"preparing to love"

by dr. susan nettleton


Sometimes people despair that they have failed at love. They have had repeated experiences trying to connect; coming together, and separating, with the same relationship or with different relationships over time. It is a paradox of love that in order to experience fulfillment in close connection, we need a clear sense of self. We gain this awareness of ourselves from a process of close attachments and separations. Self-discovery through bonding does not end in childhood. It continues into an ever deepening awareness of our unique self-hood through our connections, and out of that self, we can really love, know, and appreciate "others." Often, so-called "failed" relationships have really been preparation helping to define and strengthen a sense of self, so that we are ready to love.