Pain Before Pleasure: How Falling In Love After Heartbreak Kind Of Sucks

by Jessica Wendroff

Heartbreak can feel like its own season. You never know how long it will last. And sometimes when you think it's over, another cold, dreary day comes to f*ck your sh*t up all over again.

But after the dark seasons of heartbreak have passed, rays of sun gradually emerge from the storm clouds.

It doesn't happen all at once. You don't snap out of heartbreak in the way that you would after a coma. It happens little by little, one cloud after another evaporating until your skies and eyes are clear again.

Once you've finally become mentally, financially and physically healthy, "the one" enters the book of your life. And this time, you're more hopeful than ever about the prospect of love.

As you get ready for your date, you feel like Cinderella going to the ball. Surely your fairy godmother couldn't f*ck things up for you a second time in a row.

On your date, this new beau keeps you up all night smiling. Your mouth literally hurts. You begin to wonder where this person hides the bodies; he or she just can't be this perfect.

But while you're grinning and giggling like the love-stricken psychopath you are, you can't help but recall that not too long ago, a former love made you cry yourself to sleep.

Now you have to tread lightly. You don't want to accidentally project blame on your new boo for the crimes your ex committed. You have to remind yourself that just because one person hurt you doesn't mean that everyone will.

But still, with every new pleasure, you remember a certain pain. You begin a mental tug of war between the person who previously hurt you and the one who comforts you now. It's a battle between the past and present.

You reach out to hold a new hand and everything feels good again, but then you take a step back and realize that your insides are on your outsides once more. You're vulnerable again, and it's scary. One moment you're drunk in love; and the next you remember that alcohol poisoning is a thing.

Falling in love again after heartbreak is beautiful, but every moment of beauty has a certain ugly undertone.

Your first kiss is like candy, but the afterthought is bittersweet.

Fireworks, lightning bolts and atomic bombs go off in your head when your lips first lock with your new person. There's just enough pressure, and there's no accidental teeth collision, weird saliva or dry lips. It could not be more perfect. You go home to your room with sparklers shooting from your eyes.

While you're on your bed beaming about someone's soft, perfect lips, you also realize that you're risking giving pieces of yourself to someone who might not be worth it down the line. This person is a new frog who might turn into a prince or princess, but he or she could also turn out to be just another frog.

You have to close the coffin to your dead relationship in order to give birth to new love.

This person is not who you thought you'd wind up with. You're not with your ex; you're with someone new now. You let go of a toxic relationship in order to lock your fingers around a gentle hand.

Moving on to someone new almost feels like trading in a GameBoy for a Wii. You have nostalgia for the GameBoy, but the Wii better suits you and your new lifestyle.

You try not to allow your past to cast a shadow on what could be a bright future.

You have sleepless nights hoping you're moving in the right direction.

You are a smitten kitten. One minute, you're on cloud nine. The next, you're reminded that love let you fall on your face not too long ago.

So you toss and turn at night, because the push and pull of a new love both frightens and excites you.

You see that what you thought was real love with your ex was merely an illusion of love. It's as simple as that. True love is eternal. It's a challenge and a job in its own right, but it also comes with the biggest payoff. And if your new person is the one for you, the hope and effort you both give the relationship can be continually tested, but will never fail.

At the end of the day, love will always be a risk. But without risk, there's no reward. People are only human; no one is exempt from error. No matter how much we wish we could know, we'll never really be able to predict if someone will abuse, mistreat, tarnish or cheat on us.

What we do know, however, is that all you can do is put in effort and have hope. As long as you've done those two things, you can move gracefully through life knowing that you did all that you could.