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Let It Go

IMG_0020

 

let it go – the
smashed word broken 
open vow or
the oath cracked length
wise – let it go it
was sworn to
go

let them go – the
truthful liars and
the false fair friends
and the boths and
neithers – you must let them go they
were born
to go

let all go – the
big small middling
tall bigger really
the biggest and all
things – let all go
dear

so comes love 

~ e. e. cummings ~

 

Finding love isn’t the hard part. It’s being open to it, free from the past, free from selfish want. Love needs a fresh page to fill with all that is good.

If, like so many others, you feel a bit lonely today, resolve to make yourself ready to give and receive love so that you can experience it fully when it comes knocking. 

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  • taterearl

    “If, like so many others, you feel a bit lonely today, resolve to make yourself ready to give and receive love so that you can experience it fully when it comes knocking. ”

    The only way that will happen is to love yourself first. If you are lonely, then make Valentine’s Day about you.

  • http://whoism3.wordpress.com M3
  • Sassy6519

    Happy Valentine’s Day to all of the readers and commenters of HUS!

  • angelguy

    Happy Valentine’s day all.

    I started reading the columns on this site the last 2 weeks.
    I find it both educational and entertaining.

    I think there is a difference between feeling lonely and being alone.
    V-day is mostly a reminder of relationships.
    One day in a year, so it shouldn’t upset you.
    If one is in a relationship, it is something they should be constantly working on, not just use one day to make someone feel special.

  • SayWhaat

    Beautiful. :)

    Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

  • Just1Z

    Spooky, I was having a somewhat related conversation not so long ago – how did you know Tante Susan?

  • Brian

    Or, you could stop putting such childish emphasis on a fake holiday.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Or, you could stop putting such childish emphasis on a fake holiday.

      Right, because it weren’t for my little antidote post, no one would have realized the date.

      • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

        Now we need an antidote to Brian Curmudgeon.

        Jackie sent me an email to let me know her dad is doing much better! Here’s how she responded to the excellent news:

        I was so happy I started leaving mystery valentines to people. (I just saw Amelie, ha ha!) A hidden stash of Mexican Coca-Cola, a heart drawn on the windshield, a mystery note, little tiny things that will let them know that someone loves them.

        This little report made my day, I don’t need any presents, though a windshield heart would be nice.

  • Jimmy Hensricks

    Slightly OT

    Susan, here’s an interview with comedian Aziz Ansari that touches on a lot of relevant topics here at HUS. Could make a great post.

    http://www.avclub.com/articles/aziz-ansari-candid-about-love-elusive-sadly-ephem,92476/

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Jimmy

      Thanks for the link, that is perfect timing! Recently mr. wavevector talked about his marriage in a really lovely way, and J suggested I poll the happily married commenters to ask how and why their marriages work. I think this material would be a great way of introducing the topic.

  • Tilikum

    Brian, your projecting.

    Relax bro, that’s what chicks do :)

  • J

    Lovely poem and a lovely post.

    Seems pertinent. There’s another blog that I read (I won’t name it.), where a certain denizen of the ‘sphere (I won’t name him.) is being urged to let some old hurts go. I’m not optimistic that he, or so many of the other like him, ever will. And, it’s sad. We are here for such a short time. Why make it hell on earth?

    And isn’t Jackie just the sweetest. Like an earthbound angel, and so wise beyond her years. Like so many of us, Jackie has a sad story, but she’s blessed becasue she has a forgiving heart.

  • Mystery Man

    The only way that will happen is to love yourself first. If you are lonely, then make Valentine’s Day about you.

    And then, if that fails, marry yourself.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      And then, if that fails, marry yourself.

      I have seen some essays around the net that almost go this far. One woman wrote about how wonderful it was to buy herself flowers and chocolates. Now, there is nothing wrong with treating oneself to either, I do both from time to time. But to do it as some sort of Valentine’s Day rite just seems too sad for words.

  • Angelguy

    “Thanks for the link, that is perfect timing! Recently mr. wavevector talked about his marriage in a really lovely way, and J suggested I poll the happily married commenters to ask how and why their marriages work. I think this material would be a great way of introducing the topic.”

    Where can one read this post?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Angelguy

      Here is mr. wavevector’s comment. He wrote it in response to this remark from a male commenter about wives:

      the buyer isn’t buying anything, but rather financing a depreciating asset for a long term

      Let me consider my 20 year marriage in these utilitarian terms. As I’ve had to fend off a few determined husband-snatchers 15-20 years my junior in recent years, I’ve had opportunity to consider this.

      When viewing my wife only as a sexual asset, this is true. She’s wrinklier, saggier and heavier than she was 20 years ago. However, this physical depreciation is mitigated by the excellent level of sexual service that she has maintained. I can think of only one time in the last few years where she refused my sexual advance. She has maintained this excellent service throughout 3 children and menopause. Could I count on that sustained level of service from a newer model? From what I read, it’s doubtful. They don’t make them like they used to, I’m told. The customer review sites on the internet are full of horror stories from dissatisfied customers.

