My last post, “Falling In Love With Potential,” grew out of a look at truthful acceptance in relationships, blossomed into a mirror reflecting the perils of falling for potential rather than love, and then seeded itself in the creation of a dating checklist. The post before that, “Love Is Everything,” rendered acoustic watercolors, poetic sketches, and prosaic compositions of what love is, what it’s not, and ways to relish its joy and fulfillment.
This post unearths the principles and practices of dating for love; unmasking definitions, digging up some current research, and dusting off an Ayurvedic outlook. It is not about dating for sex — so if this is what you’re after, you’ll be disappointed.
What Exactly Is Dating Anyway — What All Is Included Under Its Ambiguous Umbrella?
“So I’m dating this girl …” Before diving any deeper, let’s see just what the heck it is we’re talking about here — and then define it for this post.
Colleen Healy, in “The Definition of Dating and What It Really Means,” says “The phrase is extremely common, and so is the grey area that tends to follow it around. The trend of not defining a relationship is growing more and more common, and in the wake of this trend, “dating” has come to be a catchall term for everything from hooking up to being in an exclusive relationship, and that can make it a difficult world to navigate..” “Dating,” according to Wikipedia, is a stage of romantic relationships within which two people meet socially with the aim of each assessing the other’s suitability as a prospective partner in an intimate relationship or marriage. While the term has several meanings, the most frequent usage refers to two people exploring whether they are romantically or sexually compatible by participating in dates with the other. With the use of modern technology, people can date via telephone or computer or meet in person.” Wendy Stokes, in “What’s Your Definition of Dating,” says “The men I’ve been “dating” seem to have misinterpreted my desire for a relationship in general as a desire for a relationship with them. Don’t flatter yourself, buddy. I date to find out if I want a relationship with you, not as a means to trick you into one. I need an evaluation period just as much as you do. This made me think it’s possible that all singles are floating around out there with different definitions of “dating.”
In this post, dating means an evaluation period during which two people explore their compatibility through planned interactions — pursuant to certain identified needs, goals, and wishes — in order to determine whether or not they are suitable for the sharing of a committed, intimate relationship based on love. And love, herein, is more than emotions and sex — it is our awareness of a synchronizing spiritual connection existing as a single soul in two bodies. It is a spiritual thing — not just felicitous feelings and fiery frolicking (although it includes these things as well).
Dating For Love
When we’re dating for the real deal, we must, we simply must, resist the urge to pursue those exotic erotics that could distract us from our search for a lasting love. If we’re drawn to a dazzling derriere, promiscuous promise, or sweet security blanket; we could miss the prince or princess standing there. So what’s it gonna be — some sizzling glitz and glamour here today and gone tomorrow, or the deep, enduring doorway to a dream? The choice is yours — and mine too.
Most recent looking-for-love literature includes the seemingly limitless repertoire of online dating dalliances, so we’ll incorporate it into our belletristic banter. In “10 Rules For Dating When You Want A Serious Relationship,” Sonya Rhodes, PhD and Susan Schneider, coauthors of “The Alpha Woman Meets Her Match: How Strong Women Can Find Love and Happiness Without Settling,” say “The dating world revolves around making the right proactive choices — and this means that if you’re ready for a monogamous relationship, you have to be clear about your goals, both to yourself and prospective partners.” They go on to offer ten rules for successful on and offline dating. Samantha Matt, founder of ForeverTwentySomethings.com, says “After doing a lot of stupid shit, I have learned a great deal about love and dating.” In this article she outlines 12 things she wishes she had known about relationships in her early and mid 20s. In “10 Signs Your Online Date Could Lead to Lasting Love,” the experts at YourTango tell us how to recognize when our internet entanglements are leading us to love. They say “1. There’s no stop and go, 2. You want a date at the same time, 3. You email about the little things, 4. You share the same theory on timing, 5. The serious things aren’t serious, 6. You define “partner” the same way, 7. You’ve met the same number of people, 8. They find your warnings cute, 9. You both get offline at the same time, and 10. You lose the sense that you met online.” Please visit this link to dig a little deeper into this expert-powered post. Dr. Winnifred Cutler, founder of the Athena Institute, offers a comprehensive and dignified approach to dating in her pioneering best seller “Searching for Courtship: The Smart Woman’s Guide To Finding A Good Husband.”
Well, it would be a hulking understatement to say there is an abundance of tips, tricks, and rules for dating floating around out there. From the indefatigable bellwethers leading tradition into view, to the evanescent edges cutting limits through expansion; there is a beautifully balanced array of such dating articles supporting virtually any kind of union we could form. Some are presented by individual authors, and others are compilations containing rich and practical treasures for our use. One such collection, “The Best Dating Advice Articles from 2017,” offers a wealth of thoughtful posts to guide us in our search for lasting love. Now let’s take a look at a few I picked for you!
