Dating Advice: You Are Not Your Story

Posted by Delaine - May 27, 2009 - Advice, Concerns & Fears, Dating & Sex, Healing, Wisdom Gained - 4 Comments

A divorced girlfriend of mine was going out on a date – a third date, which rarely happened with her. And as we talked over the phone beforehand, she was almost panicked.“I actually like this man, Delaine. But the timing couldn’t be worse – my life is such a mess, and I don’t want to get into the details of it with him. I’ll look so pathetic.” 

She asked: “What do I talk to him about without getting into all this heavy stuff? I don’t want him to think ‘Holy shit – Desperate Single Mom.’ I want to be authentic with him, yet I don’t know how to do that without revealing the dire circumstances of my life.” 

I understood her concern. After all, we all hear about the stereotypical ‘divorcee with luggage.’ It’s carries connotations of shame, as if she has wrecked her life and doesn’t deserve any better; certainly, she’s no ‘prize catch’ for a man…

So what did I say? 

“You are NOT your story.” 

Then I told her again: “You are NOT your story.”  For how often to we define who we are by the who-what-and-when of what’s happening or has happened in our lives?  We scramble into our pasts to tell stories, as if they somehow reveal who we truly are and what we’re worth. But KNOWING these stories about ourselves, isn’t the same as BEING our Selves.”  

I said, “Yes, you’re going through a tough time right now.  But tough times happen to everyone. And you can be honest about that point without getting into the nitty-gritty.” 

She sighed and I continued empathetically: “Again hun, shit happens to EVERYONE at some point. You’ve nothing to be ashamed of. The real you is the Woman who is dealing with all this garbage right now, with courage and strength and compassion and hard-work. You still have a positive energy around you, even if you aren’t waving your pom poms in the air.You are NOT your story hun.  You have to believe in yourself…

You are NOT your story. You are NOT your story.

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