Know when your value is worth more than the price of admission

I love going to fairs, especially rides like the twister, Ferris wheel and roller coasters.

Those are just some of the fun things I like to do whenever the fair is in town or I get a chance to visit an amusement park.

The other day I received an email from a friend asking me relationship advice. I thought to myself, “I’m the last person you should be asking.”

But, from a philosophical sense, I did the best I could because I felt he only wanted someone to listen and not really for advice.

He was down, didn’t know what to do and had lost the connection with the love of his life.

I immediately felt it was probably over some minor conflict and maybe he just took the situation more seriously than it really was.

But, it just a few minutes of talking, I saw the point he was making and why the problem was as serious as it was for him.

He described what he felt was a lack of interest, being taken for granted, lack of communication (meaning real communication rather than conversation without substance) and being totally out of character for what and who she had been previously.

I’m no Dr. Phil, but a few things popped into my mind, which I held to myself. At the risk of him reading this, I won’t say what those thoughts were.

I tried to use all the clichés like life being like a Ferris wheel or twister where things go round and round and how things normally slow down and eventually stop — allowing one to get off the ride, but he wasn’t satisfied with that.

Then, I just blurted out what came to mind — another man, the life change, ready to move on without you, hectic life … and I just kept on going with all the things I thought while hoping to spur something that felt right to him.

All at once he said, “I just don’t think she loves me like I love her.”

“Ah ha,” I said. “So, you don’t think she doesn’t love you, you just don’t think it’s as deeply.”

He agreed it could be the case.

When I asked if he had ever asked her what was going on with her, he said he had, but was not sure he was getting the entire picture. I told him it seemed like the two of them really needed to get away on a relaxing vacation and see if they could rekindle the feelings and emotions they felt for each other when they first met.

Cut off communication with the outside world — cell phones, Internet, television, the works — and rediscover what brought them together to begin with — to take a ride on a Ferris wheel, twister or roller coaster and have some fun.

Yes, fun!

But, he said the two of them were already past the point of no return. He said he felt two many things had occurred, and despite his love for her, she would never be one to love as deeply as he did (all while hinting she was just too far into herself to care about anything that didn’t directly affect her, or the path she was walking down … which, he said, never seemed like it involved him being there).

Far too often we forget why we’re with the person we’re with and what draws us together — we get caught up in the Ferris wheel of life. The wheel just seems to go round and round and never seems to stop.

Maybe it’s just better to get off the ride — or find a better, more meaningful one. No two people are the same — because one person chooses not to value you doesn’t mean someone else won’t, or that you don’t deserve to be valued. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, honesty and openness.

When your situation becomes untenable, have the courage to get off the ride, walk away and find a way to shine.