[This article was first written for and published on The Opinion Panel.]
In a post written for my blog (“Heal Dammit, Heal”), I mentioned that I’d been cheated on. But what I didn’t mention was that my ex used to constantly, almost every fortnight, accuse me of cheating on him. He’d suggest that I should delete male colleagues from my contacts list (as I no longer worked with them). But he wasn’t really suggesting, as much as he was instructing. And when I’d ask him to stop, he wouldn’t listen. This is my story of how I got over this toxic relationship, and why I still believe in love.
Leaving the past behind me
It took almost two years to move on from that relationship.
The thing about love is that it has so much power; to either make you feel like you’re floating on air, lounging on clouds with the birds and unicorns, and then it can send you crashing to the ground. Bleeding, broken and in a whole mess.
And the thing about heartbreak is that it hurts so much, it feels as though you’ll never be mended again. So then the question is: is love worth the heartbreak?
Is love worth the heartbreak?
Well . . . is it?
If I were asked this last year, I’d have said no. I never planned on falling in love again. Nor did I want to. “Who cares?” I’d tell myself, “I’m happy on my own. What can a man give me that I can’t give myself?” Then, like a total cliché, I found love again. Just when I had stopped looking for it.
Falling in love again takes guts and courage. It takes the knowing that maybe it could end catastrophically and you’ll have to pick yourself back up again. But you take that leap of faith anyway.
And if you find the right person, you won’t have to be so scared, because they’ll be right there with you; scared, freaking the heck out, excited, happy, in love, nervous. The whole lot. Finding the right person isn’t something that happens overnight, but it does happen when you least expect. When the time is right. You’re right.
Maybe everything isn’t perfect, but this is.
I found my person not too long ago, and I know he’s the one. He’s every dream and plan and hope in human form. The answer I didn’t even know I needed. And now everything feels as though it fits together now. Soppy, isn’t it?
If you ask me now, is love worth the heartbreak? I’ll say yes. Because he’s worth every risk.
You fall in love again by taking that chance when it comes to you, because when you know, you know. There’s honestly no other way of putting it. When that person makes you a better you, when they don’t take your ‘BS’, when they are there for you, communicate like an adult and explain their side to you, when they can make you laugh, when you can make jokes to keep an argument from escalating and delving into deep fires, when you see yourself with them, when you know that this person is the person . . . you hold on and don’t let go.
Top tips to keeping a healthy balance to your relationship
To keep this love and relationship from falling into toxic waters, you need to find the right balance that suits you. It’s easy to want to spend every moment of every day with them, give up everything else just to be around them. But that’s where the danger lies.
Giving each other space is essential. Having boundaries is essential.
Do your own thing. Go into another room and chill, without spending every second glued at the hip. And please, please, don’t abandon your mates. It’s your friends who are always there, so don’t cast them aside just because you’ve suddenly found a partner.
Communicate your problems and issues, dislikes because that way you’ll know what needs to be worked on. Before saying things, think: “will this be hurtful? Can I phrase it differently?” and always remember that it’s you vs. the problem, not you vs. them.
Find out each other’s love language and apology language too. It’ll help you a lot.
Most of all, know what the other needs and wants, and be able to understand when you have to compromise. Finding a balance in a relationship, both as individuals, and as a couple, is so important, just as important as finding it outside of the relationship.