What if you placed value on something other than “love”…


Romance Stories of True Love No 50 Harvey, 1958 SA
Romance Stories of True Love No 50 Harvey, 1958 SA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What if you were stranded on a deserted island with only your family or your friends (people you loved, but could not date) and there was NO ONE else in sight, nor would there ever be. And for the remainder of your life, you had to live this way.

Keep in mind that the island would be tropical and filled with beautiful plant life and abundance. There might be tons of books left on the island for reading, and there were an abundance of activities. Life could be FULL with the one exception that you could not find a romantic partner.

To a love addict, at the height of his or her addiction, this might seem like certain doom. But in recovery, how do we deal with this idea? If you think about it, it’s a “sink or swim” situation and when you face it, and really imagine it, you find out what kind of person you are and what kind of recovery you will continue to have.

When I did this little exercise I had just been dumped (ouch!) I was 40 years old and I TRULY believed there was no one else out there in the world for me. I believed that S was the last. Faced with such a seemingly depressing future, I had CHOICES as to how I would react to that situation.

I could have easily sunk into a permanent depression. I could have run out to the nearest bar and tried to pick up any guy I could find that might want to have sex with me, and lived like that. I could have given up and become a hermit. OR I could have started to look at the world in a different way and started to believe that I was put on this earth for more than just romance. Maybe, just maybe, there areother things in this worldthat i could be focusing on and enjoying.

I chose the latter.

I started to see the world in a different way. Before, I always believed it was supposed to give me stuff and introduce me to love. But when I changed my perspective I started to believe that maybe it was my time to start to give back to the world. To enjoy my children. To be grateful for what I did have, NOT cry over what I didn’t have.

This change in perspective came not when I imagined being stranded on an island. I already felt like that! It came after seeing a documentary on a man with no arms and no legs. He was born that way and he was in his 30’s and his expectations of the world were very different than mine. He could not expect to casually meet women and fall in love like I could. He could not expect that one day he would get married and have children and live a NORMAL life. He couldn’t expect to play football or attract women like other men could.

But wait, he COULD expect these things from life (and if he did he would be MISERABLE because chances are, he would not meet those expectations, nor would anyone meet those expectations for him). But he DIDN’T expect those things. He didn’t consider any of those things to be a viable part of life. He chose to see his life as valuable and full WITHOUT those things.

How was that possible, I thought? How can anyone be happy or feel fulfilled without romantic love?! But then I realized that that was my addict brain thinking. Needing my drug of choice. How can an addict live without his or her drug?

But it IS possible. Millions of people live without romantic love and are perfectly content. They have found VALUE in their lives despite what they lack or do not have access to.

And so, I am asking you to think about your own life. I am asking you to think about who you are and what your value is without a significant other.If you could never date again, what would make you happy? Who would you be? WHat would be your joy in life.

Answer these questions and you can heal. Answer these questions and live your life as if they were true, and a miracle will occur.

6 thoughts on “What if you placed value on something other than “love”…

  1. I love this. Focusing on what’s there instead of what’s not. Exactly what I needed to hear – “If you could never date again, what would make you happy? Who would you be? WHat would be your joy in life.” Questions to ponder and act upon!

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  2. Thanks for this reminder…I’m proud that I came to this realization on my own which was tremendously liberating but this yearning still quietly lurks and the reminder of what love really is about is timely.

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  3. Brilliant. I do believe that, before you look for love, it’s important to be happy within yourself, but you’ve given me a whole lot of other stuff to think about. Thank you.

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  4. THANK YOU. This is perfect. I’ve been “stuck” for the past week (traveling) with two people who seem to continually remind me that I am single, even if they aren’t purposely reminding me. I keep sticking to the fact that my single life is valuable, but it’s hard to keep saying those things in the face of so much to the contrary. This post really really really helps me keep my perspective. So grateful, thanks.

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  5. I’ve been thinking about this lately. I even talked about this with my therapist. Last weekend, I told a guy friend that I “liked” him – he had been putting out signals I read as romantic liking but I guess were just flirting. I wonder what would’ve happened if he’d said he liked me too. I guess we’d have jumped into a relationship that probably would’ve wound up being kind of messed up, because he also admitted to me that night that he has commitment issues, is “messed up” and doesn’t like to talk about it and that we aren’t compatible in many ways. We’d have probably wound up breaking up and ruining a nice friendship. All for the sake of being in a relationship which has always been the GOLD STANDARD of living for me!

    I’m starting to realize that being single is actually pretty cool. I don’t have to worry about answering to anyone on various things, I’m pretty free to make my own decisions. Once I feel ready to start dating, which may not be for a while since I’m an LA and I think I just need to take a break for a while, then I can focus on finding someone I really mesh well with and like as a person instead of being desperate.

    The only real problem I have is worrying a lot about the future. I’m scared I’m going to grow old and die alone. I know a lot of men die before their wives anyway so chances are that’s going to happen, but I do at least want to spend some of my golden years with a partner to enjoy them with. I also would like to know REAL love for one time in my whole life, because I am pretty convinced I’ve never experienced real intimacy. Turns out I’m also really commitment phobic and I’d love to get over that and open up my true heart to someone who’s doing the same – scary and exhilarating! I wouldn’t trade all the dates and relationships in the world for that.

    I’ve also been reading a LOT of you, Lovely June, and I’ve been trying to figure out my VALUES. I’ve been pretty willing to settle in the past but I don’t want to do that anymore. You can’t take someone who does drugs – well, I can stand someone who smokes a J here and there, but I can’t take someone who uses pornography. I always said that and then married a porn addict. Also, they’ll have to respect me, not call me names, love my kids, like my tattoos and other things I’m still figuring out. I thank God I found your website – it has already helped me so much in a week or so!!

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