From Pain to Partnership

Simona-Daniela’s Question:

Hello Liam,

I would really like to know if soon I will be getting someone in my life that I can start a serious relationship with. My life hasn’t been easy since I was small. My mom died when I was one year old and after that, everything went wrong. I was married for nine years and I have two children. After my marriage I had a three-year relationship with a guy who proved to be a copy of my ex-husband, but an improved one.

There is a guy at work that I really like, Pierre, but he doesn’t seem to like me enough to start a relationship, and that is maybe because I told him I have two kids. I really want to have a family and be happy. That is all I want. I don’t really go out to look for somebody. I have days when I feel really depressed. I am here in Canada with my two kids only, and all my family is back in Romania. I have a feeling that my life will be better in the future, but having you confirm it will make me have more faith. Please respond to me, and thank you very much. By the way, your eyes are stunning!

Liam’s Response:

Greetings, Simona-Daniela, and I am very honored that you wrote to me with such an inquiry. As a child of the Eastern European tradition, you have a deep and vibrant background. Such art! Such literature! A woman born of Romanian soil would know how to taste food, how to feel pain, how to drink, how to dance, and how to love, and yet, you find yourself in the passionless West, amid the Wall Marts and the infomercials. You’ve come out of necessity, I know. We are dealt many hands in life, and we must play as we can. As I look over the cards you are holding now, I sense a great deal of numbness in you. Not fear. Not pain. Numbness. It is our truest adversary.

I sense alienation at the root of your dilemma. Being alone, struggling, divorce, loss: These are all turns in an ongoing plot, one that has often been tragic, but that simmers with the juice of promise. You must try to remember that bliss can only be born from pain and trial. No soul coddled in privilege or ease ever knows true love or real ecstasy.

Step one for you is simply to accept your pain. I fear it sounds cliched, but it must be done, and not in some trite or optimistic self-therapy fashion. You must accept your pain with dignity and understanding, for it is, in reality, the best friend we ever have. It is in darkness that seeds take root. So give yourself permission to feel your pain: the pains of the past, the loneliness of today, the terror of the unknown future. Early in your life, you closed yourself off for the sake of survival. There is no shame in this. It was necessary for the time. But ironically, now, in order to survive emotionally, you will have to unleash all that was repressed. You need to find time away from your job and your children and all your responsibilities to mourn and to be afraid. To explore the dark places and reconnect to your emotions.

I want you to reconnect with your homeland as well, despite the distance. I sense that you are losing sight of your true nature, and though we all must strive to adapt and evolve in new environments, forgetting one’s roots and essence is like damming the flow of a vital waterway. Take up some traditional pastimes that connect you to the life-nurturing customs of your ancestors. Mushroom hunting, folk tales, leaving treats for the Fairy Folk. The sorts of things that permeate all cultures.

As for your hope to find a companion, I know you’ve been out there and seen the backwards lunacy that is the western dating scene. Women chase men, who are in turn perpetual children. For a woman with your life experience and cultural roots to involve herself in such antics seems demeaning. But I promise you, it is possible to play the game of love without playing the game of dating. The best things usually come when we’re not looking.

The key is to be open, to find passions and interests that are vital, and to follow them. Real passion is like a current, and it can take you places. It seems to me that Pierre at work is a nice man, but he remains a man-child. Men who shy away from a woman because she is a mother are the worst sorts of little boys. They simply can’t stand the thought of sharing the spotlight, of having a rival for affection, and are cowards when it comes to responsibility of any sort. A woman with children, a mother, is a worthy conquest indeed. A man who shies from this is a fool.

Now, let me tell you something. You don’t need me to reassure you that life will be better, or that the future holds promise. Life will go on. There will be trials and pains and loss. That is life for all of us. I’ve yet to meet one person who lives happily under a rainbow of good fortune. But we should never avoid the chance to relish an experience, even a bad one. Look at how mighty you are after all you’ve come through! I see that yes, new love comes. But seek within first. And know this: There are men out there, believe it or not, who desire what you desire and who tire of contrived dance-club rituals. Tap the vein within, and you will be led in their direction. My love to you.


One thought on “From Pain to Partnership

  1. Mark Taylor UK

    I know this is an old past article, but I agree wholeheartedly with the response! I was a man who took on a partner with children, it was a tough time but also enriched in ways money could never buy. It was a journey of which i learned so much about myself but more importantly gave more than I took, which in turn has reaped it’s reward as my fruits of labour, suffering and love were in deed returned, i hope and I am Sure Simola Daniela will be ok ! Mark


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