Maybe we’re all just lost, fumbling our way through the dark until we find another connection?


“Are you dating?” I asked, secretly willing her to say no.

She paused. For the longest time. It was the kind of pause that could only mean one thing. Time stopped, my heart suspended between beats.

“Yes,” she nodded.

And my world stopped moving.

You know that sickly feeling you get when you realise your ex is seeing someone else? A flash of heat that starts in the stomach and burns all the way up?


“Oh, that’s great,” I managed in the smallest voice. The kind of voice that tries to be cool but fails miserably. The kind of voice that betrays your true feelings. Feelings that want to scream, “I still love you!”

“I’m pleased for you,” I stuttered. And the lie was complete.

We’d been broken up for two months. Already she’d met someone else. Already. They’d had a few dates so it must have started fairly soon after we ended. That’s the kind of knowledge that breaks you. You can’t un-know that. Maybe it’s just ego? Maybe that’s all it is? The knowledge you’ve been thrown away and replaced so quickly by someone you loved, by someone you thought loved you.

But then you remember you were the only one who said it and they can’t have loved you because why would they move on so damn quickly? After a breakup, there’s often one person still left in it. Locked in a relationship with a ghost. The ghost of what you were, what you thought you had and what you dreamed you could be.

Only I’m the ghost with Rose. Living half a life while she’s out there in full technicolour.

And I can’t comprehend how something that felt like so much suddenly feels like so little. How can you go from being so close to being nothing?

Love can be cruel. Weaving a spell of promise, filling your thoughts with dreams of what could be. How something can go from being the most intoxicating perfume to poison, I don’t know.

But, as I sat there looking at Rose looking at me, all I felt was confusion. An invisible cord of connection linked us. She looked at me in that same, intense, wanting way. But clearly, she didn’t want me, or she wouldn’t have let me go.

So, why then did she cling to me so tightly when we parted? Why did she lift her head that same way she used to when she wanted me to kiss her? Why did she look back so intently when we walked away?

Questions I’ll never have the answers to.

When we met, two months later, she was fully gone. She’d slipped through my fingers like dust. She was happy With someone new. And I know I should be over us. I know I have to let go and move on. But for me, it takes time to get over someone I really loved. I can’t just login to tinder and start scrolling straight off the bat. I need time to process and “do the work”.

The problem is it hurts like nothing else when you’re kicking your heels and the other person’s completely moved on. You’ve lost and they’ve won. It’s as if they’re better at love than you. As if being the first one to find another love proves your own lovability. “Other people fancy you, you’re a catch.” It reaffirms your status as a desirable human being.

Now that is ego talking. It’s not something to be proud of but I guess it’s human. Feeling thrown away and left behind.

But maybe the person who takes their time, lets their feelings pass and mindfully chooses the next relationship is the winner?

Or maybe there aren’t winners and losers in love? Maybe we’re all just lost, fumbling our way through the dark until we find another connection?

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