DATING...WITH INTENTION (OF COURSE!)


Most of my adult life has NOT been spent dating. 

I've been boo'd up, "talking to someone", or in a bonafide relationship for almost half of my 35 years, so I like to think that I know how to do relationships. With an 8 year run under my belt--longer than a lot of marriages these days--it's safe to say that I'm pretty good at navigating the partnership waters. And I like it. I don't believe the goal of relationships is to get married--commitment takes many forms so I think the goal is to partner and walk alongside someone for as long as you can inspire each other and your souls can grow as a result of being in relationship with the other. If that leads to marriage, fantastic. If not, that's okay too, because you'll always walk away from that space knowing more about yourself, which for me is the most important lesson of all. BUT...if you're clear that marriage is your goal, then I'm all about speaking up and making your expectations very clearly known--'cause you'll never get what you want if you don't first have the courage to ask for it. I tend to be a little more liberal because I love the kind of work that's done in those intimate spaces--deep work that has to do with surrender, vulnerability, trusting ONESELF, and kindness in its most stripped-down form. And I don't think the value of all that work should be minimized just because two people didn't make it to the alter. 
But that's just me.

Dating, on the other hand, is a bit of a different story. 
I know how to navigate the intimate spaces of our lives pretty well but dating??
It's a phenomenon I'm still figuring out.
 I'm 35 but in a way...I'm still getting my bearings in this scene. From my perspective the world of dating is funny, it's kinda like anything goes. There are no rules--yet there ARE rules--and every.damn.thing. is left open to interpretation. As someone who's always looking for clarity in communication, you can probably imagine how confusing these waters can get for me.
If I had to pick the biggest problem plaguing the modern world, it would without a doubt be that mofos don't know how to communicate with each other (and I don't pretend to have cornered the market on this).

We don't always speak up for what we're truly thinking/feeling. 
We say things we don't mean. 
We under-communicate and expect people to fill in the blanks.  
We're lazy and sloppy with our choice of words and then "feel some type of way" when conversations turn to misunderstandings. 

And while this also happens in the context of committed relationships, I think it's a bit easier to work these things out in those spaces because you know (or you SHOULD know) that the person beside you is on your team and you're both working on a common goal. Above all, a committed relationship should be a place of trust & safety.

But when you're dating?? 

Wellllll....it's a little more challenging to navigate because I'm still trying to figure out the basics like if I can trust you to watch my drink while I go to the bathroom
In this context, trust & safety are bridges that are being built as I walk them. 
I've given a lot of thought about what I want this year to look like with regard to my love life.
I'm at an interesting crossroads--I'm not in a rush by any means & I do want a partner, but I'm also looking forward to just having fun, learning more about myself, and learning to surrender control of what the outcomes look like.
So I'm taking a cue from the rest of my life and committing to date with intention.
What does this look like, you ask?? Committing to a plan of deliberate action.
 Always being willing to put myself out there, widen my boundaries (carefully, of course), try some things I've never tried before, honor myself by always telling the truth, be open to possibility and keep repeating this process over & over again until the puzzle pieces fit. And sometimes they'll fit by turning into something very intimate & satisfying. Other times I'll meet someone who is "great, but not great for me", and the rest of those times the only thing I may share with a stranger are a few fleeting text messages. And still, it will all be perfect no matter where the cards lie.

 As I always tell my mother, I'm very clear about one thing:
I want to be with someone who wants to be with me.
There are other things on the list, of course, but that is the foundation of what I expect--someone who desires and chooses me, again and again. Not because they NEED me, but because they want me... which in & of itself is much more powerful.

So here's to a year of great (hot) new people, fun dates and most of all, lots of learning.
Wish me luck, y'all.