February 20th, 2015 by Nina Atwood
I know a wonderful guy. Jim is a very successful executive who absolutely loves his job helping to run a mid-sized company. He is a striking guy - tall, good looking, and fit. He’s super kind and considerate of others, one of the many reasons he is a great leader and his team reveres him so much. Jim will retire in his mid-fifties a multi-millionaire, hard earned and well deserved.
One thing that Jim doesn’t have is a great relationship with a woman. He is unabashedly single, but not because he’s a womanizer or incapable of love. In fact, he doesn’t date at all. I overheard him tell someone recently that he had a great love, once. He went on to say: “I am not looking for love. That part of life is over for me.”
What’s missing for Jim is emotional resilience. He lost a love, someone who was vitally important to him. He didn’t possess the emotional tools to grieve, move past the loss, rekindle hope, and try again.
Looking back over the past ten years, how many disappointments have you suffered? How many losses, whether a job, a relationship, or a loved one due to death? How much control did you have over those events happening?
The fact is, none of us holds the keys to keeping life on a perfect even keel, ever upward. Inevitable in life is the reality of loss: of people we love, things we value, health, relationships, and more. As a single person, until you find that right person, you go through relationships that don’t work out, with the heartbreak that results.
What you and I do have control over is how we respond to those losses. And the key to that is emotional resilience. This is the one thing that will empower you to keep moving forward until you do find that right person.
Cultivate emotional resilience by understanding the nature of loss and grief. When embraced, loss and grief enable you to process through the disappointment and pain and move on. Cry, write letters; get therapy, exercise, ask friends to listen, meditate, cleanse, travel to a beautiful place. In short, do whatever helps you get through the loss. Don’t suppress feelings or medicate them with alcohol, drugs, shopping, or sex with random people.
If you cultivate this powerful tool, your heart will be strong, and you will find that you are able to stay in the game of dating relationships until you meet that right person with whom to share your life. Words can’t express how painful it is to lose someone you love, and I did, more than once as a single person years ago. But because I was so determined to keep moving forward, I was able to deal with the losses and meet my wonderful husband. You can too!