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Skye Thomas
I often listen to a local evening radio show while Im working at my computer. Its a great show with a warm and funny hostess. Her show focuses on love and romance. People call in to request love songs because theyre very happy in their present relationships. They call in to say that their hearts are breaking and to request songs to lift their spirits. They call in to request songs that they hope will make someone come back to them. They dedicate songs to moms, dads, children, soldiers, best friends, and anyone else they might love. People will call after burying a loved one to request a song that brings back happy memories of when the person was still alive. Its a pretty sappy show and I love it. But the other night, she really ticked me off.

A woman called in to say that she loved the show and that shed been listening faithfully for years. However, she confessed that sometimes she cant bare to listen and has to turn it off. The caller went on to say that it had been so long since a man had loved her like that, that she sometimes found it hard to believe that anyone would ever love her so deeply and completely. She said that she listens to the show and the men call in saying how very much they are in love with their wives or their sweethearts. She loves the show, but sometimes finds it hard to believe that men like that really exist. Thats when the normally compassionate wonderfully caring hostess blew it in my opinion.

She gave the woman a hard time about how it was her negative attitude towards love and romance that was keeping her from getting to experience it. She was trying to make the point that you have to be a complete and whole person capable of inner happiness before you go into a relationship and not to expect another person to make you into a complete and happy person. Fair enough and there is a lot of truth and importance to the message she was trying to give the caller. A bad attitude can definitely chase love away. However, she used an analogy that I found very disturbing. I believe that many people are in the position of the listener who called in. I also believe they are getting this same treatment and advice by lots of well meaning people who mean to empower them but end up just belittling the broken hearted people.

The analogy went something like this I would love to travel and see all of the amazing wonders of the world, but my life and finances are such that I dont get to do that. When someone tells me of a wonderful trip theyve just taken, I dont get jealous and bitter. I dont tell them that I cant bare to listen to their stories of traveling abroad. Instead, I rejoice in their good fortune and ask lots of questions because I want them to tell me everything about it. I am happy for them, not bitter and depressed. She wanted the caller to take the same approach to hearing of other people having beautiful happy relationships. I can see what she was trying to do and I think she really meant well.

Heres why I take issue with her analogy. Love is not the same as traveling the globe. Studies have shown that love is a basic core human need just like food, water, and shelter. Traveling is not. So lets look at this from the idea that the caller had called in about food instead of love. If someone was starving and without food most of the time, and they called in to say that they loved your show about gourmet cooking but sometimes the hunger got so intense that they couldnt bare to listen to other callers stories of scrumptious mouth watering meals. If they went on to say that they had been hungry and without food for so long that they were beginning to sometimes fear that they would never eat again, would you lecture them and tell them that it was their bad attitude that kept them hungry? No of course not. Sometimes people live in situations were food is hard to come by regardless of their attitude. Sometimes people live in situations were love is hard to come by regardless of their attitudes too. It would not be an empowering gesture to tell the children starving in Ethiopia that they simply had bad attitudes and that if they changed their attitude, then they would see that food was in front of them all along. Why do we say that about love? Think of love along the same lines as that saying, Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime. Shouldnt we be teaching people how to love?

I have seen with my own eyes wonderful beautiful smart women who had incredibly self-confidence and vibrant magnetic personalities that couldnt find a good man if their life depended on it. Believing in love doesnt mean that youll get love. Someone still has to show up and fall in love with you. Finding the right one is much harder then simply having a good attitude. Dont let anyone tell you that because you havent found a quality match that its your fault because sometimes you lose hope. The fact is that if youre starving for love, then youre starving. Nobody can feel loved that isnt. Yes, you can be grateful for the love of friends and family and thereby have the basic core human need met. But we all know theres a big difference between living off of bread and water versus enjoying a bountiful harvest of delicious foods. Its no different with love. You have a right to feel an ache in your heart, you are hungry.

Skye Thomas

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