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Nobody tells you when it ends. Well, they shouldn’t have to. You can feel it. It’s that inner nagging feeling we have that you just need to cry, but because we’re grown-ups we suppress it and go on, never really letting the hurt go. In some of us it will brew and manifest itself in bitterness, and that will ensure that you never find love again. Others develop the disease of suspiciousness, always looking to compare the new person in your life with the one who did you wrong. That again will doom you to a life of solitude.

The magic that brings it to us, also takes it away. Why? Perhaps some relationships are only meant for a time. You come together to learn something from each other, and once you have, it’s time to move onto the next lesson. But sadly, most of us never learn, and that means a life sentence of bewilderment and confusion and blame.

Then we have the serial offenders, those so petrified to be alone they will let anyone in their life, even someone they don’t particularly like, and attempt to love them. Those people are not in love with a person, they are in love with a concept.

Rod McKuen once said, “I am not lonely, I’m just alone.” And perhaps deep in that is the answer. If you’re desperate to love someone, start with yourself. And by that I don’t mean become an ego-maniac. When you love someone, really love someone, you love them for who they are, warts and all. Well, to quote that wise Jewish man Jesus, “Physician, heal yourself.”

So, today, start accepting yourself for who you really are. With that comes a great inner peace for you’re no longer playing a role that you’ve been miscast in. Even Brando couldn’t do that and proved it. Being comfortable with yourself and being honest about who you are, is actually quite attractive to others.

We come into this life alone, and that’s how we leave it. It’s tough to accept but there you have it. We didn’t make the rules. If, along the way, you have found love in someone, or in many, you have been blessed and you need to reflect on that and give thanks, for some never find it at all.

Someone once told me, “When it comes your time to die, if you have at the end of this journey at least two people in that room that loved you so much they’d gladly give their own life so you could live, you’ve had a wonderful life.”

We hang onto things too long. We become collectors. Hoarders. Desperately holding onto things we no longer need, let alone look at. But it somehow gives us comfort to know we own them.
Some people set their own rules for love, as if there weren’t enough natural ones too. For instance age. I, in my time, have lost some wonderful soul mates because I was deemed to be too old or in some cases too young. Yet I don’t believe love is based on numbers. You both know it’s there, you feel it, until one of you denies its existence. I have loved younger women, I have loved older women. On reflection I wasn’t falling in love with the number of years, but rather, with the person. Isn’t that how is should be? Or are we too concerned about what our friends will say, or parents, etc., and so we send love away when it comes knocking. And then cry that it didn’t come back in a more acceptable package. I think one of the lines I’m proudest of is a song lyric I wrote for “Dear Friend” “…love sees no colour, love knows no age.” Yes, it’s true, real love is blind.

How do you know when love leaves a relationship? That’s easy. You laugh too loud. You talk too much, or don’t talk at all. You become exhausted from all the tap dancing to keep the show moving along. We forget that some shows only last one act. Most people don’t get a second act in their lives. And rarely a third. Although some us live in hope.

(c) Frank Howson 2014


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