"I'm SO happy for you!" gushed one of my favorite women, when I shared an anecdote from a date I'd been on the night before.
My intensely interesting dinner companion had said, "I want to date you" at the end of our second date. It's funny, because when I hear those words, I don't hear the silent "only, exclusively" a lot of women seem to hear.
Instead, I hear, "I want to date you, now... explore you, know you, court you, reveal you, uncover you, take time, enjoy the process."
And I deeply appreciate how this man's brief, yet rich phrasing exemplifies what I consider the language of conscious dating.
You see, I love language and especially artful, authentic language: "I want to date you," "I want your time," "I am excited to experience you." These are not proclamations of undying love from someone who doesn't know me, inappropriate monogamy pledges or any "first or second date B.S." Just good, real, clear, straight statements that mean exactly what they say. Words and phrases that don't need a lot of puzzling over during a Girls Night Out.
To me, hearing this kind of language is refreshing. The sentiments behind the words are self-evident.
And by the way, I also know this language because I've used it, way more than once. I've said every variation: "I look forward to the experience of you." "I look forward to more of you." "Now . . . in this moment . . ."
Why??? Because I want to be fair. Because I'm cautious with people's feelings. Because I also know "the one" for me, now, is clear in my mind . . . and although it may be a bit of a lightning strike, I still believe in that kind of love. And to uncover something real, well-... it takes time and attention. It requires caring about and adherence to details. Hence, the importance of appreciating and respecting the power of the language we use.
When I hear anyone using the language of conscious dating, it always impresses me. I mean, hearing the truth from someone's lips can be quite attractive, especially when it's a pure, straightforward expression from one person's heart and soul to another.
I had a man approach me at a brunch spot one day and I loved his opening words, conveyed in a charming Southern drawl after an initial hello. "Are you courtin' anybody?" Straight out perfection.
Mind you, speaking the language of conscious dating requires a high level of applied consciousness, both to be fair to others and remain a free spirit. And certainly there are times when I would suggest saying "less" is best, but being truthful to yourself always.
The fact is, I write about conscious dating because, with a mindful, higher consciousness approach, I find the experience of dating to be an opportunity to grow with each date, while still believing in real love. I believe we can meet one person who offers us a new way to think about something, be a game changer, heart opener, thought provoker – much like being introduced to a meaningful new book, a profound podcast, a mind-expanding idea, you name it.
Bottom line? I believe in real love, in partnership and marriage, if both people want it . . . but I also believe women gain a lot from keeping their options open and slowing down. (None of this means, "Have sex with a bunch of different people." That's just plain silly.)
I also believe we as conscious, adult women are whole and complete without a man, and if at all possible, we should consider coupling up for love. Period.
I am interested in the language of dating, because I believe conscious relating has a much higher bar than acquisition dating (which is based on strategy, with the goal being to capture someone.) And my deeply romantic heart and my brain say that approach is not sustainable or remotely enlightened.
I've read all the great books on strategy and dating, of course. It's part of what compelled me to begin writing mine. I've also read Machiavelli's The Prince from cover to cover, Sun Tzu, The 48 Laws of Power, Good to Great... you name it, I read it. I've also read everything I can get my hands on in the realm of spiritual growth. (The Bible, The Bhagavad Gita, If the Buddha Dated, Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, books by Thich Nhat Hanh, Alan Watts, Vedic scripture, The Tao Te Ching, etc. My perspectives, concerning the many dimensions of conscious dating, represent a middle way: "Follow your heart, but take your brain with you," and recognize the differences between the sexes when dating, so as to maximize your options and find the greatest joy in the journey.
If you subscribe to the conscious life approach, then you will find guidance in almost every spiritual book. For example, in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, he discusses the concept of satya, "the virtuous restraint from falsehood or distortion in one's actions, words or feelings." The relevance of this concept to one's conscious approach to dating should be obvious—a shared commitment to speaking and acting truthfully and responsibly is essential to any healthy dating relationship.
My point for offering up for discussion the topic of the language of conscious dating is to encourage us all to approach dating with as much integrity as possible. To shift the conversation to a process- vs. goal-orientation that's defined by each of us, rather than society's view of women, dating and coupledom.
Love yourself enough to "date" people, take your time, get to know them, and let them know you. And choose your words with as much integrity as humanly possible, so that you, Intrepid One, attract and discover the person you are meant for and "do no harm" along the way.