Dating, for the most part, happens in the beginning of a new relationship. It's the time when you have butterflies in your stomach and are filled with anticipation and wonder of what the next encounter will bring. You count down the hours to when you will see the person next and plan your outfit with a great attention to detail. You find it challenging to concentrate on anything else because all you can do is think about spending time with that person.
The best part about dating is that you truly feel like you are seeing the person for the first time -- every time. There are no preconceived notions and your mind, body and soul are all open to infinite possibilities.
We all get excited to meet someone new because it feels fresh and not filled with baggage of "the stuff" that may have accumulated from the last relationship with someone else. We love that opportunity of another chance at experiencing the feeling of being in love again. Some people, who are truly on an evolutionary path, are conscious of the fact that dating can happen in a relationship that is not new from a chronological perspective. They take the time to constantly renew and keep their existing relationship fresh by spending quality time with the other person and nurturing that bond. They don't go seeking that feeling of newness outside of their relationship. They look within the union.
Speaking of looking within... "When are you going to have a date with yourself?"
My father would always ask me this when I was a teenager and I don't think I ever really understood what he meant when he asked. I would think: Why would I want to spend time with myself... alone... that would be so boring! What would we even talk about? By "we," I fully assumed there would be a conversation of some sort, with myself I guess? He would walk away as if the question were rhetorical so I was left to basically ignore the question which I did most of the time, or take a few moments to figure it out. To be honest, I was rarely alone as I was either hanging out with my two sisters or other friends. One day, as the day always comes when the universe feels you need it, I figured out what he meant.
I had decided to spend an entire day with myself. I got up and sat in silence for about 20 minutes and then ran on the treadmill for about 30 minutes. I showered and decided to go Barnes and Noble to walk around the bookstore. There is something so cool about walking through stacks and stacks of people's ideas, thoughts, and dreams from different periods. At any given time you can pick one up and be transported to a different world and be inspired by someone else's experiences that may resonate with you. After that, I decided to go to a tea house downtown and sit by myself for a few hours and enjoy some amazing jasmine green tea. I then walked by a few eclectic shops and it was in one of those shops where the meaning of it all hit me. Not during meditation in the morning, not while having tea in solitude, but while unassumingly and randomly walking through some shops.
I saw a journal in a store that was sitting by itself "alone" and the cover had these words on it: "Alone time is when I distance myself from the voices of the world so I can hear my own." -- Oprah Winfrey
It was at that moment that I knew why he kept asking me that question and why it was so important. The universe sends us signs in so many innocuous ways and it is up to us to pay attention to get the answers. Your own inner voice is your soul's compass and that is what is so important to keep calibrated so that you are able to be authentic with yourself and then others. The only way to do this is to spend time with yourself alone and nurture that relationship. You must allow yourself to take those moments of solitude to really get to know who you are without all the external noise. It is only when you know yourself and love yourself that you can impart that same love to others.
I realized at that moment that I couldn't wait until the next time that I would go on another amazing date with myself and see myself for the first time -- every time.
So... when will you have a date with yourself?