“To love without knowing how to love wounds the person we love.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh
When it comes to matters of the heart, mine and that of others, I don’t plan to discriminate, manipulate or engage in any other sort of petty games, which sadly society promotes and we have come to expect as the norm…
Who’s worthy, who’s not, who comes first and who can wait…
In my eyes we are all the same.
The idea of reserving a special someone to love and to hold sounds appealing to the selfish little child in me who is crying for attention. However, when I let go off my egocentric tendencies and fears and lean into my true nature of expansive love, then there is space in my heart for not just the one single being but for every person I come in contact with, for every soul.
When I am aware of my true nature then the need to have someone love me privately and exclusively disappears, because I’m already filled with everlasting love.
The trick is tuning into our true nature instead of walking around like soldier zombies, hypnotised charging against each other.
As a 27 year old female, I write this perhaps disillusioned by our current dating culture and philosophy.
The idea of finding one perennial life partner by hastily sifting through a narrow strainer an endless pile of potential candidates is an impractical and cold hearted mechanism which in my view diminishes our worth and undervalues our dynamic capacity as complex and multidimensional human beings, and so is a system which just doesn’t cater for properly exploring and getting to know the multiple layers of what makes each person truly unique.
Put simply, in my view, this modern commercialised society we live in has managed to turn even our “love lives” into an industrialised, profit-driven enterprise in which we are encouraged to quickly judge a book by its cover, and as with every other aspect of our life’s, when it comes to relationships as well we are encouraged to want it “easy and fast” and always more or “better”. We peruse this human library so quickly and mindlessly that most of the time we don’t even get a chance to even read even the title, look at the year of publication or much less, inquire about the author or literary background.
Approaching relationships, and with this I mean human interactions in general, in this way we are not only ripping ourselves off but also doing a disservice to the our fellow humans in general.
Perhaps it is because we, as individuals hold a superficial and critical view of ourselves that we apply that same judgemental iron fist and prejudiced “selective” standards when assessing our possible suitors.
But yet at the end of the day, when it’s all said and done and we are lying in bed alone, assessing our humanity, our successes and shortcomings, we wishfully intuit that there’s got to be more to us than just what our current resume outlines and what our Facebook profile indicates, regardless of our current circumstances, regardless of what we did and didn’t do, beyond our human efforts for productivity… We sense that as humans, sapient and sensitive beings that we are, there’s got to be more to us, beyond our physical realities….
So why persevere in treating ourselves and others as machines or soulless objects I wonder? Have we depersonalised ourselves so much that we find ourselves living out the virtual realities we created. Where a profile on a flat screen can attempt to represent a complex and multifaceted human and so be “added” or “deleted” with just a click.
I refuse to treat others as merely objects who I can use and abuse to merely enhance my own self, and pump up my ego. I guess the phrase “arm candy” sadly sums up the way how we often approach our social life… Our directory of “contacts” is a wardrobe we often peruse and ponder as to who do we feel like “wearing” today…
I know it’s simply our human nature, but why is it that even when we are well aware of our selfish egocentric nature, when approaching others we still, automatically more often than not only think about what they can give us? How we can benefit from our interactions from them? Why not start thinking about the impact we can have upon others and strive to be a positive, kind and compassionate influence, maybe they never had? When did we forget that it is priceless, precious human lives we are dealing with?
So when it comes to “dating” or “romantic” relations, I think I will stick to romancing myself first….
Not because I can’t find a date, ironically many will appear with just the simple flick of a finger, but because I refuse join in this derogatory charade of human interaction…
When did we forget to apply the “golden rule” to dating as to every other aspect of our lives..
When did we forget that when interacting with others we are given a truly sacred opportunity to influence a whole another world? I guess maybe because engaging with others in some way or another is a such common everyday practice that other people often become just part of the furniture… And so we’ve become de-synthesised to the importance and privilege of the experience and of all the underlying impending potential we are granted towards making a positive difference in someone’s world…
So for me, especially when it comes to “dating” or any sort of courting ritual, the idea of toying around with another soul’s feelings and notions is a highly sensitive and critical yet empowering almost magical practice I will uphold with the care and responsibility it deserves. Having the opportunity to intimately engage with another being is a honour I don’t take lightly, but rather it’s a task I will embrace with all the love and awareness it deserves, treating others as I would treat myself, handling another persons heart with clean, loving hands.
I am done swiping people left or right, marketing myself and shopping around for others. I’m done treating others and being treated in an undignified way, reducing our humanity to less than what we deserve…
Having read “Dating for Dummies” I’ve decided to put it aside and not take any of its advice but rather regard it as unhelpful, antiquated, truly outdated (pun intended) information for pursuing human relations. One perhaps relevant in the romantic era when it was fashionable to walk around flaunting extravagant, awkward costumes, hiding their real, humble selves behind different masks, in more than just one sense, following absurd protocols and upholding a punitive hierarchy, but certainly not sound advice for our modern 21st century. We have advanced technology so much, how about updating and advancing the way we pursue human relations in a way which reflects the freedom and diversity of thought, equanimity, equality, justice we supposedly value?
So even if I can’t revamp the whole current dating market, which sooner or later is bound to crash, as a consumer myself I can begin by writing my own alternative handbook, or maybe start by just discarding all the limiting, archaic, pre imposed conventions of human relations. …
Life being so simple and us humans managing to make everything so hard… Love, so pure, so true, so readily available to and for all of us yet we’ve constructed a million and one obstructions preventing us from attaining and relishing in it, but rather making our life’s a quest for the unnatainable “holy grail” of an ethereal concept we call “love”.
