Single Again… The Music Stopped

By Kenneth Stepp

We’ve all played musical chairs. It’s several centuries old. One minute you’re walking around the chairs and the next minute you are diving for a chair. It’s a fun game and a lot of laughs for everyone involved. It’s a great game we learn at an early age. But life isn’t a game after all and we all get tired of diving for a free chair.

You see, in real life when the music stops, someone is out of the game. Every relationship I have ever been a part of was like that. Two people are enjoying some music, the music stops and one of you is alone. You can still see the seats, they are full of people and you aren’t one of them anymore. Or worse, someone else is in your seat.

It’s a fun game if you’re playing a game but a sad tale if you’re living a true life story. I think maybe the reason for this is that we can no longer distinguish between the person enjoying a game and the person trying to live out a true story. I judge no one. If you prefer the game over real life, by all means, play on. But play with other gamers, not true lifers. Sadly, most don’t know which one they are. Almost everyone sees themselves as a lifer and not a gamer. Self awareness is lost today.

The quote, “to the hammer everything looks like a nail” is a great way to explain what happens in the singles community. One day two people meet, one is a gamer and one is a lifer. To the gamer everything looks like a game, to the lifer everything looks like a life. Now add to this the fact that both see the other as themselves not as who they are. By now you are seeing the problem…

You see, we as humans project who we are onto others. It’s as natural as breathing air. In the end someone will get hurt. Actually they both will eventually. We all have both gamer and lifer in us. At some point we’ve all been both. The gamer does things based on temporary feelings or needs, the lifer makes them based on the rest of their life. It’s one of the many reasons that timing when we meet is a big thing. 

Today I am a thermometer and not a thermostat. A thermostat senses a problem and fixes it. A thermometer only knows there is a problem. It isn’t equipped with what it takes to fix anything. Only the thermometer is. And today I see a problem and have no advice or answers. Life is complicated, matters of the heart are the most complicated, or that’s my opinion at least.

I have found myself on both sides of this one. Everyone has been on both I think. But it takes self awareness and getting honest with ourselves to see it. I know it seems like a gamer doesn’t have the moral high ground in this situation but I would disagree. I don’t believe there is moral high ground to be had. I believe we are all both at different phases of our lives. So we shouldn’t hate one and love the other at all. 

How about we love both and guard our battered hearts long enough to learn what phase the person in front of us is in. I think taking our time, making being kind our default, and using the lessons life gives us with wisdom would be a great place to start. I can’t emphasize how important taking our time to really know someone and being kind no matter what is. And if you are always kind, always patient, and always truthful. Trust me, you will stand out.