Skin Deep

By: Wayne and Tamara

Direct Answers - Column for the week of February 10, 2003

There is a guy on the train I am very attracted to, and he is attracted to me as well. We see each other at least once a week on the train going to work, but we are too shy to approach each other. He is a police officer.

I've been told by friends that I am unapproachable. I am guessing this is why he will not say anything to me, so I'll have to say something to him, right? But it's awkward because of the setting. We are on a crowded train, and people are watching and listening.

Angela

Angela, we all want love, but we don't get to predetermine what package the love will come in. Right now this man is just eye candy, the outward trappings of a package which may contain love.

You will never know until you speak to him. Because he is a police officer, he may feel it would be too forward for him to approach you, but that is no reason why you can't begin saying good morning. If he is interested and available, he'll let you know.

Ask your friends if you have an unconscious habit, like avoiding eye contact or folding your arms across your chest, which tends to put people off. Sometimes we have habits which don't reflect how we feel.

And don't be afraid of rejection. All life is learning, and you will be learning if this package contains the love you seek.

It kills us to see a man and a woman discreetly eyeing each other, with neither having the courage to make the first move. Sometimes we will even whisper a suggestion to one or the other. Consider yourself whispered to.

Wayne

A Fighting Chance

It seems no matter how hard I try, my life is never on the right track. Depression seems to run in my family. I've read so many self-help books, seen counselors and taken medications, but I always fall back into the same pattern.

It's almost like I fear success. I'm 25, went to university, but dropped out just before graduation. For four years I was in a relationship with an alcoholic drug user. After we broke up he passed away from an overdose. He kept asking me to get back together, so I feel bad about his death.

I now live in a small town. There's nothing here for me, but it's where my current rude boyfriend lives. I go away to Toronto every couple of weeks and model. People say I have real potential.

I feel lonely, but I can't leave or I'll have no one at all. When I first moved here, I thought I would feel safe, but now I'd rather live in a big city even though the thought scares me. Thank you for listening.

Lyndsey

Lyndsey, when you have a nail sticking out of your foot, you can take a medication to cope with the pain, but that only solves part of the problem. The nail has to come out. In the same way, if there is a biological or genetic cause of depression, taking medication solves part of the problem. But you still have to live in a productive way.

Having no one, in comparison to your past boyfriends, is a step up. A drug addict isn't any kind of boyfriend, and neither is a man who puts you down. They are worse than having no one because they take even yourself away.

In "The Artist's Way" Julia Cameron talks as much about life as about art. She says, "Leap, and the net will appear!" You have contacts in Toronto. Go there. By yourself. If medication helps when you feel down, get it. Surround yourself with vibrant people who make you feel light and positive. Negative people are more than capable of destroying the benefits of medication, counseling, and your own inner light.

Tamara

Self Improvement and Motivation
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