As our little boat struggles forward my wife and I are co-captains. And we have an awesome little crew of kids, dogs, cats, and even fish. All attached via rigging and lifelines.
Dating is like a gateway drug. You’ve got to “date” in order to find a partner. If you are not clear on what you want in a relationship, dating is going to bring you a lot of people who are not ready, not available, and not very evolved. The goal of dating is to find someone to love.
For some, online dating is the gateway to finding someone who is outside of our normal spheres of influence. The first step is introductions. Then a few dates to see if you’re still compatible. And at some point, you’re going to declare each other as boyfriend and girlfriend. At that point, you are officially dating. Everything up to that is courtship and “hello dates.”
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I’ve had success with online dating. I also see much of the online activity as a waste of time. If you’re not going out on “hello dates” you’re really just playing at the idea of dating. Find me somebody to love. Let’s get to a first date and see where things go. We can’t get to relationships unless we are testing and trying things while dating.
We want to keep improving with each dating experience. It takes time. There will be hits and misses along the dating journey. If you have a strategy you can work the dating system quicker to find better matches.
So let's make a pact, in our next round of dating "work" I want to commit to pursuing only the clear YES women. Everything else is a distraction. If I am interested in a relationship, that's going to take time, patience, perspective, and the right YES woman.
And then I did something a bit different: I paid attention to how each of my options felt. I noticed I was not really in need of ice cream. I didn't need anything sweet.
Love is a journey. Love is not a soul mate who sweeps you off your feet. Love is a bit more like beauty and the beast. We've got flaws, we've got inner dragons, we've got issues, and we STILL LOVE THE OTHER PERSON.
I do rely on Love Languages a lot, but I think we need more than that. We need action and clear commitments to fulfill with our partners. We need to give them the space to miss us. The space to get into their own inner dialogue about dreams and projects. We need to feel our own isolation and how much more vibrant we feel when we are together.
As I learn more about my personal investment in threads, and my reluctance to let go of an elevated connection, I am better able to manage my own interactions, my own energy, and my own decisive disconnection of a golden thread.
If I am genuinely looking for a relationship and not just a date, then my concept of holding out for resonance becomes more critical. I've had a resonant partner once before. I know how that feels and how transformative that can be for both people. Anything less than that is a distraction.
I can offer hope and ideas for navigating the most difficult co-parent behaviors. Divorce is hard on everyone, please don't use your former partner as a target for your rage and frustration.