I was single for a long time and really enjoyed a lot of that season in my life. Still, I often felt a sense of worry in the background that I may never find a man I actually wanted to build a life with, and get the opportunity to have kids. So even though I really wanted to be on the couch watching Netflix, I pushed myself to “get out there.” I did the online dating thing, I got set up, I swiped left and right, the whole thing.
I share this with you because I’m a big believer in the holistic philosophy that, the way we do one thing, is the way we do everything. So you can imagine, the way I looked for a partner, was similar to the way I tried to control food.
As I often write to you about, pushing myself to control my weight by watching everything I ate (read: obsessing) didn’t work for me. Similarly, pushing myself to “get out there” wasn’t leading me to men that felt like a match for what I wanted (i.e. they didn’t want a commitment!).
I found the idea that you “have to be proactive” and “get out there” in dating, similar to the belief that in order to control your weight, you “have to watch everything you eat.” It’s a forced effort to try and be in control. Which, in fact, has you more out of control and out of alignment than ever.
Dating at age 33, I decided I was no longer going to be proactive. I decided the man I wanted to be with was also seeking me. Like the shift in my eating experience, I stopped trying to force it. My work in dating was to keep my heart open to receive.
This might seem easy, but I found the practice of receiving to be an art form. Simply noticing something arrived to me, and then not jumping up and doing something in return, just allowing it in, felt vulnerable!
So I practiced in small ways.
I inhaled and accepted compliments, rather than deflecting them.
I accepted help when someone offered it, rather than saying, “I got it.”
I noticed when it felt vulnerable to do and feel something, and practiced allowing my heart to stay open.
Just over one month after starting this practice, I almost hit my, now, husband with my car. It turns out he was thinking of me at that exact moment. I had known him from a distance for awhile but we had barely spoken and I had never seen him around my ‘hood. When he asked me out I was shocked. I had no idea he was interested.
I tell you this because stressing about food and where you want to be in your body have strong ties to how we show up in dating and a relationship. If the practice of receiving feels like a much better alternative than “forcing it”, I encourage you to stay open to the messages from your body and try the small ways I practiced receiving (above). I think you’ll feel a big difference!