Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about….or so the saying goes….
Here’s the thing, we tend to treat others we don’t know in a way that is not our most natural state.
We’re usually trying to figure out where they stand or who they are before we let ourselves really show up, if at all. From strangers to blind dates…to acquaintances at a party, we may wear a different mask for each and decide to not give our true selves the spotlight.
If we’re going on a date with someone “new” (or first few dates) and we treat them as someone who would be important in our life, how good would that feel? We’d be fully present to our time together with that unknown potential and being okay with not knowing the outcome. Instead of focusing on safe subjects, the proper way to act to get another date or scare them off…what if we focus on connecting from our truest, most open self?
What if we allow our true selves to shine through with everyone we meet? Saying what we mean, doing what we want do, and feeling comfortable in our skin is a benefit to us all. It’s the only path to no regrets, no what ifs…and no second-guessing. Could we treat others importantly whether our time together is a minute or years? What do we have to lose?
Starting off being fully present and engaged…as though this is a life-long connection we’re creating without attachment to where it goes or how it turns out creates the most authentic of beginnings.
I thought about that when I went on a date, whether it turned out we were a match or not; I decided I wanted to feel good and special, so I made sure I stayed totally open. I wanted to experience being fully present and accepting things about this man that in the past, I may have ruled him out with a list that looked something like this (some are ridiculous, but it illustrates the point most of us won’t admit):
1. Mmmm…height-wise not up to the average I look for, so that I can wear my four inch heels.
2. He wore Uggs on our date in the rain.
3. He started talking about holistic health, as something too “woo woo” for him.
4. He never really asked me any questions about myself, I volunteered information, as I felt I wanted to share. (I accounted for the fact that he seemed nervous and eager to impress)
5. He asked strangers if one of them had pulled the other’s finger, because the thunder was so loud…it sounded like someone farted.
Now here’s the thing…
I noticed these items, but I chose differently.
Instead of ruling him out or putting up walls….I stayed open. As most people who want or are in a long term relationship are aware, none of these on their own are a deal-breaker. If I’m being kind to myself and to my partner in the future, it won’t be based on what he wears or his height. I also know that one date will not tell me the truth of who he is and how he acts in relationships and it’s okay, to not know where this is going, if anywhere.
Unfortunately, many people who’ve been single have a list of ironclad first date deal-breakers, this rigidity is what will keep someone alone.
In treating him, as someone important to me (even for just the length of the date), I had a different connection with him. I looked at him as just a guy, someone who is giving me the gift of his time and sharing with me whatever he felt like bringing to the date.
In the past, I would’ve blocked or only allowed certain aspects of me to be present, waiting to see if I wanted another date or hoping I performed well, so there’d be another date.
Being real, loving ourselves and others right here, just in the moments we have to share can lead to all sorts of discoveries, fulfilling interaction and the possibility of long-lasting relationships.