Navigating Love After Heartbreak

Sinawo Bukani 3

Me: Takes a million selfies.
Him: Watches me from a distance while fiddling with his phone.
Me: Pretends taking pictures is the funnest thing in the world.
Him: Walks towards me awkwardly and joins in.

We’ve been on three dates and this is the most physical contact we’ve ever had. His chest is pressing lightly against my back and he’s firmly holding my right arm.

The decision to wait was mutual.

We wanted our firsts to be intentional, we loved the concept of aching for each other before attempting any intimacy.

I’m trying my best not to show him how shy our physical closeness is making me but I know I’m failing.

He doesn’t mimic any of my poses. In all of the pictures, he’s staring at my face on the phone. He’s being quiet and intense and I’m left wondering what’s on his mind.

I stop and I turn away from him concentrating on the cyclist coming towards us. The stranger greets warmly and we reciprocate.

Him: Are you going to share those?
Me: Do you want me to?

I don’t look at him. I’m afraid of what I might find on his face.

We live online, and that’s how we found each other. It’s not insane for him to expect that I might post the pictures.

It’s a curious question and also a very valid one.

But I still can’t help the sudden urge to delete all the damn pictures!

I attempt to reason with my wild emotions!

‘He has every right to pre know if I’m about to announce our VERY new relationship on social media.’

His question stings even though I’ve promised to stop seeing rejection in everything he does/say.

Him: I wouldn’t mind.

I’m not listening so I don’t hear him. Something about this moment is making me sad.

His lips land on my cheek and they linger. They travel to my ear lobe and when he gets to my neck, I start to shiver.

That does a better job of focusing my attention.

Him: We’re an us now. I guess the world deserves to know. What do you think?

I nod quietly, still recovering from his kisses.

The heaviness is lifted. The temptation to self destruct leaves me.

I count our pictures. There’s 37.

I’m secretly pleased that I’m not his dirty little secret. But I don’t say this to him. He doesn’t know the darkness my heart has survived and I’m still not ready to recount.

At his request, I send him all the pictures I took.

We are on one of the highest peaks in Johannesburg.

The sun is playing hide and seek with the clouds.

I should be feeling cold but my happy heart is doing a good job of warming me up.

He’s held my hand the whole way until we reached the very top of the pathway.

He sits down on a big rock, he obviously expects me to join him but the insufferable feminist in me continues to stand in protest.

He realizes his mistake and asks if I’d like to sit beside him. I do.

How was your next relationship after a heart break? Did any insecurities and paranoia creep up in the new relationship? How did you deal with it? 


Photo By: Botshelo Mondi

12 thoughts on “Navigating Love After Heartbreak

  1. I haven’t had one. Even the thought of gathering my strength and attempting to make it work with someone new is draining, emotionally and in every other way possible.

    Liked by 1 person

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