When you’ve been heartbroken and hurt in the past, learning to love again is the most difficult thing you can imagine yourself doing.
You’ve given up on the idea of ever finding your soulmate and you think that the only way to save yourself from another heartbreak is to shut your heart off completely and never put yourself out there.
Learning to love again is basically all about leaving your past and everything you’ve been through behind and trusting someone new not to make you go through the same pain all over again.
Sounds courageous, right? Well, it certainly is.
However, once you finally find the right person, all the effort becomes worth it.
You’re happy when you manage to tear down your walls and that you have the bravery to reopen your heart.
Easier said than done, I know. Nevertheless, here is a step by step guide on how to accomplish it.
12 Ways To Learn To Love Again
1. Remember all the benefits of true love
Don’t get me wrong—there is absolutely nothing wrong with being single. However, you don’t have to sentence yourself to a life of solitude just because you’ve been hurt in the past.
Yes, love can hurt you—there is no doubt about that. However, instead of constantly focusing on its bad sides, remember all the benefits of true love.
Love makes you feel safe, it improves your mental and physical health and it makes your heart fulfilled.
Having a romantic partner doesn’t only mean having a lover—it is also about finding your best friend and forever person who will always stick by you, no matter what.
Yes, putting yourself out there is scary and anything but easy, especially if you’ve been through a lot.
There is always a chance of getting your heart broken all over again but there is also a chance of finally finding someone to share your life with and someone who will help you erase all of your scars.
So, when you look at things from this point of view, I guess learning how to love again is definitely worth it.
2. Cut ties with your past
The process of reopening your broken heart to the possibility of a new romance includes healing and moving on.
Therefore, something like this cannot be done if you are still dwelling on your painful past.
That is exactly why the next step is to cut all possible ties with your past.
You see, there is no point whatsoever to pretend that you want to turn a new page of your life if deep down, you’re still hoping for your ex to return.
After all, you don’t have to necessarily love this person; it is more than enough for them to still exist in your mind in any possible way for you to be held back from moving on.
Forget about hating them, don’t waste your energy on resentment or grudges and don’t plot revenge against the one who’s done you harm. Instead, just do your best to let go.
Let go of all the emotions you had or still have for this person, of all the could-have-beens and should-have-beens, let go of your memories and most importantly—get rid of your emotional baggage.
3. Focus on healing
Once you really decide to kick out your ex from your life, mind and heart, it’s time to invest all of your energy into a healthy healing process.
You built some walls around you and you decided to shut off your broken heart—otherwise you wouldn’t have to learn to love again.
Therefore, it is more than clear that this person caused you some traumas you still carry around.
And these are the issues you should resolve before taking a leap into your future.
Healing is not just about not loving your ex anymore and getting over your break-up—it is also about fully recovering from everything this person did to you.
I won’t lie to you—this will probably take time but that is the whole point.
Of course, you always have the option of doing everything the easy and the quick way—the option of sweeping everything you’re dealing with under the carpet and pretending that your baggage doesn’t exist.
Nevertheless, in this case, don’t hope for any long-term results. Sooner or later, your past demons will come to get you and you’re back to square one.
On the other hand, if you really want to move on in a healthy way, nurture your heart.
Release any negative emotions you have and find the strength to forgive and let go.
Firstly, forgive your ex for hurting you. Trust me—only when you do this will you be ready to get rid of the hold your past still has on you.
After that, forgive yourself for not knowing better. Be kind to yourself and prioritize your own needs.
Remember that your relationship with yourself is most important so don’t forget about the importance of self-love and self-respect.
4. Stop thinking that you’re not meant to be loved
There is no point in learning to be in love after being hurt if you don’t expect to get some emotions back.
However, that is not possible if your past experiences or your ex made you think that you’re unlovable.
Just because you made a couple of wrong choices, it is not necessarily a sign that you will never find the right person.
Just because one or a few of your exes didn’t treat you the way you deserved, it doesn’t mean that everyone in your future will be the same.
