May 24, 2005

Lonely or Broken?

Once again Tuesday has rolled around, hence once again it's time for the Demystifying Divas and The Men's Club to enlighten y'all about a few things.

This week's topic was inspired by one, in my humble opinion, particularly annoying Yes song: which is better to have---a broken heart or a lonely heart?

Now, whomever wrote this song for Yes came to the conclusion that, indeed, it was better to be the owner of a lonely heart, rather than a broken heart. Much better than... This is the first time I've actually read the lyrics to this tune, and I have to say I have no idea what their reasoning behind this bit of advice is. I've never been able to understand the words when they sang them, so I don't know why I was thinking I would be enlightened when I read them, but hey, I'm a hopeful girl that way. Alas, they have not provided any enlightenment. So, I suppose I must actually work at this post and come up with my own conclusion. Bastards.

{Goes back and reads the lyrics again}

It seems, upon a second reading, that if you have a lonely heart, somehow, you seem to have control over your fate. You can make the choice not to be lonely, whereas if your heart is broken, well, you're pretty much screwed. Hmmph. Basically, this gets back to an old Shakespearean theme: is it better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all?

I would have to say, yes, it is better to have loved and lost, because at least then you know what you're missing. The thought of going through that all again may terrify you, but at least you've risked something. You've gone out and made choices and are living with the ramifications of those choices. You've been brave before and you can be brave again, because you know what love feels like---and on its good days, it's a pretty nice thing. But if you think loneliness is the best option, well, you may, like the song says, realize you have control over your fate. You may realize that you don't have to let it get to you, you can insert Oprah's message of EMPOWERMENT here, yadda, yadda yadda, ad nauseam, ad infinitum.


Let's be honest, kids. How many people do you know who seem to have a serious attachment to being lonely? They've made loneliness into their mate and they talk about loneliness the way some women and men talk about their significant others. Because those people are out there. I'm sure you've met a few: single women and men who constantly bemoan how if only I could meet the right person and then never actually get off their ass to do something about it. You invite them out, you introduce them to someone you think they'll get along with, hoping against hope that this will get them to quit their bitching, or at least move to a new stage of bitching, and five minutes later---POOF!---they've hit the self-destruct button and are back at your side, bitching and moaning again, about how that person wasn't right for them, what were you thinking, etc. They have run back to their ever faithful mate: loneliness. These are the people, in my experience, who have the ideal mate all laid out in their mind and they won't settle for anything but that, while they know, somewhere in the back of their mind, that said ideal mate simply does not exist in reality. They set the bar too high for any mere mortal to pass over.

In other words: there are people out there for whom loneliness is their drug of choice and, boy are they ever addicted to it. Instead of falling off and having to get back on, they prefer never to get on the horse in the first place. They've decided that while getting on the horse is ideal, and something they really should do, they prefer to turn the horse into a unicorn: a mythical creature that can and will never be caught. It's more comfortable for them. And that's fine and dandy. I just wish the few friends of mine who are like this would quit bitching about the damn horse, because it gets so boring to have to listen to it.

But, you don't have to take my word for it. You can go and read what the other Disarming and Demystifying Divas have written on the topic. Make sure to give a warm welcome to Pammy, one of our Red Hat Divas, who has joined in this week. If you'd like to flip the coin and see what the males have to say, you can go over and read what the Air Marshal, The Wiz, Stigmata (who's filling in for our beloved, but dead as a doornail and subsequently flushed down the toity Puffster) and Phin have coughed up.

UPDATE: Serendipity

Posted by Kathy at May 24, 2005 09:58 AM

"there are people out there for whom loneliness is their drug of choice..."

In those dozen words you have spoken volumes. I think I'm inspired to have t-shirts made for a couple I know: "Loneliness, my DRUG of choice"

; )

Posted by: Chrissy at May 24, 2005 10:10 AM

The "better to have loved and lost" comment always reminds me of the following exchange in Men in Black:

Jay: You know what they say. It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

Kay: Try it.

I'm with Kay, man. I don't mean to sit around talking about the salt in my wounds, and shite like that - but anyone who says it is better to have loved and lost, etc., has actually never done it. (In my opinion.)

