March 16, 2021

How Nonattachment can turn Dating into a Journey of Self-Discovery.

What attracts us to someone?

I’m not always sure. From my limited scholarly research, it’s all kinds of things, scientific and biological. Whether or not that partner would or could produce strong and resilient offspring with you. True—but definitely not sexy, in my opinion.

From personal experience, I like to think it’s all the spiritual things: a combination of past lives, unresolved karma, and reflections of who we are at that time.

Either way, it’s things that make complete sense, and sometimes they make no sense at all. It’s an invisible magnetic force pushing and pulling us toward or away from one another. And someone we might be drawn to at one point in our lives might literally repel us at another. I mean, I can’t believe I dated that guy either.

I do know one thing: we can’t force ourselves to desire someone or to be ready for someone if it doesn’t feel right. Our minds can tell us lots of things, but eventually, we end up listening to what our hearts, our guts, and, in some cases, our bodies are trying to tell us.

And, it’s absolutely guaranteed that we will find ourselves on both sides of that scenario. It might be that even though you want to, you just don’t feel that spark with the person who’s fallen in love with you, or it may be that the person we’ve fallen madly in love with doesn’t love us or isn’t ready to be with us.

That’s Not Your Person. 

I might have a million things in common with someone, from how I spend my mornings, to how I voted, to what I buy at Whole Foods, but that doesn’t constitute the fire and passion that I want and need. And just because someone is present and available, that doesn’t mean that it’s my person. It only means I have something to learn from that person.

You can have fire and passion, where you literally crave that person and want to rip their clothes off, but if they aren’t available, that’s also not your person—and yes, you have something to learn from that person too.

What Are Your Dating Partners Showing You?

I will say, I feel like I keep getting closer and closer to drawing to me exactly what I want. Even though it’s not worked out with any of the people I’ve dated recently, I feel oddly encouraged.

When I look at the amazing qualities of the men I’ve drawn into my life, I see they are showing me the parts of myself I am most excited about right now, the parts of me that are playful and creative.

The parts of me that may not know all the answers but are trying their best. And funny enough, the parts of me that love reading and waking up early in the morning to enjoy their coffee.

Doodle Your Dream Dude (or Lady).

I’m not sure if you’ve ever made a list of all the things you want in a partner, but I suggest you write, draw, or mind map it out. Get creative and have fun with it. It might seem silly at first, but it’s good to get things out of our heads and on paper.

One of the things I like to reflect on is how the person I am dating matches up with that list. You might be doing better than you think. You also might realize you’ve got more work to do with picking people who match you and your ideals.

Would You Date Yourself?

Even more importantly, am I being the things on that list for myself? If we attract what we are, how do I match up with my own list?

If I want to date someone who is healthy and takes care of themselves, am I also being healthy and taking care of myself? If I need to feel like I am listened to and my time is valued, am I listening to myself and to others? Am I valuing my own time?

Don’t Attract Whatever, Attract What you Want.

If you haven’t done the work of being clear with yourself and the universe about what you want, well, you’re probably attracting all kinds of stuff and people into your life.

And I don’t know about you, but I like to feel like I am taking a somewhat active role in what shows up in my life.

So use your own list as a guide for yourself. Create some affirmations around it for yourself. Visualize what your life would look like if you were already exuding those wonderful qualities. And heck, if you are already doing some of those things, give yourself some well-deserved credit.

Sometimes You’ve Got to Look at the Yuck.

On the opposite side, look for the unhealthy patterns you see in the people you attract. Look for the things that frustrate you.

What are those things trying to teach you about yourself? If you dated someone who was deceptive or cheated on you, are you being honest with yourself? Are you attracting people who are addicted or have codependent behaviors?

And remember, the behavior you need to see and heal won’t always show up in that exact relationship. Sometimes you have to look outside of that relationship to see those things. For example, you might not think you are codependent, but maybe you display those tendencies with a sibling or a parent.

Be open to any “oooh….that’s why” moments that might come your way once you start being honest with it. Anytime I let myself know I’m ready to see something about me, it always becomes clear later that day or the following days after that.

If you get stuck in any part of this process, may I recommend therapy? Actually, regardless of who you are and what you are doing and learning: go to therapy.

Find yourself a neutral third party who can call you out on your sh*t (hopefully in a kind and loving way), so you can see it, claim it, heal it, and move the heck on with your life.

So here is what I am declaring right here and now for myself:

I am not going to settle.

I am going to keep putting myself out there.

I am going to have fun while I date. I don’t have to know if I want to marry someone right after meeting them.

I am going to suspend judgment, let myself be surprised, and be open to what comes my way.

I am going to be honest and set boundaries.

I am going to communicate and have great sex.

I am going to be my authentic, silly, intense, passionate self.

I am going to show up as me—because me is worthy.

I am going to keep learning about myself, and I am going to be grateful for those lessons.

I am not going to force myself or anyone else to feel something or do something they don’t feel in their heart.

The only thing I am going to settle for is the kick-ass love that I know is possible, if and when I am ready to receive it.

What are you declaring for yourself today? What are you going to do to move forward? It’s all there for us to find out, my friends.

Happy dating, happy discovering, and happy declaring the good we all deserve.


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