Romance and Dating
Internet dating has expanded our possibilities but most of the time we date by proximity, someone from school, work, church, friends or friends of friends. If you think of dating as just “hooking up” then these comments are not for you. This is about finding and building a deep and rich romance which leads to a forever relationship, where you can grow old together, spoil the grandkids, and have a 50th wedding anniversary.
We are hardwired to love and be loved. We want and need to find and enjoy intimacy with another person. It gives us a sense of security, identity, acceptance, happiness and self-worth. For that romance and intimacy to grow and be successful we need to develop that list you just read (security, identity, etc.) in yourself first as an independent individual. There is huge difference between the “need” for intimacy and being “needy.” If you are not reasonably secure in yourself, independently happy, and truly love yourself first, you will end up sacrificing your own identity and soul to anyone who says they love you, usually someone who will try to control you. You will fail at loving someone else if you have not learned to love yourself.
When the Time is Right
How many times will your heart be broken, or you will break someone else’s heart? You will cry and think your life is over, or maybe feel relieved you have ended a bad relationship. It happens and either way it is stressful and painful. Sometimes love just fades away. High school and college romances often fade after graduation as lives move into college or careers as new “proximities” present new opportunities. It takes time to find that person among those ever-changing proximities and we humans are pretty impulsive and quick to latch onto someone who looks great, has a great body, and makes you laugh. It is like buying a book because it has cute or funny cover. It takes time to open that cover, read the pages and discover the real story within. Bottom line? Slow down. Love yourself enough to walk away if you are not thriving in the relationship.
To find a life partner you must learn to build bridges and they have to be built in the right order.
Here they are:
Proximity > Conversation > Ideas > Interests > Personal Habits > Fun > Background > Values > Goals > Friendship > Safety > Trust > Physical Attraction > Exclusive Emotional Commitment > Expressing Affection > Discussing and Handling Conflicts > Developing Mutual Goals > Engagement > Marriage > Connecting Spiritually, Financially and Sexually.
Guess which of these bridges couples try to build first. Yup, physical attraction, fun and sex. They are important but of that long list they are the least important, and they can change and fade over time. To find a life partner you have to find that person’s soul and when your soul and their soul are singing the same song, marry that person. Jumping in the sack to quickly is exciting and might even feel like love but it may rob you of the time needed to find the real essence of that person or to let them know you. Take the time, build the bridges, create a forever.