Traditionally, whenever I have found myself newly single after a break-up, I’ve observed on average a 12 month period of mourning, this often following on from a relationship that has lasted less than six months.
I’ve stopped dating throughout this time. I’ve avoided places and situations in which I may encounter an ex for fear of evoking painful feelings. I’ve borderline immortalised their mere image, attributing a vast sense of importance to something as inane as their name.
Case in point, I once banned my friends from uttering an ex girlfriends name. In fact, nobody could acknowledge the woman’s existence, for fear of upsetting me. I’ve found myself passionately discussing an ex and the reasons for our break-up months after it was all done and dusted. And so at 30, and with more break–ups under my belt than I would care to share, I’ve begun to see the tragedy in this kind of ‘coping’ strategy.
While we do invariably need time to heal after a relationship ends, and time to grieve, we must not wallow. And I’ll tell you why.
Have you ever spoken to an ex, someone whom you once believed was the Greek Goddess Athena reincarnated, and felt virtually nothing? Because I have. I’ve seen and spoken to women who at one point of my life would have caused me dash out of The George mid Britney in a fit of tears, who, now apart from a minor shrug of nostalgia and a mere twinge of attraction, evoke nothing but an eagerness to push my way to the bar.
Women who, post-break-up, I’ve invested far too much energy in wooing back. Girls I have spent months trying to impress (or forget), when my time could and should have been spent in the gym, or at my study desk. I refuse to do it anymore because life is short. And while our lives may be full of uncertainty, one thing that you can guarantee is that your ex will move on.
They will kiss someone again. They will have sex again – and enjoy it! The person you loved will one day, cease to miss you. The person you loved will fall in love…again.
Now is the above an easy fact to comprehend?
Do I shift awkwardly in my seat when I think of the woman I wanted to build a life with creating memories with someone new? Of course. Does it hurt? Undoubtedly. Yet hold ourselves back we may, but all of the hiding, avoidance and self-imposed celibacy will not change this. Nor will it rectify any of the mistakes we may have made when in the relationship. And so, while I am not about to jump back on Tinder just yet, I most definitely will not be taking a 12 month hiatus from the same sex.
We each deserve to find love, and nobody is meant to walk this earth alone.
So don’t waste a moment, and stop looking back.
© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.
GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.
During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.
GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.