The Second Look: Part 2

By Susan Deitz

February 19, 2020 3 min read

The Second Look at a promising someone is among my favorite mental delicacies because it changes shape and importance as life (mine, anyway) moves you into new situations. And truth to tell, in my experience, each one seems to ask for (and impart) greater patience, deeper understanding and more worldly wisdom.

The main challenge of the Second Look? Keeping expectations on a low to medium level, not too high or humble. You're entitled to fulfilling dreams; aiming high is a good thing! But be wise not to allow emotions to soar and dip with each new happening — very, very important. A huge advantage of singleness is your wide choice of satisfactions available. So even if you sit home some nights, until you figure out what is really interesting to you (chances are it isn't aimless nights out), I dare you to sit home, read a good book, catch up on your sewing and for once go to bed early. On the second night home, make a list of people and things you'd like to explore further. Hey, this could be the start of better times, different people and happenings, all because you took some time to better use those little gray cells.

I suppose it's a matter of centering your life around satisfaction. By doing that, you automatically focus on positive people and experiences — and downplay (if not eliminate) the downbeat. And, I admit, it's an art that requires plenty of trial and error before finding your comfort level. Certainly it will change the cast of characters around you! Maybe you never thought about such things until now. But once you do, singleness becomes much more opportunity than limitation.

And — extended drum roll — the best of all outcomes: The Second (or third) Look shrinks in importance. It becomes no more but also no less than another look-see at an interesting humanoid life has placed in your path. And whatever the outcome, positive or negative (or neither yet), be assured that as a single person, your tomorrows can bring other people, other adventures. Seen in that broader context, finding love can more comfortably settle into its rightful place as another of life's possibilities, not the be-all or end-all of your existence; it becomes less of a driving force and settles more comfortably in your psyche, without the power to cast you down into despair or up into the stars. Nothing can do that. Not even the Second Look.

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