Leaving the Cave

As you go through life, meet people and have relationships, of course not every one will work out. There are those few who meet their one true love first time out, but for the rest of us, it takes a little practice. Often times we allow our feelings to get involved and often times they end up getting hurt. When this happens, there are as many different reactions to this hurt as there are people. For most, we eventually find a way to deal with it and move on. For some, they crawl into their cave, their emotional safe house. They find a place that’s safe, where they cannot be hurt again, and give themselves time to heal. The problem is some people never leave their cave. They are so afraid of being hurt again, that they would rather remain in their cave, untouched by those very emotions that brought them there.

While remaining in your cave is safe, usually comfortable, even predictable, it presents certain problems. The fact of the matter is, without coming out of your cave and risking getting hurt again, you can never truly be happy again. You miss out on the opportunities to feel and fall in love again as well as the thrill of infatuation. There is no room in the cave for the elation that comes with the first kiss, or the joy that comes from the long conversations that never get boring, and seem far too short. You deprive yourself of finding that one true love that most of search for, that person that we can happily grow old with.

Then there are the people that don’t realize that they still have their feelings safely tucked away in their cave and venture to start a new relationship. This can be very unfair and frustrating to the unsuspecting party. When starting a new relationship, one assumes that both parties are starting on equal footing and are ready to give their all to the prospect of the new relationship. As the relationship progresses and feelings start to grow, you expect that that growth is taking place for both parties, when suddenly you start to notice that the cave dweller is behaving differently. They are not as responsive to your touch, they are not as generous with their compliments and when asked how they feel about you, they don’t have a response. You think to yourself, “How can this be? We get along so well, we truly enjoy each other’s company and want the same things out of life.” The unsuspecting party now begins to realize that the cave dweller is withholding their feelings and pulling away from the relationship. The cave dweller comes to the realization that they have developed feelings for this person, i.e. they can now be hurt by this person. In a panic, they retreat with not so much as one word of explanation, leaving the unsuspecting party feeling confused and dejected.

So the question is, how do you leave the cave? In speaking with people about this topic, several fall back on the old adage, “time heals all wounds”. Others say the best way to forget about a man/woman is to go get another. Still others say they simply rely on their faith to see them through. They hold on to the belief that God does in fact have someone special in store for them, some one person placed on this earth to be their other half, to complete them even. The fact that the last relationship wasn’t that person doesn’t mean that they should give up on love and remain in their cave forever. It simply means that they either have not met the person yet, or it is not the right time yet. Either way, to stay in your cave would mean giving up on the possibility of love. And quite frankly, with the world as difficult to traverse as it is, why would anyone want to do that? So take heart, have faith, and you too can find your way, out of your cave.