The other night I was flipping through the channels and saw Drew Barrymore being interviewed by Jay Leno. I don't know about you, but I've always liked her. She's had a crazy life...her parents didn't look out for her and she got into drugs, alcohol, and the party life - even entered rehab - all before she was 13. She's also had her share of many relationships - multiple marriages and engagements that ended. But I've always liked her. One thing I've admired about her is that she has always had a positive attitude - no matter what experience she had just gone through. This girl could have become even more crazy and whacked out because of her terrible upbringing and even from her genes. (She comes from a long line of alcoholics.) But she cleaned up her life by 15 and has maintained an upbeat and hopeful outlook. She's always talking about being happy and finding the good in everyone. That's really impressive for someone who has lived the darker side of Hollywood.
I was once again reminded about her positive attitude when Jay asked her a question about her being single. She had the best answer I've ever heard. It went something like, "Yes, I've been single 9 months. And I love being single right now! What a great opportunity! I can focus on my work and on my friends. And really, the prospect of a new love is exciting! It could be right around the corner! How romantic!"
Those words really humbled me. Why can't I have that kind of excitement about my single status? Why when someone asks me if I'm dating someone I get defensive and start trying to prove I'm working on finding a mate? And it is so true what Drew said - love CAN be right around the corner - and it often is. Especially if you are in a good place and generally happy. There have been several times in the last couple of years where I've had a good attitude about my single life and had hope and faith that a relationship was just up ahead. And I was right! And I don't believe that's a coincidence. And even though those relationships didn't end up in marriage - ok, not even close - all of them have ended up being a significant experience with someone - and I have some great memories and learned some important things from each of them.
I think because we talk so much about eternal marriage, we think that we are always failing if our relationships don't end in a trip to the temple. But dating and relationships is about finding the right person to take us to the temple. So really we aren't failing; we are separating the wheat from the chaff! And that goes for when the guy breaks up with us. Because if they don't appreciate us or want to make the effort to commit, they are DEFINITELY considered chaff and not right for us!
(Of course, trying to keep that in mind is easier said than done - especially if you fell in love with that chaff...)
My good friend - who is now married - always had the best philosophy about dating and relationships. She believed that relationships were meant to teach us things and that they were necessary and important BEFORE we get to the right guy we marry. Too often I go on a date thinking, "can I marry him?" instead of, "do I want to spend the next date with him?" or "What can I learn from this guy?" And each of those relationships I have had taught me TONS of things I needed to know and helped me with the next one. I think having my friend's outlook on relationships and dating can really help when that relationship does end and disappointment sets in. Because it's no longer a failure, it's a learning experience. And as another good friend told me: Life is a laboratory. There is no failing - just a lot of experimenting!
Bouncing back from a disappointment or even keeping a good attitude after a long spell of no dating is the hardest part. But it's so necessary if you are going to get to the next relationship. You have to keep hope alive and believe that there is someone else out there that will really appreciate you and want to spend time with you - even if it's for a little while.
It's all about getting that hope back. If you have just an inkling of hope, it can grow! Especially if you nurture it with positive feelings, hard work (usually means going to singles activities and flirting), and a whole lot of faith and prayers. And as that hope grows, you really can't help in feeling those positive vibes and feeling happier about life and your current single status. And then those positive vibes will be returned back to you - sometimes in the form of a really good date - and even a relationship.
So I really think Drew Barrymore has a good thing going! And I plan on responding the same way next time someone asks me if I'm single.
You know, I never thought I'd say it (because really, she married Tom Green!), but from now on I'm going to try to be more like Drew!