Probably, but here?s why that?s okay anyway.
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash
?A broken heart is just the growing pains necessary so that you can love more completely when the real thing comes along.? ? J.S.B. Morse
Every heartache is different, but anyone who has ever loved and lost in their lifetime will know that for whatever strange reason, some heartbreaks sting far, far worse than others do.
Why is that? Why can we sometimes love someone and move on so easily when other times we love and shatter completely?
I don?t know the answer, but from personal experience, I?m certain that there will always be a certain kind of love that manages to get under our skin in the strangest of ways.
This is the type of love that is hardest to move on from. It makes you beg, and hope, and wish that you could forget it once it?s gone. It leaves you wishing you had never loved at all.
Why? Because when you were with them they loved you so much that they left you believing in silly things like soulmates and true love.
I once believed in soul mates and I was once certain that I had found mine. But when he left me all I wanted was to forget him and my pain and our love.
Now I don?t call him anything but my first love, because I don?t really believe in soul mates or true love. I think that concept makes things a little harder for me, because I have loved plenty of people in my lifetime, but have been ?in love? with very few.
And the first time you find yourself in love with someone, you realize that it is an immensely strange and beautiful yet terrifying experience.
It is as if your heart, your capacity to love and feel, has grown ten sizes too big. Everything feels sharper, more intense, yet equally as muddy. The sadness and rage and joy all mingle together into one viscous pool. Everything seems beautiful and bright, yet there is that terrifying threat of danger lurking at the edges.
The Fear of Loss
That danger is the fear of loss, that threat of heartbreak. If we aren?t careful then that fear can control us. It can lead us to lash out, to tighten our grip and reign, to desire complete and utter control over this other person we have suddenly welcomed into our lives.
Because we foolishly believe that if we can control them then we can forever keep them by our sides and that they will never leave us. Until they do.
And the inevitable fallout of this kind of love is some of the worst heartache you will ever endure. It?s the kind of pain that leaves you breathless, that brings you to your knees, that leaves you feeling broken and scattered in a cruel and unfeeling world.
It?s the kind of heartache that has you question everything you?ve ever said or done. So you circle the drain of ?what ifs.? If only I was kinder. If only I was more patient. If only I were prettier, smarter, funnier. Then maybe, maybe he would have never left me.
And worst of all is the tendency to cling to our fondest memories of our love. We can?t help but remember those first tentative touches, the first time our bodies become one, or the way we felt when they first uttered the words ?I love you.? We bask in the warm glow of the past and imagine that we will never feel this way ever again.
And maybe the truth is that you won?t.
You Might Always Love Your Ex, and That?s Okay
We all love each and every person in our lives in different ways and the depths of our affections will vary not only from person to person, but from time to time.
Does that make us wrong? Does that mean that we have no business loving this person? No, of course not. It?s just the reality of what it means to love in our world.
So will we love the next person as much as we loved this one? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe you will love them more. All that matters, if you ask me, is that you love at all. That you make yourself vulnerable and welcome new friends and lovers into your life with open arms.
But now comes the hardest part of all; learning to let our loves peacefully coexist.
So will you always love your ex? Probably. But is that really such a terrible thing? I don?t think so.
You will always love them because for a time, they were a major part of your life. You shared wonderful and beautiful moments together. You made memories. You laughed and you cried together.
All of that doesn?t go away just because you met someone else. That love, or part of it, will always remain. It?s become a part of you. It has helped to shape you. To give it up completely would be to give up part of yourself.
So yes, you will probably love your ex forever. Even if you wish that you didn?t. Even if the memory of your love still haunts you from time to time, even if it?s still enough to bring you pain. You will love them and you will learn to live with that love.
But you won?t always be in love with them.
With time, those feelings will fade. You will fall in love over and over and over again. You will fall in love with friends, with yourself, with new partners, with life and love itself. And if it?s what you want, you will finally fall in love for the final time.
But in order to have the healthiest, happiest relationship with your final love, you have to accept the love you once felt for others.
You have to accept that it will always be a part of you, that it will always occupy a space in your heart and your mind. You have to know that there is nothing wrong with that, that it?s no reason to feel guilty or unfaithful and that it in no way diminishes the depth of the love you feel now.
We love so many in our lifetime and we lose just as many, yet we never question the morality of loving a friend that?s no longer in our lives or loving a family member that has long since passed. Our love for them peacefully coexists with our love for our partners, so why can we not accept that for what it is and allow it to remain as well?
Realizing that I would love my past partners forever was an uncomfortable reality for me. Many of these men had put me through such pain and such heartache that I wanted all memories of them, all vestiges of the love I once felt to be instantly erased, especially for my hardest of heartbreaks. I wanted a reprieve from the pain. I never again wanted to experience the ache of missing them.
But the truth is that love and loss will be forever intertwined. One will always lead to another.
So will you always love your ex? Yes. But will it be okay anyway?
Of course it will. And if you ask me, the more people you have the opportunity to love in this lifetime, the better.
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