By Kathryn Alice, RScP
Scrap everything you think about dating and start over. Dating looks different when you use spiritual principle. It ceases to be such a crazymaking, difficult period. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to. You don’t have to make it fit, if the chemistry isn’t there. You don’t have to settle.
And you don’t have to worry you will miss your life partner or repel the object of your desires. There’s nothing you can do to miss your soulmate or turn him off (otherwise, he wouldn’t be your soulmate). You can enjoy this process, without feeling any pressure at all. You must be yourself so your soulmate can recognize you, so don’t bother trying to be something you’re not.
There are four spiritual qualities that, when used, can turn dating from an angst-ridden journey into an enjoyable experience that you fondly recall once you’re in the committed, soulmate relationship that results from dating this way.
1. FAITH - When you go forward in faith, you’re not desperate. Desperation tends to push people away. With faith, you won’t try to make something fit, because you know you don’t have to. You understand though you’re in limbo, and though you can’t see yet who your one is, he’s coming. This feels much better than trying to make something that has already been in your life fit, even though there are problems.
When you’re trusting, you believe that you will meet your soulmate in a fashion that’s right for you, so you don’t have to do back flips to try and meet him (or keep him, for that matter). You won’t go to places you don’t enjoy to try to meet someone. You won’t force yourself to go to bars, even though you feel awkward in them (or wherever it is that you feel uncomfortable). I had a client who traveled to countless countries looking for his love, only to meet her right in his neighborhood.
Ignore your friends who say “You’ll never meet someone if you stay home all the time. You have to get out.” There is much proof to the contrary. My saying is that “He’ll have a wreck in your yard, if you’re not the going-out type.” This has been borne out in countless stories such as the woman who met her husband when he came to repair her printer, and the man who met his girlfriend when she made a delivery to his house. Susan, a self-employed writer who didn’t get out much, met her guy when looking out her balcony. Rick was there dangling from a crane and fixing a power pole right outside her second floor window. Sparks flew, and not from the power line. Another woman, Victoria, ended up marrying the man who lived in the apartment below hers. For these people, staying home was just the thing. Nothing will keep your soulmate from you.
The best part about dating in faith is that the pressure is off. It is easy to relax into dating and enjoy it.
2. HONORING - This quality can be used both towards yourself and towards those you date to great effect. One way of honoring someone is by becoming a more skilled listener, checking in with the other person to see who she is, where she is in her life and what her feelings for you are. When you honor another human being, you suspend judgment and accept her as she is, not trying to fit her into your mold or make her into the “one” even though she’s clearly not. Honoring means not projecting onto someone the things you want to see, but instead seeing what is there instead. Surrendering your agenda to see how things develop between you two is powerful, opening doors that may surprise you.
Honoring also involves being honest, both with yourself and with those you date. It is much kinder to signal or say in a kind way that you don’t see the relationship progressing rather than leading him on, while he gets more and more emotionally attached. By the same token, it is important to check in with the person you’re dating to see where he is with his feelings rather than assuming he’s ready to go the whole nine yards. If he tells you that he doesn’t see himself committing to you, believe him, and don’t tell yourself, “He’ll come around.” This is kind both to yourself and to him.
In the realm of spirit, demeaning what is shared between two people is not honoring. Terms like “a good lay,” “getting some,” “good in bed” and “dumping him” or labels like “babe,” “loser” or “dog” degrade both another human being and shared closeness. The person and your interactions are holy and should be described and treated as sacred. You don’t have to marry a person just because you are willing to see him as a precious child of God. Rather, you’re simply acting in sync with spiritual principle. Only good can come of this.
3. SELF-LOVE - This quality is critically important in dating. When you don’t practice self-love, you experience much misery. Loving yourself means setting boundaries, not doing something that will make you hate yourself the next day. Self-love also means being honest enough that you share feelings without worrying that you’ll either hurt someone else or make yourself vulnerable. When you know that you’re a valuable being, you won’t let yourself be crushed or feel “less-than” if a romantic interest doesn’t return your feelings. You won’t let so-called “rejection” make you feel undesirable but will understand it was the wrong fit. There is no such thing as rejection in the spiritual realm, just the wrong partner. Your soulmate won’t be able to see past you when she shows up, and you will feel loved and cherished.
Self-love means holding yourself in high regard, trusting you get someone who is special, and not settling for less than what you want or deserve. You become fully aware that there’s no need to feel desperate and that you’re allowed to be “picky” as you practice self-love. When you feel good about yourself, you don’t try to be something you’re not. You know you’re wonderful as you are.
Self-love means calling it quits, being the one to say “enough,” if you’re not being honored properly. It doesn’t allow for abuse, insulting words or behavior. When you care for yourself, you receive more easily, to the point that you say “no” to someone who is too casual, who doesn’t treat you as though you’re special. As you practice self-love, a wonderful benefit is that your ideas on how big a catch you could land will vanish, opening you up to infinite possibility. You will not be closed to people who you may have thought were out of reach, and instead find that no one is “too good” for you, if the fit is right.
4. PATIENCE - With patience, you realize that it may not be your time right away. But instead of being desperate, you learn to enjoy the ride and be happy now, even before you’re in the amazing relationship that’s on its way. A Course in Miracles states, “The only thing that will bring immediate effect is infinite patience.” This may seem an anomaly and yet it has proven true repeatedly. While you wait for your soulmate, it is important to continue your spiritual journey and to stay in the moment, enjoying your time alone.
Once you’re with your soul-mate, there will be times when you look back fondly on the days when you were alone and dating. Take this moment in your life to enjoy where you are fully and to get happy just as you are now. It is critically important to be fully in the now as the bestselling book the Power of Now points out eloquently. You may never have this opportunity to get to know so many people in this way again.
You can also use the dating time to work on your communication skills, which will make your relationship, when it comes, go much more smoothly. Use the time to get ready for your soul-mate. Get your life in order, because when you’re falling in love, spending every spare moment with your beloved, you’ll be very busy. You can even connect with your soulmate on the inner now, before you are together.
Finally, patience keeps you from jumping the gun and moving too fast when the person you’re dating is not in the same place you are. You honor her timing by practicing patience, and this can pay off in many ways later. It is said that the woman scares the guy off by wearing the wedding dress on their first date, and the guy scares the woman off by trying to get her in bed on the first date. Both would be avoided with the practice of this sacred quality. Patience also comes in handy when the person you’re dating isn’t your soulmate and you should be proceeding with extreme caution rather than plowing full steam ahead into what will prove to be troubled waters.
As you embark upon your dating journey using these four principles, angst may come up. The fears are there for healing. Dating can trigger our dread of rejection, of not being good enough or of being unattractive. Be vigilant of what others may say that awakens these fears or brings you down. Ask friends not to say negative, limiting things to you, or steer the conversation to other things. Words have real power, and you should guard against anything that weakens you as you go through this process. Understand that there’s no reality in your fears. Observe them, release them and get back to what’s real as soon as possible. You have a wonderful journey ahead of you, one filled with love, passion and untold happiness.
Kathryn Alice, RScP, is a spiritual counselor who led the Agape Church’s Crisis Support Team for the past six years. She teaches workshops on love all around the country, frequently writes on spirituality and has a large private practice. Contact her at (310) 581-1981 or e-mail Kathryn@KathrynAlice.com Also check out www.KathrynAlice.com
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