Mama M: Lonely Medical Student

Columnist

Dear Mama M,

Will I be alone for the rest of my life? I am 33 years old and I still haven’t found The One. I am an older medical student, in second year now, and I look around at everyone else in the world, and all I see are couples. Everyone seems to be paired or coupled, and they all seem so happy. But I am still alone. And I don’t feel happy being alone.

And, to make things worse, since I’m older than most of my classmates, there seems to be an expectation (which I failed to meet) that I should be the one who is already married.  But I haven’t been so lucky in love.

It’s not that I haven’t been putting myself out there. Before moving here for school, I worked as a teacher, and I dated a lot of guys and even a handful of women. But, since I am a giver, I always seem to end up with takers.

The people I have dated always expect me to take care of their needs. And, really I don’t mind that, but at some point I decided that I would like to be given to, once in a while, too.

Well, destiny seems to be telling me that I don’t deserve that. I guess I have to accept my fate. And sometimes I do that pretty well. But these days I am feeling very lonely and alone, and I wish I had someone who would hold me. Is there hope for me to find real love, ever? What am I doing wrong? Please help.

Sincerely, Alone Forever

My Precious Alone,

It is hard to be alone when you don’t want to be. It’s probably not helpful to think that you are doing something “wrong.”  Still, there might be some ways you can think differently and put yourself into the flow of love.  Sometimes we have to rearrange the way we are thinking to unblock stubborn, unconscious patterns.

First, one of the great sadnesses of life is that we are all alone.  It is also true that many people do not look like they are alone.  And that sucks. It fools us into thinking we are missing something. That we are deficient, and will be alone forever. Looking at people from the outside in fools us into thinking that they did something right and we did not.

Despite our uniqueness as humans, there is a curious and powerful pull to be alike. To move through life on the same time lines. It is part of our tribal survival instinct to stick together and act, like the rest of our tribe, according to expected and accepted rituals.  

But the truth is, it is only recently that we have evolved into conscious mating. Historically, our mates were chosen for us and were procreative in nature. We were chosen. And now we must choose. And we wonder if we are doing it right.

But, Sweet Alone One, modern love gives us the luxury and the burden to find our own timing and rituals around love and mating.  It can be lonely and confusing when we don’t fall into an easy rhythm with it all. 

Life is asking you, for now, to be bold enough to trust being with “you.”  Is it a permanent condition? No, Sugar. Perhaps you are solo at present for a deeper reason.

Perhaps you will need a divine partner instead of boyfriend (or girlfriend), and that just takes longer to find.

I am curious about your pattern of being a “giver.”  That has to be addressed.  Try this thought. Perhaps your inner wisdom is guiding you toward more mutual and balanced relationships. Perhaps this desire is in fact larger than your desired to be coupled. And that, My Dear, is awesome. Be patient and loving with your process. Believing that you deserve a divine partner, connected by reciprocity and deep love, is where your work is.

Keep reflecting on your stories about love and togetherness, and you will see where your blocks to love are. Most of us have them. Some folks just don’t want to go there. They settle. You have to ask yourself if you are willing to settle. Our personal obstacles can be deep and hard to find. 

In your quiet moments, mentally remove the blocks. Make the unconscious conscious and clean your inner house. Somewhere in there is a belief that you do not deserve love. Get to that belief, talk to it, make peace with it, and say goodbye to it.  In the meantime, love yourself as you are and trust the process.

“Happiness is a journey, not a destination.

“For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin — real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness.

“Happiness is the way.

“So treasure every moment you have, and remember that time waits for no one.”

Father Alfred D’ Souza