Give Me a Heart of Stone

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Dear Hoopers,
My life is complicated. I’m a divorced 49-year old mother, who will soon be single again since my boyfriend of 2+ years is “no longer attracted to me.” Once I found out about his lack of attraction I committed myself to moving on and not seeking anyone else. This also allowed me to focus on myself and my son. This also allowed me more time to focus on getting fit and escaping the way I felt about my life.

Then “he” pops up. A guy friend from 20+ years ago who lives in my town and he is a teacher. We started Facebook messaging back and forth regularly for the past few months.   We both can see the attraction but I just don’t think I can trust love again. What can I do to turn my heart to stone? I want these feelings I have towards him to go away so I can focus on what’s right for me and my son. I’m old enough that I should know how to but I don’t.
-Give me a Heart of Stone

Dear Give Me a Heart of Stone,
A heart of stone? Oh no! Sounds pretty cold to me. Are you sure you want that? Be proud of the loving, caring heart that you have! Rather than change it, learn to work with it. Listen to it and trust it. No one wants a heart of stone and I don’t think you do either.

The words that your ex-boyfriend used to break up with you were hurtful and challenging. I sense that those words may be invoking self-doubt and personal criticism, anchoring the change that you want in your heart. You’re going through a tough time, a transition to singlehood after a two-year period of commitment and many changes for you and your son. I’m the first to admit that attention can feel good when spirits need lifting. However, the communication and affection from your old friend may get in the way of what you really need right now. Is a relationship what you want? What about for your son?


The communication and affection from your old friend may get in the way of what you really need right now.

-Kate

If you want to be in a happy, healthy relationship, you will need to overcome the fear of trusting someone again. The next relationship does not have to mimic the past, but it is important that you learn from it. Identifying the types of people and traits that you cannot trust will help you steer clear of them in the future. Give yourself time to heal and reflect in order to prepare your heart to give and receive love again.
-Kate

Dear Give Me a Heart of Stone,
I’m sorry that your relationship ended this way. It sounds painful and out of the blue. This pain however, did motivate you to make some decisions to protect yourself. You decided to step back from relationships for a while in order to focus on your health and your son.

Given that decision to remain single, it is confusing as to why you have been talking to your old friend on Facebook. Although it probably started out friendly, it’s not hard to see it turning romantic quickly. I agree that trusting love again probably would be difficult and scary. That’s why you should wait. Give yourself time to heal emotionally and to be in the right place when love is on time.


Give yourself time to heal emotionally and to be in the right place when love is on time.

-Dr. Ryan

You’re asking for a heart of stone but I think you would find it more fulfilling to focus your heart on a love for yourself and your son right now. There is no easy way to do this except to remain committed to singlehood. Find one new thing to add to your life that invests in you. Maybe it’s a support group or maybe a new gym, but do something right now that moves you towards the person you want to be and not just the person you want to be with.
-Dr. Ryan