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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Celestial Dating

As my dating experiences have grown, and as I have been observing more and more relationships around me that work. . .and don't, I have been refining the process by which I choose who to date and who to continue to invest time in.

Sometimes, it feels to the tender part of me, to be a heartless, cutthroat process. But, the intellectual side of me realizes it is a very necessary process if I truly want a celestial union/a relationship that is for eternity.

No one is perfect, but there are basic traits and qualities which are pre-requisites for attaining Celestial status. . .and having a truly eternal union. These are the things for which I screen. Many can be discerned before even going on a first date, but some generally aren't revealed until at least one date has occurred.

One of the most important factors for me to discern is the person's "staying power". This means I look at their track record for trying to make things work out and their commitment to making things work out. Are they quick to 'next' people? Are they quick to jump to conclusions and judge? Do they try to understand me and fix things in themselves which clash in our relationship. . .or do they expect me to cater to them? Do they seek to talk, listen, and openly communicate or do they cut and run at the first difficulty? Do they understand that working things out and making changes to benefit a relationship are all part of a healthy lasting relationship, or are they seeking some cardboard cutout who meets all their demands and fits their every wish on their list?

Another factor I find important to look at is their forgiveness quotient. Are they forgiving or do they hold grudges? Do they blame others for things or do they take responsibility for their own contributions: and then do something about it? How do they talk about and relate to their former spouse/date/girlfriend? How do they handle it when their kids make mistakes? Are they a doormat who just quietly puts up with stuff then explodes or lashes out later? Do they continually seek win/win situations or are they out for what will benefit them: not caring if anyone else benefits. . .or even worse, not being happy unless they are the only one who benefits?What do they do when they don't get their way or someone won't do what they want them to? Whining, manipulation, pouting, tantrums, threats, etc are deal-breakers to me.

Another thing I look for is how they treat others. Do they leave good tips? Do they run 'the help' ragged? Are they grateful and appreciative of what others do for them or do they act like it is expected that others serve them? Do they say 'Thank you', 'Please' and 'I'm Sorry', or do those words seem to be unknown to them? Do they actively show concern for me, my boundaries, my rights, my feelings, my overall welfare, and my safety?

I recently discovered there is a pattern amongst couples who have happy unions. . .which also was present in both relationships in my life where I was truly in love. In every case, once they began dating each other, the interest was mutually strong and clearly shown. Both treated each other with affection, concern, and made time for one another: from the start. Both gave one another a lot of time and attention, and never gave each other a reason to doubt, feel insecure, or to be suspicious.

So, if I go out with someone and their interest seems to then be only lukewarm or to decline at all, I walk. Lukewarm interest is not a hallmark of a lasting relationship, and frankly, isn't worth my time to pursue. Interestingly, I read this same 'advice' in a dating column a few days ago. . . a few days after I had my 'a-ha' moment. I deserve to be with and want to be with someone who is crazy about me: someone who recognizes and appreciates my worth. Nothing less will do. That is how it should be, and is what I have found to be present in every relationship that works. Why waste time trying to prove myself or convince someone I am worth their time? Chuh! My time is far too precious for that.

And what, you may ask, is the difference between that and being quick to 'next' someone? The difference, my friend, is that when one is quick to 'next' someone it is usually over something like not having all the facts and due to jumping to conclusions. It is usually motivated by selfishness: not practicality. For instance, I know some who will 'next' someone the first time they don't follow through exactly as specified. People are human and life happens. There can be many legitimate reasons why someone would be unable to keep any particular commitment. To not find out the facts first, or to make assumptions based upon what one thinks they see is not a Celestial behavior pattern. Recognizing that someone is 'just not that into you' and moving on to someone who is, shows clear thinking based in reality and reason. . . which is a Celestial behavior pattern. That is the difference.

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