February 16, 2006

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Pinings: A whole-hearted agreement
by Sherry Hughes

Dear Sherry:
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!

Tina

Dear Tina,
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 sah103@hotmail.com.

Comments?†Thoughts? Discuss this article and more at hippoflea.com



02/16/2006 A whole-hearted agreement
02/09/2006 Growing apart
01/26/2006 Tuning out?
01/12/2006 Under pressure
01/05/2006 Sex isn't everything?
A Few Words From Sherry

A LIttle Joy, A Little Heartbreak
Abusive Relationship
Abusive Relationships
Advice to young mother
Annual Tips For Avoiding The Holiday Fight
Any Way To Return To 'Just Friends'?
At The Women's Expo

Back In The Same Place
Back Off, Buddy
Bad Breaks
Being Patient
Blog, Blog, Blog
Broke up

California Dreaming
Changing My Mind
Clearing It Up
Cooking Help
Confused and Angry
Consumed By The Internet
Crying All The Time
Dating Again
Ex-Cooperation
Falling Short
Family Friction
Friend, With Benefits
Friends
Friendly Secret
Gift-Giving Season
Go to Funeral?
Homesick
Hunting Season
In Love and Confused
It's the most "beautiful" time of the year...
Keeping Things Secret
Just Sex
Lying, But Not Cheating
Might Get Married
Move Back Home?
My Boyfriend's Computer
My Roommate's Family
Mutual Intrigue
Needs Support
Newly Single Mother
No Explanation
Nosy Neighbors
Nothing Happened
Oh, Grow Up

On Her Way To 'Trouble'

Our Pal Al
Pretty Tight
Publicity Stunt?
Quiet, Please
RSVP, Please
Ruthie's Secret
Should I Stick or Should I Run
Should I Tell Him
Shy Girl
Splitting and Sharing
Stuck In A Sticky Situation
Sucky Gifts
Taking advantage
The Boyfriend & The Friend
The Difficult Coworker
The Letter
The Pain In Spain
The Sad Bride
The Ultimatum
Two Men At The Same Time
Vacation, Not

Why would anyone stay?