Think of your entire love life as a video game, a really complex one.

You’ve been at it for years, and it doesn’t seem to end. As much fun as it can be, sometimes, you just want it to be over. Sometimes, you stop playing for a while. But hey! You’re going in for the next round soon. You’re progressing level by level, and each level is getting tougher than the last one. But you’re also feeling closer to winning than ever before.

Or are you too scared of losing?

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If you’re currently single and still haven’t settled for one person, this is exactly how your dating scene has been. Every time another one bites the dust, you wind up, take a break and move on. Picking up the pieces might sound like cliché, but that’s the only way out. Whether you tried your best to make it work and failed or bailed out, the fact is that you’re back to square one.

Some break ups are messier than the others. Letting go of a serious relationship is much harder than ending a casual fling. But once you know it’s really over, you have no choice but to start getting on with your life again. Start from scratch and hope for the best. Sometime in the future, you’ll stumble upon someone else and begin again.

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Unless you’re fucking around, every broken relationship is going to bring regret or guilt, anger or sadness, relief or pain. But when these emotions strike you repeatedly, you’re left tired. The wounds take a while to heal but you can't wait forever. Exchanging numbers with someone new at a party is always exciting, but after a few years in the same grind, you’re a little weary. It might seem like a tedious task, and honestly, it can be.

By now, you’ve got some rules of your own. And you swear by them.

On the other hand, a song or a place can trigger memories with a person who’s now a ghost. You’re haunted by past emotions and incidents, wondering where it all went wrong. A bittersweet sensation fills the chest. You try hard not to remember. On lonely days, you imagine being alone for the rest of your life and fear never finding ‘the one’.

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We, millennials, are always panicking.

Beyond a point, it’s not even like you’re crying for someone else; you’re crying for yourself. In the world of love, you’re still a passerby. You come and go but never really stay for good. Many years have been lost, and more time is flying away. And you’re on your own. After giving so much, you’re left with nothing. So how was any of it worth it? Why did you put in so much, for what?

The answer to that could be anything, but one way to look at it would be calling it ‘experience’. It wasn’t for nothing! You learnt a lot of stuff, even if it sucked in the end. Every person you had was different, with something unique you wanted. It might not have worked out but you can’t call it a waste. All relationships are special, for better or for worse.

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With every lover, you discover a new side to yourself. When you’re getting to know someone, you find out more about ‘you’ too. When you fight problems with a partner, you figure out your own shortcomings. Trying to resolve any matter is like undoing a knot. You’re only getting better with practice.

Similarly, whether you were betrayed or fell out of love, couldn’t stand distance or got too clingy, were dumped or called it off first; you’re also dealing with break ups better. You’re getting stronger, one disappointing heartbreak at a time. 

You shatter like glass but who says you can’t be titanium?

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You’re growing in every relationship. You’re getting clearer about what you like and don’t, what’s your cup of tea and what isn’t.

The nerd and the traveller, the player and the childhood sweetheart, they all let you explore yourself as well. Your time with every single one of them has already paid off, even if you don’t realise it. If you were cheated upon, that person is better gone. If you cheated, it’s time to fix your weakness. If you were insecure, you’ll have to trust more next time. If you were controlled, you’ll learn to say no.

As we grow older, we evolve with another.

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At a certain age, we have a finer picture of who we are going to be for the rest of our days. We decide our priorities. We become mature. Bickering is replaced by two-way arguments. Blame games seem futile. Ego gives way to selflessness. Impatience turns to tolerance.

All you need is time. The ‘right’ person is a myth. A happily ever after isn’t as perfect. Everyone is flawed. There is no guarantee that your next attempt will not fail. Guess you’ll just have to find out, whenever you’re ready.

We’re undergoing a journey of self-realisation. There’ll be many stops and companions. But eventually, we’ll get there. That final place we can call home, wherever it is, with whomsoever. And we’ll reach in due time. Worrying about it won’t get you there any faster.

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So, hold on to that heart and keep going.