      Another aspect of value is emotional return. The asset has a 20 year track record of dependable character, emotional stability, and pleasing disposition, and a consistent record of yielding high emotional returns. Unlike the sexual value, this type of asset can appreciate strongly in time.

      A surprise benefit of the asset has been an unexpected expansion in the food service industry. I entered the corporation expecting a 50-50 egalitarian split of food service chores. Now I have a SAHM who packs my lunch every day and has a hot meal ready when I come home. This benefit was not solicited on my part. It’s like buying a stock that unexpectedly starts paying high dividends.

      But the biggest benefit of my continued investment in this asset is that it gives me a controlling interest in the family corporation. This is currently a flourishing enterprise, with three healthy, well adjusted, academically and athletically high achieving sons, a work environment that receives high ratings from the employees, and a management team with a proven track record. Given the rules of incorporation where I live, withdrawing my investment from the depreciating asset would result in my being stripped of my controlling interest and the payment of a large portion of my remaining assets in penalties. (And while emotions should not drive business decisions, I have to admit that this would be devastating to me.)

      My conclusion is that this asset is depreciating only on one axis of value. A complete accounting shows that it is an asset that has yielded high returns, such that any attempt to sell with the goal of buying a higher return asset would be likely to produce a significant loss.

      My analyst recommendation for this asset is a Strong Buy. (The asset objects to the rating Overweight).

  • taterearl

    “And then, if that fails, marry yourself.”

    No, that’s if you hate yourself.

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    I spent 10 Valentine’s day alone. The first 5 I was bitter, miserable and sad thinking why everyone had someone to love them but me.
    It didn’t do me well.
    I feel my emotions in my stomach so I got gastritis, and I also felt like crap the moment February arrived not a good way to spent the month.
    So I decided to change, I decided that some day I will have a good man that will love me to celebrate many Valentine’s day and that while I was working towards that place in my future I was going to celebrate it.
    I became happy that there was love in the world because it means that one day I will get my share of it. A world where no one celebrates love would mean that I certainly I would never have it, while if love exists there is always the chance that it will find me as long as I was friendly towards it.
    It worked.
    HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! to all the current and future couples. :)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Anacaona

      if love exists there is always the chance that it will find me as long as I was friendly towards it.

      This gave me chills – you willed it to find you! At the risk of sounding new age-y, I think we do put out certain kinds of energy, vibrations, whatever, and that can attract or repel people.

  • Just1Z

    Didn’t know that there was a problem with J’s Dad. Hope that he continues to improve, I’m sure that he’s an honourable guy.

  • J

    Didn’t know that there was a problem with J’s Dad. Hope that he continues to improve, I’m sure that he’s an honourable guy.

    Jackie’s dad, not mine. Mine passed away four years ago; he was 92.

    Now, I’m off to figure out what you do for V Day when your husband doesn’t want a nice meal, complete with fancy dessert.

  • Joe

    I sometimes feel like I became an expert on Valentine’s Day loneliness. But then again, don’t we all, sometimes?

    Here’s a secret I learned, though, fortunately before it became too late. Instead of sitting and wondering why you didn’t get any Valentines, or sitting and wondering who to give one to when there seems to be no one, give out a few anonymously. Giving love really is the point of it all. Not getting. It’s not too late.

    You may even find it healing.

  • Just1Z

    @’J’
    yes, I clearly meant Jackie. I can only leave it at that.

  • VD

    I sometimes feel like I became an expert on Valentine’s Day loneliness. But then again, don’t we all, sometimes?

    Wrong mindset, Joe. As a single man, Valentine’s Day should be your favorite day of the year. It’s like The Wedding Crashers compressed into a single evening. Even if you don’t have a girlfriend, make a reservation at a great restaurant for two in the evening and tell the first attractive girl who laments that she’s alone on Valentine’s Day that you’ll take her out. She’ll likely say yes and be genuinely grateful. It’s one situation where a woman’s self-esteem and intrasexual competitiveness works in a BETA’s favor for once.

    You should be waking up and telling yourself: “Can’t you smell the desperation? God, I LOVE Valentine’s Day!”

  • Just1Z

    Marriage is itself a tragedy, to oneself? doubly so.

    mhra* out

    (see afvm iygas)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Marriage is itself a tragedy

      Imagine civilization without it. You can’t? That’s because it ends when marriage ends.

  • Joe

    Ah, yes, Vox. I agree.

    But I was thinking of the younger, less experienced and, face it, less brave people out there. What I wrote and what you wrote both boil down to the same idea – stop thinking inward. Think outward.

  • J

    @Joe

    Sadly, it happens to the best of us. Before I got married, I had my share of lonely V Days too. It’s rough, but not wallowing in it and trying to do something nice for someone else is a great thing.

  • Bells

    Thanks for the link, that is perfect timing! Recently mr. wavevector talked about his marriage in a really lovely way, and J suggested I poll the happily married commenters to ask how and why their marriages work. I think this material would be a great way of introducing the topic

    I think that would be a great idea. It’s always inspiring to hear of well-built marriages. Reading about the dating “battlefield” can cause one to be cynical at times.

