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“Man’s lack of power to moderate and restrain the affects (emotions) I call Bondage. For the man who is subject to affects is under the control, not of himself, but of fortune, in whose power he so greatly is that often, though he can see himself what is better for himself, he is still forced to follow the worse.”

Spinoza from the Ethics

Dear Darling Girl sitting behind me on the train talking into her cell phone,

I don’t mind listening to your conversation. In fact, I find it quite stimulating. I want to climb over the seat and hold your hand and tell you something that might calm you down. Tell you that there’s nothing you can do about all the hurt you’re going to feel when the man you spent the night with last night doesn’t call. I totally understand how excited you are. I can hear it in your voice. Your friend is very nice to talk to you on the phone for an hour about your romantic/sexual adventure. I know it’s like reliving it all over again. My heartbeat races, too, as you walk us through the sequence of events that landed you in that hotel room. Your friend is attentive, even enthralled, which makes her a good friend. I know you would do the same for her, as I would have, and as I did in my day. Now I’m married for a century or so.

What I want you to know is that there’s nothing in the world you can do to make him THE ONE if he’s not THE ONE. And likewise, even if he’s not THE ONE, he might be a pretty good run for you, as a long-term boyfriend, but that’s going to be up to the gods as well. So please don’t get mad at yourself over things you said or didn’t say. Don’t worry too much about how you look, what you wore, what your next move should be. You’re really not in charge of what happens, so relax. It’s probably not going to work out. At least that’s the vibe I’m getting from your tone of voice as you go over every little detail of your night with him. You know it yourself, but you won’t admit it, because you think you’re somehow responsible for making him love you or not love you. Darling girl, you’re not responsible for this. Who he “loves” is beyond his control. I can’t back this up with tea leaves in India or astrological charts, but I know it.

Girl, you’re going to get hurt on this one. I can just tell. He’s not going to call.
I think you already know this, or you wouldn’t be talking about it so much.
You’re hopeful, at the same time, and you’re milking it, as you very well should.

But guess what. He’s not THE ONE.
YOU are. You are the one.
So hang in there.
And maybe get off your phone.