship decisions and boundaries, in discussions about why I wished to do the things I did, I talked to him about what I had experienced.
Talking to him, further helped me not forget the hurt, and it also validated my experiences. Prior to my conversations with him, I hadn’t ever really talked to someone else about what I had gone through. Talking to him made it real, which made my emotions associated with it feel 10x more legitimate and valid.
Which at times, was difficult, but all of those conversations have helped me further understand what I learned, what I want, and how I truly feel about things.
Talking to him also helped me come to new realizations about relationships and people—valuable ones that I’ll carry with me for the rest of my life.
If I were not to have been in that relationship with him so soon after my last, I might’ve forgotten how the other boy had hurt me. Because time makes us forget. The passing of time makes things seem less bad than they really were. If I hadn’t started talking to him, I might’ve forgotten and fallen back into the same routines with a new person I’d have met down the line, becoming unhappy again.
Because it wasn’t only the remembering that benefitted me-it was the fact that being faced with decisions in a new relationship forced me to reflect. It forced me to reflect on “if I could do this differently now, how would I?”
It made me see how I wanted to structure my relationship differently than my last one, and that necessary reflection proved to be such a valuable thing.
I believe reflection after a breakup is so important and that it teaches you so much. Through my reflections with him, I’d become much better at reflecting in general. And I won’t only do so on something after the fact-I’m much better about reflecting in the current moment and figuring out how I feel about what’s happening in the present.
Talking to someone makes things real. It solidifies your thoughts, and it’s no longer only in your head, but in the world and mind of another.
Writing too. Writing transforms your thoughts into a physical form, allowing you to remember what you experienced and not let time alter your memory of how you truly felt.
Talking and writing helps you not fall back into those same patterns with people and situations in the future-it helps you learn from and reflect on them, and enter improved situations with your growth and new knowledge. I’d for sure recommend talking and writing when you can.
Even if I felt judged or uncertain at first about being in a new relationship so soon, I’m so glad that I came to the decision that I did. That decision has helped me heal and grow as a person immensely, and I will always be grateful for that.
And although I’ve had this experience, going to a new person so soon won’t be something I always aim for or do. Like right now, I’m not with anyone, and I feel content being on my own. Part of what that experience gifted me with, is recognizing the significance of reflecting in the moment. So as long as I do that, I can still be very successful at understanding and remembering how I feel, even if on my own.
But that time of my life did help me so much, and I’m so thankful I was guided into that experience. I hope others can remember what has hurt them, feel valid in their emotions, and take those lessons and reflections into their new experiences and relationships in life.