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    4 years ago, I was alone and moping on Valentine’s day. I was not content to do this silently, so I chatted about it in the video game I was playing. The guy who was to become my husband a little over a year later asked me if I was okay, and we struck up a conversation.

    You never know who you’re going to meet and what’s going to happen! Hope everyone has a good and happy Valentine’s!

  • Sassy6519

    @ Bells

    I think that would be a great idea. It’s always inspiring to hear of well-built marriages. Reading about the dating “battlefield” can cause one to be cynical at times.

    I agree.

    I too would like to know exactly what makes a relationship last long term. That’s the kind of information that is sorely needed.

  • OffTheCuff

    4 years! Wow, wouldn’t have guessed. You sound like you’ve been married for much longer than that. Must’ve have been newlyweds when I first saw your posts.

    Dang kids!

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    OffTheCuff, 4 years is a long time when you’re under 30! Didn’t you and SGG get married young, too? You probably felt like you had been together forever after 4 years. :P

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    Anacaona, are you going to go out sans baby William for Valentine’s?

    Susan, there is absolutely nothing wrong with new agey. :P

    I’m so glad to hear Jackie’s dad is doing better!

  • Passer_By

    @MysteryMan

    “And then, if that fails, marry yourself.”

    I’d probably end up getting raped by me in divorce court.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I’d probably end up getting raped by me in divorce court.

      LMAO thanks for passing by on Valentine’s Day.

  • FeralEmployee

    It’s Valentine’s Day?

  • OffTheCuff

    I met her when she was freshman. After 4 years, she was barely out of school.

    Not sure if this link will work – https://www.dropbox.com/s/7uu777afcfklaax/IMAG0087.jpg

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @OTC

      I hope that was your customized message and not the WBUR default! Hilarious.

  • Just1Z

    @el Suepremo
    Oh yes that is a sufficient condition for the apockylips…but there’s backup a-comin down the pike anyway

    Sweet dreams. I’m watching a French film d’orror ‘livide’

  • http://www.rosehope.com Hope

    About that Aziz article on love/marriage, I have a few quick thoughts.

    1) “Love fades” — if you only define love as the crazed initial period. Love is much deeper than that. It is more precious to have that intense, familial connection than infatuation. And it can be consciously renewed. They don’t call it “making love” for nothing. :P

    2) More confident saying something online than in person — duh! We are the Millenial generation. We grew up on technology. We communicate via the Internet. It’s not necessarily bad. I would have never made a move on my husband in person, but we connected online because I asked for his email.

    3) Paradox of choice, too many people out there, lack of meaning — I don’t disagree, and I have felt that overwhelmed before, too. But you have to believe. It’s like a leap of faith to believe in true love. It bordered on a spiritual experience when I met my husband, because of all the coincidences and synchronicities. That’s how you can know someone is “special” or “meant to be.”

    Interesting that he mentions arranged marriages. Both my husband and I strongly believe that our meeting was intervened by higher forces/powers, maybe our “higher selves,” or “fate,” or “god,” or what have you. Regardless, we definitely feel that it was “arranged.” And that gives us a very strong bond.

  • Russ

    Love is what you do with and for your beloved daily.

    If love fades, it’s because somebody has chosen for it to do so.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Russ

      If love fades, it’s because somebody has chosen for it to do so.

      I agree with that. Like the decision to be happy, the decision to remain in love can be a conscious one. Obviously, for this to work, both parties must share this view.

  • Just1Z

    The evil bitch baddy woman is modelled on my ex mofo-in-law, just with a sweeter temperament and less murder…

  • OffTheCuff

    Ya think?? I almost never do flowers, but I support BUR… and it was a good opportunity to embarrass her at work and get the hen-coop clucking.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Ya think?? I almost never do flowers, but I support BUR… and it was a good opportunity to embarrass her at work and get the hen-coop clucking.

      They’ll be talking about it for ages! I’m with you re BUR – that is a great, great radio station. I heard them say they were sending from Winston’s – not bad!

  • Bells

    @OTC
    re: wife flowers
    awwwww, so adorable!
    I’m personally not a big fan of Valentine’s day but I love it when people do sweet things for each other

  • Jesse

    I think that would be a great idea. It’s always inspiring to hear of well-built marriages. Reading about the dating “battlefield” can cause one to be cynical at times.

    Sometimes I tool around the Talk About Marriage forums. Of course in any public forum you will get your share of duncecaps, and people looking for help with their problems in general, but it’s still interesting to read what people have to say sometimes.

    You don’t necessarily want to read too much into any one thing, because people have different inclinations and the ingredients for a successful marriage will differ, but over time you get a feel for the things different people are dealing with. It’s just mildly interesting to browse sometimes.

    There’s another one I read as well but it’s more of a niche thing.

  • Just1Z

    OH noes, I must be old. Beatrice ‘Betty Blue’ Dalle was teh old ebul wimminz

    Sigh, porn stars of yesteryear…such happy reminiscences

  • Just1Z

    @Susan, ok.

