When our dating activities don’t go as we’d like, it is easy to get into a funk. We can drive ourselves crazy wondering what is wrong with us that we can’t seem to attract anyone at all, or the men we do attract are disinterested in a relationship, have other afflictions, or we aren’t drawn to them.
It is easy to be a suffering single.
Within days of my ex leaving I talked to a dear, wise friend for solace. I was wailing and complaining about what a louse he was to treat me this way. I wanted retribution for the pain he’d caused me by his decision. I wanted him to suffer as much as I was.
My friend said, “I can understand you would want him to feel the same pain you do, but he doesn’t and won’t. And for you, remember suffering is optional.”
“How can suffering be optional?” I wanted to scream. “I can’t control this feeling of a knife thrust into my gut.”
No, I can’t control that feeling. But I can control how I interpret situations. And whether I choose to wallow or for how long.
I remember I told myself I was going to just feel the feeling, just be with it and not make it right or wrong. I was not going to try to change it unless I wanted to. I also gave myself to the end of the year to mourn the loss of my marriage, which would give me a full 7.5 months to suffer however I chose.
As the end of the year approached, I noticed my suffering was nearly gone. I was looking forward to the new year to move on. I wasn’t subjugating the sadness — I allowed it to surface when it did. But I didn’t feel I was suffering in the sorrow.
We all have dating setbacks. We can choose if we suffer through them or not. It’s okay if you do, but be clear that it is your choice. Sadness can bring gifts of release and insight. Suffering is really unnecessary. But if you want to do it, go right ahead!
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