Like so many others in this world, I am currently playing an active role in the dating world. I know I know, that was a roundabout way of saying “I’m single looking to mingle!” I guess I’m just trying to class-up a sometimes messy topic!
Dating is hard. REAL HARD. Can I get an “AMEN”?! Between the endless selection of dating apps, chat rooms, websites, and groups, it sure makes it hard for people to expect a commitment when there are so many other options just a click or swipe away. It can be overwhelming having so many options, and it can be just as overwhelming BEING one of the many options. You want to know what has been my downfall in dating? The thing that tripped me up for a long time? What sent my head and heart spinning after every dead end date? It was the fact that though they may have chosen to go out with me, that doesn’t mean they chose ME. So here I would be, so excited about a guy who I met on a dating app and asked me to dinner. I would think “Out of all the women on ____ he chose me!” Then we’d meet, have a great time by all dating standards, but then the only thing that would progress after the date is the slow burn of contact between the two of us. In my mind it was simple: He chose me when he showed up, so now he’s rejecting me by disappearing. Oh how my heart saw love in black and white! I had some growing to do.
An ex-boyfriend of mine used to say to me “Sometimes love just isn’t enough” and hearing that would break my heart! I couldn’t fathom a world in which love wasn’t enough to beat all odds. Here’s the thing though, love… or “like” will never be strong enough to override personal choice… and thank God for that! It’s our ability to chose our own paths and who we want to be, and who we want to be WITH that make each person on this earth their own little mosaic! Personal choice is what adds value to the act of truly choosing YOU. It’s their right to choose, even if their choice leads them away from you. You would want that freedom for yourself, wouldn’t you? You wouldn’t want someone else’s sense of entitlement to your heart overriding your right to chose, would you? They either choose you or they give you the opportunity to find a better suited choice. So respect the choice.
Here’s a little homework: Listen to “Doing It Wrong” by Drake. Regardless of if you like hip-hop or not, the lyrics of this song blew my mind. Call me crazy, but I think he’s on to something.
Today’s too-cool-for-school thinking says that we should always be an open book. That we should never hide what we’re thinking or how we’re feeling. That honesty is always the best policy, and that hurting someone with the truth is always better than hurting them with a lie. In the spirit of honesty, let’s be honest… That’s not 100% true, now is it? We should NOT be an open book all the time, especially when there are emotional robbers waiting to do a breaking and entering act on our heart. Honesty is always the best policy in theory, but some people are hurt by you saying anything about them that was unsolicited. Sometimes you just can’t win!
I like to pride myself on being a mindful communicator. I aim to be precise in what I want to say, and on understanding that the key to being a great communicator is to be a great listener. Most of the time this has worked out well for me, however there are rough patches I encounter from time to time. These communication mishaps occur and leave me feeling dazed as to what happened. It totally throws me off my game! People end up totally misunderstanding me, even though at the time they confirmed that we were on the same page. People misinterpret my intent even when I clearly tell them my objective. There are even times when I walk away thinking that I had a super productive conversation with someone, to later on have them accuse me of a bunch of nonsense that leaves me feeling bewildered! *BIG EXHALE* It’s so hard to tell yourself “These things happen” WHILE THEY ARE HAPPENING!
The reality of life is that these things DO happen. In fact, I believe that they even happen with a purpose! You will end up blinding yourself to that purpose if you stay stuck in frustration, or feeling mad about misunderstandings. Move out of madness into mindfulness and try to look at the situation with compassion… mind over MADDER! View yourself and your emotions with curiosity! View the other party with curiosity! Curiosity turns the mundane into art… and art is unique from piece to piece… just like people. You do that, and that maddening situation may turn into a learning experience… leading you to a bliss that keeps on giving.