Time, no matter how well spent, will leave furrows in your face, but it need not wrinkle your heart. A light and supple heart is possible no matter what your age, provided that you cultivate a deep and abiding sense of appreciation for the opportunities at hand.
“Not till we are lost, in other words not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden
As much as you value your relationships, romantic or otherwise, you are wise to remember that they do not define you. You are not defined by what is without, but what is within. Your relationships are vital to your pursuit and experience of happiness, but your manhood or womanhood and the revelation of your inner identity do not hinge on them.
You were designed to love. To make yourself vulnerable to others to share that love is not weakness, but strength. As supportive, heartening and comforting as your friends, family, or true love may be, no amount of self-sacrifice or losing yourself in the arms and caresses of another will put you any closer to finding yourself.
Your identity is not relational, it is absolute. Cherish your relationships, but don’t make the mistake that so many have by trying to find yourself in them. Your identity is not in the midst of them, it is in the core of you, and that core is infinitely precious. Nurture, honor and reveal the wonderful one within, that is, the very core of you, and you will soon realize who you are, where you are, and how special your relationship is to all that truly matters.