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Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category

What is worse than being single is being with the wrong person.
– source unknown

alone

Love or being in love is such a wonderful thing. It can be a blessing and a source of joy.

But if you are in a relationship that gives you pain and sorrow, either you work it out to the best of your ability, seek help if you must, or move on (this is the hard part and I wish you the best in this quest).

So, are you single? Or are you partnered. To those of you happily married, “tied-up” and settled: I am happy for you.

A long time ago, when I see a couple walking down the street holding hands, I felt sad for myself. I no longer feel that way. In fact, as I’ve mentioned earlier, I am happy for them. It’s because I have reached emotional contentment and have been blissfully single for many years now.

How did I do it? Read the “Emotional Growth” part of my post “Lessons on Growth.” If you are bouncing from one relationship to another, you may gain some insight from this post:

http://thespiritualponderer.blogspot.com/2010/07/lessons-in-growth.html

Being alone and free* reminds me of the song “Alone Again and Free” that I’ve known since I was a teenager. I never knew that one day, I can finally apply the title to myself.

But unlike the lyrics of this song, no one (thankfully) asks me out for a date. Not that I’ve gained some weight but I believe it’s mainly because I do not put myself out there. I am not waiting for a special man to call on me, and I thank God for it for He has filled the void. He has a timetable, and it is through His will that I concede.

 

Alone Again and Freehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQHJJSbFzVk

* Please note that I do not mean that married people are not free. If you are happily married, that’s freedom. One can be single and not be free. In what sense? If you are single and sad for being single, that is not freedom. It is the freedom from the cycle of unsuccessful (and even toxic) relationships and freedom from emotional longing that I am talking about here.

 

Image source: quotesgram.com

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couple at the beach

Every once in a while, there comes a time in the life of a contented middle age single woman (or man, with or without kids, kids gone from home or still at home, etc.) when she (or he) contemplates about being in a relationship again. It could come at a time when the kids are getting ready to leave home. Or a special glance coming from a member of the opposite sex might have sent an unexpected signal of a possibility of something special coming along the way. Could it be? Is he really looking at me that way? Is she the one? Hmmm…he’s kind of good-looking, not bad at all. Will my singlehood end soon? It can be an exciting prospect, becoming the other half of a couple – that “me” will become “us” again. Then they start wondering how things can come about – an email perhaps? Or a surprise bouquet of flowers?

Then the envisioning of exciting things to come begins – of how it will feel having someone by your side again, of going places together and going out to dinners together. Of laughing together, acting silly together and having fun together and not thinking that you are in the middle age and that kids will say “Eeeww” when you act like a teenager in love again.

Then you hear of well-meaning friends, acquaintances and articles talking about the negativities and inconveniences of being in a relationship – that you yourself have considered too. That it’s nice and peaceful to just be alone. Heck, you do not have to cook for a man and that you can eat cereal even for dinner if you want to and no one will complain. How nice that is! You don’t have to argue with anyone, debate on decision makings and inconvenience yourself on maintaining a relationship.

But you think to yourself, sure life is calm being alone, but you also wonder about being with someone again. You tell yourself, “why not?” Maybe this time it will work out.

To those who have wisened up in age (and I like to think I’m one of those), they guard their serene single life like a precious gem, like calm water not wanting to be disturbed. They realize that sure it’s wonderful to be in a relationship again, to be married again. But is it really worth the pain in case it does not work out? They know for a fact that being single is definitely way better than being in a miserable relationship.

Nevertheless, some jump into the dating scene again. They recognize that like any other pursuit, there will always be risks to take. However, the unknown could be lessened if we spend a reasonable amount of time with the other person to get to know him or her more. You will never know someone until you’ve spent a good amount of time with them. That time spent will be used to learn the other one’s character as well as each other’s differences. We are not talking about the other one liking coffee and the other one hating even the smell of coffee and only liking tea, or preferences in cars and all those non-essential things. These differences can be worked on. Learning about the other person, which among his or her attributes are similar to yours, which ones you can live with and which ones that are “deal-breakers” can help you decide if you want to really pursue this relationship or let it go.

Sometimes, it’s hard to let go especially if you’ve spent a considerable amount of time with this other person. You’ve built memories together, introduced each other to the other one’s friends and families and have become emotionally attached. Because of this, it takes strength and courage to let go. But realize that when a relationship is not working, it is a fair thing to do for both you and the other person. You may claim that it is working (for you), but it may not be according to the other one. In this case, know this: it is NOT working. Most of the time, letting go is the wisest course to follow. It saves a lot of heartaches and headaches in the future. And then you eventually get over it and move on. There is no use holding on to someone who no longer wants to be with you. It is a wasted quest. Save your energy for a more noble cause. Even keeping the memory of a former fling or relationship is a sad state to be in, especially when you still talk a lot about them. You certainly don’t want your friends to tell you to “get a life.”

It cannot be emphasized enough the importance of learning the fundamental values of each one. For example, if the other one is a person who wants a simple life but his or her partner’s focus is on career or material pursuits, that can be a source of conflict. On another example, two people who believe in the existence of God but are non-church goers may get along just fine even if the other one is Catholic and the other one is Methodist (which by the way makes you wonder why they are still calling themselves Catholics, Baptists, Presbyterian, etc. if they do not practice their faith anyway). Or there can be a problem if the other one will insist on living in the country-side far from the maddening crowd while the other one is a city person (perhaps this can be worked on too, but it’s important that both are happy in their place of dwelling). And of course, if the other one is active in his or her spiritual activities and goes regularly to retreats, religious assemblies and such, they may want the other one to go with them because that is what is important to them. It can be lonely not being able to share your passion to your other half and not get encouragement for your spiritual stand. Therefore, the partner must have the same principles or at least tolerance for the two of them to agree, and that they can even agree to disagree. Of course, it is very helpful if both have the same values to begin with.

Therefore, before getting deeply involved with someone, it is wise to get to know not just their character and goals in life but also their standards, beliefs and principles. What are the things that matter most to them? Those are their values. See if those things are somehow similar to yours. Physical attraction is almost always the start of relationships but the physical aspect is always fleeting (not that it does not help to wake up in the morning next to an attractive person but even the most attractive can have their bad hair day). The allure of one’s look is passing. And the truth is, the excitement that comes along at the start of any relationship eventually wears off – and working as a team with common goals in life is the one thing that lasts for a lifetime.

Once you feel you’ve found the right one, you will realize the importance of having waited – because you will know that this truly is The One.

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Getting into a relationship with someone who is still obviously in love with another person is a losing situation. It’s not gonna work. You feel like an intruder to someone else’s love affair. You just have to let go. It’s not worth it.

– Anna on This Writer’s Delight

Inspiration: Listening to Bread’s “It Don’t Matter To Me

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