  • Bells

    @Jesse,
    Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll check out the site for sure.
    What’s the other niche site?

  • Jesse

    Wavevector, is that rating Morningstar approved? Might you even say the asset is a ‘growth stock’?

    It’s a joke, don’t kill me. ;-)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      I went to the bakery to get cute heart cookies for my kids, and they had two kinds: the sweet kind with sayings like the Necco hearts. But they also had a whole series in blue with sayings like:

      don’t call me
      move out
      the answer is no

      I found this very funny, I hope no one buys them!

  • http://www.4stargazer.wordpress.com Anacaona

    Anacaona, are you going to go out sans baby William for Valentine’s?

    The plan is ordering Indian food, some drinks at home and then streaming as many episodes of Futurama’s new season in Netflix as we can watch before falling sleep watching it with the kid next to us.
    We are a boring nerdy couple and we like it that way :D

  • Charlotte

    I needed this.
    Thanks, Susan.

    This blog is so wonderful, I’m so glad to have found it! A true gem.

    Happy Valentine’s to all!

  • JamesV

    I was always glad to be single on VD. Can’t stand the manufactured sentimentality of it and having to deal with a girlfriend who thought it was the most importantest day ever. Now that I’m married I have to actually do something. Fortunately my wife is low maintenance and wants to order pizza. That’s one of the reasons I married her.

    I honestly don’t understand being sad for being alone on VD.

  • Abbot
  • Just1Z

    @Abbot

    Cool!

    Doesn’t look the type to have been multipenis’d either…

    Couldn’t resist mate, sorry but it’s been too long since I saw the word

  • Fifth Season

    When I saw the title “Let it Go” I was immediately reminded of the old song by Straight Lines “Letting Go” that had a chorus line like this: “The hardest part of love is letting go.” I’m also reminded of Fauxliage’s song “Let it go” but that title doesn’t feature this particular phrase.

    So much strife in relationships is caused by people not being able to let go, such as “Fatal Attraction” relationships, stalkers, feral divorcees, etc. I will admit that there are some things in a relationships that should not be let go of, but it’s still amazing how many people will unhealthily fixate on imagined/magnified slights.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    Valentine’s Day has been intensive this year…I decided to write my SO a short story, and sent her a piece of it, once an hour. The tricky part is..uhh…I didn’t write it yet, so I was making it up on the fly.

    That was kind of time intensive.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Valentine’s Day has been intensive this year…I decided to write my SO a short story, and sent her a piece of it, once an hour.

      That’s one of the most romantic things I’ve ever heard. Lovely.

  • Anne

    Wonderful to hear about people’s Valentines plans.

    I will maintain my 22 year old tradition of wallowing in self pity. Ordering in and at some point drag my ass out for more wine.
    To top of it off, the man I’m still in love with has moved to NYC where I am currently living for the month. His new gf lives her too, not too far from where I am. So I am afraid to walk out in West Village and face the ultimate disaster of running into them on a romantic dinner.
    I am not actually someone who cares that much about Valentines, but here in the US it seems to be a big deal. Seinfeld is on though, so maybe I’ll survive.

    Hoping for a survival guide for oneitis sufferers on HUS sometime.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Anne

      Whaaaaat?

      Still in love with? Is this the guy who cheated long-distance with a woman in NY? Or are you talking about Stephen? I’m confused.

  • Jesse

    Hoping for a survival guide for oneitis sufferers on HUS sometime.

    Strip club. ;-)

  • Sassy6519

    @ Anne

    I will maintain my 22 year old tradition of wallowing in self pity. Ordering in and at some point drag my ass out for more wine.
    To top of it off, the man I’m still in love with has moved to NYC where I am currently living for the month. His new gf lives her too, not too far from where I am. So I am afraid to walk out in West Village and face the ultimate disaster of running into them on a romantic dinner.
    I am not actually someone who cares that much about Valentines, but here in the US it seems to be a big deal. Seinfeld is on though, so maybe I’ll survive.

    Hoping for a survival guide for oneitis sufferers on HUS sometime.

    Awwwwww. :(

    If it makes you feel any better, I plan on lounging around in my undies, eating cold leftover pizza, and watching live gaming streams on twitchtv.com.

    As a once terrible sufferer of oneitis, I can tell you how I got over it. I wrote a lot, cried a lot more, described my troubles to the patient commenters of HUS, and eventually got back with him for a time. Once I got back with him again, I was instantly reminded of why I left him in the first place.

    Since your guy has a girlfriend, I wouldn’t advise you to try to get back with him. I would honestly say, however, that the mere passage of time is your best option. As the saying goes, “Time heals all wounds”.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      As the saying goes, “Time heals all wounds”.

      And wounds all heels.

      Nick Lowe

  • Jesse

    Hey Bells, the site is called Taken In Hand. As I said it’s niche, so you’ll only enjoy it if you’re of a certain bent.