How can we possibly expect to make real connections with people, much less give love a chance to blossom if we approach the whole dating ritual as a sham? Whatever happened to showing a genuine interest in our fellow man? Embracing each other, instead of trying to outsmart one another?
So I’m getting back to basics, in my books honesty will always be the best policy. I’m done holding back my feelings and emotions, “playing hard to get” and keeping a “poker face” instead of being authentic, being real, being raw, putting my cards on the table and making real lasting connections. Sharing myself, my gifts and talents and anything else I can offer wholeheartedly without any ulterior motive or hidden agenda other than connecting, sharing in this wonderful life and hopefully being of some service and enhancing another’s experience…
Dating as a weekend sport is not my idea of fun. Making poor souls jump through hoops to obtain my attention doesn’t interest me, what’s the use in withholding my affection?
Since when did we have to rely on our dating itinerary to feel worthy, or be deemed as eligible bachelor/bachelorettes?
Seeking some sort of companionship out of boredom or need for stimulation are no longer options. I personally see no need to have another person take me out and spend time and money on me to simply inflate my self esteem, much less go out to dinners and movies or any other social engagement just so I am not alone or because I have nothing better to do.
“Benching” people, “ghosting” , “zombie-ing”, or “stringing” someone along are terms I have recently learned about for common yet toxic practices in our dating culture people engage in consciously or unconsciously, practices I am however, choosing to no longer take any part of. Spending precious mutual time and energy but most importantly manoeuvring with another’s existence just so I can feel “popular”, “keep my options open”, “play the field” or simply expand my social circle and keep my agenda full, are in my view vain and detrimental pastimes. I see no value in going through “dates” quicker than I change my underwear.
So for now the status is happily single and ready to consciously, lovingly, mingle.
And while I do hope and trust that one day a noble man will organically find his way and take his rightful place as my accomplice and copilot and together navigate though life, for now, I gaze at that vacant seat with dreamy, bright eyes… Happily relishing in my momentary liberating solitude…
Because I’ve realized there is a big difference between being alone and being lonely and the truth of is—I rather like it my own company.
I enjoy long evenings with myself, penning away my thoughts, romancing with my favourite authors or roaming through the markets, delighting my senses in the sights and sounds of the city, taking a bite of a juicy ripe plum, planning meals to entice my friends, taking mental notes for upcoming late night drunken philosophical conversations… About the world and our insanity…
I love unceremoniously signing out the top of my lungs to my favourite “feel good” lyrics, and licking from the spoon the delicious spices of my concoctions while I cook, and until a man comes along who will be content to watch me goofily dance barefoot in the kitchen while I cook for us, I’m alright with flying solo and table for one.
I don’t think it’s self-centered or self-absorbed saying this, but healthy. Because if we haven’t practiced loving ourselves first —then how can we ever properly love someone else?
There isn’t loneliness in dating myself—there’s peace because I am content in living and building the life of my dreams until someone else comes along who wants to stake a claim in it for good.
Someone who won’t think twice and will be proud to claim me as his woman—a man who will think my heart is my greatest feature and his heart will be his greatest feature too. A warrior, a golden hearted king among men, who will be regarded because of his intentions and loyalty, his morals, his courage and vulnerability.
And while my long hair may be soft against his bare chest, and my eyes may burn into his, it won’t be my physical features that we are attracted to but the dark corners of each other’s minds and souls —even the darkest corners we used to be scared to show.
A man with whom reciprocally, we will know and love our strengths and assets as well as our flaws and defects, especially our flaws and defects. A man who’s not just with me to pass the time or for obligation, or waiting around to see what I can offer him, but rather a man who’s made the conscious decision to be with me because he who knows the only thing I can guarantee him is a love with a wide and depth like he has never known before.
And so we’ll call each other lucky, not because we think we’ve “struck gold” and found a “perfect partner” or our “other half” but because we know choosing a partner is much like choosing your favourite pair of shoes; there will always be times when after we’ve made our purchase we see other pairs who may appear “better”, shinier, new models, Italian leather, ergonomic soles… and so we may second guess ourselves and wonder what it’s like to wear those other shoes, we may even be tempted to greedily purchase them as well, the possibility of “upgrading” is always there… yet we’ve already made the decision to buy a pair we like and fits just fine, so well wear them until well, they die….
And we’ll both be well aware that it won’t be “perfect”, we know it’ll be a bumpy ride but also the most thrilling and fulfilling ride of our lives, one we are both committed to enjoying by each other’s side through the ups and downs, twists and turns, holding each other’s hand and smiling for the camera as we go through the tunnel and into the final plunge.
So because it’s tough we’ll both keep going, pursuing our own different paths but coming home to each other at the end of the end day, a safe haven were we are not afraid to be unapologetically ourselves in all our glory. Accompanying each other, not out of need or momentary inclination dependant on variable fluctuating feelings or any other immature interest but because we’ve both made the conscious choice to share our sweet solitudes and offer our whole, messy wonderful selves to one another, in love.
But, until that happens—I have made the choice to stay true to my heart.
And just date myself.
“There is hardly any activity, any enterprise, which is started with such tremendous hopes and expectations, and yet, which fails so regularly, as love.” – Erich Fromm