By Kenneth Stepp
I am of an age where at no point in my life did I see myself being single again. Yet here I am. My writing is usually about some element of being single. Therefore, most of my readers are in fact, single again. They lost their spouse or divorced their spouse. Either way they are here and “here” has changed dramatically.
So, what is “here” like and how has it changed? First, being single today means you really don’t know what to do or expect next. For the most part people are protecting themselves on one level or another. Protecting their heart, finances, or what little peace they have carved out for themselves. This means that even when we get close to someone that there are parts of us isolated from the relationship.
It wasn’t like this when I was dating my now ex wife. It seemed that every relationship had a foundation that helped it go the distance. We had a different mindset back then. Things either felt or were potentially permanent. Today the term, long term relationship is the hope of the day. Even dating sites use it. The LTR is still temporary. Remember that.
What happens these days is confusing. Two people meet. They probably met online in one way or the other. They spend time together, they become close, then something happens that didn’t happen decades ago. They go their separate ways. In my experience, timing is often the culprit. And inevitably, one fell and the other vanished. One loving in silence, the other trying to build their life again.
I’m writing this because I have been both of these people. I have walked away and carried regrets, and I have loved someone in silence. And in my silence I have lived through some very dark days. Being in either position will always take you for strolls on the dark side. The hardest for sure is loving someone and not having them. Loving from a distance hurts.
Silent love looks different for everyone. Loving in silence while trying to be friends, or loving in silence and receiving silence at the same time. The worst is when you love someone but they really have no room in their life for you at all. Our hearts and our mind seldom agree on this one. The mind says, forget, the heart says, keep going. Sigh….
Like I mentioned. I have been both of these people. I do think about why being single has become so confusing. I believe people make temporary choices and hope that the outcome leads to permanence. It never does, and I watch it play out all too often. Being intimate the first time you meet someone, for example. At best, you might eventually be friends.
Trying to navigate the search and dealing with the silent and distant emotions have made this journey so much harder than it used to be. Being emotionally guarded and emotionally available is a balance I doubt any of us can actually achieve. Finding forever in a box full of temporary decisions seems like a waste of time to me. No E for effort there.
Set standards and do not veer from them. Know what you will do in any given situation before you’re in it. I suppose my most important advice is to live your standards and the right one will take notice. Enjoy your forever love.