Dating vs Falling in Love...With Yourself

You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need ~ The Rolling Stones The end of a 3 year, long distance relationship left me at the water's edge of the dating pool. Sure, they say dating is like riding a bike, you never forget. I venture to say that bike riding is infinitely more enjoyable!

For you coupled-up types who are blissfully unaware of what's going on out here in    dating-ville, check out these banners that appeared recently over my e-mail inbox: "What Men Don't Want - Catch Him And Keep - 9 Ugly Mistakes Women Make That Men Find Totally Unattractive." Days later this gem appeared: "Make Him Addicted To You  - Have The Relationship You - 9 Magic Words You Must Say To Make Him Fall Deeply In Love."

REALLY??? The very idea that we women are so desperate to know this crap is sad. Because if our own sense of self-worth is strong and we enjoy our own company, the above how to's become irrelevant.  I can't think of anything I want to do less than catch and keep ANYONE. A relationship jail keeper? No thanks. Instead of catch and keep why not just apply the principles of catch and release fishing to dating? And I don't even know what to say to the notion of trying to "addict" someone to me. Can you hear me laughing from where you're sitting? BTW, you guys should be offended that these websites make it sound like you can be "caught" and "addicted" in 9 easy ways. Why is 9 the magic number? I digress.

So what are the options for finding a date, mate, significant other, etc.? Well, there's online dating...raise your hand if you like this one. I see one hand and you know who you are, M. I personally only know one person who likes this form of dating. There's another concept that centers around matchmaking-like dinners. I was thinking of trying this until a single girlfriend checked into it after hearing radio ads stating they were offering a special rate.  The "deal" was $1,500 for 3 months worth of dinner dates. They were happy to set her up on a payment plan of $500 a month. Seriously??? That's like a house payment. Now we're the 99% of dating too?! We've been encouraged to write down a grocery list of the traits we are looking for in a mate. This exercise suggests we will manifest the perfect person that meets the criteria on our list. A sort of  "if you build it, they will come" theory. It's not a bad idea; I love a good to-do list. Except that I've done it to no avail and I've been recently educated that focusing so much on the particulars leaves out the potential for  many possibilities. The new love of my life may have qualities I can't even imagine and I'd hate to miss out because I left it off the list! Probably best not to narrow the field too much.

Perhaps a better idea is to take a personal inventory and see if we are truly presenting the best possible version of ourselves. It's been said (thank you Gabrielle Bernstein author of "Add More ~Ing to Your Life...A Hip Guide to Happiness" and "Spirit Junkie") that when you get right with yourself, the right person will be attracted to you. The best possible, healthy, fabulous YOU. I'm going with this approach and here's why:

1. Following my divorce several years ago I paid a therapist perfectly good money to tell me that instead of jumping into dating, maybe I should take some time to get to know myself.  I wish I had listened then. I probably could have avoided several more dysfunctional relationships. Because let me just say, I have worked hard on putting the fun in dysfunctional!

2. At 46 years old it's time to figure my shit out. I mean really, if I'm not cool with me who the hell else will be? I am taking the advice of my new-found mentor Gabrielle Bernstein and for the time being, I'm making spirit my boyfriend. Meditating, watching lectures and reading books by people who have it going on and are willing to share has been awesome. They say when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. Hit me baby...I'm open!

3.  Gaining a sense of who I am and what I want in a relationship has made growing a backbone a long overdue pursuit. I'm pleased to say that I'm done with what I call circle dating. This is a no-win, chase your tail exercise where I re-dated guys from previously failed relationships hoping that this time it would turn out right. I'm liking the saying, "if the past calls let it go to voicemail, it has nothing new to say."  BINGO!

So that's it...instead of hanging out with Mr. Right Now, I'm chillin' with myself and you rocks! Maybe when the door closed on my last relationship the window to my spirit opened. I'm certain when all is right, Mr. Right will find his way to my door.

Please share your love stories or dating dilemmas, desires and triumphs below. Love is a dish that should never be served cold!