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Patience, Mindfulness, and the Slow Road to a Healthy Relationship

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Let’s say there’s a partner you’ve had your eyes on for some years. There appears to be mutual interest. Coffee dates are accepted with grace and laughter. The “dates’ go well. And then… nothing. You take this as a sign and move along. Still thinking about this person, but willing to take their scheduling issues as a sign. And then they’re back in your life, for your own reasons, and you’re single and you offer another coffee date. The ask is accepted with the same enthusiasm and glee as before, and there’s a promise to “get on my calendar and find the time.”

Listen to this article on the podcast: Love on the Air.

Waiting for This Person to Change

It’s a lonely road if you’re walking along hoping for this other “busy” person to make time for you to have coffee. It’s sort of the lowest common denominator. And, in my experience, you’re going to be walking alone for a long time. They are telling you about their availability now, but they are also showing where your potential partnership falls in their plans. They don’t desire a partner. Perhaps it’s you. Perhaps they don’t desire a partnership with you. But then why accept the coffee?

With each little nudge, I give this woman, “Hey, just saying hello,” is actually pressure on them. That’s also not the best position to be in. The best position is to walk on. Long for them, write poems to them, and keep looking for someone who has the intention to find the time to get together, AND then sets the date. By always saying yes, she might be hoping to not hurt my feelings. She may be a people pleaser and doesn’t want to let me down. If there’s no time for coffee, there’s no time to date. Period.

Slowing to a Stop, Pausing, Looking Around

I’m currently in a bit of an unsteady state. I’m not quite sure which direction is up, at this moment. My ideas fluctuate from (I’m outta here) to (this is a growing experience) to (“I’m not a firefighter”) in the course of three days. What does that tell me? Slow, the fk, down. Stop. Give the universe a chance to catch up with you. If I keep blowing off in different directions, driving my rocket ship towards Venus and then Mars and then back towards the Moon, I’m going to be zooming around in my own state of agitated chaos. That’s the churn that I am creating for myself, as I try to architect my own star maps when I haven’t had time to stop and get my bearings. Maybe it’s time to refuel. Check-in on baby Yoda, alone. And enjoy the view from my home base. Enjoy the coming of Spring on my own, refueling, resetting goals and personal objectives, and allowing time to take care of details that I’m trying to force.

You cannot push the river. I cannot demand a relationship with anyone. I can browse the dating sites and apps, looking for a glimmer of light. But, mostly, my attention needs to be internal, self-directed, self-fulfilling. Again, I know how to do this alone-thing well. I don’t like as much as being “in a relationship,” but I like it much better than trying to firefight when the flames are not mine, nor manageable.

If You Were In My Movie

It’s easy to dream of a new woman. It’s much harder to manifest her. And it’s impossible to create her out of thin air using only magic tricks, photoshop, and Bumble. Oh, the mirage can seem like a relationship is just on the horizon, but I know better. True connections, BIG LOVES, are far and few in between. And, rather than blasting off for some new destination, some new distraction, it’s a better use of my energy and time, to keep busy in the real world. It’s important to take care of myself, keep digging into my healing and growth, and give the Earth a chance to turn a few rotations before declaring my new travel destination and booking passage for two.

If you were in my movie, I’d give you a few qualities that I’ve experienced in different relationships over the last nine years.

I’d give you

  • the ability to express loving-kindness and joy at being around me
  • emotional intelligence and healthy boundaries powered by self-awareness
  • sexual intelligence
  • a passion that keeps you up at night and wakes you with energy in the morning
  • radiates inner joy and beauty
  • a commitment to physical, spiritual, and emotional fitness
  • and of course, a short skirt and a long jacket. (CAKE song, at the bottom of post)

My movie is undergoing a serious rewrite at the moment. Scenes are being deleted, edited, and new actors are being sought out for both lead and supporting roles. Today, on this amazingly beautiful day (from snow last night to tennis in shorts this afternoon) I’m going to loaf for a bit, as they called in in Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge.

At this moment, loafing is the best course of action. Again, the healthy relationship I am seeking is with me.


John McElhenney – life coach austin texas
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