Tuesday, June 08, 2010

She's Given Her All, But She's Still Alone

Hi, Terry:

Almost all my friends have steady relationships, and some are married, but I don't even have anyone in mind.

Sometimes it frustrates me so much that I'd give a chance to any man who shows interest in me. This is all because I fear being alone, and age is progressing. Sometimes I convince myself that maybe I was never meant to be with someone for the rest of my life.

In all my relationships I have given all I could, but in the end they all tell me I'm a nice woman, but they are just not meant for me. Now I'm just alone wondering if I will ever meet the man that adores me and loves me back.

It's getting tiring always being the wedding planner for others, knowing that I don't even have anyone in mind for the future.

What is the way forward?

-Give Me a Map

Dear Map:

Right now, you're alone. The friends are happily coupled. You wonder what you're doing wrong, if love is in the stars for you, if you're somewhat defective, and so on.

Take heart.

A lot of people (yes, men, too) have been in your place. They want something -- someone!--- so much they'll do anything to get it. Some of these things include doing too much, being too available, spending too much money on the object of interest, putting up with bad behavior, making way too many meals, doing the other person's housework, running over at the drop of a hat to make a repair, and so on.

Yes, of course, you're supposed to give in a relationship, but you're supposed to take, too. You say you've given all you had in your previous relationships, and I suspect that's the reason man after man tells you, "You're a nice woman, but you're not for me."

It's important to give prudently, not to always be available. This doesn't mean playing games. Understand that it's human nature to value what one works for. People don't value things that come too easily, and they definitely don't value people who don't value themselves.

So, don't try to prove to some guy that you'd make an excellent wife. Don't try to make yourself indispensable. Don't start doing his laundry, for Pete's sake. This is how you get branded "too nice." It's also how you get creepier men to take advantage of you.

You're worried about getting older, but listen, a lot of people who get married at 21or 31 don't remain married. Some of them divorce. Some of them become widowed. Others remain happily married but face the challenges of job losses or sick children. Nobody's life is perfect, so stop buying the hype.

Sit down, take a deep breath, and ask yourself, "What do I have going for me? What do I love about my life?" Write it down. Look at what you've written.

Ask yourself, "Do I really need a relationship to make me happy?" And then, "What kind of relationship would make me happy?"

Would it involve giving everything you have, or would it involve giving the other person the pleasure of giving to you, too? What kinds of things would you like to take from another person (I'm thinking about attention, affection, the ability to laugh together, and that kind of thing. I'm not thinking about a 2010 Porsche.)

Your friends have boyfriends and husbands, but does any one of those boyfriends or husbands represent your perfect man? Would any of them make you happy? A lot of the times we envy our friends' relationships, but we wouldn't want to be stuck with their significant others.

So, think about it: What kind of man would make you happy? Is it possible that on that he exists on this planet of 682,590,0000 people?

I recommend that you go about your life happily and peacefully (happiness and peace are extremely attractive). I recommend that you spread happiness and peace wherever you go. I recommend that you remind yourself of all the wonderful things you have going for you.

I recommend that you keep in mind that every single human on this planet --even your coupled-up friends -- will ultimately die alone, but there's a distinct possibility that a man who possesses the qualities you desire is out there and hoping to spend life with a happy, peaceful woman like you.

It's highly possible he'll find you. But what if he doesn't? Could you be happy by yourself? What's stopping you from being happy by yourself?

Don't let anything stop you from being happy.

In the meantime, it's important to be kind, but it's also important to know what you want. This means that you give a good man a chance, but you do not fall into the lap of every male who shows you a little attention. You do not put up with bad behavior. You do not try to make yourself indispensible. You do not start doing the guy's laundry and cooking for him every night.

Let a man reach for you. The best ones always will.

I'm going to repeat myself, but I can't say it enough: Enjoy life. Make a decision to be happy. Laugh every single chance you get.

See what comes of it.