Should You Date New People Even If You’re Still In Love With Your Ex? 7


loveisbrief

This post has the potential to go in several different directions… and while the title is pretty straight forward, I am willing to allow its contents to take me wherever the power of an epiphany decides to take me.

I stated that as a form of a disclaimer but I hope that you all are willing to journey with me in this moment of emotional transparency.

My simple answer to the title is YesBut in reality, are matters of the heart ever simple? Especially as it relates to dating?

The irony is that… there are a lot of heartbroken people out here passing themselves off as individuals who are ready to date.

And, unfortunately, that creates a vicious cycle that many of us either deny or don’t even recognize to begin with. Heartbroken people dive back into the dating pool prematurely and simultaneously interrupt their own healing process… even if it’s just a minor interruption.

And then there are the ones who then become the “Heartbreakers”, whether intentional or not.

Do I believe that you can get over somebody by getting with somebody else? To an extent yes, I most certainly do. But do I feel that is the healthiest and most effective way to move on.?

Not at all.

And to be honest, I think that being true to what you are really feeling… facing the pain and the responsibility that you have in whatever experience you have encountered.. is the first step towards healing. Honesty.

Sometimes we tell the biggest and most detrimental lies to ourselves. Then we wonder why we continue to have the same experiences and outcomes. Some of us don’t even “keep it 100” with ourselves. We are to ourselves the “fake” people we talk about in memes on Instagram everyday. Isn’t that a shame!?

I was on the phone with this guy one day who had been pursuing me. He was cool but I knew it would never lead to anything. He just didn’t inspire me… but I was open to being his friend, and so we conversed as such. We got on the topic of dating and I mentioned the fact that I believe the problem with dating and relationships is that people are doing both before they are ready.

He agreed and he asked me did I feel that I was ready to date. And without hesitation I said “No, I’m not.”

And it was at that moment that I knew I had hit a level of growth that I never would have recognized a few months ago.

The reality is that I am not ready to truly date… without inhibitions, without preconceived notions and defense mechanisms… with that optimism that inspires the butterflies in your stomach. I’m not even close to ready.

And the reason why I have not allowed myself to get excited about anyone is because I’m still very much in love with a man who is not ready to love me. At least not in the way that I desire or deserve.

To even type that hurts but it is the truth. My version of the truth.

Yet ironically.. if THAT man was ready then I would be ready for him. No second guessing. No moment to consider. Just yes.

Interesting, right?

And that man, whom I’ll refer to as “Libra”, has consumed me.. my mind and my heart for a year now. And while some of that year has been beautiful.. most of it has been pain. Because both he and I have been so unstable in our love for each other that it has become toxic.

And no matter how many times I’ve walked away… declared that it was over.. even forced myself to break all communication.. I’ve repeatedly went back. Regardless of how many motivational speeches I gave myself.. tears I’ve cried and even moments when it angered me that he wasn’t there.. I was always willing to fall right back under his spell.

All it took was the right kind of apology.. the right nostalgic moment or memory to flood my mind with thoughts of him and it was like he had never disappointed me or made me cry. Ever.

I knew that was detrimental to me… and it was confirmed every time I went on a date with a new guy during our “off-again” moments. Nobody was funny enough. Tall enough. Charismatic enough. Nobody listened as well. Nobody had his laugh. Nobody talked the way he did. They weren’t attractive like him. Their physical stature wasn’t like his. They didn’t look at me like he did. They didn’t captivate me like he did. They didn’t inspire me the way in which he did every time I looked at him, thought about his smile or said his name. No one moved me like “Libra”.

And so these unsuspecting men had set themselves up for failure the very moment that they asked me for my phone number. Because, unbeknownst to them, I was am Emotionally Unavailable.

We usually throw that word at men, as we assume that is the excuse for why “we couldn’t get them to commit”… but honestly I had become those very same men. To a certain extent.

And with the “Guys of Dating Past”… maybe I have we have been a little too hard on emotionally unavailable men. Some of them at least.

