By Holly Brighouse

In order to be completely authentic and accepting, I’m going treat this article like a diary. Imagine yourself, coming in from an exhausting day, unwinding and letting yourself indulge in your feelings. Grab a beverage of choice, and take a deep breath, this could be a long one.  

What is love? How do you define L-O-V-E? Is it the smile that sprawls across your face when they message? The butterflies you feel fluttering when you lock eyes? Or is it just the safeness you possess in their company? Whatever it is, love can require many of your emotions to exist freely within you. Some people are born romantics and exist purely to love, and to be loved in return. Others object entirely and prioritise themselves in order to fulfil their own aspirations and let the ‘love’ thing come later. Whichever it may be, or somewhere in between, we all suffer the highs and lows of this deep and complicated emotion.  

We are often led to believe by storybooks and wives’ tales that the best relationship are the ones where characters are happily married by the age of 30. They all live within an aged lakeside cottage with dim orange lighting and a toasting fire, sat besotted alongside your partner while watching your children play nicely together after an outburst over having to share a toy. For some this is the reality, but we are not characters in a Barbara Cartland story, or a damsel in distress longing to be rescued by her Prince Charming. Love is subjective and we cannot compare these fantasy fairy tales to our own situation. Love will mould around a person to suit their preference, and hopefully find one who shares similar values and time. It goes without saying, that you should always prioritise yourself and not let your feelings consume you, or diminish you into not demanding the best for yourself. Relationships can sometimes leave us strained and out of touch with our morals, to be a healthy companion, we must learn to love & cherish our values and selves, otherwise we may as well all be deemed as frauds. The balance between productive compromise and straight submission is a line that can be blurred or lost over time, for me personally, boundaries are critical to maintain. Love can leave us beaming, a permanent smile stretched across our faces, burning cheeks that blush so hard you begin to feel as if you’re melting – an incredible feeling that we wish would last forever. Your heart can expand like a ripple in deep waters, exploding with affection and happiness, but the ripple can also bounce back and descend into a deep hole. A hole of darkness, emptiness, and loneliness. It’s a dual ended sword, a sword used to protect the ones we love, whilst having a dagger to hurt us the most.  

When this feeling deteriorates, or love takes an alternative route to the one we put forward, we can sometimes be left crushed, dare I say… heartbroken. The trust that comes as a package with love, can often be knocked: an affair, a one-night stand. However, you may feel as if you have been manipulated, lied to, treat appalling, or they’re just not the right person, just to name a few reasons that can cause you to leave a relationship, along with a several other thousand. When we are met with such confrontation and face a factor that could potentially cause your relationship to spiral there is a whirlwind of sensations whisked inside of us. We can sit there in complete silence, and watch our heart plummet, for what can feel like a century, whilst the world around us bustles and we are left stuck standing in time. Often, we are taken by surprise by this sensation and must configure ourselves into order. It is difficult to put into words how we feel sometimes when we’re trying to understand our deep devotion to another, and why we feel it – but we’re human. It happens to everyone. It happened before, and it’ll happen again. Love is universal, and no matter how many times you try to destroy your inner feelings, they will still be there. Approximately 70.68% of couples never get back together after their relationship ends, and individuals deal with their separation entirely different from each other. It can sometimes feel as if you’re self-medicating, scrambling at anything that’ll make the pain ease, even just slightly, and often it’s a temporary fix. Wrongly, we typically & undeniably selfishly use somebody else to therapies ourselves. We tend to inflict our hurt and unhealed scars on somebody else, torturing so someone else can feel our pain.  

Love is universal, and no matter how many times you try to destroy your inner feelings, they will still be there. I am in no way a ‘certified lover girl, personally I find myself unintentionally avoiding love and oppose the idea of a commitment, but I wouldn’t suggest to anyone to live their life this restricted, it is often an internal defence mechanism to protect my heart of glass. Fragile to touch. It can feel quite embarrassing to admit that, but also liberating – I know I am not the only person who battles deeply with feelings as raw as love. 

The purpose of this article is to reassure those who have been left crushed, or confused by love, that we can go through the motions together & to recognise that they’re not alone in this journey. A journey that will have a beautiful ending, a healed mind, and a brilliant new outlook on life. The light at the end of the tunnel may seem subdued for a while, an everlasting eternity in our heads, but this too will pass. Sometimes, we have to lose something you know, to know how to get better. Even when we view our loved ones through rose-coloured glasses, we can end up breaking our own hearts, I am urging readers to choose those, who choose you. And flourish amongst each other’s company and soak within each other’s existence.

But most importantly, soak in your own aura first, before dipping your toes in somebody else’s.  

If you are struggling to cope with your feelings or feeling overwhelmed, seek help from medical professionals or advice helplines such as:

Samaritans- Call 116 123 or Text Shout to 85258