You were in love with your ex.
You celebrated the anniversaries, you spent the nights up late talking about how many kids you were going to have and where you were going to raise them, you were there for him when he felt like his life was falling apart and he was there for you when you felt totally lost in the world.
You thought he was it. The one.
There wasn't a doubt about it in your mind until, well... until the two of you broke up.
Everything was perfect and wonderful until one day it wasn't. And your relationship with the person you really thought you were going to spend forever with came to a close.
It was devastating. It was heartbreaking.
You lost more than just a boyfriend. You lost your best friend. You lost the image you had for your future.
Most importantly, you feel like you lost a little part of yourself.
A few months, weeks or maybe even days pass and, without even trying to, you meet someone. Your friends are all pumped for you finally getting out there again and getting a nice solid REBOUND. You're back, baby!
But then, your "rebound" invites you to dinner the next night.
And you go because why not?! YOU'RE SINGLE.
Next thing you know, dinner turns into breakfast the next morning, and the rebound is starting to feel like a little more than just that.
You're feeling real, actual feelings for this guy. And it feels great! You're the happiest you've been in MONTHS.
You have those beginning butterflies that you had when you first met him.
You find yourself casually working this guy into conversation whenever you get a chance. Your stomach does cartwheels every time your phone lights up with a text from him. You spend hours and hours talking to him and don't even get remotely sick of him.
This feels like the beginning of something real.
But a little part of you can't help but feel like you're doing something wrong. You want to live in the moment and embrace the butterflies, but they're tainted by this guilt you feel.
The guilt is twofold.
On the one hand, you feel guilty towards your ex.
Yes, the two of you broke up. Yes, it's over. Yes, he had your whole heart when you were together.
But something about your moving on so soon feels like a betrayal to him. Not just to him, but to the part of yourself that genuinely believed that you would wind up with him one day.
Then, there's the guilt you feel towards your new guy. Your "rebound."
The guilt you feel for still caring about your ex. For still responding when he texts you an old inside joke. For still letting yourself get a little upset when you see his Instagram pictures pop up on your newsfeed.
Your friends, your family and SOCIETY as a whole tell you that the fact that you aren't completely "over" your ex discounts the love you have for your new guy.
So, naturally, you feel guilty.
But the fact of the matter is, you choose the new guy.
And that's what matters.
You have to ask yourself — and be completely honest — if I could be with either of them right at this very moment, which one would I choose?
If your answer is that you'd choose your ex, well, maybe this guy is a rebound and maybe you do need to take some more time to cool off and re-evaluate things.
But if you really genuinely want to be with this new guy, THEN BE WITH HIM.
Don't let some arbitrary societal rule get in the way of what you actually want to be doing.
Be with the person that you want to be with and let yourself enjoy every second of being with him.
It takes a long time to be 100 percent "over" someone.
What does being 100 percent "over" someone even mean?
Does it mean you're never going to think about them again? Does it mean you're going to hate them? Does it mean you're going to develop a numb indifference towards them?
Obviously, when the wound is fresh, you're going to think about the person a little more than you will later down the road. But I've got some tough news for you: There's a high chance that you're never going to be completely "over" your ex if that's how we're defining it.
For a while, your heart was completely his. He was your everything. You grew up with him. He was your best friend. You loved him.
Feelings like that don't just disappear. So, yes, part of you is always going to care about him.
But by the same token, that doesn't mean you can't completely also be falling for someone else at the same time.
That part of you that still cares about your ex doesn't need to cancel out the part of you that's falling in love with someone new.
You really can have both.
I guess all I'm trying to say here is, life's just not as black and white as we'd like it to be. And that's not necessarily such a bad thing.
Stop being so hard on yourself and enjoy what's happening right now.