A Short Note on Learning to Love Again

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I’ve always believed in love.

Love — or a form of what I thought was love, at least — has taken me to Big Sur and back. It’s been a swim in warm waters. It’s swept me off my feet like a rapid undercurrent. It’s drowned me with sorrow. It’s made me go to bed at 10pm on New Year’s Eve because of the real, physical pain of doing anything else. It’s put a spring in my step and it’s thrown me on the floor. It’s taught me that self love is the only thing that can — truly — help you get back up again.

But I’ve always believed in it, this love thing. 

Love.

When my last relationship ended (Five years. One apartment. Lots of paperwork.) I vowed it would be my last, open-wounded love.

“I won’t allow myself to be that vulnerable again” I’d declare over cocktails with my-ever patient friends. “I won’t allow myself to be that STUPID again!”

But, the punchline is, several months on, I am somehow in love again. And this time? Everything is different.

What’s interesting, to me at least, is that I've spent the past months exploring the darkest depths of my character.

I know my wellbeing is my life’s work now. I know that the answers I’m looking for reside within me and me alone. I know that life is fucking difficult and shit happens and if you aren’t in touch with yourself, you can’t ever really get through it.

 

And in learning this, I fell in love.

I won’t say too much about him (because one of the things I’m learning is that some things CAN be kept for just you. In fact, discretion is healthy.). But what I will say is that it happened when I least expected it, with one of the people I (arguably) least expected it with.

I’ll also say that this love has been the most freeing of my life to date. Why? Because I am learning to love without expectation. It’s a meeting of two seasoned souls. Two people who have been through the first love thing. And the next love thing. And the broken home, brand new start kind of thing. 

Two people who have been through all that, and then some, and chosen to love anyway.

What began as a coffee turned into drinks and then dinner and then the most elaborate dates I’ve experienced yet. The first saw him take me to a place that means a great deal to him. Then, the next weekend, I took him to all of the north London haunts that mean the world to me.

We’ve surprised each other, in one way or another, every weekend since. We plan ahead. We make true effort. We know that love like this is rare and to be enjoyed for however long it lasts. We want it to last. 

 

Our love isn’t heavy under the weight of expectation. It’s light. It’s proof that you too, my friend, will love again.

Allowing yourself to fall in love again is an act of bravery. But be brave. Take the risk, for however long it lasts. It’s always, always worth it.