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Dream's advice: Celebrate new love a little bit at a time

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Champagne may be the perfect metaphor for a new relationship: Just like love, it can burst forth on the happiest of occasions. It is bubbly and exciting by its very nature. But it can lose its sparkle quickly too. What’s a lonely man to do?

Dear Carolyn,

It seems that the men in my family have always had bad luck with women. My dad and his brothers all were married and divorced at least once! I’ve probably gotten most of my attitudes toward women and marriage from them. It hasn’t helped me much. I’ve been divorced once and had three other long-term but doomed relationships with women! But even so, I think I’d be happier if I were married, or at least in a committed relationship, so I am pretty excited about a new woman that my friend introduced me to. She seems down-to-earth and is fun to be around. She has a great sense of humor and she is easy on the eyes. But with my history, I can’t have much hope for our future!

Here’s my dream: My uncle hands me a very large bottle of Chanel No. 5 cologne. I really wanted it. When I started to open the bottle, I saw that it was effervescent – bubbly like champagne. I opened it a little, then recapped it quickly to keep it from gushing out or going flat. I wanted to splash it on but I was afraid to have it open long enough to even get the fragrance!

My sister thinks this dream is about my new girlfriend. What do you think?

Signed,

Afraid of Cologne!?

Dear Afraid,

Your sister may be on to something. Based on the background you included, one divorce and three failed long-term relationships, the new woman in your life might be considered No. 5. But she comes to you from your uncle’s point of view, that women are hard to understand and harder to live with. So this new opportunity may be fresh and different, but it is filtered through not just your negative experiences, but also those of your family members and their unpleasant history.

And, even though you truly want to enjoy the fragrance, or to celebrate with some bubbly, you approach the prospect timidly, with skepticism and hesitance. You seem to be saying, “What if my emotions overflow and I wind up getting hurt again? What if the relationship loses its thrill and goes flat?”

Those are the risks you take, Dear Dreamer, any time you take a chance on love. You may have better odds this time given your reflective state of mind and strong desire to try again. Instead of being ruled by your past, and assuming this new relationship is doomed like the others, why not learn from them? You have gained some insights about women and about yourself. As your dream suggests, take a little at a time, don’t let your emotions surge too far in front. Let your better self emerge. Sip and enjoy.

Sweet Dreams to You!

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