“Have enough courage to trust love one more time. And always, one more time.” -Maya Angelou
There is no all-encompassing formula for relationships. The diversity of individuals in this world ensures no possible algorithm for success. Consider yourself fortunate if you get it right and find someone whose values and perspectives beat to the rhythm of your own life. But relationships also fail. Sometimes we choose the wrong spouse. Or we try to change into someone that we are clearly not, in order to fit our partner’s ideals. And other times when the music stops and the world around us proclaims that it is time to get married, we simply settle for the person in closest proximity.
Amidst the carnage of a failed marriage, as your days become consumed with prying the broken shards of glass from the wounds of a shattered life, it is hard to conceive that anyone will ever be worth the risk of going through all of this again. But a life without love is incomplete — Love is always worth it.
A divorce forces you to take a “time out” in your life to reflect and re-evaluate every variable that did not serve you and your relationship. Your marriage has made you well aware of the intricacies involved in maintaining a partnership that will get you through the minute details of daily life, from sunrise to sunset.
Going through this experience teaches you what you can and cannot handle. This invaluable knowledge will help you to define and respect your limits — “limits” that will entail how far you will be able to go for the one you love and the places you know you cannot venture because it is beyond the realm of your capabilities. The second time around, your experience will guide you to choose someone who fits within your limits, and your relationship will be much better for it.
There is a unique type of strength that comes from walking away from love. This strength will ensure from the moment that you let go, your standards will never waiver. It is the same strength that will propel you forward when you detect red flags from a potential suitor. Remember that if the person who loved you couldn’t provide what you need out of life, you are far less likely to accept anything less from a person who simply “likes” you. No one in this world will ever be perfect, but your marital experience has defined exactly what is perfect for you, and from now on, you will only accept what you know you deserve.
The beauty of falling in love again is the opportunity to embark on a relationship rooted in certainty. You start to feel the rhythm of everything that is right in your world, rather than the pressure to conform to it. You learn to draw confidence from all the elements of your personality which your former spouse once labeled as flaws, because this time you will choose someone who revels in every detail that makes you who you are. Insecurities melt away when you find someone to love who knows that you would be incomplete without all these integral components, flaws and all. When you meet the right person, instinctually you will know that your future will include that person. Period. No doubts. No hesitation. No second guessing.
Freedom from societal expectations is one of the best parts of searching for love the second time around. The opinions of others are irrelevant because experience has made it clear that you are the only person that needs to embrace every aspect of your next marriage. As you embark on building a world of happiness that is not dependent on anyone else, you no longer look for someone to “complete you” or check off all of your boxes. Instead, you learn how to complete yourself, before looking for someone who can share in that completeness.
In the aftermath of a divorce or failed relationship, a second chance at love reverberates the juxtaposition between a life plagued with doubt and a world of clarity. Finding the right person erects a quiet confidence inside of you, derived from your own self-awareness and what you both possess together. Enter into this new life with complete certainty.
Choose to trust this new start as if it was the first time around. Enjoy every new smile, revel in every stolen kiss and commit to fresh promises. Do not hesitate to build your second chance at love brick by brick, and be prepared to throw time completely out the window. It may not happen in your twenties, maybe not even in your thirties. But it will be worth the wait. Just have the courage to believe that someone will love you again, and this time it will not fail.