It's never just a date.
“When you meet anyone, remember it is a holy encounter. As you see him, you will see yourself. As you treat him, you will treat yourself. As you think of him, you will think of yourself. Never forget this, for in him you will either find yourself or lose yourself.”
~A Course In Miracles
It’s a myth to think that you can ever know yourself fully and yet there’s no more important journey we can take in life. As you meet new people and go through your day you’re given the extraordinary opportunity to know yourself at a deeper level.
The more you get to know yourself and what makes you “tick” the more you’ll be able to find a man who will have the same self-awareness. If you’re looking for a man who has the confidence that comes from knowing who he is, you have to cultivate that same knowing and confidence in yourself.
People who are on the path of self-discovery recognize each other when they meet. And because we attract people at our own level, the more enlightened man you want to attract, the more enlightened you need to become. A lot of dating advice focuses on how to behave with a man but behavior always starts with your thoughts.
Every moment gives us the opportunity to know ourselves better and no experience should ever be negated as worthless. It’s hard to keep that awareness at the forefront of your mind, but it’s a kind of spiritual practice that will greatly enhance your appreciation of life.
It’s especially hard to remember this when you’re dating. Like many of my clients, I thought that a disappointing date was a waste of my time. The let down after the build up of expectation was so intense that all I would focus on was what wasn’t there; the lack of chemistry or connection.
I made the often roller-coaster process of dating even tougher. I would judge every date as “wrong” because it didn’t turn out the way I hoped.
But I finally changed my attitude (how this happened is in my book in the chapter “Date for You”) and I began to make dating part of my spiritual practice. It was a way that I could learn a new piece of the puzzle that makes up who I am.
I assumed that I wasn’t out with a particular man by chance; I drew him and this experience to me because there was something for me to learn. It became about discovering who I am in relationship with him because truly, all life is about the relationships we cultivate with everyone from the taxi driver to our lovers.
How freeing it is when we can step back from any dating situation, no matter how painful or frustrating, and have the presence of mind to ask yourself: what might be the lesson here? My dating advice is to pay attention to the expansion that is available to you and consciously make every date your teacher.
This article was originally published at It's Never Too Late to Marry . Reprinted with permission from the author.