For those that don’t know, I was unlucky enough to be devoured by an emotional vampire. He charmed me, manipulated me, chewed me up and then spat me out without so much as a second thought. Oh, and now he is refusing to give my belongings back, or the money that he owes me. What a guy.

After the break up, I spent a couple of months trying to be single – dating, having fun and finding myself again. Recovering from a relationship blood-sucker takes up quite a lot of your strength, and healing afterwards is easier said than done. But my attempt at being single didn’t last very long as I have now found myself in a relationship.

He is a burly, blue-eyed, bearded, boxing Balkan bodyguard who at six foot, six inches can fit me right into the nook of his shoulder. Soft-spoken and smiley, he is a true gentleman that opens doors, puts his coat around my shoulders, and warms my hands in his (very large) and manly paws. With a degree in economics and twelve years working in special forces, he has a good head on his shoulders and an open and tolerant view of the world around him. We discuss my feminist writings, women’s rights, local and international politics, and he has spent the last month and a half reading pretty much everything I have ever written. He takes the time to read it twice and digest the musings within, then strikes up a conversation to discuss the various facets of it, along with any differences of opinion. Each day he sends me interesting things to read, or teaches me a new word or phrase in his native language. He drives a motorbike and has three pet peacocks (who he let me name), treats me like a queen, and makes me gush like a faucet – what more could a girl want?

Having spent just over half a year with someone who didn’t like to fuck (intimacy issues anyone?), I cannot tell you how happy I am to enjoy copious amounts of foreplay, followed by a great fuck, and then finished off with him making me come again with his hands or tongue. Sexually, we are perfect for each other. He can be tender and loving, and in the next moment he can pick me up and throw me around the bedroom. Or kitchen. Or bathroom. Ahem.

I cannot tell you how nice it is to be with someone who looks into your eyes as they fuck you, and someone that makes you feel physically small and yet completely safe at the same time. Even after a particularly filthy fuck, he will pull me on top of him take my head in his hands, kiss me sweetly and tell me how beautiful I am. This is what we want, isn’t it ladies?

As for longevity, well, who knows? Culturally we come from extremely different backgrounds and he would never leave his country permanently, whereas I don’t know where I will be in a month, let alone in a year…or two. But for now, it is wonderful. I had forgotten the joy of what it is like to get to know someone – to find out all their quirks and idiosyncrasies, to make up pet names for each other, to find your inside jokes, and to feel that excitement every time they text you or you are waiting to meet them.

I love this part, the exciting newness of meeting someone, flirting with them and wondering what they think and feel. Learning about them and the guessing game of dating is exhilarating and fun. The one thing that I have learned is that it is so important to try not to bring your baggage into a new relationship. Whilst I most definitely have my guard up, I am not automatically assuming that he is a sociopathic fraud, a woman beater, or a wannabe lothario who cannot keep his dick in his pants.

When you have been hurt and you find the strength to embark on something new, you need to look on the experience with fresh eyes. Push to the back of your mind the pain and the hurt that you have felt before and treat the new experience as the exciting and wonderful thing that it is. It might not last and it might go horribly wrong, but there are beautiful things in loving and being loved and you deserve to experience them. The only thing you should ever take with you from a disastrous past relationship is the strength and resilience you have built up, and the awareness of assholes that means you will never fall for that shit again. Everything else can go in the trash with your ex.

The best bit of it for me is that I am remembering what it was like to feel loved again, even if it is just the superficial “love” of the early stages of a relationship. To feel wanted, desired, craved and more than anything, for someone to show some interest in me rather than just themselves is something I had given up on. I have left my emotional baggage at the door and I am enjoying this incredible, blossoming romance for what it is. You will all be glad to know that from now on I can get back to reviewing sex toys and outfits because I have some rather tall, handsome, and manly inspiration.

Bring it on.