I Can't Love Anyone After You

You weren't the first I loved, and you certainly won't be the last.

I Can't Love Anyone After You

I can’t love anyone after you. It’s weird because I feel completely ready to move on. No, I don’t just feel ready to move on, I know that I am ready. There have been numerous guys after you, and I doubt there will be any less any time soon. So why can’t I love anyone after you? Good question, because I don’t actually know.

I know that I loved you with all of my heart. My existence only was so because I saw you in my future. I saw us. There was, at one point in time, no doubt in my mind I would grow old with you, own a house with you, start a family with you. So when you left, you didn’t just pack up and leave. No, you actually left. You left my mind wondering, wandering; my heart aching and crying. You left me confused and alone. So I shouldn’t still love you or think about you. And I don’t.

But I still can’t love anyone after you.

Part of me walked out that door when you left that afternoon. Fortunately for me, it was the part that needed someone else to make her happy. It was the part that thought temporary gratification was wrong, I am always to blame, and everything falls apart because of me. I didn’t lose my whole ability to love, just the part of loving that put others before myself. The part that meant I forgot who I was in an effort to determine who you were. I can’t love anyone else. Because I am still learning to wholly love myself.

And by loving someone else, I forget about me.

You weren’t the first I loved, and you certainly won’t be the last.

But for now, I can’t love anyone after you.

For now, I am going to love myself. And really, that’s about it. I have to gain back the confidence that you so blatantly stole from me. I have to learn how to live for myself and do what I enjoy doing. It’s like trying to teach a toddler how to walk or chew, but I’m not a toddler and I’m not learning those things. I have to relearn things much bigger than that. And those are some pretty big milestones. But I have to now learn how to be myself again. The self I knew before falling in love with you. The self I knew before falling out of love with you.

Believe it or not, there was someone who existed before you. She was smart, beautiful, and independent. But now, now she’s smart, beautiful, and dependent on you—or someone other than herself, at least. And before falling in love with anyone else after you, I have to fall in love with her again. I have to remember the colors things were before my light was dimmed. I have to remember how happy the insignificant things made me, like painting, or taking a walk. Because those things, those were things I didn’t love when I loved you. How could I? I was occupied, worried about someone else, never focused on myself. I felt as though I required some sort of outside pleasure, and maybe I still do.

I've tried. Believe me, I've tried to love others after you. There have been times I was confident in my current guy choice and was confident that I was, once again, in love with that person. But I wasn't in love with them. I was in love with the concept and idea of being in love with them. Because I don't even love myself anymore.

So, why can’t I love someone after you?

I don’t know the specific answer, and who knows, maybe I never will. But I can take a couple guesses that are probably pretty accurate. I want to love myself, focus on myself and growing and relearning. Before I can love anyone else, I have to learn to love the girl who's giving that love.

breakups
Donna Sczygelski
Donna Sczygelski
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Donna Sczygelski

I am a creative writer whose specialty seems to be falling in (then falling out, but much harder) of love 

See all posts by Donna Sczygelski