Or better yet, maybe we have misunderstood them all along. Maybe they were men who were still emotionally anchored to someone else… and with good intentions were trying to break free from that bondage & move on. But we didn’t inspire him enough to escape.

And as an unsuspecting victim we were pulled into a fight we could never win… until he figured out how to release himself from that “anchor” in which he was strapped to emotionally.

And maybe that is “Libra’s” reality too and he just has not disclosed that to me. Maybe some other woman is to him what he has been to me.

The reason he can’t move on.

And although he says he loves me, I can’t say with conviction that he’s lying or telling the truth. All I can say… with confidence, is that I love him.

And for that reason I have betrayed my own possibility for bliss.. security… assurance… & my own “happily ever after” because I have not figured out how to love this man from a distance. To love him but love myself more. To love what he was to me when he was good to me but to accept that currently he can’t be that man to me anymore.

painful

The irony is that even when he upsets me… when his actions (or lack thereof) bring me to tears… I STILL can’t speak ill of him.

Because I still value him… and respect how I feel about him.

Crazy right? The man who I can only count on to disappoint me still has my loyalty….

And because of that I have failed to effectively date. Because even when I try to with the purest intentions… I start to feel guilty.

I’m stricken with guilt for the unsuspecting guy that thinks I’m attractive and pursues me.. because he has no clue that he will never win my heart. At least not any time soon. He doesn’t know that while his efforts are appreciated… they are only the product of the wish that they were coming from someone else.

These men don’t know that every time they call or text me there’s that small moment of hope when I look at the notification that it will be someone else.

That when I sit across the table at dinner I wish I was sharing that meal with someone else. When he tells me a joke and I laugh that I am secretly wishing that the source was someone else.

When I get tipsy or silly.. stressed or lonely I only want that “someone else”. That Libra.

And not him.. that unsuspecting guy who thinks I’m attractive and pursues me. Not even a little bit.

So if asked the question again… the title to this post…

Should You Date New People If You’re Still In Love With Your Ex? …my answer would change slightly.

Yes… YOU (as in whomever is reading this) should… IF you can handle the complexities of that kind of scenario.

As for me personally… I’ll let you guys know if I should once I get to the point where I can awake and fall asleep without my thoughts being consumed by “Libra”.

Until then, I think I should leave dating to those of you with unanchored hearts and just explore platonic friendships in the meantime.

Because in reality, no one deserves to be dating someone who is secretly craving the presence of someone else.

And then the cycle continues…

 


Did this post hit home? Let me know!

7 thoughts on “Should You Date New People Even If You’re Still In Love With Your Ex?

  • Rachel

    That guilt is the worst part of it all. Like you,I too still experience that guilt when Im talking to another male. I too, have gone out with peolle and would be there thinking of the “Gemini” who broke my heart,who Im still very much in love with. So I feel you on that note. However, I feel like dating someone new is beneficial for anybody. Im not talking about serious dating, but casually dating or “having fun” to me is healthy for the moving on process. I know for me,when Gemini and I broke up I was depressed, gained weight and had a negative view of men. A month later,i was always sad, popping out of my clothes and damn near hated men and relationships. Casually dating made me remember the good sides of dating. It reminded me that all men are not duche bags like my ex was. It made me feel beautiful again, with my bigger curves. Most importantly, it slighting started to take my mind off of Gemini. I still thought about him alot,but those little momments wheb my date would make me blush,would make me laugh,would catch my interest took my mind off my ex. I wasnt fully over my ex,but slowly getting there. I feel that you should just let the guy know where you are mentally ,relationship wise. That way,if he stills decides to pursue you,there wony be no guilt and you will be able to focus more of your energy to relationship ready.

    • TheSingleOneInTheGroup

      @Rachel… this comment just gave me so much life that I feel immortal lol. Seriously. .. your words resonate so much with me and I can truly empathize with the journey that you have/are enduring. Because I am there I admire you even more. .. because I know just how strong you have to be to even approach each new day when your heart is held captive by someone who doesn’t exercise their power in the beautiful way that love intended. Eventually we will look back and be beyond this experience. What a beautiful day that will be…

  • Nelsy

    This was super intense! I love the fact that you got personal and where able to share your current citation, how it relates completely to the post and your explanation for what you think is going on in “Libra’s” life. I think your philosophy can be one of the many real scenarios why this guy can’t seem to do right by you.

