Pinings: A whole-hearted agreement
I just wanted to write to you to let you know that I agree with your advice to ďGiving UpĒ 100 percent.† When you stop chasing love, love finds you, and yes, it seems counter-intuitive, but it worked for me!† I dated for many many years, and when I realized that my standards were getting lower and lower, I decided that being alone was much less painful, and much more productive than wasting every Friday and Saturday night reciting my life story to someone who didnít really care about it.† I stayed home, I painted, I wrote, I learned how to sing, I baked, and I really got to know myself.† Months later, someone at work asked me out, and I went, without any expectations at all, and seven years later, things are wonderful.†Despite my 60 extra pounds, he found me attractive because I had an air of independence,†I wasnít clingy, I wasnít needy.† Apparently independence is sexy!† Who knew??
The only other advice I would add to yours would be to tell someone who had a goal of having children sometime in the future is to acquire parenting skills.† When was the last time that her sister/brother/neighbor/best friend had a night out without the kids?† I found playing tea party and soldiers with my nieces and nephews a heck of a lot more fun than telling my life story yet again over yet another dinner!† Because, after all, if you truly are ďgiving up,Ē you have a lot more spare time, and what better way to fill it up than to lighten someone elseís load, and learn skills that you are going to need after you meet Mr. Right?
I totally agree that being alone and being lonely are not the same thing!
I love reading your column, and I think you give sensible, real-world advice.†I donít usually respond to advice columns, but this one struck me on a visceral level, because I lived it myself.† Thanks for listening!
Iím glad things are going well for you and that you learned how to make yourself happy without worrying about how that looked to others. My partner and I had this conversation recently. I had been in many relationships where I molded who I was to suit who I was with. I didnít think I was, but every time after the relationship ended, Iíd look around and wonder what happened to my life. This time, we started out as friends and didnít feel the need to impress one another. As a result, we were both totally being ourselves and didnít experience that pop in the head that happens in some relationships Ė when you start seeing who someone really is.
I also want to tell you, Tina, that the whole idea of our standards getting lower and lower as we keep on searching in vain for love, well, that just strikes home for me. It wasnít important whether I was out with someone I even liked Ö at least I wasnít alone.
Being comfortable with ourselves takes practice and being alone isnít always easy. But if you are caught up in the dating scene and you arenít enjoying it all, consider taking some time off to connect with friends and family, take a class or learn a new skill or hobby. There are so many opportunities to learn that we often miss Ö because we are looking the other way.
Sherry Hughes welcomes letters from readers. Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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