Breaking up with someone, being left, being lied to or betrayed — it's a shock to the system. The end of a love affair is a pain that somehow rules out all other pain. How is that even possible? Can one compare a broken bone to a bruised ego? And a black-and-blue ego is precisely what we get when we are suddenly faced with the idea that everything we were once plugged into has now abandoned us to float like a satellite in space.
After we've suffered a bad breakup, we mourn the lost attachment like a phantom limb. We were used to doing things a certain way and now that way is gone, maybe forever. We feel irretrievable. The attachment we once had gave us an identity; we were part of a couple. It felt so good. Losing the attachment also brings up much self-conflict: "How did I ever trust that person? What kind of fool am I?" "How could they do this to me, and what does that say about my own sense of judgment?" "Can I ever love again?" "Should I ever love again?" "Am I an idiot, or are they?" Once we get past being angry with them, we really start becoming angry with ourselves.
So when people ask me why I'm not dating or why I haven't made express efforts to get a solid relationship going in my life — it's not that I don't adore the idea. I do. And I would never advise any person on Earth not to go for it with all the gusto they can muster up, because on many levels, love really is worth it. Love may equal pain, but thems the breaks, eh?
I'm no Buddha. I'm just a woman with a little less need than many, a lot less desire for attachment than most, and an open heart for whatever might come my way along the road. The only reason I'm not actively trying again is because, well, Mr. Right hasn't knocked on my door lately with a dozen roses and a note that says, "I promise not to psychoanalyze you for being single." Should that guy happen to materialize, then by all means I'll let him in. After all, I'm fairly sure I can still hear a heartbeat within this old cage of bones.