How many times must you fail before you give up?
Of course that’s a silly question without any context. Give up what, exactly? It makes all the difference. If you were searching for a missing ball-point pen, or maybe trying to catch a spider in your living-room, then it might be quite reasonable to give up after a couple of attempts. A lost pen or a harmless spider doesn’t matter very much, does it? When you take a broad view, these things are quite trivial and soon forgotten.
Some things in life really do matter. A lot. Consider all the romantic connections you’ve had in your life. Now we’re are talking about something that is important to most people and I think I’d be safe enough in guessing that you feel the same. Think back. You had teenage flings of course. This was just the starting point, training at the Love Boot Camp and intensively developing your skills. The love you felt in your twenties was something different. Profoundly deep, compelling, overwhelming. So powerful that you married him.
Nearly half of marriages end within 15 years. Ok, so there’s more than one way to measure divorce rates but I don’t wish to get bogged down in such debates. Let’s just agree that divorce is a thing and it happens a lot. For better or for worse, never mind for richer or for poorer, marriage simply isn’t what it used to be.
So what comes after your divorce? Is it time to give up now? That’s the easy option but it’s far from satisfying. Envisage the lonely years that would stretch ahead of you. Instead of throwing in the towel, it’s time to start dating again. Argh, it’s so much more difficult now! Where have all the good men gone?
Despite the challenges, you do go on a few dates. Romances develop, they blossom for a little while but soon wilt. Back to square one, again and again. Failure upon failure. The months go by, hope is displaced by despair. Now you really do feel like giving up.
A friend called me last night and I told her everything. I told her about the lost love, the hope and the despair. I told her that I just didn’t have the energy to keep on trying. I was fed up, jaded. Enough was enough. “Don’t give up,” she said softly. Good advice from a wise friend.
Unlike a cheap ball-point pen, you can’t nip out and buy another lover. And without that lover, you’ll just have to have another go at catching the spider yourself. No-one said it would be easy. Just don’t give up.
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