How to occupy your time

COPING

August 27, 1991|By Barbara Turk, M.S.

YOU'RE SINGLE, with nobody to love you. It seems too hopeless. Maybe you should just give up.

What you should give up is your negative attitude. Sure, it's hard not to feel down when you're lonely. Yet, by changing some things, you may meet with success.

First, analyze your behavior:

* Are you the Moper, staying home waiting for Mr./Ms. Wonderful to find you? If so, forget that, because if you play hide and seek, you'll probably not get found.

* Are you the Clinger, latching on to a prospect (captive) so tightly that he escapes at the first opportunity? If so, ease off, because if you play jailer, you're likely to have an empty cell.

So what should you do?

Instead of focusing on the lack of someone in your life, focus on yourself. Try this:

* Do things that make you feel healthy and attractive (exercise group, spruced-up wardrobe, etc.) When you feel attractive, you'll attract others.

* Engage in activities that interest you. (Find some!) As you become interested in something (environmental causes, square dancing), you become interesting, and that will attract others.

Remember, concentrating on the lack of someone in your life is likely to continue the lack. Whereas filling the void with

interesting and healthy things can draw others to you and lead to the love life you're seeking.

Barbara Turk is a psychotherapist in private practice.

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