Falling in love can be hard — and falling in love again when you've been hurt before can be even harder. For some of us, the past is easy to let go of, while others really struggle to move on. "Some people find it difficult to come to terms with their past because they are so wounded by what happened, they become debilitated by it," Londin Angel Winters, relationship expert, intimacy coach, and author of The Awakened Woman's Guide To Everlasting Love, tells Bustle. "They cannot let go of obsessing over the details of what happened and what they could have done differently or what they wish they had said. They cannot relax their bodies and allow love to flow because it feels too dangerous to surrender in that way ever again." If this sounds like you, you're not alone.
A lot of people find that the past has a hold on them. It might be that they experienced trauma or had their trust damaged one too many times. But what makes things even more complicated is that sometimes we're holding onto our past and letting it control our romantic life without even realizing it. We think that we're just bored of the dating scene or that things never go our way, when actually it's that something else is holding us back. If you know that you're having trouble letting go of the past — or think you might be — here are the three essential steps for finding love, according to Winters.