When You Fall For Someone Different Than Your Ex

For an entire year after my ex and I broke up, I looked for him. I looked for his eyes, his hands, his laugh, his Sunday morning smell. I looked for his snore, his kiss, his newspaper reading face. I also looked for his pissy attitude after losing a bet. I looked for his inability to communicate under stress. I looked for his emotional blocks and his ego-inflating obsession with social media. I looked for his questionable fidelity. I looked for his harsh criticism. Until suddenly, I realized I didn't have to have the same relationship with a new person.

When you get out of a serious relationship, your emotional perception of the person might become skewed. You don't know how to miss them without missing their flaws. You don't know how to look for something better without looking for the same. But if your relationship ended, it needed to. You probably weren't the best candidates to make each other happy in the long run. And yet you can't help but repeat your mistakes, one date after the next.

But one day, you'll meet someone who is nothing like your ex. They won't treat you the same way and you'll see it as a good thing. Because you don't want to be treated the same — what existed before was not working. So this new thing, this different thing, might be the right thing. These are 13 exciting things that happen when you start to fall for someone who is totally different than your ex:

You Get To Know Yourself Better

When you start to open yourself up to a new type of person, you start to see yourself as a different type of person, in a good way. Your ex saw you one way, and that affected the way you saw yourself. Now you see yourself from a different perspective and learn things about yourself you couldn't see before.

You Change Up Your Life

You got so used to a certain way of life with your ex, you probably didn't realize how much of your routine was guided by your ex's life. When you start to blend your world with a new person, it can take a totally different turn and shake up your life in just the right way.

You See Love In A New Light

Each person loves differently. When you start to really fall for someone new, you start to see that love can unfold in different ways. It's exciting to see how it will feel with someone new, what it means to someone else, and how you can love new people.

A New Future Comes Into View

Swapping out your old idea of the future with the new idea of the future can be seriously emotional at first. You get used to a certain image and get very comfortable. Maybe you and your ex were going to move to the country and raise a family, but now maybe with your new partner, you're thinking about traveling around the world and putting off settling down. When it stops being scary, it starts being really exciting.

You Test Out New Muscles

Literally. Getting used to sleeping with someone new can feel like being thrown into a dance number you don't know the moves to. But it can also be a lot of fun. You get to re-learn what turns you on and how you offer pleasure to others. There might be a lot of trial and error, but there are worse issues to work through, right?

You Get To Learn

Getting to know a new person can be like learning about a new species. When you know someone intimately and you have mutual feelings for each other, you open up these gates to a world of exploration. Every day you'll learn something new about this person that surprises you. People come in so many more shapes and sizes than your ex.

You Start To See The Holes

It will only be after a while of dating someone new and realizing how much they make you happy that you'll start to realize how much your ex could not reach. How can you know that something feels good until you feel it? It will be an intense learning experience but an important one. Hindsight is always 20/20.

You Change Your Standards

You probably always thought you had a type, but now that you're falling for someone totally different, your standards are changing. You don't see people in little boxes anymore. You might even open up your standards to other aspects of your life, too.

You Amp Up Your Self Respect

You might have thought you had a lot of self-respect, before you realized how much you could have. In this new relationship, you'll start to realize that you're taking care of yourself by moving on and don't need to measure your worth according to anyone's standards but your own.

You Realize What You Deserve

It might be hard to accept the affection of a new partner at first, it might feel like you don't deserve it because if you deserved it, why didn't your ex give it to you? But after some time and getting used to, you'll accept what you deserve, and it will be easier to take it.

You See Your Last Relationship Clearly

We all carry small torches for our exes. It's hard to love someone so fiercely and then let the flame completely burn out. But the more connected you become to someone new, and the more right it feels, the more the wrongs of your last relationship will come into view.

You Understand What You Need In A Partner

You probably thought that you understood what you wanted in a partner, but it's not until you're in a happy and healthy relationship that you understand what you need. It's different, and it's important.

You Let Go Of Your Ex

The most exciting part of falling for someone new, is getting to let go of the chains of the person before. The more your heart opens up to a new partner, the less space is available for the last, as it should be.

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