    It’s pretty quiet these days but the archives are good. I just have a couple favorite authors – one woman in particular – and I tend to hunt down every last word they’ve written there. In my opinion there are quite a few valuable pieces.

    Not all of it tickles my fancy, but the good stuff sure does. I’d be curious to hear if you like any of it.

  • HanSolo

    @Anne

    Assuming this is Stephen you’re talking about, then I find it fascinating that you now have oneitis for him but in the initial phases didn’t and were even rather guarded while he seemed more interested.

    This seems to happen fairly often in cases where the man really is attracted to the woman and gets highly interested quickly and the woman takes longer.

    The risk for the women is that if she delays too long, and especially if he perceives her as pushing him away or disrespecting him, then he’ll move on. Sounds kind of similar to that girl on the other thread where she went out with the guy and then didn’t let him take her to the airport.

    There is the other type of guy that is somewhat interested but not fully sold and so he takes a long time to come around (if ever). And there are players that rarely come around because they don’t want a committed reln.

    Bottom line, men are advised to slow things down when they really like a girl so they don’t smother her and scare her off.

    And women need to take more risk and get better at discerning whether they like a good man sooner and not push him away. If they delay to long and are too cold they risk being successful at keeping him at arm’s length and him never getting closer.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    @ Susan

    That’s one of the most romantic things I’ve ever heard. Lovely.

    Well, thank you kindly, darlin’ ;)

  • HanSolo

    Last sentence should read:

    If they delay too long and are too cold they risk being successful at keeping him at arm’s length and him never getting closer because he decides she doesn’t like him and leaves.

  • OffTheCuff

    After giggling at the card, wifey cooked me some fettuccine carbonara for V-day, and it’s even better than my recipe… she’s really taken cooking the next level the last few years. Next up, drink some beer we made, and nibble my favorite chocolate toffee bar she picked up.

    Beta’s gota ‘bate.

    Some day… you might be as boring as this. Jelly?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @OTC

      After giggling at the card, wifey cooked me some fettuccine carbonara for V-day, and it’s even better than my recipe… she’s really taken cooking the next level the last few years. Next up, drink some beer we made, and nibble my favorite chocolate toffee bar she picked up.

      Beta’s gota ‘bate.

      Some day… you might be as boring as this. Jelly?

      Truly, a testimonial to love lasting over years and years. I’m collecting these awesome comments for my marriage post.

      Here’s what stands out to me:

      You sent the flowers, she cooks a meal you love, you share beer you made together, and dessert she got especially for you. Giving, giving, giving. No need to worry about taking or getting your fair share when both of you are incredibly thoughtful and generous to one another. That’s a beautiful description of marriage.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/marellus Marellus

    “Man has always been a venal animal. The growth of populations, the huge costs of war, the incessant pressure of confiscatory taxation – all these things make him more and more venal.

    The average man is tired and scared, and a tired, scared man can’t afford ideals. He has to buy food for his family. In our time we have seen a shocking decline in both public and private morals.

    You can’t expect quality from people whose lives are a subjection to a lack of quality. You can’t have quality with mass production. You don’t want it because it lasts too long. So you substitute styling, which is a commercial swindle intended to produce artificial obsolescence.

    Mass production couldn’t sell its goods next year unless it made what is sold this year look unfashionable a year from now. We have the whitest kitchens and the most shining bathrooms in the world.

    But in the lovely white kitchen the average [person] can’t produce a meal fit to eat, and the lovely shining bathroom is mostly a receptacle for deodorants, laxatives, sleeping pills, and the products of that confidence racket called the cosmetic industry.

    We make the finest packages in the world, Mr Marlowe. The stuff inside is mostly junk.”

    ― Raymond Chandler, The Long Goodbye

    I’m sorry Suzan, but today I am a cynic.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Marellus

      I heard this quote the other night. It reminded me of online discourse. I think you will like it.

      “A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot…”
      ― Robert A. Heinlein

  • Anne

    Susan:
    I was perhaps being a bit dramatic. “Cheating” isn’t technically true – I cut him off when he moved away, but he kept wanting to be in touch and seeing me when he started dating another girl. People consider the “dumper” to be superior, but I am sure I was more hurt than he was. What I am the most angry about was him stringing me along. Also he contacted me two months later, probably knowing I wasn’t up for anything casual but wanting to stay at my place in London (he probably figured he had nothing to lose by trying?). When I expressed my frustration he didn’t bother to pretend he cared about my feelings – it was a new personality to me, to the point where I am still wondering whether he’s a sociopath. I couldn’t believe the man who discussed how important children were to him had turned into an unavailable person – when I got his shitty response I threw a crystal vase into the wall.
    His new gf looks sweet and I am sure she fell for the personality I fell for initially.
    Some people just get under your skin and stay there. I am a bit of a pessimist in this aspect – I am more cynical now and am not as open to love and I actually think you’re able to fall in love in a very different way when you’re starting out than you will be later. First when I was 18 then again at 21. If I can go an hour without thinking about one of those two guys, I am proud of myself. I am sure I feel closer to him tonight because I’m in the same city and it’s Valentine’s day and he’s the type to make a romantic gesture out of it.
    I haven’t heard from Stephen in a while and I am afraid he can sense that I’ve been deeper in love before. I was totally weak in the knees when we first went out but part of what makes you fall for a man is knowing he’s falling for you and I’m afraid he’s not there.

