Maybe you remember that dating and getting to know someone is new for me. My whole world can easily be seen in the eyes of trio, and there aren’t any men reflected there (for better or worse… and it is what it is).
So maybe you also know that there *has* been a man recently who has shaken me up and shown me that it’s okay to date and enjoy being out with a man who opens doors for me, who is interested in experiencing new things together, and can talk about everything and anything with warmth and kindness.
Recently, he and I were joking around, but the concept of something he said really stuck: that it can take a long time (like, a couple of years!) to find all the corners in another person and decide if it all can truly be embraced and loved.
Does everyone else know this but me?
*That* is what dating means?? That we’re setting out with the intention to find all the icky bits and the lovely bits and the hard bits and the soft bits, and to see how they all mesh with mine? And probably, to find some of my own bits inside that I didn’t realize were there too. This is a concept WAY more grasp-able at 39 than it would have been at 19.
As a visual person, I imagined a ropes course. A very long course with varying degrees of challenges. In dating, we go through this sort of together; checking to see how we enjoy each other, how we handle the tough spots, how we communicate and celebrate the successes, but also to learn about when we want to go it alone and when we want support, and how to be okay with all of that. We can see each other no matter where we both are – do we encourage or get frustrated? Do we wait for each other or is it a race?
This shift was quite profound in the way I consider dating. It relaxed me. It allowed me to see a larger picture. For him and I, it’s not a race. We *want* to experience the full course and learn as much as possible about each other. We want to see how we each deal and communicate and to see how we grow as individuals.
There’s a definite ending to the course, when we can go into the chalet and enjoy a hot bevvy and maybe a dip in a hot tub together – but we can also tap out at any time and feel richer because of our time together, and realize we know more about ourselves and the world around us than we did before.
How magical is that?!