Saturday, 22 November 2014

Matters Of The Heart Q & A: T2 Article dated 23rd Nov'2014

Being in love can be joyous, fun and fulfilling. It can also cause confusion, pain and a sense of vulnerability. Some of our young readers have written in about this confusion. Here are some suggestions that can come in handy for all.

Reader 1: 

I had a crush on a friend of mine who was a senior in school. Eventually that crush turned into love ( at least, I believe it was love). However, when he came to know that I liked him, he went his way. Last year I came across a guy via a social networking site and in a month, I began to date him. But after a few months, I broke up with him and now when I look back, I realise that I had never loved him, though at that time he was the ' love of my life'. Of late, I have developed a strong liking for a boy in my neighbourhood, who is a year senior to me. We haven't interacted much but I like him a lot and think of him all the time. I can't concentrate on my studies, and friends think that I'm in love with him, which I strongly deny. I just want to know, can this be love? Also, how to get rid of this feeling? Because it's very depressing... 

Dear.... About you being attracted to a boy from your neighbourhood, whether it is love or not is a debatable question. What we call ' love' and our definition of love changes as we grow older and gain experience.
We believe love is that which one continues to share after the initial attraction has waned.
When friends tell you that " you are in love", it means that you like that person and are attracted to him. As you've already experienced this earlier, perhaps you need to stay with this feeling a little longer to see if there is something more to it.
A longstanding loving relationship depends on compatibility, mutual respect and cooperation, where attraction plays only a part.
You say that it is " very depressing". Ask yourself what about feeling attracted is depressing you? There's no quick solution to get rid of this. Instead of being in denial of the fact that you like this person, accept that you do. Also, know that it is normal to feel this way. Accepting your feelings does not mean you have to act on them or get into a relationship. Once you accept your feelings, you can rationalise with yourself and act in your best interest.
For example, if you want to move a particular object, the first thing to do is to acknowledge that the object exists. Only then can you move it. Similarly, if you want to get rid of this attraction, you need to accept that you have certain feelings for this person. And then if you want, talk yourself out if it. This process may take some time. A good way to reduce the time it takes is to concentrate and engage in other activities.
Focus on your studies. That will determine a large part of your future. Hope this helps.
Take care.

Reader 2: 
I am 15 years old and I am in a relationship for the past few days. We love each other a lot. But somehow I am not sure about this relationship.
I want to know whether this relationship will last forever? Am I doing anything wrong by being in a relationship at this age? Please help me.

There is no way to know if a relationship will last forever.
" Forever" is an extremely long time, especially since you are so young. We all, irrespective of our age, want to know about our future. But the future is not always predictable. There are many factors that are constantly influencing our lives and that is what makes it surprising, interesting and exciting.
The best we all can do is to put our best foot forward, be aware, be cautious, assess the situation realistically and accept that there is always the possibility of making a wrong choice. As long as we can learn from our mistakes, it's okay.
There is no right or wrong about being in a relationship. It depends on how you deal with what happens. But some of the questions to ask yourself could be:  Is the relationship empowering you?  Is there mutual respect?  Is it helping you to stay more focused on your other goals, or is it a distraction? You are at an age where your studies play a crucial role in determining your future. If you can keep your focus on your studies and not let anything interfere with it, then we believe it is fine.

Reader 3: 
I am a 20- year- old girl who got out of an abusive relationship a few months back. I was looking for love but I ended up being terribly hurt. I am trying very hard to concentrate on my job and studies but in vain. I feel lonely and tend to shout at my parents to vent my frustration.
Every time I see, read or hear anything romantic, I cry. I have tried to find a match for me on some dating websites but was afraid to go and meet those guys, fearing rejection. I used to be a very fun and lively person, but now I think I have lost myself. I want to find my way back into love, but I just don't know how and with whom. I don't want to marry now but be with that someone special till the time is right. I want to get my life back. Please help.

We are sorry that you had to go through a difficult relationship.
It takes time to get over a relationship, whether it was good or bad. You say that you were a fun and lively person. Use this time to rediscover that fun side of you.
Having come out of a bad relationship, it may not be wise to get into another relationship so soon, specially when you are feeling frustrated and lonely. To find your way back into love, you need to first reconnect with yourself. Instead of focusing on who your partner will be, prioritise yourself, focus on your life — be it studies, work, friends, family — and try to excel or improve your opportunities there. Initially it may seem tough to do but as you keep trying, it will become easier. You can explore various aspects of yourself by taking up a hobby.
Bring the fun back in your life by constantly choosing it. You may not " feel" like having fun, but make an effort nevertheless. Try to feel independent and complete within yourself.
Eventually these things will help you build your self- confidence and and help you understand better whether the partners you choose are good for you.
You can also go for personal counselling sessions to deal with your past traumas and to focus on and enjoy your present.

( A few details have been changed to protect identities) 

Dr Sangbarta Chattopadhyay and Dr Namita Bhuta are medical practitioners, psychotherapists and life coaches Share your problems with them at 
dr. sangbarta@ gmail. com

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