No, you shouldn’t get into a serious relationship with someone new while you’re still obsessing over your ex. No, you shouldn’t leap into the first set of arms you see before you’re really ready to move on. No, you shouldn’t end up breaking someone’s heart in retaliation for a completely different person breaking your heart.
But you shouldn’t spend your entire life single, just because one person hurt you, either.
You shouldn’t distance yourself from people who care about you, simply because you’re scared the past is going to repeat itself. You shouldn’t deprive yourself of the chance to build something real.
You don’t have to stay single, just because your last relationship didn’t work out the way you planned. You might feel stupid for falling for the wrong person. You might hate yourself for chasing them for so long. You might not want to ever go through that type of heartache again.
But your future relationships aren’t necessarily going to mimic your former relationships. As long as you’re careful about who you let into your heart and keep your eyes peeled for red flags, you aren’t going to end up feeling like a fool again.
You don’t have to stay single to protect yourself. In fact, that type of thinking is only going to backfire on you. Think of all of the people who have hurt your heart, even though you weren’t officially dating, even though you were crushing on them from afar or pretending you were only friends. Keeping your feelings to yourself, and pretending you don’t care about anyone other than yourself, isn’t going to prevent you from feeling pain. Pain is inescapable. But love? You can easily miss out on it if you don’t give others a fighting chance.
You don’t have to stay single, even though you can take care of yourself. Even though you don’t technically need anyone. You’re allowed to let someone new into your life, you’re allowed to let them do sweet things for you and get attached to you, even when you’re strong and independent.
Truthfully, it takes strength to allow someone new into your world when you’ve been burned before. It takes courage to embrace your vulnerable side. There’s something fearless about giving love a chance.
Just because your heart is hurting, it doesn’t mean you need to stay single. You’re allowed to let yourself love again. You’re allowed to get your hopes high. You’re allowed to feel.
Even though you’ve gotten screwed over in the past, you need to give yourself permission to take risks. You need to stop worrying about the what ifs and consider the possibility that something beautiful can come from your connection.
It isn’t a mistake to spill your heart to someone who makes you feel awake, alert, alive. It isn’t a mistake to give this whole relationship thing another shot. Yes, there is always the chance you will end up getting your heart broken again. But there is a chance you could end up with your forever person, too.