My boyfriend of five years and I broke up amicably 18 months ago.
We’re university students pursuing different careers, but couldn’t complete our degrees in the same city.
We didn’t want to do long-distance.
Still, it took me some time to move on.
Now the hard part comes as I search for new love.
I’m enrolled in an online Master's degree, work 30 hours weekly, and am starting my own business.
The rest of my time is for friends and family with whom I hang out one-on-one. It’s how I take care of myself.
I occasionally meet new people, but rarely share their values and life goals.
I’ve tried online dating but I live in a small community and have had no success.
Am I coming up with different excuses just to shield myself from having my heart broken again? Or are these valid reasons as to why I haven’t met someone yet?
Afraid Or Just Busy?
You’re busy AND you’re afraid. Most people try to avoid further heartbreak, but only to a degree.
Remember, you chose to not continue the relationship long-distance. It was a practical decision at the time, but also became a lesson about your emotional side that didn’t move on easily.
Now, you’re free to make other decisions so the possibility of love can occur.
If you only allow yourself to hang out one-on-one with people you already know, it’s a self-imposed obstacle to meeting new people.
Instead, you could join an interest group that appeals to you, go with a friend to community events, etc.
You’d open a door that may reveal a new attraction to someone, rather than staying behind it with, yes, excuses.
Reader’s Commentary “My heart goes out to the young woman who bravely told her story (column Sept. 6) of being molested after patient grooming by a so-called spiritual master.
“I’ve been there. The ensnaring of a victim follows the same pattern as other abusive relationships:
“A power/age imbalance, rescuing, love-bombing, isolation, breaking down the victim as somehow lacking (in this case, spiritual enlightenment) and then owing a great debt collected with what little the victim has to offer, usually her body.
“I personally observed, over months, the inner-workings of a particular Zen-based spiritual group.
“Men in their 50s and 60s were partnered in a roomful of younger women (20s and 30s). No behaviour was so wrong or boundary-violating that it cannot be explained away as spiritually enlightening.
“The "Guru" of this one group had received a "divine" program. He’d pair up the “couples” in a circle, and explain the steps which began with hand motions but ended in stroking, to "transmit energy."
“Only the "Guru" spoke, as both the meditation and the "heart transmission" are conducted in silence.
"Genitals" were mentioned, as a transcendence of our corporeal forms.
“After the touchy-feely session, a volunteer lays in the middle of the circle, and is usually in tears.
“I personally witnessed a young woman's shirt pushed up and her bare back being stroked by someone easily 30 years her senior.
“Another time it happened to me.
“I cried and was immediately "comforted" by a 60-year-old with caresses and kisses I didn’t consent to, and was under pressure to not speak up about.
“Another acolyte later normalized the abuse by making an apology on my behalf for the wrong done to my offender by my (negative) attitude.”
Ellie: Such experiences highlight how cautious people who feel “vulnerable” must be when strangers approach them, as some are canny predators.
I’m sensitive. Little comments can really upset me.
When helping the Grade 9s get settled in high school that first day, one whom I know pretty well from baseball, told my friends how "bad" I am at the game.
This really hurt me when I'm already very stressed about university applications coming up, plus this new school year.
I’ve been playing baseball for ten years and I’ve made teams with good credibility.
How can I learn to ignore people like this?
Speak what you know to be true.
Had you casually listed the teams that welcomed you, his words would’ve lost all meaning.
You could’ve done it while laughing and saying, “Well, team A and B didn’t think so when they asked me to join.”
He may even have been joking himself.
Your “sensitivity” is really lack of confidence. Recognize your own skills and goals and don’t overreact to what you know isn’t true.
Tip of the day:
Recognize your own roadblocks to finding new love.