In “You’re Doing It Wrong,” Lauren Steussy offers ” 10 new rules for on and offline dating. She says “Time to throw the dating rule book out the window. Technology and new ideas about sex and gender have dramatically changed the laws of love, from who pays for dinner to how long to wait to call after a date.” For example, “Old Rule: Men make the first move. New Rule: Moxy works for ladies too.” “One of the first times Foltz took the initiative and asked a guy out, it went really well. ‘It turned into an all-day date,’ she says. ‘It ended up being one of the most romantic experiences of my life.’ She believes making the first move gave the man a helpful confidence boost. ‘Sometimes guys are afraid, too.’ ”
Here’s a dating tip that might seem a little surprising, shared by a courageous, lovely soul (my personal favorite). Steph Montgomery, in “Why I Bring All My Baggage On My First Dates,” says “The next first date I went on was with a person I’d been chatting with off and on for about a month. It helped that by the time we met in person, we’d already discussed some of the important details online: He knew that I was divorced, and that I was a single mom. During our date, when he asked me why I left my ex, I told him. He said, “I am so sorry that happened.” Over a few cups of coffee, I learned some things about him, too — like why his marriage had failed, and his struggles with single parenthood, so similar to mine. He told me about his history of mental illness, and I told him about mine. Then he asked if he could hold my hand. Experiments need to be replicated to be considered valid, so you might wonder what happened the next time I went on a first date. Fortunately for me, though, I don’t have any other data points to share — that man and I are still together, and married now. Schlepping all my baggage to my first dates, it turned out, was exactly what this divorced single mom–slash–sexual-assault survivor with anxiety and an abusive ex needed in order to find someone willing to help me carry it. And what seemed like weight, in hindsight, now feels more like a solid foundation.”
In “21 Relationship Red Flags To Watch Out For: Early Warning Signs Your Boyfriend Sucks,” a “Seventeen” publication, Hannah Orenstein And Carolyn Twersky Say “If one or two of these apply to your relationship, don’t freak out: these are warning signs, which means the problems can still be fixed with an open, honest conversation. But if more than a few ring true for you, it might be time to call it quits. Here’s the first: “1. THEY MAKE YOU FEEL BAD ABOUT YOURSELF.” “You deserve to date someone who treats you like the goddess you are. If your S.O. wants you to change (by dressing differently, blowing off your friends, or drinking and partying when that’s not your scene, that’s a sign they don’t really like you for you, and you deserve someone much better.” And if this next one happens, they say you need to break up right away: “13. THEY CHEAT ON YOU.” “Leave. Seriously, get out. Pronto. They’ll do it again, and even if they don’t, you deserve someone who would never violate your trust and risk your relationship like that.” Although written for teens, this post is packed with awesome advice for goddesses and gods of all ages.
Lindsey Underwood, in “Eight Ways To Have A Better Relationship In 2018,” says “”We looked through a year’s worth of relationship advice to find the best guidance we have to offer.” Tip #1 on her list is “Put Away Your Phone. ‘A cigarette and embrace after sex has quickly been replaced with a scroll through social media,’ said Gillian McCallum, chief executive of Drawing Down the Moon Matchmaking, a British dating website. ‘Men and women are guilty of reaching for their phone and basking in the glow of their screen rather than the afterglow of lovemaking.’ Read more »””
Octavia Welby, in “Top Dating Tips For Men (By A Woman),” writes “Dating can be a tricky business. What should you wear? Where should you meet? How much should you say? Who should pay? How soon after your date should you call? With so many questions, it’s hard to focus on actually getting to know your date. Here you’ll find some top dating tips for men on how to date women (if that’s what you’re into).”
Online Dating Sites
After reviewing scores of articles featuring hundreds of dating sites, it became clear to me that this wheel, and its parabolic progeny, had already been invented. So, rather than spending countless hours organizing, paraphrasing, and linking to hundreds of dating sites, I decided to use an existing source that is much more comprehensive than anything I would have had time to create. The one I picked for us is called “Top 100: The Definitive List Of Dating Sites (2019).” Since there are currently more than 8000 dating sites available out there, let’s thank our lucky stars that someone already sorted them out for us! Geez! Can you imagine? And this post offers something for everyone — really! So please check it out and pass it on to your friends.
Primer To An Ayurvedic Outlook
It is beyond the spectroscope of this post to provide an in depth Ayurvedic outlook on dating. This may follow in a future article, perhaps entitled “Seven Colors of Conscious Dating.” For now, please consider “Seven Colors of Companionship,” “Chakratic Hierarchy of Needs,” and “Seven Colors of Happiness” together as a primer to this purpose. They will incorporate Ayurvedic principles into an understanding of companionship motivations, needs satisfaction, and conscious ways to be happy when Dating For Love.
Photo credit: Wendy Nelson