Building Bridges

Issue # 39 of 43 

David LeClaire
By: David LeClaire

New Relationships: Balancing Hopes and Fears

New relationships always bring a person to life - one never knows what's going to happen, and where things might go. This sense of "possibility" is exciting, sometimes even intoxicating, which drives a person to set aside projects and goals, friends and family, even lifestyle things such as working out or time to relax alone and read.

However, for those who have dated, and dated, and dated, this wonderful time in life can be tempered by their memories of how many times it hasn't worked out. As a matter of fact, for some, a cynical attitude can develop instead as the result of too many disappointments, too many hurt feelings, so much energy and time invested into "possibilities" that never went anywhere.

Obviously neither extreme on the spectrum is healthy in the long-term, although, perhaps, realistic depending on your past. The blissful excitement that transcends all else in life makes one feel totally alive - but leads to an imbalance that makes your work, parenting, health, or friendships suffer. And on the other end, you have the bitterness that scares away healthy partners and robs you from being in the moment and enjoying one of life's simple beauties.

I remember one woman I had been talking to who shared with me her frustration of being alone sooooooooo long, and she was sick of it! With a few choice words thrown in for color, she griped about her situation and life, and I could feel the weight on her shoulders, which didn't leave me wanting to spend more time with her. Hey, no-one says being single is easy, everyone gets a little lonely sometimes. But that kind of negative attitude will never draw to her the kind of person she needs to meet. She may meet someone who decides they can "help fix her up," but in the long run she'd be better off if she didn't find a fixer and instead had a partner who was happy, and who wanted one with the same attitude and frame of mind.

Moderation is the key to success in many things in life. It's O.K. to get frustrated and sad once in a while, but pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get back on the horse to try again. If you're on the other end of spectrum, a little calmness and a slower approach will do everyone involved a lot of good. Don't ignore the rest of your life just because you have that "feeling," after all, a good partner would expect you to have a life outside of them and will respect you more if you do.

I think one of the biggest challenges for single adults is simply being O.K. with not having a partner for a while. It's a time one should learn to appreciate as much as possible. You have complete freedom, permission to be anyone you want to be, nobody telling you how imperfect you are, nothing to limit your time, money, and energy. Soon enough there will be someone in your life - someone who may take some work to get along with, someone who maybe likes the house a lot hotter than you, or maybe doesn't want you to hang out with certain friends, or someone whom you end up having to "mother." Enjoy and celebrate this time of your life when your freedom is guaranteed and your future is wide open.

If you are, indeed, a positive person who doesn't carry around a lot baggage in life, you stand a better chance of attracting the same. What kind of person do you want to fall in love with? Well, you'd better be able to be that way yourself. Do you want to find someone who is active, fun, has a lot of friends, is balanced, responsible but not too serious? Could you say the same things about yourself?

It's fine to have an imperfect history - just don't let it grab you around the throat and let it control your future. Live as if you enjoy living, and you'll attract someone who is of like mind and spirit. And then when this person comes into your life, maintain this same sense of a balanced lifestyle. Spend time with them, but don't let it get out of hand either. With the right attitude and frame of mind, you can thoroughly enjoy this era of being single and make the most of this time in your life!

David LeClaire has spent much of his time teaching at community college and private school, and lead communications training for Fortune 500 companies. Now a popular and active Seattle area sommelier, this graduate of Central Michigan University led seminars for a wide variety of organizations. LeClaire is the author of "Bridges To A Passionate Partnership." He can be reached at

Building Bridges Table of Contents

Text © 1998, David LeClaire. Part of the original Sideroad.
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