There is an inclination after experiencing heartbreak for you to put up walls emotionally to protect yourself from future pain. In cases where your last relationship ended rather painfully, due to your ex cheating on you or abandoning you, these feelings are further intensified. Yet, the more you attempt to harden yourself the more difficult it makes it for you to find lasting love going forward.
It is perfectly healthy and normal to want to protect yourself and give yourself the time necessary to heal from your heartbreak. The problem arrives where you start to leave yourself unreceptive to truly believing that you can find love that will last. When going through heartbreak there is a tendency to lament that you will never find love and that your ex was your last chance to do so, but that is not true. Rather it is your emotional pain and depression that is talking.
It may very well be that you need to take a break from dating for a while until such time that you are able to put your relationship with your ex in the past where it belongs. How long that may take varies with each person, but one of the keys is to be able to eventually look at that past relationship objectively to see why it didn’t work and then take that information and apply it towards your next partner.
Yet, even with all that, there is still a great danger that your heart can become poisoned by bitterness. If you find yourself talking in a negative fashion about your ex on a regular basis, or you don’t realize you are, but have had family and friends tell you, you need to immediately cease doing so. This is not to advocate that you should feel positive about an ex who broke your heart, but rather that continuing this behaviour is only hurting you. There has to be a point at which you decide that you are not going to allow your feelings about your ex to be part of your active life. From there you need to make a conscious effort to not discuss them, and instead focus on figuring out what sort of person you do want to be with.
Another element you need to guard against is looking for signs that your current romantic partner is just like your ex and is going to hurt you in the same way. Just because your previous partner may have cheated on you does not mean your current one will. However, if you keep accusing them, or making insinuations that they will, eventually it will damage your relationship and possibly cause its premature end. If this happens it is a clear sign that you are not ready to currently be in a relationship, or dating, and that you need to take more time to put your feelings about your ex in the past.
You need to be able to judge each new person that you become romantically interested in on their own merit for there to be a chance for it to work. As long as the pain of what happened in your previous relationship bedevils you it will be impossible for this ever to happen.
Additionally, you need to look at the basis by which you are choosing your romantic partners. Are you focused perhaps too much on superficial elements such as what the other person looks like, what their job is, and the car they drive, and not enough on whom they are as a person? Are you perhaps projecting too much on who you think they are rather than on whom they actually are? These are questions that you need to answer before you can heal your heart and trust your judgement. Yet they are vital if you are to avoid picking the same type of person as your ex.
All too often people will jump right into their next relationship before they’ve given themselves time. Yet, that time is critical if you are to grow and learn from what happened in your past relationship rather than allowing it to rule your heart. You need to be open to love and able to trust another human being for it to have any chance to work. Finding that balance between learning from what happened, and having faith in the next person you’re romantically interested in will not be easy, but if you take the time to find it, you will have a better chance to find something that lasts.