How To Fall In Love Again

Take a deep breath. Open the door to the bar. Contemplate running right back out but go and take a seat across from kind eyes you know you’ll never see again. Try to enjoy yourself anyway. Stumble over your words and fake laugh too many times before you realize you’re not ready to be here just yet. Chug the rest of your Two Hearted and ask for the check. Pay your own tab and thank him for his time before giving him a hug goodbye. Walk to your car alone and put your head on the steering wheel and cry.

Blast “Broken Clocks” by SZA on the way back to your apartment and think about your own bad timing. How you always seem to be catching the signs a little too late or falling before someone is there to catch you.

Against your better judgment, swipe and swipe and swipe through Hinge when you crawl into bed later that night. Start to question whether this is really the only way to meet someone new. Pray to God that it’s not. Detest your generation. Delete the app. Go to sleep and dream about the one who broke your heart. Wake up more tired than before.

Barrel through your workday. Decide you’re just going to focus on yourself for a while, your career, your health, your dog, anything but finding love. Spend time alone; spend a lot of time alone. Stop going out on Friday nights and take longer than usual to text your friends back.

Forget who you are. Wish you were someone else. Decide you hate him. Know you are lying to yourself but continue to lie anyway. Let him inspire the greatest rage you’ve ever felt. Burn yourself out as you realize that he wasn’t so bad and that sometimes beautiful things just end and there’s nothing you can do about it but learn to live with that fact.

Figure out how to live with it. Give yourself a chance. Redownload Hinge. Try Bumble while you’re at it. Remember that a broken heart is a sign you tried. Try again. Get ghosted. Take a break. Take your time. Swipe. Allow room for loneliness. Embrace uncertainty. Learn to sincerely enjoy your own company.

Contemplate where love goes when it leaves. Wonder if maybe it will always exist, even if it’s not here right now. Have faith you’ll cross paths with it again. Open your heart back up. Realize they weren’t The One; realize there is no such thing as “The One” because our hearts are endlessly expansive and there’s always room for more love.

Remember how he encouraged you to stand taller, not slump so much. Smile as you remember the goofy night when you snuck the Fireball shooters into the movies. Remember how he fell asleep. Be grateful he happened. Be glad you two collided once.

Understand that time itself doesn’t heal, but what we do within the passing hours does. Believe a different kind of love exists than the ones you experienced before. Accept that some love stories end but you can still reference its pages. You can still appreciate it for what it was, when it was.

Take a deep breath. Open the door to the bar. Walk straight to the guy with shaggy hair and take a seat. Stay for four hours laughing until your stomach hurts. Realize this is how it starts. Hope it continues. Feel faith that it will.