Don't be afraid to start all over again, even if you're alone. Don't be afraid to start over in your life after a relationship, or come across a new opportunity. My starting over was when my ex and I said our goodbye. Like all good things, they must come to an end. Sometimes, they end in flames.

I met my ex on Tinder before senior year of high school. We were madly, deeply in love. The first date, we went to a local arcade because the mall was closed. The second, she spent the night while sick with Mono, and I took care of her. Months passed, and it was by far the best relationship I had. Things were great, happy, in love. We had a breakup shortly before Valentines Day but got back together.

We got back together, and we were happy again, in love. We went to concerts together, trips, adventures. I proposed to her in the pouring rain at a concert that was her favorite band. Time passed. We adopted a dog. We were planning on moving in together. She broke the engagement off over text while I was at work because she had to work on herself. Information I didn't know until I had begun moving on. Two months passed, and I waited for her. I waited for her to come back. When I was done waiting and began to move on, she came back. I let her.

This time around, things were different. Negative. Awkward. Nothing was the way it used to be. We both did things that hurt each other. We lied to each other, cheated, and broke each other's hearts. We adopted another dog.

One day, when she was feeling down, I brought her flowers, I brought our first dog, her favorite snacks, a photo album of all of our favorite memories. I waited for hours at her apartment to surprise her. Make her day. She brought home a new guy. But even after I found her with another guy, I never gave up on her. I never stopped fighting for the love we once had. Even after the lies that she told, I never stopped fighting. Even after catching her with him multiple times, I never gave up.

The day I stopped fighting was the day that she told me she wasn't seeing anyone, that she still loved me and wanted to be with me. She hugged and kissed me goodbye. Because it was the same day I found out she was dating the guy she "wasn't friends with any more" and "Didn't talk to any more."

Its okay to fall back down. One's friends and family will pick you back up again. Its okay to unsuccessfully cope with infidelity. It's okay to hurt and cry yourself to sleep. It's okay to walk around feeling numb, but it isn't okay to let yourself feel that hurt for months. It will eat you alive. It's easy to lose yourself in all the pain. It's easy to lose a good heart. Don't give them the satisfaction of taking that from you too.

I learned that you'll meet a lot of girls, you'll hook up with even more but none will fix the hurt. One day, one will come along and she will show you what it's like to feel whole again. She will understand why you're broken, and hesitant. Afraid. But, she will also hold your hand, look you in the eye and tell you that she will be there every step of the way. She will look at every tattoo on your skin, every scar, and understand every story.

It will be hard to let go of what once was. Sometimes it takes months, years to get back to the person you once were. But, one day, you will realize you never understood what you saw in that person, and it is freeing. You'll delete all the pictures, unfollow all the playlists (Even that new one she made about being broken hearted and missing you), and move on to a better chapter of your life.

Don't be afraid to move to a new city, start a new life, meet new people, make new friends. Don't be afraid to forgive. Perhaps forgiveness is all that is needed to truly start all over again. Forgive, but don't forget, she's not the one coming back for you. A person's actions at the end of a relationship speak true to their character.

In the words of Will Smith, and my father, "ain't no pain like from the opposite sex, gonna hurt bad, but don't take it out on the next, son."