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Now browsing: Hometown News > Columnist Archives > Counseling - One Minute Therapist

At large in the jungle of love
Rating: 2.92 / 5 (178 votes)  
Posted: 2008 Jan 18 - 02:57

OK, all you single people, this one's for you. You deserve attention and Lord knows you need it.

For the heart is a lonely hunter; courage and patience wear thin. You've been up and down and over and out but still the reward doesn't come. Or maybe it does come but then it goes again and there's many a graceless butt kicking on the road to connubial bliss.

Giving your heart is not really a simple thing and getting one back is a whole 'nother story. I know you've been paying your dues, those of you who haven't given up altogether. You've been there and done that and, so far, the big pay-off eludes you. I urge you to keep the faith. The game is still afoot until you say uncle. You have to be strong and stay strong and yet be open and stay open and then, sometimes, close up and disappear. That's not so easy, I know. And, usually, you go home alone. And home can be a lonely old place when you don't want to be alone.

You had this one and that one and none of them held you the way you hoped they would. None of them would go through the fire with you. Either they couldn't stand the heat, or maybe it was you who shied away in fear and trembling; many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip. Sometimes you've hardly raised your glass and the precious nectar dribbles away like yesterday's wine. You're left cringing in your lair, to lick your wounds and dream of what might have been, if only...well, enough of this commiserating.

I want to send you a message of hope and perennial renewal.

Because, you know, the world is full of lonely people and all you have to do is connect with the right one. Not that it's so easy. You know it's not. It's like trolling. You cast your bait out there and then see if the fish are biting. And once you get a strike, that's when the real work begins. Still, it's not as if you have something better to do. And fishing is fun, right?

Everyone (without exception) wants love, wants to receive and give the precious pearl that has no price but costs everything. You have it in your heart. I know it and so do you. It just takes the right combination, the proper fit, a mutual readiness. But you do have to be ready or you will keep missing.

And what is that readiness? You have to be willing to face someone, bring yourself to the table with an open heart, accept your own short-comings and those of another, someone equally willing to endure the doubt and confusion, the disappointment and disillusion that inevitably follow the first flush of romance. And, you have to stand up for yourself. No leaning. This is not a game for wimps. It's going to make you grow. And that hurts.

Lots of people seem to be connecting on the Internet these days. I think this is a great trend and beats the heck out of singles bars and even church. You can find out so much about a person before you even meet. You can pursue this while you're home alone in your underwear and it can be a lot of fun with no danger.

Of course, you never know for sure what's the truth and what's not, so it's wise to take everything with a grain of salt. But don't let that keep you from becoming online buddies.

This is the new cruising zone and it's so easy to make friends this way. And, it's a lot cheaper and healthier than standing around drinking, waiting for a likely needle to show up in your local haystack.

By the way, when the time comes to actually meet up in the flesh, make sure the first time is both convenient and safe. Meet for coffee or a drink in a public place with any further togetherness dependent upon a decision based on that meeting. You want to keep your options wide open at this point and realize the odds are probably stacked against you.

But, what the hell! You haven't risked anything and, even if you don't really click in a big way, at least you've met a new person,maybe even a friend. And just maybe your new friend has a brother or sister or roommate who's more your style. Don't be too eager to burn your bridges. You might be building a network that will ultimately heal your loneliness. Try to stay hopeful and positive. Nobody needs another depressed friend.

Meanwhile, there are blind alleys, trysts that lead nowhere, sycophants, abusers and losers who offer nothing of value. Pass them by. Your treasure lies elsewhere. Know that when you find it, you will still have to earn the right to keep it.

Hugh R. Leavell has been a marriage and family therapist in Palm Beach County for 18 years. He offers free seminars on couples communication and conflict management. Call him at (561) 471-0067 or visit his Web site www.oneminutetherapist.com.

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