I’ve heard that, "That which is most personal, is most universal." Many women identified with the personal dilemma I recounted in my last two articles. Here are a couple of their letters:
Thank you so much for opening up to your readers. As I read your article I realized that I too have been "traumatized" by past dating experiences. When I met the most wonderful, nice, caring, attentive man a year ago I didn’t know what to do with him. There is nothing to "fix" about him. What do I do to be "OK" with being loved and to feel whole as a woman?
Have you been reading my diary? This sounds like the last 7 years of my life. Just when I think I have learned my lesson and am ready for true love, I find myself doing the things you describe: not believing the guy is going to come through, thinking that I can’t trust him, obsessing over every little detail. Am I afraid of commitment? I am so ready to be with a good man.
Dear Tammy and Epiphany,
In most cases, getting involved with someone who is unavailable means you are running from commitment. What does it mean to make a commitment? It means you commit to being the best person you can be. You commit to making the relationship a priority. You commit to working things out as issues come up, because they always do.
In the process of self-healing, love brings up all that is not love. This is why you find yourself being distrustful and obsessive. You have to move through those feelings in order to get past them. It’s like being afraid of the dark. Once you’ve walked through it, it’s not so scary. But until you’ve done it, you try to avoid it as much as possible.
Choosing unavailable men is safer because you already know that the relationship’s not going to work out, so you’re not surprised when it doesn’t. This way you avoid real pain. If an unavailable man screws you over, you can deal with that, because that was what you expected. You feel "safe" with him because you can handle being hurt by him, since you didn’t expect the relationship to work out in the first place.
However, if you commit to a real relationship with someone who is available and that guy screws you over, you risk really being hurt. You may not be sure you can handle this.
Instead of risking being with someone who is willing to commit and possibly have the relationship end years down the line, you’d rather have these short relationships that you know are going to end sooner rather than later. However, at the end of the day, if you’re possibly going to have the same result, why not risk being with an available man? It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
Tammy: It’s not your job to fix anyone. Each person needs to come to a relationship with his or her act together, as a whole person. Don’t look to someone to make you feel whole; you have to find that within yourself. Accept love when it is freely given. You don’t have to earn it.
Epiphany: You must truly believe with all your heart that you deserve to be with a good man. When you do, he will show up. Don’t settle for second best.
REMEMBER: Love inspires, empowers, uplifts and enlightens.
Write to Lucia at: www.theartoflove.net
Watch Lucia’s show, "The Art of Love," on Adelphia Public Access Friday, Oct. 28 at 8 p.m.
The Art of Love is sponsored by Twisted Elegance Boutique, 7407 and 7560 Melrose Ave.