Love Lessons From an 8th Grade Class Reunion

December 27, 2013


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In the midst of family holiday time, my 8th grade class had a reunion. At first I wasn’t sure I wanted to go, but decided it would almost be a shame to be in my hometown and not at least say hello. In some ways 8th grade seems like it was yesterday, and yet feels like a lifetime ago.

My reunion, coupled with lots of family time reminded me of the importance and necessity of showing up and engaging in order to have quality relationships. The feelings you have about men, dating and love, good, bad or indifferent must be able to pierce you, to remind you that you’re alive.

If you’ve been single for a while, it’s very easy to forget what it’s like to interact with people on a very basic level. I love reading articles, books, blogs, and all of the social media microwave philosophies about love, dating and relationships but nothing can replace the basics of showing up and letting people see who you are and connecting. I’m starting to realize that all of this love and dating advice, marriage statistics and other unsolicited advice has made many people scared of relationships. All of the pressure to get it all just right and to look just right to meet someone, can seem daunting and frightening, especially when everyone in your world is weighing in on how it “should” be done.

When you’ve been badly burned by love, it’s easy to stay in your cocoon with your only lifeline to intimate relationships being social media or the latest Rom-com on Netflix, but it’s not as scary out there as you’ve been led to believe. Seeing my old classmates again and hearing about who got recently got engaged, listening to those who’ve been married a while and seeing who was pregnant reminded me that love and relationships are made up of real people trying to figure it all out. Those same kids I knew in 8th grade were all laughing and having a beer last night, most of whom looked the same, many of whom with the same personalities, albeit all grown up. But taking the time, and allowing myself to see and be seen outside of my New York City cocoon felt more real to me than any self-help book or meditation class I’ve ever taken. I was present and fully engaged, and isn’t that what all of those personal development tools are meant to teach us?

So I’ll leave you with this: men, dating and relationships become a lot less scary when you get out there and do it. Stop it with the over-analyzing and obsessing about the perfect man, and get out there and talk to people. I don’t care how good someone looks or how successful they are, we all want connection, but you have to be willing to be seen and interact to make it happen.

Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you.


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