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Parallax - Advice

September 17, 2001

Pouring the whine?

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!I have been in love before and the guy I was in love with broke my heart. I got over him, but now it's hard for me to get close to another guy again! I am so tired of being lonely, but I have just lost my touch (if you know what I mean). I really need some advice on what I should do. Email to a Friend



Her view:

Dear Tired,

Let it go. A broken heart is painful and breakups happen everyday, so there it is - it's not the worst calamity in the world, just a part of life. There is a 'dumpee' in any breakup - that's just the way it goes. But writing off the rest of your life as a breakup victim is ridiculous. Get a grip; don't be so vulnerable. You are - after all - you, and if one guy doesn't want you there will be another who will. Fretting about the guy who doesn't want you seems like needless self-inflicted pain. There are three billion men in the world. Move on girlie. You cannot write off love altogether as a bad experience.

I think you can see the point here, but let me be very clear. Let it go. It is over, it happened a long time ago, and it is time to move on again. Find love and be happy. Or don't find love, but at least be happy and don't act like wreckage from a failed relationship.

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His view:

Dear Tired,

Oh, woe, woe, woe...another broken heart.

I do know what you mean but - sorry to spoil the pity party - you haven't 'lost your touch.' The only thing you've lost is your nerve. If you prefer not getting hurt, stay home and watch 'Sleepless in Seattle.' If you're serious about fixing your loneliness, then go out and play.

This is not to say that you shouldn't learn from the breakup. You probably have a better idea now of the things you like and don't like, or of the signs to look for that tell you whether the relationship is going well, or not so well. The big lesson here is that no relationship is ever a slam-dunk. The wrong lesson is that you should be colder in future relationships. Being colder simply wastes your time and theirs. It's the equivalent of falling off your bike and deciding that what you need to do is to put it away, rather than to get more practice.

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