You know how everyone seems to love that little eternity symbol?

You know… the one that looks like this:

eternity-symbol

I’ve decided that this symbol, or more accurately that this idea, is one of the most mentally dangerous and self-destructive ideas that has ever spread across the tattoo parlors of the world.

I mean, it seems so romantic and lovely doesn’t it? The concept of eternity?

I thought so, too. Particularly when things first took off with my girlfriend in such fantastic and wonderful ways. Things were going so well, my thoughts were running away in such fantastic directions.

Could this girl be the one I’ve been looking for all my life?

Could this girl be the one I will grow old with?

Have I finally found my soul mate, my lover, my confidant, my everything?

Is this the girl who will finally give meaning to that eternity symbol for me?

She was thinking many of the same thoughts about me. Like I said, it was just going so well.

And those are all good things to think, right?

Wrong.

Let me tell you why those thoughts are complete rubbish.

Those thoughts… Think about it. They have no answers, and they never will have answers. They are unanswerable. And if you think time will answer those questions, you are wrong. Even if we have an incredibly beautiful and powerful and strong relationship for years or decades, there is no guarantee that something won’t happen in the future to bring us and our relationship to an end. That is true of our relationship. It is true of your relationships, too.

When it comes to relationships, the only guarantee is that there are no guarantees and there never will be guarantees.

What there is, and I know this now, is only the here and now. And, the here and now becomes tainted if the future or the past (or a combination of both) are constantly mucking it up.

Thinking those thoughts was starting to damage what beautiful things we had going right now. Wondering about the future, and wanting to somehow know right now whether this was the real deal, only made things more tense. It made things seem less permanent. It made us question stupid and silly stimuli. And more than anything, it made us both protect our hearts and keep certain walls up because… what if the future isn’t what we are hoping it is. Who wants that kind of hurt and disappointment?

One morning, a few weeks into our committed relationship, my thoughts got the best of me, and I started getting major anxiety and even some insecurity. I couldn’t figure out why. Everything was going so well with her. I had nothing to truly worry about, yet worry was the only thing I could feel that day. So, in my always-ongoing attempt to understand myself and my weird humany feelings, I got online and started searching for some answers.

I don’t remember what I searched for. I don’t remember what website I found. But I found a life coach that gave me the best advice I may have ever gotten on the topic. Get your head out of the future. Get your head out of the past. What is going on right now? Is right now good? Then live in that goodness and let the future take care of itself. That was the gist of it anyway.

It hit me like a sack of heavy sludge when I read it.

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Dan Pearce is an American-born author, app developer, photographer, and artist. This blog, Single Dad Laughing, is what he's most known for, with more than 1.4 million daily subscribers as of 2017. Pearce writes mostly humorous and introspective works, as well as his musings which span from fatherhood, to dating, to life, to the people and dynamics of society. Single Dad Laughing is much more than a blog. It's an incredible community of people just being real and awesome together!