By Kenneth Stepp
Hurt, damaged, in pain, confusion, and a distinct feeling of being lost. Welcome to the singles journey. I’ve heard so many things in regard to these things. Many from my friends and even some about myself. If you’ve been dating for a while, I’m betting that you have experienced every one of these and more.
If you are over 40, was married any length of time, fo me, it was 24 years, then you realize that dating and being single has changed. For me, it was unrecognizable. I remember when I met my wife. We were young, potential was endless, and we could trust what one another said to us. Todays dating arena is full of serial daters and serial liars. But is anyone to blame?
Most of us, by now, have learned to guard against things that would hurt us, things that might cause more damage, more pain. It’s only natural. So what happens is that we get damaged, we build walls, and we act more defensively than we use to. In other words, we do not or cannot share our innermost thoughts with anyone.
If you have a good moral compass, you might dodge a question or remain silent when asked personal or deep questions. In you do not, you lie. It’s natural when on defense should lying not be on your radar as being that wrong. I say it all the time, if I’m not comfortable or I am unsure that I can trust you with the truth, you won’t be in my life anymore.
Lies always hurt. It’s their nature to hurt. Most lies eventually come out into the light of day. Most lies do harm that can never be erased. Some lies taint a person’s heart permanently. I know some of these unfortunate individuals and have a deep fear of becoming one of them.
I never wasted a moment’s thought about being lied to until I discovered I had been lied to by someone I had allowed into the deepest parts of me. It was then that I knew the pain of betrayal. It’s a different kind of hurt. It begins as an ember, then grows inside our gut.
I think it’s time to unwrap the whole liar thing, since it seems to be prevalent in the singles community. First, I know some people who lie. They lie to a lot of people. It’s easier for them to weave in and out of conversations without having to expose any of their heart at all. On some level, I can’t blame them.
One I know well is an amazing human, she’d give you the shirt off her back. It seems she reached a point where the hurt and pain of being a sincere and honest person had cost more than it was worth to her. Keeping it brief, she was damaged enough and couldn’t risk being damaged any more. And being transparent is what got her there.
Transparency is the sibling to honesty. They travel together. Once a person has been lit on fire enough because they exposed themselves too many times by being honest, they recoil. Will they ever be the same again? I wish I knew. I want to believe it’s a natural part of the journey for many. Time will tell.
Here is what I know. Until we are willing to open our hearts and be genuinely who we are, through honesty about how we feel, what we think, and reveal who we really are, then finding forever is just a dream. We are all in some stage of healing. All of us have faced things we allowed to hurt us. I fight hard to not judge. The person that hurt you last year, may be a completely different person this year.
Anyway, that’s my thoughts for now. If you ever have a chance at love again, take the chance, it may be your last. My forever love is swimming in these waters somewhere. These self made walls are tall and thick, I have to work on mine, you probably do too…