Warning: naughty language ahead.
Dating is hard—there isn’t a person on the planet that can honestly claim otherwise.
It’s so much work, so much time, so much energy pouring yourself out there, connecting with other humans, figuring out if you mesh together well, or not. Figuring out if the conversation is great and the intimacy holds up, or vice versa. Deciding if the fact that he has worn the same “vintage” t-shirt on your last three dates is endearing or indicative of a bigger problem. Deciding if he can deal with your ridiculous inability to be on time anywhere, like ever; and if that is indicative of a bigger problem.
Timing is everything, for well, everything, but especially for dating. It shapes the space and context for your courtship, places you both in a particular frame of reference and offers a vantage point from which to view each other.
There are certain times in your life then, when it is more (or less) advisable to begin a relationship; times when you may or may not have your head on straight, your game quite as tight as usual or lenses so rosy you’ve completely lost perspective.
If you’ve really struck personal chronological gold, you’ll get to meet someone while all of this is happening. While you are right smack in the middle of experiencing something akin to bipolar disorder — “I’m happy. No I’m sad. Nope. Angry. Pissed. I love you. Fuck this shit. Love is all around. Namaste. Bitches.”
Repeat this scenario, every 10 minutes, for all 200 hours.
Yes, I’m talking about yoga teacher training.
If you are ever so fortunate enough to meet your romantic partner during this transformation of mind, body and soul, shit is going to get real, and fast.
The lucky man along for the ride, however, gets to reap the benefits of your reconstruction efforts. Getting to know the “new” you includes some rather unique experiences, skills and knowledge.
1. He will see your cry face, a lot.
During a romantic weekend getaway you will spend at least an hour in the shower, crying like a fucking baby, babbling partial sentences and fanning yourself with your hands in a failed attempt to stop the damn waterworks (ironic, no?). This won’t work. And no amount of waterproof makeup can help; this is not pretty shit.
2. He will think you speak another language, one he pretends he’s heard of before—Sanskrit.
It will sound mysterious, and kind of hot (at first). You will drop words like “drishti,” “utkatasana,” “pranayama” and “samastitihi” into random sentences. He will nod and pretend he knows what the fuck you are talking about. If he’s really into you, he might ask you to show him what it means, which leads to the next benefit: asana practice.
3. He will get a hands on experience with your, um, new and expansive (literally) knowledge and skill of yoga poses as well as your eagerness to show that off and get bendy with your bad self.
While this may mean you feel the urge to bust out a handstand in the grocery store parking lot on a regular basis, it also, uh, means that your twilight hours together can get a whole lot more flexible, if you know what I’m saying.
4. He will see you learn to communicate, how to listen and how to speak.
He will hear you find your voice in clear, concise and authentic language and with a gentle confidence neither of you knew you had. Watch out world.
5. He will witness you eat your weight (and his) in food.
And, he will probably pay for most of it since you: a) can’t remember what day it is anymore, let alone where your wallet is, b) spent three month’s salary on training, and c) are too exhausted to insist on going dutch.
6. He will get plenty of quiet time.
You will be so emotionally drained from the experience you may engage in long periods of hibernation as a form of processing and avoidance. This balance of space, finding your down time as both individuals as well as a couple is critical for the health of your relationship. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, or something.
7. He will come to class with you more often.
You know, to keep up with you. Possibly also to appease your incessant requests for his appearance and participation. Now when you talk about the mind blowing share your teacher gave during the hip opening series he’ll have a real time experience upon which to base the hour long follow-up conversation regarding your personal and mutual path to enlightenment. Oh boy.
8. He will have ample opportunities to explore the axiom “touch and intimacy are basic human needs” with you.
Hugs, hand holding, shoulder rubs, foot massages, all very much appreciated and reciprocated, because lucky for him you’ve learned a whole new set of assists and “have” to practice them; especially the juicy ones. Winner, winner, chicken dinner. Hellooooooo sarvangasana assist.
9. He will see you identify what you want with a powerful clarity.
You will forever be unwilling to compromise on anything other than what you deserve. Anything other than that which adds to your life. No longer feeling the need to be completed, accepted by, or approved of by others, as a complete person in and of yourself you seek only a partner who empowers you to be a better version of yourself. Nothing more, and absolutely nothing less. He will either stand confidently at your side or walk away, knowing this is no longer his place.
10. He will see you, the real you, unveiled, messy, open and raw.
He will either love every bit of it or cut his losses and bounce. Either way, you win. The only people deserving to be in your life for the long run are those willing to stay with you at your worst, not just your finest. What better time to figure this out than now?
If this man bears witness to this metamorphosis, if he sees you go from eager beaver yoga girl giddy, to hot mess, to numb, then confidently exiting, grounded in a newfound sense of self, unflappable, calm, fulfilled, enough and he’s still there, then darling, you might just want to keep this one.
It doesn’t get much more real than this.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Catherine Monkman