By Kenneth Stepp


Have you ever met someone and they seem perfect? I have. Most of us have. They are attractive, smart, attentive, and most of all, nice. All smiles. Ok. On some level, I just described myself and so many others floating around in this sea of singles. I’m not talking about them. I am speaking of a predator. And no. This is not, “they only want one thing”. It would be nice if that were true. I’ve heard stories, mostly from girls, because that’s my audience. It’s who I talk with. Guys will have these stories as well. These toxic parasites want something you have. Something they did not earn.


“Toxic people attach themselves like cinder blocks tied to your ankles, and then invite you for a swim in their poisoned waters.”

John Mark Green


So what do these people want with us? The stories I’ve heard amaze me. The things they take from the relationship when it ends. Cars, trucks, money, etc. Name it. They will take it. The worst things the take is our trust, dignity, and confidence. This singles journey is full of landmines. So to think there are those out there that would take from others. Well. It’s a terrible reality. But a reality no less. Are they just talented conmen or something else? I doubt any of them, male or female actually start out this way. Perhaps going through life with nothing for so long makes them change. My guess is their character issues were with them most of their lives. They learn to justify their small actions. These actions begin getting bigger and bigger. Then one day it’s ok to take a car from someone. Sounds awful. But it begins subtly.


 “There are only two kinds of people who can drain your energy: those you love, and those you fear. In both instances it is you who let them in. They did not force their way into your aura, or pry their way into your reality experience.”

Anthon St. Maarten


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the same story. They met, they loved, moved in together, and began sharing everything. Time goes by. Feelings are replaced by settling in instead of an inner fire. She thinks they have a home together. He begins thinking of that home like a place to flop and someone to use till things get better. His eyes start seeing more appealing bodies. Words are said, flirting, and boom. The home they shared is now an empty nest for her. He takes what they bought together. Or what he wants of it. She’s left with her heart broken, trust depleted, credit ruined, and an empty place in her heart that she thought he filled. It is a sad scenario that plays out more often than you might think.


“I’m not angry anymore. I’m just really disappointed about who you turned out to be.”

Karen Salmansohn


There are genuine people that can and want to go the distance. But often they are lumped in with these others. Sometimes we are hurt so badly and often that all we can see are roadblocks and warning signs. I wish I had the answer to how to navigate these waters without getting hurt. I just don’t and I suspect no answer exists. If we want love. Unconditional love that is. We have to open the chestplate guarding our heart. First hope they will accept it. Then pray they will guard it now that it has no defenses. If we are to find forever love. We have to be vulnerable and unguarded to do it. It’s a cruel reality. Many I have met along the journey will never find real love because they will never let their walls down. Another sad reality. One that confuses me to this day.


Some days I just want to knock on her door, a rose in my hand, smile on my face,  and tell her. It’s ok, it’s safe, I will always love you, I will never hurt you, I am forever, you are my forever. Would she believe me? Are her walls too high? Is her heart ready? Would she shut the door in front of me or behind me? Maybe I can’t win her. Maybe I can. But I’d have my moment either way…


“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

Jalaluddin Rumi