Dear Inner Circle,

“I’m sick of being good enough to sleep with but not good enough to be with” said a young woman in my office yesterday. The words didn’t come from anger but from a profound brokenness. She told me that she’d been crying for three solid days and as soon as she stepped into my office, a new wave of grief hit so that every word was convulsed rather than said. A lover had just moved out and given a lecture about how he didn’t want to be, “in a relationship”. It became clear that the pain belonged not just to the events of this week but to the accumulated pain of ten years and at least five such unhappy endings. This young woman was perfectly groomed, in expensive looking clothes and had a pretty face. My son would have said she was, “hot” and not only so, her inner and outer beauty was stunning. Yet, she proclaimed herself to be the girl “that no one will love”.

Gosh the world has changed but I think it's a tougher world on women who long for stability and for children. When I was young, if you touched a girl’s bra strap, you were automatically engaged to be married. I was raised in a ridiculous, extreme culture but today I think we’re at another extreme and it’s a tough world. If I could coach young people today, I’d encourage them to say at the beginning of a relationship, “Slow up, this is not going to be easy! This is going to be expensive! This is going to cost time and energy and I expect you’ll gladly embrace the cost and want to tell the world of our love. You’re going to have to try hard to prove you’re a worthy mate.” When intimacy is easily won, it can be easily lost. A partner can opt out whenever it’s inconvenient and be confident that there will be another bus coming along in five minutes. Woo, I’m sounding like an old man. Speaking of old men, I noticed that ABC 702 were advertising the inner circle on their web page with the hashtag “#thedadyouneverhad”. Yet more proof these senior years can be the best.

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