We all want to find that perfect partner, to spend our lives with someone who is not only our lover but our best friend.
Lately it seems that the current trends in dating have made finding love difficult; leaving people frustrated and disappointed rather than happy and in love. Current trends in dating make it feel like a rat race filled with a plethora of tips and tricks for snagging a keeper that usually require each of us to come painfully close to (and sometimes over the edge of) compromising ourselves. We may capture someone’s attention for all of a New York minute…yet it seems these tactics fail to produce a meaningful and lasting connection. Though I am no longer dating I am coaching and doing readings daily for men and women who are struggling to make any sense of this crazy dating landscape. I mulled over my own history and listened to their stories of frustration and disappointment and it dawned on me that there was a need for a dramatic change to how we perceive dating. Rather than partaking in the rat race, I believe that we need to evolve how we perceive dating and begin to become conscious daters. Conscious dating is a method which honors and respects us as individuals and offers us an emotionally heathy way that we may find love. This process is about attracting people who are in line with our most authentic and strongest self. It’s not about creating superficial illusions or wearing a mask. Here are five ways that you can begin to embark on a more conscious and empowering form of dating that I have seen work wonders in my clients but also in my own relationship.
1. Foster and practice depth in ourselves.
Respecting ourselves means that we don’t put our desire for a relationship above listening to our own heart, body, mind, spirit and honoring the messages received. Do not demean yourself or put yourself down but rather see yourself as the divine and sensual being that you are. When we cut ourselves down we tend to choose partners who mirror the lack of respect that we have for ourselves. When we respect ourselves we are then able to parlay that into attracting someone who respects us. Additionally when we respect ourselves we do not tolerate disrespect. We make better and more evolved choices about who it is that we allow in our lives and our hearts.
2. Always come from an authentic place.
How many of us have kept what we felt to ourselves because we felt it was what we were supposed to do? How many of us claimed to enjoy something our dates were interested in because we wanted to seem more relatable? So many of us do it but then we wonder why we feel that we have to wear a mask all the time and why when the mask inevitable breaks apart and our true self shows the relationship wanes. It’s because we were not behaving from a place that reflected our wants, needs and ideals. We were too interested in attracting someone that we failed to realize we were presenting a figment; an illusion. Striving for total authenticity should be a priority! It makes the interaction all the more honest and substantial. They will have a chance to get to know us for us and allows us to put down the mask.
3. Have a thirst for knowledge and expansion.
It is important that we always express a deep curiosity about who we are, how we behave and how we interact in our lives. To push ourselves out of both our emotional and physical comfort zones helps to ensure we are evolving and learning about our achievements as well as our mistakes. More this, however, when we desire to grow within ourselves and life we tend to change our perspective on things. Rather than seeing a bad date as a total disaster we will see where we perhaps could have gotten more information or used better discretion about who we spend our time with. We will begin to see every date or relationship as something that held meaning even if that purpose was not to become a life long relationship.
4. Cultivate and practice radical self-love.
If we all could treat ourselves with the same loving kindness that we would a small child or a puppy, we would find that many of our relationships drastically change. When we love ourselves fully it means we accept ourselves, warts and all. We must stop ripping apart our thighs, our penchant for talking fast or the fact that we do not look like the models in the magazines (little secret: neither do the models resemble their photos!) and instead love that our bodies, minds and hearts have seen and done some serious ‘ish and should be loved and respected. When we do this we will begin to make choices which reflect this love. Instead of choosing just any old date just so we can be out on a Saturday night we hold out for someone who is worth all that we have to offer. In order to receive healthy, true and lasting love we must first show it to ourselves, amply.
5. Make a commitment to feeling good.
When we put our hands to a hot burner it feels awful, right? It hurts and we know better than to do it again and yet when it comes to dating so many of us continue to partake in patterns that offer us no pleasure at all—in fact many hurt us deeply. When we make a commitment to only seek out those things which feel good and make us happy we slowly weed out those people and types of behaviors that drag us and our relational sectors down. How many of us have stayed in relationships long past their expiration simply because we stood on the precipice of leaving and seeing how much more we could take? If it no longer feels good, right or makes us happy it’s time we stop participating in it! Though many of these steps may seem rather simple their effects are profound and apply to those who are looking for love and who are looking to foster a more conscious relationship with their existing love. These are methods that challenge us to put down the mask, to work on ourselves and understand the direct correlation between the love we have for ourselves and the love we receive from others. Though they require a bit more effort than some of the “get love quick” gimmicks the work is well worth the chance to receive and experience a more empowering form of love internally and externally.
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Author: Laura Brown
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Wiki Commons