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Start with friendships

Q: Everyone thinks that I am a marvelous success, but I am not.

I have had my share of good tidings. I breezed through high school and did well at both universities that I attended. And when my dad died, I came back home and managed to turn a rundown and derelict farm into a thriving and prosperous enterprise. I have just finished building a new house on the home quarter.

But as beautiful and luxurious as my house is, it still ranks bare and seems hollow through the loneliness I am bringing into it. I am envious of my neighbours, somewhat impoverished, but rich nonetheless when they gather around the kitchen table to laugh and cry in celebration of their times together. I have tried to get involved, mostly with women, but the few I have dated seemed to be more interested in my bank account than me. What can I do to erase my loneliness and have that special person in my life to enjoy?

A: The manifest destiny for each of us is to build a warm and intense interpersonal relationship with another person.

You would not start a race at the finish line. Neither are you likely to fulfill your manifest destiny by jumping cold turkey into the arms of someone you barely know.

You start your journey toward intimacy by building a social climate for yourself, getting to know and relate to as many people as you can throughout your community of interests.

It is called social networking and it is vital for learning to understand and appreciate other people. Over time, the new and interesting faces will gradually whittle down to a few special people in your life. Eventually, you will find yourself wanting to spend more time with some rather than others. That is likely the process that will finally yield an intimate relationship for you.

You can complement your social network by going for personal counselling. You are not looking for advice from your counsellor, but for an opportunity to explore who you are as a person.

That is the foundation for helping you decide who you like and don’t like. Remember your job is not to please others to try to make them love you. Your job is to make sure that you like the person you are courting. Whether or not that person likes you in return is her business.

The route to success for an interpersonal relationship has its moments of hurt and disappointments. Not everyone will admire you in return, but the hurt and disappointment vanish quickly and eventually you will successfully engage another person if you let patience guide you through the process.



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