Expert Blog Compelling advice, stories, and thought-provoking perspectives straight from YourTango's lineup of Experts to you

Is Your Big "But" Keeping You From Finding Someone?

Heartbreak, Love

So, are you looking for a relationship now? If your response is , "Yes, but...", it's a roadblock!

It's been an amazing three weeks here in Carmel. It seems God put every imaginable thing of beauty in one place, and filled in the spaces with friends who seem to be more loving and precious each time we tip a cup of tea or lift a glass of wine together.

Last week I went to lunch with a friend, a real gentleman. You know the kind of man I'm talking about. He opens doors, pulls out your chair and tells you you look "just beautiful, as always". It sets my heart aflutter and leaves me at risk of "gettin' the vapahs". I hope Toni Morrison isn't the only one who understands Southern talk.

The waiter kept coming to the table to take our order, the two of us lost in conversation. Finally, blackened salmon encrusted with pumpkin seeds was ordered and on its way with barely a missed breath. I'll bet you know what we were talking about. The normal, women, dating and relationships. Is there anything more interesting to two bright, sweet, single people?

"So, you're not with anyone now?", I asked him. He smiled, saying "Well, I actually do have someone but she lives in Southern California." Inquiring minds want to know, so I dug a little deeper. "How often do you get together?" Seems two or three times a year for a weekend felt like just the right amount of time as he saw it. As I often say, "Every couple has their gig", and I respect that whatever works for them is just fine. Besides, by now the artwork on my plate caught my eye, and the salmon. OMG!

A few bites later, he began to talk about being single and that he would really enjoy being with someone "regularly". Snuggling, laughing, dining out, enjoying a bottle of wine...seems he wanted that more than twice a year. "But", he said, "I kinda like my mornings reading the paper, sipping my coffee and going at my own pace." There it was again. I hear it almost every time I am in a conversation with someone single, both men and women. The Big "BUT" I like to call it.

Why is it that we think we have to give up something, or so much of what we like about our lives to be in a loving relationship? The list of what people fear they will lose is endless...their friends, playing golf, quiet time, decisions about money or vacations and whether or not the dog would be able to keep sleeping on the bed.

Wiping my mouth and ready for pumpkin custard pie now, I asked, "Why do you think you'd have to give that up?" He looked confused and sat back stiffly in his chair unable to say anything. Seems he'd never thought about it before. He's been living on a steady diet of old mythology and past experience, or at least what he felt happened in prior relationships. It puzzled me that this wonderful, successful man had felt somehow robbed of what he wanted to do with his mornings.  "Why couldn't you drink your coffee, read the paper and take your time?", I asked.   "Well, I don't know. I think she would want me to talk or do something with her." Pushing on, I asked him "Couldn't you just tell her early on how much you valued and needed your morning time?" His eyes opened wide as if to say, "Are you kidding me?" or perhaps, "I hadn't thought of that!"

Like my friend, many of us think of a relationship as something that will take from us rather than give to us something we truly want and need.  Do you think that perhaps those excuses not to try are really fear that we won't find anyone to love or worse yet, a way to avoid having our hearts broken yet again? What does it take to trust that opening our hearts again can give us much more than it can ever take from us?

Remember, when you find him/her, you'll  have to let them know what you'd like your morning to look like. You might be pleasantly surprised when she/he offers you something even more interesting than the morning news and a cup of cappuccino.

Wiping that caramel from the corners of my mouth and in a near food stupor, I couldn't  help but ask him one more question. "Do you know the kind of woman that you are looking for?" If dessert weren't sweet enough, he said, "One like you." Melt.....


Donna Bailey, MS is a Dating and Relationship Coach. Her clients are adventurous romantics who are tired of watching sunsets alone and ready to do whatever it takes to find that special someone to share the next chapter of their amazing life. So, if you're Ready to Rock, visit her website or email her at

This article was originally published at Donna's BigRedChair. Reprinted with permission from the author.


Explore YourTango