One of the wonderful benefits of getting older is the wisdom and insight gained from a life lived with a spirit of curiosity and reflection. Jane Fonda is a beautiful example of this. In the August 2011 issue of Oprah Winfrey’s magazine, O, Ms. Fonda, who is 73 years old, talks candidly about her love life and what she’s learned.
In the article, Fonda shares that she was “always afraid to be without a man and how a breakup taught her what real intimacy requires.” I can certainly relate to that. Between the ages of 16 and 45, there was not a single day of my life in which I wasn’t in a committed relationship. One of the reasons for that was that I, too, was deathly afraid of being alone, and also like Fonda, it was a breakup that turned out to be what woke me up.
What Jane Fonda and I have discovered was that we were looking to our partner’s to alleviate our loneliness, create a feeling of aliveness and validate our worth. In a sense, we turned our life partners into life sources. They were like a drug. We needed them to make us feel whole, safe and complete. This is so common that it has its own name: Relationship Addiction. In fact, I’ve written a book on the subject and it’s appropriately titled, A Drink with Legs. But rather than me tell you about this intimacy-killing issue, listen to what Ms. Fonda says:
“I always had a penchant for falling in love. Every time I found myself without a mate, I fell into a state of low-sizzling panic.” Even though Fonda was a political activist, a fitness icon, a staunch feminist and a successful actress, she was so devastated by her second divorce that she had a nervous breakdown.
A few years later, after another difficult breakup, this one with media mogul Ted Turner, instead of continuing her usual pattern of simply moving on to another man, another “drink” if you will, she spent two weeks alone, living at her daughter’s house while she was in Paris. Listen to the beautiful insight that came amidst her solitude:
“I raked leaves in her yard, read, and went for long walks. On my third day there, I was in a tiny bedroom with my golden retriever, Roxy, when suddenly it hit me: I don’t need a man to feel whole. In my marriages, I’d lost parts of who I was because I was trying to mold myself into what I thought a man wanted me to be. After that, nine busy years passed without a relationship. I wasn’t even looking. Instead, I worked on myself.”
How did Fonda going “cold turkey” and dating herself turn out? Listen to how she describes her new relationship with Richard Perry:
“At 73…I’ve recently made two movies; I’m writing; I go away by myself. I have my own life and Richard doesn’t care that I don’t share every single aspect of it with him. I’m not losing myself in this relationship, I’m bringing myself—the real Jane—and he’s giving me his real self too. Richard and I have an emotional intimacy I’ve never experienced before, because we’re both coming into this relationship whole. We don’t censor ourselves, or leave what we think may not be good enough outside, on the porch. I don’t know what will happen…but…I have a confidence about my life that comes from standing tall on my own two feet.”
So, where do you stand in relation to Fonda’s journey? Are you still in the “sleeping” stage, looking for a partner’s love to meet your emotional needs? Do you have a bit of the “you complete me” mindset stirring around in your soul and creating havoc in your love life? If you’re like most, I’m pretty sure the answer is “yes.” Think about it. If an independently wealthy and ardent feminist like Fonda suffered from this issue, anyone can. In my opinion, to one degree or another, about 90% of us are looking for a love relationship to make us feel special, alive and whole. It permeates our culture, being communicated through romantic comedies, magazine articles and especially pop music. For example, Kesha’s hit song, Your Love is My Drug is a prime example, but I could list dozens of others.
What do you do if this is true of you? Well, you could take Jane Fonda’s route. You could spend 9 years on your own, working on yourself. But that isn’t necessary. There’s a much easier—and quicker!—way. You can simply read my book. It outlines a spiritual—yet practical—step-by-step process to wake up from the “you complete me” mindset and create relationship bliss. It worked for me and I know it will for you as well. And the best part is you won’t have to wait 9 years to be in the relationship of your dreams! My book will get you there in probably 9 weeks.
If Jane Fonda teaches us anything, it’s this: It’s never too late to wake up. And it’s not too late for you. No matter how much relationship debris lay in your past, you can wake up, discover you are whole and create a healthy, fulfilling love life. If Fonda can do it at 73, you can do it now.
You can purchase my book as an e-book or a paperback only on my website. A blissful love life awaits you.
Author & Relationship Coach