Topic suggested by Tania, the only person awake and online on Facebook when I created my account on E2. Blame or credit her for the inspiration.
This was also posted on my alternate blog here: http://scriptogr.am/andycyca/post/how-to-love-again
True Love. One of life's greatest quests. Achieving it is easier said than done: even though the concept of Love is more or less the same between everyone on Earth, our needs and expectations can easily get in the way and ruin a relationship.
Love is a fragile thing that can be broken unexpectedly. Sometimes it's a matter of seconds, sometimes love is eroded over a decade, but it's almost a fact of life that one will experience a heart break at some point. Recovering from it is not only possible, but crucial to building character, self-esteem and more importantly, to get closer to experiencing true love.
So here I present my humble point of view based on my own experiences on how to love again.
- Get your heart broken. This might well be among the worst feelings that you can experience, but it's absolutely crucial to loving again (remember, you can't make an omelet without setting fire to the kitchen) If it's over, it's over; stop kicking the dead horse.1
- Grieve. A lot. At this point I should strongly advise you not to fall into the trap of destructive patterns like binge drinking or eating, gambling, oversleeping, excessive gaming (yes, role-playing games fall under this), sleeping around or similar; but fuck it, you're going to do some stupid things during your grieving phase anyway. Just try to keep damage to yourself to a minimum (and seriously try not to hurt others, especially friends and family; you will need them).
- Grieving is important. Keeping all those feelings inside you doesn't help at all. Everywhere people say that strong people are the ones who can show a straight face after a night of crying, but they obviously care more about their personal image than about their own feelings. Don't do that, fuck them. If you care that much about what other people will think about you, just stop reading this and do whatever with your life. Do your job and attend your classes, but don't pretend to be all happy if you're not. Don't lie to yourself.
- Get your shit together. Eventually, you'll get tired or bored of crying over someone who doesn't give a flying fuck. Do the same. Easier said than done, because your self-esteem could be somewhere between a grave six feet under and the Mariana Trench, but you have to face the cold hard fact that you're spilling valuable liquids on/over someone who isn't just worth it. Man, we're running out of safe drinking water and your tears could be better used as sweat on a marathon, a spit on a lying politician or natural lubricant for your nether regions
- Get the fuck out of there. I'm not talking about getting out of your room to feel the sun shine upon your beautiful face. Rather, get out of yourself. While you were crying a boy in Japan won a gold star for solving the Rubik cube in 5 seconds, a bunch of guys in Australia got wasted and went koala hunting and had the night of their lives, a new president was elected on Whereverland and cancer was cured2. Awesome things are happening all the time even if you're crying. It's not all about you.
- It's not all about you so take your number and get on the line like everyone else. At any point during this process, you'll most likely turn to friends and/or family for help and wisdom in these dark times across the Vale of Tears. Be grateful to them, but don't overburden them. Sure, a friend should never turn on you when you need help, but they also have their own set of problems and needs and Significant Others who need sex. Lean on them, but don't be a crutch3
- If you have followed all the above steps you're halfway there. Bear in mind that this may take years. Years during which maybe you will make contact with your ex, or maybe your ex will contact you. Be strong. The whole point of this guide is to tell you that you must forgive yourself and then move on. There will be temptations to call her/him back. Don't call her, maybe.
- Maybe you'll go out to eat one random February weekend at a restaurant specialized in Italian food. Maybe you'll freak out when s/he calls you out of the blue to say that now she lives in the same city where you fled trying to forget him/her. Maybe you'll prepare a speech on how you've moved on and don't actually want to see her and you prepare your victory dance to some upbeat tune by Michael Jackson when you can declare to her that you're no longer interested and thus become free from him/her. Maybe when you see her your heart will melt and the speech and gloating and dancing will vanish from your head and you'll just stare stupidly at how pretty she still looks in that blouse you bought together a few years ago...
Don't look out for love. This is not a freaking safari. Just go out there and enjoy whatever you are doing. Even better, start doing something new that you enjoy doing (I don't know, man. Try underwater basket weaving). Chances are, someone new will come to your life and you'll already have something in common. If not, just repeat this step until you're ready (and believe me, you won't know that you're ready until your best friend notices how you just spent the last half hour staring at the distance, sighing heavily and smiling like an idiot for no good reason when the weather's awful out there)
Live a little. Love yourself. Brush your teeth, do the dishes, eat your breakfast and get some sleep.
- I mean, maybe. Not that it happened to me.
If it's not over yet, you shouldn't be reading this document. However, it's important for you to identify when something is truly over and when it's worth to save it. Failing to recognize this can be hazardous to your physical, mental and emotional well-being. And that would be bad
2 More precisely, a significant percentage of cells of a specific type of cancer on a test animal were inactivated with a certain treatment that might or might not work on other species such as humans.
3Good friends will give you advice. Very good friends will also knock on your door and bring you some clam chowder. Your best friends will give you a pat on the shoulder for getting rid of that someone else and then hit you on the head for not doing it sooner.