What If You Can’t Love Again?

This is not because I am hung up on someone, more like I am hung up on not wanting to have what occurred in the past happen again.

What if the one that got away was it and now you have no choice but to live the rest of your life wondering, “what if?”

At different points in my life, I must have spent a total of five years thinking about this one question. Of course, those moments come when you are losing someone or they are losing you. What I realized only recently though is that I am thinking about them even when I am not being lost or losing.

We all, or at least most of us, at some point, think we have found their person. The one who makes us better than who we were before, not because they complete us, but because they make us want to be the best we can be. People who come into our lives and impact us in ways we never imagined.

A person who makes you feel a part of you that you only dreamed about. Someone you never thought could exist, but right before your eyes, there they are.
Someone who feels so amazingly comfortable it is scary. The comfort you cannot describe. The comfort that is there. Remember when you first felt scared by something, then you saw your mom or your dad as a tiny human? That comfort. Knowing that this person will always make you feel safe in ways you could not even articulate.
That person who gets you physically excited just by looking at you. When you hear their voice, see their name, feel their presence, that person who is there inside you without being near you. The smell of their skin, their voice, the little hairs on their body, the smell of their mouth. Everything about them excites you.
The person who you cannot wait to see. Not for any particular reason, just because. The person you reach out to in high times and low times without even realizing you are doing it.
The person you desperately want to make better or at least make them realize how good they are.
The person, who when you sit in the dark alone, you realize that saying you love them does not even come close to how you feel.
The person who will make you risk everything to be with. This is tough because it sounds bad, but it’s not. Too many people today allow their friends or family to interject what is right for them. Whilst, I think the opinion of people you care about is important, you have to make a decision for yourself. I have three boys and I never have once told them they should be or not be with the person they are with. As they have told me, if I did, I am showing I do not trust them or think they smart enough to deal with life on their own. I do make sure they know they can come to me any time about anything. There is a difference.
Your person!

So, what then, after we experience this person, do we do when they are no longer with us? How do we replace them in our lives? How do we realize that there are others for us and we need to move on?

You see, here is the hardest part; when you feel like you have loved someone that is unlike any other you will ever meet, you remove a part of every person you have yet to meet. You will forever compare the people in your life to some element of what you felt was “perfect”.

What if the issue you have when you meet amazing people and cannot connect with them is the same shade of that feeling? What if the people you come in contact with are amazing, but the shade is still with you? I think about my first love all the time. I knew her when I was a kid and whilst we tried to be together as adults, it never worked. I recall the last time we spoke face to face about it, I was married and she wanted me to come and be with her. I just had my first child and I honestly loved my wife. No way I was blowing that life up for someone who never, up until this moment, fought for me, but I think about her to this day. I always have.

I met my wife after the love of my life and I broke up. It was kinda easy. I am not really sure why or how it was, but it was. I was taken by her in so many ways. I miss that person. That person left my life many years before the physical being that was my wife, did. I got past my love, but what if I couldn’t? Would I be able to give my heart to another?

Now that I am older and divorced, I had the luck of falling in love with someone basically just after my ex-wife and I broke up. I fell hard. She was all the things described above, with the added benefit of her not feeling them. Once that relationship ended, I was faced with trying to figure out how to love again. I cannot tell you the answer because I still have no idea. After her, I made mistakes, made great decisions, and came to be with amazing people. One helped me get through what I can now say was the hardest time in my life, but getting involved in a long term thing with anyone after all that seems harder this time.

Perhaps that is why we find it hard to marry a second or third time as people. The divorce rates go up for each marriage and I realize that, for me, I will have a hard time getting to the alter again. This is not because I am hung up on someone, more like I am hung up on not wanting to have what occurred in the past happen again. I love differently now and I think I always will. How unfair is that for people who enter our lives after “the one”?

Love is something us humans seem to need. I love being with someone and I have done it really really well and I have massively sucked at it, but one thing for sure, I love doing it. What concerns me the most though is that I love now based on what I experienced in the past and if the person I am trying to love has not had that type of heartbreak, will they receive it the same way?

Are those that have been broken able to love those that have not?

In the immortal words of Thomas Shelby, “You cannot break what has been broken. You cannot even repair it to break it again, so go for it. Try to love me”.

This post was previously published on Hello, Love and is republished here with permission from the author.

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