The biggest mistake you can make is to let your past impact and in the end destroy your future.
So please, change your mindset and have some hope that good things and people await you.
Most importantly—start loving yourself more.
After all, you can’t expect to get any high-quality romantic love until you give yourself the self-love you deserve and you can’t expect others to see you as lovable unless you do so first.
5. Reconsider your relationship patterns
Even though you have to get rid of your belief that you’re not meant to be loved, you still have to take responsibility for the biggest mistakes and the poor choices you made regarding your love life.
After all, all those wrong people weren’t magically sent to you—you were the one who picked them and the one who stayed in your unhealthy relationships.
First of all, you have to identify your toxic relationship patterns which brought you to this entire mess and then decide that you’ll never repeat them again.
Do you have a tendency of being with the same type of romantic partners who are clearly not right for you?
Do you happen to stay in relationships that are doomed to fail because they become your comfort zone or out of fear of being alone?
Focus on some introspection and try figuring out what it is that you do wrong.
Otherwise, you can’t expect to ever find a loving relationship, change your dating habits and improve your chances of having a happy love life the next time you put yourself out there.
6. Determine your relationship standards
After you’re done with resolving your past issues, it’s time to dedicate yourself to the present and the future.
The fact is that you can’t fall happily in love unless you realize what or who you want.
Nobody is telling you that you shouldn’t follow your heart when it comes to finding a loving relationship but you have to turn on your brain while doing so as well.
That is why it’s crucial for you to set up some relationship standards. What are you looking for?
What are the things you expect to get from your partner? What is the type of behavior you would never tolerate?
This doesn’t only apply to serious relationships—you need to determine your most important dating deal-breakers as well.
What are the personality traits and characteristics which would make you write someone off immediately, without giving them a second chance?
Don’t worry—you’re not too picky for thinking like this; you’re just protecting yourself from making mistakes as much as you can.
7. Put yourself back out there
Now that you have it all figured out, it’s time for some concrete action, the time to put yourself back in the dating pool.
You’re ready to reopen your heart and it’s the perfect moment to try and find someone to help you finish this process.
I’m not saying that you should go around pulling people by their sleeve and asking them to be your boyfriend or girlfriend.
For starters, it will be enough for you to put your guard down and be open to the possibility of dating.
You can install dating apps or go speed dating, where you’ll meet a bunch of singles who possibly went through the things you’re going through right now.
If your best friend suggests you go on a blind date with someone they think you might like, at least consider that option before you turn it down right away.
Flirt, make the first move when you feel attracted to someone or give your number to that guy or a girl who approaches you and starts hitting on you.
After all, what’s the worst thing that can happen?
A person doesn’t have to knock you off your feet for you to give them a chance; just have fun and see where it goes.
After all, I’m sure you’re pretty rusty and you could use some practice.
8. Don’t jump from one relationship to another
However, this doesn’t mean that you should be jumping from one relationship to another in the search of the right person because that can bring you more bad than good.
Once you engage in modern dating practices, it is easy to be dragged into an endless circle of almost relationships, one-night stands, friends with benefits kind of arrangements and other types of situationships.
However, you are already vulnerable enough and you don’t need any more emotional damage.
Remember—just because you decided to let your guard down, it doesn’t mean you should let just about anyone in your heart.
It is one thing if you give people a chance to get to know you and to show you why they’re worthy of your attention but it is completely different if you open up to just anyone who crosses your path.
9. Take things slowly
When you’re learning to fall in love again after you’ve finished a serious long-term relationship which left you with a serious heartache, it is quite easy to fall into the common trap of wanting to continue where you left off.
Well, let me tell you that this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make while trying to find a new loving relationship.
At first, you have these high and thick walls around your heart and you don’t let anyone cross them.
However, once you let your guard down, you quickly go back to your old ways.
You’re used to being in a committed, intense relationship so now you simply don’t know how to function when you’re just starting something new.
Therefore, you try to skip the introductory part and immediately take your romance to the next level, without even being aware of doing so.