    Ok so here’s my opinion, I think that it all depends on the individual’s healing process. Everyone is different and therefore heals differently. For some of us, it takes months and sometime even years of being alone, taking your time to “de-cluttering” your heart, to cleanse and get ready for your next encounter. For others, it takes one or the attention of several ( 😉 heyyyyyy) men to remove that hurt, pain and heartbreak. In my country (Dominican Republic) we have a saying that goes like this “Un clavo, saca a otro clavo” It translates to “One nail, drives out the other nail”. My interpretation of this is simply that to make something pass you need to fill it with something else. For love matters, its finding another love to forget one you loved. I think its a positive statement to keep you on your toes and away from the negative thinking. This is my personal way of healing. I do not think that you should date immediately. It good to take a few weeks maybe a month to yourself before you start all over. However, the faster you get back in the game the faster you will find the next potential love of your life!

    • TheSingleOneInTheGroup

      @Nelsy Girl… I literally fell in love with your reply… and I could never in a million years agree with you more! I too see the potential for success in “driving out the old nail with the new on”. Honestly, I’ve always believed this and practiced it in my past heartbreaks.

      I truly can’t wait for the day when I’m ready to “nail” again. .. when I come across a good, sturdy nail that I’m sure will be a great replacement for the old nail in its place.

      I absolutely hate the healing phase. Sometimes it’s more painful than the initial heartbreak itself.

  • Bri

    In the words of Alonzo from Training Day ‘ These disloyal foolasspunkmadeb!@$&’! The loyalty that we (women) provide to men who don’t deserve it is (for me) a neglect of my own needs as well as a reflection of my desires. I give loyalty bc I thirst for it in return. This past year I have spent dealing with 7 years worth of memories! My broken heart is disloyal it tells me you have grown…you are better without him and turns around and yearns for him. So what I realized with this fickle heart is…I am honest and true to the process. My emotions vary depending on the trigger. I am not ready to date. My reasons are spiritual and practical. My value is/has been compromised and it takes us a long time to forgive ourselves for our contribution to our own heartbreak. And this is where I sit…unforgiveness for me, him and her. But it’s cool Iyanla about to fix my life with her e-course on FORGIVENESS!

    • TheSingleOneInTheGroup

      @Bri Your post almost brought me to tears… I can relate to everything you said. I can’t even. ..

      Your words represent exactly how I feel and I totally agree with you. It sucks when you go through these stages where you don’t know who to be more upset with… him for hurting you or YOU for hurting you.

      Then there’s the shame you battle with. .. because I’m supposed to be this strong, self assured, confident woman yet I have progressively allowed my love for a man to make me challenge everything I once valued about myself.

      It hurts. And sometimes what hurts the most is not that he broke my heart. .. but that I did.

  • Ash

    I know I’m late, but I can’t find the strength to allow another man into my space, even if i is a casual situation. I have invested my heart into a man and over a half a decade later, I am still completely in love with this man. The pain of his ill received responses to my feelings leaves me shatter, yet I love him still. Unconditional, God like Agape love. Everylasting and unfaltering. He is the ying to my yang, my life’s dream. I too feel the ting of guilt that not only he broke my heart, I broke my own. My mistake is hold on to his kind old words of possibility and opportunity. My kindheart has since been a subject to be despised and I cray from every fiber of my being because I can’t see anyone but him. I have other projects that I am working on, but he is constantly on my mind. I was lead on. And I’m praying every second for God to pull the wool from over his eyes and him see me. Flawed and all, but still a heart filed with love the same as mine. My heart beats for him. I truly believe he is my soulmate, but I have noone but but God and my journal to vent to . I pray one day he sees. This pain is unbearable and he wont even speak to me at this point, mind you Ive done nothing wrong. My life wont stop, but I’m not interested in getting to know anyone else. My mind is made up. He is it for me.