When you get your heartbroken by someone you thought would stay by your side forever, your entire world collapses. Besides feeling this enormous pain that is breaking you apart on the inside, you also lose faith that you could find happiness ever again. You shut yourself off and you give up on the possibility of finding love ever again.

However, after a while, you start to heal. After some time, a man who is worthy of your attention enters your life. Before you know it, you find yourself learning to love again and here are 6 things that usually happen in the process.

1. You are afraid

If you’ve been hurt in the past, the last thing you want to allow is to get your heart broken all over again. So obviously, you are terrified of going through the same shit once more.

You are scared of allowing yourself to let someone new into your life, you are scared of opening up to love again and scared of repeating the same mistake. You’ve lost faith in your judgment-making skills and you overthink your every move, trying to protect yourself.

Even though you see that this new guy who entered your life is nothing like your ex, you keep doubting his intentions. It is more than clear that you have strong trust issues and you can’t start believing men overnight, after everything you’ve been through. You want to prevent all of this from happening and you don’t want to let your fear control you but somehow, it keeps blocking your emotions and it keeps preventing you from relaxing completely.

2. But you are slowly letting go of the past

Nevertheless, despite the fact that the mere thought of new love freaks you out, with every new day, you are actually letting go of the past. You might not even be aware of this but the truth is that you are slowly getting rid of your emotional baggage that’s been burdening you for so long.

You catch yourself not thinking about the man who has done you harm for days. Instead, all of your thoughts are redirected to this new person in your life. You are no longer bitter and negative when it comes to love and slowly, you start to believe in it again, even though you refuse to admit it.

3. You have trouble letting your guard down

Every woman who has gone through some heavy shit in her past had to find a way to protect her vulnerable heart from getting crushed again. And you are no different.

With time, you’ve put on your face the mask of this tough girl. You’ve become guarded, you’ve built thick walls around your heart which kept everyone out because you thought that it was the only way to keep yourself emotionally safe. 

However, you are perfectly aware that these walls have to be crushed if you want to have a healthy new relationship. You know that you have to put your guard down if you want to let love find its way back into your life.

Nonetheless, all of this is easier said than done. No matter how hard you try, going back to your old self is anything but easy and letting your guard down is not something you can accomplish overnight.

4. You finally realize that you are lovable

When the person you loved the most turns his back on you, it is natural for you to be devastated. You wonder why you couldn’t be enough for him and with time, you start thinking that you are obviously not meant to be loved, if this man couldn’t love you for real.

Nevertheless, when you start learning to love again, all of this changes. You realize that you are not so hard to love after all and that you deserve a man’s love, despite what your ex tried to make you think.

5. You are taking baby steps

Another thing every girl who is in the process of learning to love again can relate to is not wanting to hurry things. Instead, you are taking baby steps, one at a time.

It is not that you are playing hard to get—you are just not ready to give yourself entirely to someone until he proves that he deserves you. And there is nothing wrong with that, no matter what anyone might tell you.

Remember that you are not a coward for wanting to take things slowly because this is exactly what you should be doing after all the devastating pain you’ve experienced. You are just a girl who learned from her mistakes and a girl who is smart enough not to repeat them.

6. You are starting to love yourself again

You know what the best part of letting love enter your life after a heartbreak is? It is not loving someone else the way you thought you weren’t capable of—it is the liberating feeling that allows you to love yourself again.

It is seeing all of your virtues and seeing how amazing and beautiful you are. It is the fact that you’ve finally stopped seeing yourself through the eyes of the man who mistreated you, the fact that you finally see your worth and the fact that you no longer allow one asshole to define it.