This is nothing unusual and happens to most people in your situation. However, it is not the way to go.
What you should do is let go of expectations. Try your best to take things slowly and don’t rush anything.
Instead of planning your wedding day and giving names to your imaginary kids right from the first date with someone you like, go step by step and enjoy the moment.
Don’t obsess about the potential and instead enjoy the present moment.
10. Don’t engage in overthinking
Your heart has been crushed into a million pieces by someone you thought you could trust your life with and who you were convinced would never abandon you, so naturally, you lost faith in love and people in general.
All of this caused you to have anxiety and an overthinking problem.
You now can’t help but to always expect the worst case scenario.
You don’t trust people and especially not your potential romantic partners.
Instead of going with the flow and enjoying the moment, you constantly stress out by examining their every move, dissecting their every text message and every word that comes out of their mouth, looking for something that doesn’t add up and something that can serve you as proof of their dishonesty.
Even when everything is going perfectly smoothly, you can’t rest.
You’re overwhelmed with doubt and you wonder if this person you have by your side is too good to be true.
Are they about to leave you hanging? Are they going behind your back with others?
Will you end up alone and with a heartache once again?
Well, the truth is that you’re obsessing with all of this out of irrational fear.
You’re actually subconsciously preparing yourself for the worst scenario, convinced that the failure of your relationship will hurt less if you expect it to happen.
Sounds logical in your head, I know. However, it’s time to put a stop to this practice because overthinking will bring you nothing besides more stress and a lot of headaches.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m not saying that you should turn off your thoughts completely but there is no need to do this either.
Remember that you can never protect yourself 100% from what’s meant to happen, so there is no point in all of this overthinking either.
11. Trust your gut
The best way to find a balance between being overly careful and too reckless is to trust your instincts.
Every time you become paranoid, ask yourself whether this is your fear talking or if it is your gut trying to send you a message.
You see, the truth is that if you feel that something is off, in most cases, it really is.
Apply this to letting new people in your life and heart as well.
You’ll often find yourself in a situation where you meet someone who is perfect on paper but you simply don’t like them and you get a bad vibe from them.
If this happens, you’re allowed to walk away and continue searching.
12. Open your heart to love
Finally, open your heart to love when you see it coming to you.
I know you don’t believe me now but one of these days, your match made in heaven will cross your path.
No, they probably won’t be perfect, but neither are you. However, you’ll know that they’re the one.
And when that happens, please don’t slam the door right in their face.
Don’t let your fears and your past demons take over and chase the opportunity of a lifetime away from you.
Instead, just go for it and believe me when I tell you that soon enough, you’ll see that learning to love again was worthy.
For the end, here are some of the lyrics to an appropriate song to put on your playlist, which can help you see that you’re not alone in fighting this battle:
Mat Kearney- Learning To Love Again lyrics
Your poker face ain’t fooling nobody, nobody here
We’ve all felt the flame and shed those same tears
Driving home to a one man hell, still counting years, still counting years
Hey brother we’re all learning to love again
‘Cause that was the real you running through the fields of gold wide open
Standing in places no picture contains
That was the real you, windows down, we could smell the mint fields crying
Singing with the radio to a song we can’t name
That was the real you saying, “Maybe I’m not too young to be a cowboy.”
Hey brother, we’re all learning to love again
Making up your bed that day on a foreign floor between foreign walls
Thinking ’bout the words you’d say to a phone that never calls
Feel the weight of your father’s ring and all those dreams, and all those dreams singing
And I know you like I know my reflection
Walking on the water ‘cross an ocean of desire
Everyone I know is looking for protection
Trying to pull down your hometown ‘cross a telephone wire
‘Cross a telephone wire
‘Cause that was the real you standing there in the shape of your body
Fear don’t know no love when we’re all the same
That was the real you looking back across the water
Tears falling like rain, drops rippling against the shame
That was the real you singing hallelujah, looking down a barrel
Hey brother, we’re all learning to love again