So, last year you might have read my blog.. “Into the thick of it” which was a round up of my first impressions of the newly single life I was living..
Well, just over a year later, here we are - I'm still single, well sort of. After just reading over my first 'single' blog again, I am positively surprised with how much I have grown and how much I have learnt about men, women and most importantly about myself in the 16 months.
Keep reading to find out what I have learnt in only one year of being single and how I will be navigating *possibly* ending my single chapter.
"I had an incredible summer with my friends and without the responsibility of thinking about anyone else, I purely & selfishly put MYSELF first, which was amazing.. but..."
SO, I ended my last blog being content, with a realization I didn't need male validation or to be dating straight away after my break-up. I had an incredible summer with my friends and without the responsibility of thinking about anyone else, I purely & selfishly put MYSELF first, which was amazing. Don’t get me wrong, I had fun and ended up redownloading the apps just for harmless fun (safe fun thanks to WooWoo’s Protect it! And Slide It Lube) and just to familiarize myself with the dating/hook up scene again.
Being single was so fun & carefree, but by having all my single distractions, boys, friends, summer, events.. I definitely forgot my past relationship ended for a reason and I had these issues to deal with. Insecurities, feelings of guilt and self blame, the hurt of missing someone.. These all came back to haunt me as summer came to an end.. Processing my emotions was definitely the hardest part.
Having to come to terms with my guilt and my bad decisions was an incredibly tough pill to swallow, and I realized.. I may have been enjoying myself and living my best selfish life as a newly single woman, but I had also neglected a big part of myself who was hurting, and she only hurt more from my newly single actions.
"I took a couple of months or so to talk, to cry, to revisit my ex (not like that!) and process my suppressed emotions and it was the best step back I could have taken."
I took a couple of months or so to talk, to cry, to revisit my ex (not like that!) and process my suppressed emotions and it was the best step back I could have taken. After this I realized the ‘casual’ relationships I had were not fulfilling for me anymore, and started thinking maybe I should try actually dating and putting effort into it.
*I feel like this is the part I learnt the most about myself.*
I remember my first date / male interaction after this period and it felt different. I enjoyed being present, I wasn’t thinking about other boys on my ‘rosta’ and whether we would bump into them etc. The date went really well and even though post date I didn't necessarily want to continue things with this guy, it taught me a lot and was a really positive experience for me.
Surprisingly so, the next few days after this date I ended up meeting with someone I previously dated in my casual stage.. and we hit it off better than before, and have been in a really positive space since! (yes, still going!)
Navigating something new..
Now onto navigating something new, past insecurities and cautions are bound to creep up on you sometimes, but communicating these without blaming or without jumping to conclusions has actually been working *pretty well* for me so far.. Who would have thought?
There are always going to be hiccups and teething problems.. Which is where it gets difficult to not feel like this relationship, is something that you may have experienced before..
"Looking at your new relationship with fresh eyes"
Even though your new situation will probably have been so easy up until now, which is why we love new relationships and experiences because they usually come with little to no baggage.. Not before long faultfinding comes in and the same old blame-game begins, and what was fun, exciting and new slowly takes on the appearance of what has always been..
For instance, maybe you’ve been cheated on in the past (like myself), betrayed in the most cruel ways, or perhaps an abusive relationship; so that now the thoughts you carry onto each new relationship are pre-coloured with a harsh sense of caution you can’t seem to shake. With the slightest hint of having to relive anything like the trauma or negativity of the past, our own thoughts become fearful and rush in, to place that guard back or to run away, stealing or preventing the possibility of forming anything new or meaningful.
For me, reading and learning about my emotions and how to move forward with these, allowed me to leave *majority* of my baggage at the door, and see my new situation with *fresh eyes*. If you’re open to reading about maybe why you can’t let go of certain things, try reading about attachment styles - this should clear a lot up!
As long as someone else understands my boundaries and my past, and can reassure me of that, then I need to understand that punishing them for things other people have done to me just simply isn’t fair. If doubts and fears appear then to communicate and talk openly with your new person and without arguments and hopefully minimal conflict, yours (and their) insecurities from the past will slowly but surely start to disappear.
Basically my advice would be: don’t let bitter experiences change your perception of love.
Don’t let someone else’s actions or your past behaviors make you think you’re unlovable, or worse - allow yourself to play games in future relationships.
*Do not* punish someone new because of someone from your past.
by, Millie Shields