Betsy met Chuck on a plane when they were seated together. She was covered head to toe in psoriasis (an allergic reaction that soon faded). She didn’t give a second thought to romance, even though Chuck was a handsome, warm man. Betsy felt so undesirable that she didn’t try to be anything other than herself. Why bother? Two years later, the two are now a couple.
Bob and Laura met when working together on a political campaign. Neither considered the other “relationship material,” so they felt free to exchange life stories with no editing. A bond was developed, and the two ended up married. Stories such as these abound.
From a spiritual perspective, it makes sense that you would meet your mate while being yourself. Almost every religion holds being one’s self sacred. By censoring yourself or curbing your behavior, you pre-judge yourself with no idea what another person may find appealing. This self-censoring means you fear that you’re not okay just as you are. You are anticipating rejection and rejecting yourself in the process. David Marcus and Naznee Askari reported in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology this year that the perception of rejection in a clinical study on dating most often had no relation to any actual rejection. In other words, people who feared they were rejected were not, in the majority of cases, rejected.
The old Southern adage “there’s a lid for every pot,” can be seen as a spiritual affirmation. It means that whoever you are, whatever you are like and whatever your perceived imperfections may be, there’s someone for you. Believing it allows you to go forth without fear and be yourself. A 1968 study by Zajonc tends to bear this out. It proved that there are an overwhelming number of traits that make up attraction, appearance being only one of them. Trying to sort desirable traits out and squeeze one’s self into some sort of a mold of attractiveness and perfect behavior (as many self-help books urge), therefore seems futile. Better to go forth as you are, loving yourself, and trust that your “lid” will show up and not be able to see past you. For your mate, your are IT, perfect for him or her.
WHY I’LL NEVER MEET SOMEONE
Forget limits that you might invent (I’m too old;” “I’m too fat”) to scare yourself out of even trying to date. There is overwhelming statistical and anecdotal evidence to kill the notion that you won’t find love because of some fatal flaw you think you have. People meet and fall in love at every age and in every condition. In one support group, the oldest of the bunch, who was 65 and widowed, met the love of her life, a man who was 72, and ran off to trot the globe with him. This inspired an overweight 52 year-old in the group. Gaining hope from the older widow’s romance, she ran a singles ad and quickly met a man she ended up marrying. The spiritual concept of “no limits” is borne out in the arena of love.
Another spiritual principle that can ease the tension of dating is that there is no such thing as rejection. There are only wrong fits. When you feel rejected, rather than taking it personally, better to understand that it had nothing to do with you, but everything to do with the fact that this person was not your mate.
A door was simply closing because there is a better door open down the road. The popular notion that there is a dumpee and a dumper simply is not real. Even in long-married couples that divorce, there are usually a combination of factors, created by both parties that lead to the break-up. To dwell on being a victim or feeling undesirable is a waste of time.
GO FORWARD IN TRUST
The best “method” of dating is to have faith and move ahead, remaining open. Both men and women feel there is too much pressure in dating. Make an agreement with yourself that each date is simply a chance to know another human, without pressure to make it something it’s not. Release any belief that you’ll have to “settle” or kiss 100 frogs to find your prince. Release a belief that dating must be awkward. Better to believe that your soulmate is out there, even now making his or her way to your side. And if you don’t like going out, believe that he’ll run out of gas in front of your house. There are no limits here, so affirm the highest and the best for yourself. And watch it happen!