  • JP

    I don’t feel lonely.

    I feel full.

    The office brought in a *ton* of snacky-cakes today, and I admit I may have eaten a little bit too much.

    And I’m going to Disneyland this weekend.

    Really, though, I feel completely lost, and have for some time.

    With respect to Time healing or wounding, I have only this to say:

    “That old bald cheater, Time.”

    – Ben Johnson

    http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Ben_Jonson

  • Anne

    I know it sounds a bit indifferent but I think if you find a man who’s morally good, cares about you, makes you laugh, has all the “requirements” (educated and so on) and satisfies you sexually, you’d be a fool to let him go.
    Not every man can be to me what Karen is to Hank Moody, some things just happen once or twice, and I’m not sure if you should wait a lifetime to feel that “insane” love again.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Anne

      I’m not sure if you should wait a lifetime to feel that “insane” love again.

      See that? You already figured it out. If it’s “insane” it isn’t stable, it’s not real, and it can’t last.

      Try for respect, admiration, compatibility, and yes, physical attraction. Something that grows slowly as you observe a man and what he’s made of. Not window dressing.

      Your ex is clearly a narcissist – zero empathy. Good riddance! You think he’ll make this woman happy? No way. You think he’s happy? Nope.

  • Mike M.

    Wretched as my romantic life may be, I refuse to give in to despair.

    Or maybe I’m just numb.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Anne

    Some people just get under your skin and stay there.

    I totally understand what you mean Anne. I have been exactly where you are right now, emotionally. I can only tell you that it does get better. It does get easier over time.

    I will say this, however. Although I am over my notorious ex of 1 year, a day doesn’t pass by where I don’t think about him at least a few times. Some people, no matter how good or bad they were for you, will leave major imprints on your psyche. As time goes on though, the painful feelings associated with them will subside.

  • OffTheCuff

    Anne: “Not every man can be to me what Karen is to Hank Moody”

    I almost forgot! Back to the nun.

  • Lokland

    Happy Valentines Day

  • Anne

    I suppose I’ll always wonder whether he truly is a narcissist, whether he was just like that with me or what exactly happened. It would be nice thinking that he’s not happy or that he’s new girlfriend isn’t. She responded “happy” to a poll I saw on a social media site. They were dating when he contacted me to see me again, but I’m sure she doesn’t know. Ignorance is bliss anyway.
    I’m not the first girl to have a rollercoaster relationship – I want to avoid having those lows again but I’m always going to miss those highs. I’ll always remember those best. Isn’t there a saying about how nostalgia is recycling memories for more than their worth?
    The problem is that I know half of the lows are due to my nature – I’m very emotional, I have a depressive streak and I’m afraid I’ll have those lows anyway, so why not have the insane relationship where I at least have the highs as well? I don’t know if that makes sense. I’m sure some commenter here have managed to phrase it better than me.

  • Fifth Season

    Anne @84

    Oh great, now we’re going to have *them* coming out of the woodwork again, saying this is a great victory for PUAs showing how even high-value, high-class women can be strung along for sex. They’re probably going to harp on about “alpha widows” too. But I guess that’s the price for free speech here.

    That said, roller coasters (and roller coaster relationships) can be fun, but when they add up to more pain and regret than they’re worth, it’s time to honestly reassess what you keep falling for and learn to spot it beforehand. It’s a tough balancing act to both filter aggressively and not be intimidating to the right people, but it’s rewarding when done right.

  • JP

    “Some people, no matter how good or bad they were for you, will leave major imprints on your psyche. As time goes on though, the painful feelings associated with them will subside.”

    Not necessarily.

    The feelings can always come back worse than before. There’s that option, too. It’s not like you always get a vote, either.

    I mean, just because the past is hidden it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

    “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”

    – William Faulkner

  • Jesse

    Is it just me, or has it gotten awfully depressing in here in the last few hours? I’m starting to feel like I should off myself.

    Anyway, I have a pretty esoteric taste in music, especially for someone my age, but I’ve long felt this is probably the saddest and most powerful love song I’ve ever heard. I find it utterly desolate, and it’s really too much for me to bear if I let it sink in. It’s called Love In Vain by Robert Johnson. It’s pretty sparse pre-war blues, so it may sound a bit foreign to your ears, but to me it’s simple, raw and powerful. You might hear the details better if you use headphones. He was a hell of a vocalist, especially in his wailing towards the end.

    Enough blather. Let’s drown our sorrows:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuYySzFIPLw

  • Snow Flake

    “free from selfish want. ”

    Not possible. We desire love for self fulfillment.

