I’m hoping your answer is nothing.
Tonight I was surfing the web and I came across a…well, they call it a class—I was blown away.
For a mere $800 you can learn how to date.
Clearly a steal.
I wonder if for another $200 I can reserve a seat next to Bigfoot. (Figured I’d stick with the myth theme on this one.)
If we play our cards right, if we don’t kiss him, if we mind our manners on the first date we are guaranteed a phone call and other such rules…jeez. For that kind of money, they had better do my dirty laundry, answer that phone call and throw in an orgasm or multiples thereof.
They claim that they have success stories of happy marriages? I’m not arguing their claim, but I am curious…how many people are happily married that didn’t take their class?
I’m not talking about therapists or coaches who have degrees and who help women work through trauma, abuse, or other such issues with men. I’m not talking about people who help women move forward in their lives. There are instances in our lives where guidance is essential. I am all for that.
What could they possibly teach that is going to keep someone coming back? As I’ve always said, dating isn’t a game and no one needs to be captured. Love does not come with a rule book. It’s pretty simple: Show up. Be who you are and don’t worry about anything. If someone is interested in me, I promise you that the way I sneeze is not going to change how he feels. (My sneezes are pretty cute though)
Seriously…I get the hook. I think I spent my 20s overanalyzing my dating life. I worried. Often. Everything mattered or nothing mattered. Dating was like playing chess…planning my next three moves instead of enjoying the moment. I was young and I didn’t get it.
Fortunately, when I made it to 30, I realized that love will either happen or it won’t.
Dating isn’t always a blast—but I’m not going to pay someone to teach me how to put on a dress and show up. I’m relatively sure I have that one down. I know how to show up and be who I am.
So here are some things that I’ve learned that get me through all the ups and downs, the bad dates, the great dates, the break ups and make ups. You may not dig them…but I’m not charging you either.
Breathing and meditation. Now those are two things that can be taught and I would consider them priceless. Today, I get to revel in stillness. When we take time for us, we not only learn to stay in, and even enjoy the moment, but we get to create the world we want.
I learned that every human being deserves love…deep and intense love. The kind that shatters your right brain. Everyone deserves to be loved as well. I discovered that it will come when it comes. When I fully believed that, I didn’t expect it anymore. Ever hear the one about when you aren’t looking? Yeah…that.
I’ve had great relationships, bad relationships, and really god awful ones. With some of them came a healing process—dates involve dinner and possibly a movie if dinner goes well; not fixing things that are broken. That work must come from within.
We should never be expected to be anything more than we are. Never have unrealistic expectations of anyone else. Expectations are poison…let them go. If you have them, I guarantee that person will fail you. When you don’t have them you get to have really cool experiences with others. You can end up pleasantly surprised.
Always listen to your instincts and never be afraid of them. If something inside is screaming that he isn’t right for you? Listen.
Take chances and fear nothing, for fear is nothing more than thoughts that we create in our minds. It cannot exist unless we allow it.
Break down your walls. I don’t care if they were built yesterday or 100 years ago. I don’t care if you built them with layers upon layers of concrete and immeasurable pain. Let someone in. Let them see all of that beauty and wisdom. Let them see all of you. Your vulnerabilities are endearing.
Filling my heart with self love was the greatest thing I ever did for myself. No other human is big enough for that task. Yoga, walks in the park, cooking myself an amazing dinner, putting on an evening gown just to read a book (yes I’ve done it. True story.) ; these are ways I get to enjoy “me” time. It’s how I learned to feel joy…alone.
Dating can be really fun, if you let it. I’ll let that one stand alone.
Most importantly, be patient. Focus on finding yourself, not a soul mate. Finding yourself is where love starts. When you are love, you attract love. There is no trick. There is no secret. Your soul mate will find you. You are already whole and it is when you are whole that you find your other person.
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Editor: Bryonie Wise