Whilst you’ve been mourning the loss of your ex, you’ve probably decided that you’re not going trust again, that you’re just going to keep it casual, or make tings difficult for the next man. You may even decide that you don’t think you can ever love again.

I remember crying over some assclown about ten years ago and putting Toni Braxton’s ‘Unbreak My Heart’ on repeat. Sure I’d forgotten him within a couple of months and I have to close my eyes and cringe at the image of myself wallowing in the madness of heartbreak.

You want to be love. You want to be in love. You want to love. But you’re starting to close up inside and can’t trust yourself or your judgement.

But remember, Thou must not give up on love. If you give up on love, you give up on yourself.

The crucial thing after a difficult break up is to get this whole love thang into perspective.

Love is a beautiful and powerful thing, but only when it originates from the right place.

Often us loving someone is about us not loving ourselves that much – this is not healthy.

Love should allow you to be you. You shouldn’t be a ‘morpher’ the moment that you declare love and lose your personality and sense of self.

Love doesn’t happen just because you’ve decided it should.

It’s not a case of hanging around until he suddenly realises how amazing you are and declares his underlying love. Where is your love for you?

If you get to live the fairy tale, and really, I doubt you will be able to every single day, minute, and hour for the rest of your life, you are the exception not the norm.

Love starts with YOU first.

If you love YOU first, it begs the bigger question of whether loving him means that you can’t love you?

Love is not about deciding that you love someone even when he doesn’t treat you that great but assuming that your overwhelming feelings for him make it so.

This is the biggest struggle that we have as women. Loving a man for any number of arbitrary reasons and placing our love on him. It’s a bit like “Well I love him so he has to love me and if I love him it means that this is ‘the one'”

We assume that because we think we love someone that it makes the relationship right.

You are far likely to get to a healthy relationship full of love with someone if you know how to love yourself first.

Lose this unconditional love mallarky that we seem to love hurling in the direction of unsuitable men, and start spending a little time closer to home with YOU.

God knows as someone who has been down the rocky road and back again, I know how easy it is to close yourself off and effectively shut down out of self protection.

You become wary of trusting your judgement and you become afraid of ‘failing’.

The thing is, relationships are the sum of two people, who have both of their feet in the relationship, and who both take a leap of faith.

You need to find a balance – you don’t need to be pessimistic but you don’t need to be so optimistic that you keep thinking every guy that asks you out is ‘The One’ and putting your name in front of his surname to see what it sounds like before you’ve even had a first date.

Don’t be desperate. Don’t leave your anger unaddressed. Don’t be frustrated. Don’t operate out of distrust or resentment.

Focus on doing something positive with the negative experience, like loving you more and being 100% committed to you.

In turn, once you commit to breaking any negative patterns and approaching your relationships healthily, commit to remembering the lessons learned from your past, but don’t tar every man with the same brush.

Date the guy; don’t date him and then act like you’re going out with every one of your exes and project! Men hate feeling like they’re dating walking baggage and it’s not fair for him to have to clean up the mess and be punished for the mistakes of others. You have to judge him on the basis of your experience with him – not your past and ideally without a whole load of fear weighing you down.

Instead of saying “I will never trust a man ever again” say “I will learn how to trust a man again and I won’t give any more power to the negative experience, because I need to get on with my life and live it”.

Embrace yourself, embrace your life, embrace your experience, and move forward. If you give up on love, you’re shutting down your capacity to feel. And trust me, if you shut yourself off and declare yourself ‘off’ men or afraid of commitment, you have a lot more waifs and strays from the assclown camp to welcome into your life.

Your thoughts?

Check out Commandment 1: Thou shalt cut off this ‘Let’s be friends’ mallarky

Check out Commandment 2: Thou shalt not obsess

Check out Commandment 3: Thou shalt stop fearing the pain of breaking up and confront it.

Check out Commandment 4: Thou shalt stop doubting yourself and get angry.

Check out Commandment 5: Thou shalt be accountable

Check out Commandment 6: Thou shalt understand WHY and do something with the knowledge

Check out Commandment 7: Thou shalt forgive…but not forget…but don’t cling.

Check out Commandment 8: Thou need to get a life!

Check out Commandment 9: Thou mustn’t give up on love.

Check out Commandment 10: Thou must close the door and move forward

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