  • Benton

    Susan has good advice, but it is much easier said than done. The only thing I’m certain is that letting go requires time, and I am not able to rush the process along any faster.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Benton

      Susan has good advice, but it is much easier said than done. The only thing I’m certain is that letting go requires time, and I am not able to rush the process along any faster.

      It’s true, you can’t just “decide” to not feel pain. Real hurt takes time to heal. OTOH, some of us wallow in pain – befriend it almost. It becomes our companion, and the lens through which we see ourselves in the world. This is not healthy. I know that in retrospect I felt the most pain over the least worthy man. I hear a lot of young people say this as well – their SO dumped them and broke their heart, but in time they come to see that they’d chosen someone who was bound to behave exactly that way. That’s was cummings is talking about – the truthful liars, the false fair friends.

  • Sassy6519

    @ JP

    Not necessarily.

    The feelings can always come back worse than before. There’s that option, too. It’s not like you always get a vote, either.

    I mean, just because the past is hidden it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

    True. That is always a possibility.

  • Maggie

    @Anne
    “As time goes on though, the painful feelings associated with them will subside”

    Yeah, they will. I had a painful breakup when I was 22 and I honestly thought I was doomed to feel miserable for the rest of my life.

    It may take a few months or even a few years but you do eventually feel better and in time you may feel grateful for what you learn from the experience.

  • http://asinusspinasmasticans.wordpress.com Mule Chewing Briars

    Sue –

    I’ve said it before here and I’ll say it again.

    Today is my wife’s 60th birthday. We are experiencing a semi-empty nest situation where our kids are no longer underfoot all the time, but away at college and we see them on weekends.

    To our surprise, we have found that we actually enjoy each other’s company now that the sturm und drang of child-rearing are mostly over. It is so hard to say why our marriage has lasted 25 years, except that I still prefer her to every other woman I know and she prefers me to every other man.

    I think there is/was an element of fate or Divine Providence involved in that the very first time I met her I heard a voice in my head: “This young woman is going to bear your children. Treat her with respect.” It took me six years to convince her of this, though, and the road to the altar was exceptionally rocky. We are both of us deeply religious [although of different religions], so it makes sense within our narrative.

    One thing I did do early on was to win over her mother. I invested a lot of time and energy in making sure Mama thought well of me. That investment paid off handsomely when the inevitable marital spats arose. I simply had to call up Mama and put my wife on the phone with her and let Mama do my work for me. I have to say that my mother-in-law, may she rest in peace, was a remarkably fine woman and a pleasure to know.

    Now, 25 years later, I cannot tell my story without it inevitably being a story about her. Our narratives have blended, and it would do unnatural violence to it to rend it asunder. That will happen too soon when one of us passes. No need to go looking for trouble.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Mule

      I love your comment, and I have a favor to ask. Can you copy paste it to the new post? If you didn’t save it, I’ll do so, but I’d rather it was under your name.

      I’m collecting sentiments from happily married readers about what makes their marriages work. Thank you for sharing that.

      I totally get what you’re saying, and I saw a comment you left elsewhere about married people being intertwined, which was lovely. The commitment is rock solid. Last night my husband gave me a card that was blank inside. This is what he wrote:

      Always.

      Always.

  • Sai

    This is how I spent 2/14. :D
    http://m.imdb.com/title/tt1606378/

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00stv7m
    I would have done this too (two more episodes for season 5), but got waylaid into some un-funny business. It was for my mother, though.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/marellus Marellus

    Suzan,

    So last night I found myself in The Flower Bar. Lots of cars parked outside. The ou toppie that owns the place, converted a part of the bar into a dance floor. He was the DJ as well. 90’s music. I like. Nobody was dancing though.

    And the only open place at the bar itself was next to a plus-size blonde cougar, who was making more than enough noise for everybody. I sat down and ordered myself a Heineken. I minded my own business.

    This blonde was facing away from me. She was talking to three handsome young men. They were leaning in. Especially the one that was standing. I couldn’t understand this.

    Until she turned around and faced me.

    “Hi, my name’s Debbie. What’s your name ?” she asked.

    “Marellus”, I replied.

    “Well Marellus”, she said as she took my hand and pressed it *innocently* against a breast, and then lifted it up and kissed it. A languorous kiss.

    ” … you’re beautiful.”

    I was flabbergasted. It’s only of late that I’ve really gone to bars. The strange things I’ve seen.

    I removed my hand from her grasp, gave her a quizzical stare, and the conversation petered out. The the three young men behind her were laughing.

    So she went back to her conversation with the three young men, and I went and had another Heineken.

    A while later I felt her staring at me.

    I turned and faced at her.

    “Heineken” she said. “Do you know my ex also drank Heineken ? When I saw you drinking that, I thought to myself ‘Oh my God !’

    “Why ?” I asked.

    “Well we’ve not been together for six years, and the bastard still calls me for phone-sex. And he’s married !”

    “He sounds like a peculiar man”I replied.

    She turned back to the three young men.

    A short time later Debbie got two helium-inflated condoms from the barman. It was her birthday.

    And while all of this was happening I heard a woman behind me say :

    “It’s hard to get married, and SO easy to get a divorce.”

