What are we searching for if it isn’t love? The world seems so fast right now, I wonder where it is we’re trying to go. Me, I’m trying to slow it down. My daughter is already 20 years old… my god it seems only yesterday that she came out of the womb in a flash of light, forever changing my world, love embodied, the greatest moment of my life. Even now I choke back the tears as I think of all the times I checked out while holding her, wishing she was older so I didn’t have to deal with baby stuff… diaper changing, sleepless nights, etc. Now I would give anything to go back and hold her tiny body one more time, those eyes looking up at me with wonder and delight… to her I could do no wrong, and that intoxicating feeling stays with me even now. But those days are gone.
How precious everything is. How fleeting these moments can be. Why do we want to run away into screens and avoidant behavior? What are we running from? Life itself? Well, it’s easy to fall into something that feels more like hell than life, and there’s no shortage of dark, fucked up things to focus on. There’s nothing easier to be cynical about than love, and dare I even mention the word “family” without everyone rolling their eyes and feeling a knot in their stomach. I think all of us can easily rattle off a list of the single moms and dads that we know, and their gut wrenching stories of betrayal, loss, heartache and crushed dreams. I can relate. I was a single father from the time my daughter was 9 months old, and the pain of being part of a family torn in two has never left me. When it comes to love it seems there’s plenty of pain to be had, and we’ve all had our share.
So what to do? What are our options here? It seems there’s no shortage of Facebook posts telling us what we should do when it comes to love. I’m not sure they’re very helpful. When I can slow down, and actually feel the human part of myself, I know how good love can be. I can feel it when my wife holds me on the couch as I watch the colors of the sky change… I can feel it when my daughter texts me and I feel like the most important man in the world again…. I can feel it when I think about my dad, and how sad it makes me that we didn’t get along better, because you only get one dad and my he’s a good man who deserves to be loved… I like to be loved, and I like to give love. It’s pretty simple when I can get out of my head and out of the past. Love is here now, and it’s looking for you, it wants you.
As a professional dating coach people ask me all the time: “What’s your one most valuable dating tip?” And I can always answer in about two milliseconds: Be delusionally optimistic. That’s it. We all know the data, that the odds are stacked against us, that we’ve already lost before we’ve even started. But who cares? That’s just a story. We can make up a new story anytime we want. I love what my wife says when I’m feeling down: “Just pluck a good mood out of the air.” Maybe we can just pluck a new story about love out of the air too. I think we have to. If loneliness is the new smoking (apparently being lonely is as bad for your health as smoking cigarettes) then we need a cure, ASAP. And the cure is to be optimistic. Believe that love is real. Believe that we’re here to love each other… that we can, and we will. Believe that you can meet the love of your life. I did. She’s here, she’s real. We get to help people together now, and it really is a fucking dream come true.
We don’t have to be alone. Please, don’t. Please be with someone. Please love someone. We need you to. I need you to. Because I can’t do this alone. I need your story. I need your story of triumphing despite all the odds. Despite having your heart broken again and again and again… you dug deep and found the courage. You loved again and you kept going. I need to have dinner with you and your partner. I need to hear about how miraculous your love is. I love those stories and I need more of them. The world needs more of them. We’re drowning in shitty stories about “the wall” and separation and divorce and loneliness and how the planet is going to burn us all alive because it’s too fucking hot. I can’t take it anymore and neither can you.
If I’m going to go up in flames, I want to do it embracing my wife with all the love that God gave me in this temporary heart of mine. I don’t need to save it anymore, I can give it all to her and her beautiful four-year old son and I can give it to all the hopes and dreams that our family has. Maybe they’ll come true, and maybe they won’t, but it doesn’t matter because we’re making up good stories and they feel good.
I’m making up the story that love is worth it. I’m making up the story that the love you are seeking is seeking you. I’m making up the story that the time of separation is over and we are entering the time of unity. I’m making up the story that every morning the sun rises over us and with it limitless potential for amazing love stories, family reunions, reconciliation, healing and rebirthing. Please make up a story, a good story, a love story.