The internet is rife with relationship wisdom.
Do this magic trick and stand on one foot while singing kumbaya, and love will fall into your life.
Love yourself enough, and the match of your dreams will magically appear.
Improve how you look, dress, act and change who you are to the point that that one super rare soul will fall in love with you.
Go on enough dates, and the magical one will be unveiled.
In my experience, all dating and relationship advice fails. Every time. None of it is consistently true.
What I am sharing isn’t advice. It is just my perspective and experience.
I’ve always despised the idea of dating. The idea of needing to spend tons of time and money to know if I like somebody and if there is a possible life with them seems ridiculous.
The hook-up culture remains vomitously shallow.
Online dating services and websites are full of fake pictures and two dimensional personalities. There are better ways to use time before death arrives.
The only person I want to date is my beloved.
At that point, dating is a way to maintain a relationship that is already existing and lets the other person know how special they are and how much the relationship means to you. But how does this happen without going on dates in the first place?
It’s a common stereotype that a person has to love their own self before finding their soulmate, partner, one and only. It’s a murky field of confusing contradictions and begs to ask a huge question, what is self-love and what does it look like?
It’s an eternal question with so many possible answers and perspectives.
In my opinion, one aspect of self-love is knowing what makes oneself feel alive and engaging in those activities.
The interests, hobbies, joys and activities an individual engages in are acts of self-nurturing love. When engaging in these types of endeavors something profound and simple happens. People of similar interests are discovered. Within those groups of people there will be inevitable chemistry.
One way for a relationship to naturally develop is by having common interests. Simply being around people who are into the same activities gives the opportunity for connection to develop.
The best part is that the shields and facade that can happen on so-called ‘dates’ are absent. When a person does what they love, the best part of who they are is revealed. As a result, the relationships that develop, friendship or otherwise, have an easier flow to them.
After all, how many people want to be simply loved for who they are?
There is no need to date at this point. The ability to observe and get to know people for who they are allows for an ease of being. Within that simple sense of self, strong bonds can be made, a foundation that can go further when interested.
Being able to be oneself and seeing the other as they are is the best kind of beautiful.
Dating, as portrayed by society, is more about posturing, attraction, sexuality and materialism than love, relationship and intimacy.
Attraction remains one of the most lethal aspects to long-lasting love. Relationships based solely on attraction will fail, because attraction changes. People change as life continues.
That attractive face and tight body becomes lined and saggy. And once the first disagreement happens, the manner in which the fight happens can open up a heart or shut down any hope for a good relationship. A person who fights abusively and dirty quickly becomes very unattractive.
Attraction is nature’s way of saying that there is a genetic connection that can make children.
Lasting relationships demand far more than mere attraction. The wise heart knows that love, devotion and commitment transcends attraction. It seems to me that loving a person for who they are, being natural and oneself, is the best anyone can hope for in a partner.
This is why I’ll never date; I know that I am not being myself, and believe that the other person probably isn’t either.
I’d prefer to know who the person is. And that is a completely different avenue than dating.
Thoughtful actions, kind words, and humor open up the heart faster than roses, red-wine and expensive dinners.
And to be that way requires a genuine connection, real communication, and honest interaction.
It takes knowing who the person is, what really makes them tick.
This only happens through living life and being present.
Perhaps you enjoy dating, I am not putting down dating itself. Some of us wish for love, and just have different ways of allowing its presence to blossom in life.
May you know that fullness of love, in whatever way you choose.
Listen to your heart more than any advice.
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Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: elephant archives