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As I write this, I find myself sitting at my computer once again, occasional tears dripping from my chin. It’s what happens every time I unlock a dark mystery that has plagued me and hurt others for so many years. It’s what happens when I finally am able to see something that has controlled me for so long. It’s what happens every time I feel liberation from unhealthy thinking.

And, based on what I have personally seen and heard from others, I don’t believe I am alone in this need for liberation. I don’t believe I’m the only one who has been plagued by the ticking of a clock. I don’t believe I’m the only one who has been so deprived of love that I became far too desperate for it. I don’t believe that I’m the only one who has been carrying around this dark mystery, who has felt worthless, and who has felt so alone that the need for somebody or anybody to love him trumped all reason and rational thinking.

There are many who view time as the enemy when looking for love. There are many who are as certain as I was that time will only destroy what they have. There are many who stand among the ranks of those who hope that others can truly love them, while deep down believing nobody ever will. There are many who hate time for this very reason.

How do we not see? Why do we not understand?

Time is not our enemy.

Why has it taken me two divorces and countless failed relationships to figure it out? Why have the failures and rejections that have all resulted after a desperation to beat time not screamed this truth at me again and again?

Why did I never see that time was in all reality my greatest ally? How did I not understand that time would only solidify and strengthen something that was good and real while giving the opportunity for anything that didn’t have long term potential to fall apart? Why was I always so scared of any relationship suddenly seeing itself for what it was that I continually raced time to awkwardly string it together?

The answer is simple. When one truly believes that nobody can sincerely love him (for of any reason, these are just mine), he will never believe that time is on his side. He will always believe that time will eventually tear whatever he’s built apart. He will always see the end of anything as inevitable. He will always fail in love.

He will become me.

He will find himself alone.

A failure in love. Unable to love. Desperate for love.

[sigh.] Perhaps you wanted a more scandalous answer as to why “a guy like me” could get divorced twice. Perhaps you wanted to know what happened at the end of my marriages. Maybe you wanted some juicy gossip that could put me up on some pedestal which doesn’t exist or which could prove that I was a schmuck once and for all.

I wish I had a better answer for you all. In fact, I really wish my brain functioned differently sometimes. I wish it would take the easy route that could leave me looking like the hero or the victim. I wish I could offer beautifully canned and self-preserving answers. It would certainly be easier for me if I could.

But… then I wouldn’t ever heal. I wouldn’t fix myself. I’d end up divorced a third time and probably a fourth. And, by damn, I am going to find love. True love. Real love. The kind that time only makes better. The kind that lasts a lifetime. Someday it is going to happen for me. Someday the tick of the clock will be among the sweetest of sounds for me to hear because I know that with each tick my relationship grows stronger.

But how to feel that I could truly be loved? How to feel that I am truly valuable and that I am truly worth something to another? In all reality, it’s getting better and it’s getting easier, but sometimes I still don’t. Sometimes I still feel like that fat kid with his face pressed against the cold tile of the lunchroom floor while the bully who just tripped him laughs. Sometimes I still feel like that ugly boy trying not to cry because some beautiful girl just expressed interest in him with the sole intent of laughing at him.

Maybe I don’t need to figure that part out. Maybe now that I’ve figured all of this out, all it will take at this point is time.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS. I would love to hear your thoughts. I would love to know what you think about all of it. Do you see time as your enemy or as your friend? Do you find or have you found yourself desperate to make almost any relationship work? Do you know anybody else that has? If so, why do you think that that is?

Or do you suffer from the opposite? Do you find that you demand and require too much time before you allow yourself to love or feel love, and if so is it for similar or completely different reasons?

The temptation for me to not post this at all was overwhelming to say the least. I don’t know that anybody wants the darkest inner-workings of their messed up minds on display for the world to scrutinize. But at the same time, I know that a lot of people’s minds work the same way. A lot of people deal with the same problems. Maybe if we all shared a little more, and we all hid things a little less, society as a whole would begin to change for the better. Perhaps sharing more of ourselves is the vaccine this world needs for the disease called “Perfection.”