Putting your heart on the line

I’ve not talked much on here about my last relationship. And I will.. just not right now. I need to write it out and dissect it, as much for myself as for anything else.

After my marriage ended, and I found myself single for the first time in fifteen years, at first I couldn’t imagine dating again. Then somewhere along the way, it felt right and I dated on and off for a few months until summer of 2018 when I met my ex-partner.

When I finally extricated myself from that relationship, dating wasn’t even a fleeting thought. I was a single Mama of four, with a baby on the way, and a whole heap of unresolved trauma from an abusive relationship. Dating again wasn’t something I had any intention of doing ever again if I’m honest.

Every fibre of me had been destroyed, and the thought of ever trusting anyone enough to have a relationship again was so totally unimaginable.

The last year has been a time of healing myself, and nurturing my family. Rebuilding life, keeping those walls up while I healed and surviving pregnancy/labour/a newborn as a single Mama.

“It hurts to love. It’s like giving yourself to be flayed and knowing that at any moment the other person may just walk off with your skin.”

– Susan Sontag

Now a new year has arrived, a little distance has shown me I may not be fully healed, but I am on the way. While still nervous around the idea of putting my trust in another person, my head tells me that not everyone is like my ex. Not everyone will lie and manipulate me. Not everyone has an ulterior motive. Not everyone needs to control through fear and threats.

Somewhere, deep down, I still believe in love. I still believe that a relationship could be something I want/need/enjoy/benefit from.

I’m not even sure how to go about navigating dating with a small baby. Especially a small, very attached baby. He {and the others} will always come first, and for a long time I thought no-one would be interested in dating someone who has a small baby they are unable or unwilling to leave with someone else. Of course, as he’s bigger he will be able to be left, but right now he needs me. I’ve realised that the right person wouldn’t mind at all.

It’s terrifying putting your heart on the line, especially after it has been hurt so much more than once. When it took so much to trust someone before and they spectacularly threw it back in your face. But I refuse to be a victim. To live life afraid, to actively block love out in just in case I get hurt again.

Live is about taking risks. Putting your heart on the line. Knowing that sadness is as much a part of life as happiness. Believing in love and knowing that there are good people out there.

“The emotion that can break your heart is sometimes the very one that heals it…”

Nicholas Sparks

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