It's too facile, too easy to say. I loved and lost. Not for good - no. I hope to find a mate, and I am not addicted to loneliness, but damn. That loved-and-lost thing was a tornado of agony, and I'm not ashamed to say it. Took me years to get my bearings again.

Posted by: red at May 24, 2005 11:00 AM

Awesome topic, by the way ... I am reading all the posts, and they're all so thought-provoking.

Miss Lonelyhearts here, signing off ... :)

Posted by: red at May 24, 2005 11:15 AM

I, too, have been in the tornado of agony (which is a great way of putting it), yet I'm going to disagree with you. A broken heart is better than a lonely heart. If for no other reason than you've actually got some experience under your belt.

It's better to have loved than lost, etc. may be a cliche, but there's a reason why cliches become cliches---highly annoying little things they are---and it's because there is truth to them. It's just my opinion, but there's definitely truth to this one. ;)

Posted by: Kathy at May 24, 2005 12:42 PM

I have to agree with you on the experiance thing. Whatever may come after with the breakup part, there should always be moments you would never want to trade if it really was love?

Posted by: silk at May 24, 2005 12:56 PM

Kathy - I hear what you're saying, and believe me - dear friends have told me the same thing. My experience, though, has taught me a different lesson.

I went to go see one of my favorite Irish poetesses read once - and she said something which really resonated with me. She said, (in her lovely soft brogue) "Ya know, people say to me all the time that suffering is an ennobling thing." There was a pause, and then she said, "Not always." I guess the suffering I went through in letting go of this one guy was not good for me. It left me deeply shaken, and wounded. I've recovered, but not 100%. So I guess i think that now I believe that a broken heart is not "always" better than a lonely heart. I can have a happy life even with my lonely heart ... but a broken heart has the potential to kill joy. For good. I've been working on that, and I've definitely gotten better at letting stuff go, yadda yadda ... but I don't know how much more I can change in that respect.

Back to my tornado. ha. No, the tornado passed by some years ago - but it left a heckuvalotta damage in its wake.

Posted by: red at May 24, 2005 01:34 PM

"there are people out there for whom loneliness is their drug of choice" If I send one of these people to you would you beat him into submission?

Or at least belittle him to the point he realizes his bid for sympathy isn't ever going to work?

Posted by: phin at May 24, 2005 01:50 PM

I am SO glad to hear that you find that Yes song incredibly annoying as well. Heh.

Phin seems particularly masochistic today, don't you think?

Oh - I am in a comments section - thank you for not quoting the Yes song, and as always, the Goddess of Snark drives her point home with eloquence;-)

Posted by: sadie at May 24, 2005 02:57 PM

Having sat in divorce court today (see my post on it), I think I would prefer to have the heart that doesn't find itself dragged through a nasty divorce proceeding.

By the way, I was there professionally on another case, not there for personal reasons.

Posted by: RP at May 24, 2005 03:54 PM

Red, I surely do empathize with your comments.

As for the lonely aspect, on the other side of that, you have people who will just not accept that you're okay alone. Maybe it's not a situation that makes you jump for joy, but your life isn't a pit of worthlessness either. Some people, in my experience, just can't seem to accept that. (yes, it's a personal peeve of mine, says the nearly 42 year old spinster :) )

Posted by: Ith at May 24, 2005 06:47 PM

"Owner of a Lonely Heart" was meant to be an ironic song. The lyrics describe the point of view of a person who has had his heart broken, and in his emotional pain wishes he had never found love because maybe that way he wouldn't have felt the pain of a broken heart. The person is trying to get his nerve up to take the chance to love again, and is debating whether it is worth the risk.

The true moral of the song is that loves requires taking a chance, and that sometimes taking a chance means you lose... but also that the risk is worth it.

Posted by: JohnClif at May 24, 2005 07:24 PM

Glad I found your blog!

Posted by: Lisa Chau at May 26, 2005 12:22 AM

Ok. I'll say it. I like that 'Yes' song. I've got the original plus 4 different versions of the Max Graham remix to listen to in my car. So I guess I deserve to get my heart broken, right?

As for the breaking of hearts.. well, I seem to have managed to get my heart broken by girls that were, in retrospect, not worthy of my love. Which is a double kick-in-the-nuts, really.
moral of the story: don't settle for second best!

Posted by: Si at June 22, 2005 04:10 PM
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