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Philippa Courtney



He's the One�But I Want to Run


Dear Philippa,

Thank you for the positive impact your book has had on my life. Here I am 32 years old, I was tired of the dating scene, and I met the man of my dreams. We have been going out for about a year and he treats me better than anyone ever has. The problem is that I don't miss him when we're not together and I'm still attracted to guys who are bad for me. He has asked me to marry him and up until now he has been patient waiting for me. But time is running out. I'm even seeing a therapist about it. Should I stay with him or move on, what do you think?

�Francine, Knoxville, TN

Dear Francine,

It Unlike your therapist I don't know your dating history. So it seems the best way I can help you is by share my own experience and letting you determine how that relates to your situation.

Even when you have met the love of your life and you are happy; facing true intimacy with someone can be very scary. That's exactly how I felt for a long time while I was dating my husband. I knew he was wonderful, that he was the right guy for me, but I was ready to bolt. You talk about not missing someone; even after spending a marvelous time together, I used to retreat to my place and collapse with relief at having my space again. I didn't miss my husband-to-be until I got over my fears. Fear distorts everything. It is nearly impossible to make rational or even reasonable emotional-based decisions when you are scared.

So how did I get past my fears? I talked to Robert about them and he talked to me about his fears too. There was a relief in realizing that he felt somewhat scared too and that I wasn't just a messed up person.

We both made the commitment to not run away, to talk things out, and to let the relationship evolve into what ever it was supposed to be; not try to make it into what we thought it should be. Years later my husband told me that he realized I had a lot of trust issues when we met. God Bless him, he gave me lots of room to resolve things in my own time. When Robert was first thinking about marriage, he cautiously asked me what I would say if he proposed. I told him that I would say no because it was too soon. Six months later, after we had talked through a lot of issues, he got on his knee and asked for my hand in marriage. I had no hesitation in saying yes.

I never felt like I would lose him if I had said I wasn't ready and I just wanted things to go on the way they were. Do you feel that way too? Do you and your boyfriend talk about your fears? Do you share feelings with each other openly?

Francine, I can't tell you what you should do. Some people would tell you to follow your instinct and listen to your heart. But you can't listen to your heart or your intuition when you are shut down with fear. Think of your fear as a vulnerable, childlike part of you. If you accept and embrace it, it will no longer cry out and dominate your attention. Then the wisdom you have within you will have the space to emerge.

See your experience as a gift. And whatever your decision, I know you will be a stronger, wiser woman because of it.



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