    Make of that what you will Suzan.

    I’m going there again tonight.

    PS : I just got a message on facebook from a (married) girl saying this :

    Yep you ballsack, the way you’re carrying on here on facebook, you’re still a virgin.

    I replied like this :

    http://sliderulemuseum.com/Ephemera/SpankedWithSlideRule_NationalLampoonArtPosterBook1975.jpg

    hehe.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Make of that what you will Suzan.

      I’m going there again tonight.

      Haha, I’m not surprised!

      That Debbie sounds like a lot of fun.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/marellus Marellus

    Suzan-deary, keep this up … and you leave me no choice but to Brylcreem my hair into a ducktail, put on my beloved stove-pipe pants, and then come and sang some lovelly Elvis songs outside your window … with a tin-can-for-a-body-fishgut-for-strings-old -broomstick-for-a-neck- home-made guitar …

  • INTJ

    @ Sai

    WTH? I can’t believe I never heard they were making another Die Hard movie!

  • Sassy6519

    @ Marellus

    WTF?! That lady sounds like a disaster zone. She definitely had her eye on you though, which I’m not sure if you consider flattering.

  • Sassy6519

    God, I just blew away $70 for lingerie from American Apparel. I’m such a fucking hipster, sometimes it scares me.

  • http://en.gravatar.com/marellus Marellus

    Sassy,

    :-)

  • Sai

    @INTJ
    They could have worked a lot harder to market it. I really think they’ve been having some post-production trouble -several theaters, including the one I visited, have been sold the wrong size of film and viewers can’t see the subtitles when the Russian characters speak.

  • Bells

    @Jesse,
    I’ve actually come across Taken in Hand a couple of times while searching for stuff on the internet. But I had never sat down and read through more of their articles. I like the core message which talks about the husband being the essential head of the household yet he does his to meet the needs of his wife. And the wife also does her best for him while respecting his authority. It reminds me of the Athol kay’s Captain/first officer model.

    But I think for that type of relationship to work, the man needs to walk a balance between leadership and not being excessively in control. Overall, I liked it; I think it’s an interesting site

  • Maggie

    @Bells

    I ran across one of these sites by accident. It suggested that it was okay for a man to continue to spank his wife while she was pregnant and gave suggestions for paddles to use. This is very scary stuff.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Maggie, @Bells

      Yes, Taken In Hand can be very weird. The Christian sub/dom thing is especially out there. Not for everyone, and not mainstream.

  • Bells

    I must have missed that specific article. But I did read some sections that mentioned spanking . I definitely didn’t agree with that- I think spanking should only be used in playful scenarios not as a legit punishment.

    Yea, I was a little confused about who was in charge of the site. A lot of the articles seemed to be written by a variety of members. So for some article principles I agreed with but then for other articles, I just skipped over because it didn’t make sense to me

  • Bells

    106, @Maggie

  • J

    Valentine’s Day has been intensive this year…I decided to write my SO a short story, and sent her a piece of it, once an hour.

    So sweet. I saw this post yesterday and decided to write DH a letter of appreciation. It made him so happy.

  • J

    IMHO, Taken in Hand is a religious excuse to indulge a little bit of kink without feeling guilty.

  • http://Marellus.wordpress.com Marellus

    Suzan,

    what I have seen re spanking is this :

    Women love spanking texts and whatnots if you’ve spanked them before … but not with your hands.

    Never with your hands.

    Use something soft that makes a lot of noise when it makes contact with that delicate surface.

    And when she starts giving you sass in her texts, you tell her how hard you’re gonna spank her, and generally she replies with lots of lols.

    My 0.02

  • Pingback: Lessons About Men « proportions in life

  • http://proportionsinlife.wordpress.com Proportions In Life

    Susan, This blog post resonated beautifully with me. Yes, letting go; yes, moving on. With a short story to tell, and your words of wisdom integrated: http://proportionsinlife.wordpress.com/2013/02/16/lessons-about-men/

    Life is good!

  • Jesse

    But I think for that type of relationship to work, the man needs to walk a balance between leadership and not being excessively in control.

    Of course, the whole thing depends on the man’s judgment and character to work. I don’t think it’s about him being smarter or more wise – I actually think it would be fun if the woman were more intelligent – but if he goes around making important decisions willy-nilly and making his wife do stupid things, then he’s an ass.

    My favorite author on that site is DeeMarie. I think The Boss is similar, though I haven’t searched for all her writings like I have with DeeMarie. There’s a range of opinions there, but if you find an author you like you can use the site’s search function to view more, or you can use Google. The form to use is site:takeninhand.com “submitted by x”. So if I want to find more or less everything DeeMarie wrote I will type into Google site:takeninhand.com “submitted by DeeMarie”. That “site:xxxxx.com [search term]” format works for any website, by the way.

    I don’t find the discipline spanking very interesting, because I’m expecting to marry an intelligent, grown woman as opposed to a child who requires discipline. I’ve just found a niche of writings on that site I enjoy. Each to his own.