At the brutal end of a three-year relationship with the person I thought would be the love of my life, I hit rock bottom.I had left my career as a freelance fashion merchandiser to be a stay-at-home stepmother to his then 2-year-old daughter from a previous relationship. My friends wondered who this meek, timid girl was, and where the no-nonsense, take-charge Nicole was.

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Articulating these benchmarks has been transformative to my life.

I turned 31 this past October, and I just started my dream job at an e-commerce merchandising start-up company.

If you start dating prematurely, you could be hurting — rather than honoring — those you date.

When Becky was invited to lunch by a man she met at a bookstore, she was excited.

We get a sense of his frustration, resignation and loneliness on occasion (“remove this cup;” “the son of man has nowhere to lay his head”).

We also know the full, abundant life he modeled and preached.

It isn’t fair that some folks remain single when they’d rather be partnered.

Loneliness and longing can be meaningful, but usually that transformation from suffering to beauty can happen only if we attempt to live into this one wild life we’ve been given, to look for possibility, to open ourselves to God’s creative presence.

He had intimate friendships, and he was dedicated to his work.