The universe may not always play fair, but at least it’s got a hell of a sense of humour!

I have been planning my wedding since the first one I attended 8 years ago (I was 12). I have a book filled with cut outs of dresses, rings and shoes. I’ve planned what readings I’ll have, what hymns everyone will sing and where my reception will be. My dream wedding is tucked away into a black scrapbook, waiting for the chance to be used. I am in love with love. The only thing missing from my dream wedding is my dream husband; probably the most important ingredient.

I thought I found him; I really honestly and truly did believe I had. The way they portray love in movies is exactly what I was feeling in reality. My heart raced every time I got a message from him, I smiled like an idiot most of the day thinking about him and when I was with him I couldn’t take my eyes away. I was absolutely head over heels in love with the most beautiful human being I’d ever come across. I let my guard down; let him see every bit of me. I let him into my bubble. If there was ever such thing as “love at first sight” this sure as hell was pretty close. I could not fault him. Even the way he spoke with food in his mouth I found unbelievably amazing. I was like a lovesick puppy. He fitted my mold of ‘the perfect husband’ tremendously and I found myself planning a future with someone I’d known for a month. And then it changed.

I used to think people who used previous relationships as an excuse to not pursue future ones were weak. I used to think that the excuse of “but my ex…” was just a cop out; a way of getting out of putting in effort with someone or committing to something. Sure, I’ve been cheated on and lied to before, everyone has right? But never to the point of not wanting to find that special someone to come home to every day and give the absolute world to. I say, “used” to because now I understand. Now I know what it feels like to open up to someone, to let him or her see every little bit of emotion you feel. I now know how much it hurts to have your heart shattered into ten thousand pieces. I now know what it feels like to be broken and broken hearted.

I found it hard to have the energy to get out of bed. Everything reminded me of him. Every time a song came on I burst into tears, sometimes I didn’t even need to be prompted; it just kind of happened. I cried so hard and so much I gave myself headaches. I became physically sick and stopped eating. I was absolutely fucking devastated and I had hit rock bottom.

My girlfriends would tell me over and over that it just wasn’t meant to be; that it was his loss not mine. I ate chocolate and listened to The Script and Leona Lewis on repeat. I read love quotes on Instagram and watched every episode of Sex and the City until I could recite the episodes. I did everything any normal girl would do when they get their heartbroken, yet none of this seemed to make it any better.

I think the most devastatingly, heartbreaking thing about the situation is that I am now one of those people who use a previous love as an excuse. I am so scared to be hurt like I was by him. I am so scared to let my guard down, let someone else in, just in case this happens again. Everything I believed about love I no longer believe. I completely question everything I once adored and purely because of one boy.

I believe in life, there is a lesson to be learnt from every situation, whether it is good or bad. I believe from him I learnt how to be raw. I learnt how to pick myself up and dust myself off. I learnt how to hurt and how to heal. I learnt that not everything is perfect, and that love is no exception to that.

I have read every love quote, searched every love horoscope and heard every piece of advice from my amazing girlfriends, yet nothing quite got to me like this did… So, for anyone, whether you be 16, 26 or 66, I just want to leave you with something I wish I had heard from the very start;

walk around with nothing but a smile on your face and laugh a little louder than before, for life is but a journey and whether you like it or not, everything happens for a reason.