Dating – It’s not about getting a partner

Dating – It’s Not About Getting a Partner

Dating – It’s not about getting a partner

Never did I expect to be ‘on the dating scene’ in my fifties! But here I am, mid-fifties, ten years post-menopause as well as being out of ‘romantic and intimate’ relationships for a significant part of that time, and it is offering me so much more than I could have imagined.

Have I met ‘the man of my dreams?’ – um no, not even close.

My dating experiences started to change when I decided that I was going to give it 100% and not the 50% (and that is being generous) that I had been giving it. I’d been cynical about online dating and was doing it, in some ways, to show that I wasn’t just sitting back doing nothing. But having a dating profile does not mean you are 100% in and committed to the process.

Has it been a smooth ride so far? Absolutely not. Have I learnt a lot about myself, and the conditions I place on a relationship? Yes, most definitely I have, and it is still unfolding – this article is not about ‘having made it’ or ‘having met the man of my dreams’, it is about the process I’ve been through, and am still in.

My most recent dating experience was with a man that ‘on paper’ I had nothing in common with, no common interests for us to discuss or hobbies and activities to do. So how does that work, you may well ask, and a great question it is.

  • Is it possible to meet someone online and the moment you meet them, you feel safe in their presence, you can feel the harmlessness in them?

  • Is it possible to feel love for someone that you have just met? Not the romantic, butterflies in the stomach experience, but a love that is deep and true.

  • Is it possible to have several dates with someone, and not have much if anything in common on the surface, but feel a deep connection with?

  • Can you feel complete and ‘intact’ when a relationship stops suddenly and not by your own choice, after you’ve said ‘yes’ to giving it your all?

The answer to these questions is YES, as these are things that I’ve experienced in the last two years when I committed to dating, to giving it 100% as opposed to the half-hearted approach I’d been taking on and off for a few years previously, whilst telling my story of how much I hated online dating and everything I’d been experiencing (which wasn’t much, because, I wasn’t committed to it).

More recently, I’d been dating a man my age who lives two hours away, and over a two-month period, we met only four times. After our fourth (and what was to be our last date), I noticed that his texts changed from the playful, easy texts to a more formal manner. I smelt a rat, something had changed, and so I reached out to him and asked him if he needed some space? Whoa, this was a different response, from me, to what I’d had in the past! I wasn’t making it about me … I was genuinely asking him if he needed space and whatever he chose was ok.

After a phone conversation and a couple more texts, it was obvious that he didn’t want to continue with the relationship as he was having doubts about the longevity of our relationship and what might happen once the ‘honeymoon period’ was over, and whether we would have enough in common to talk about. My unspoken internal response was, “Wow, this is no honeymoon, we are just getting started!” because I felt that we had only just scratched the surface of the depth that we could go to together, irrespective of our lack of shared hobbies or common interests.

I knew that I’d brought to him all that I could of myself. I’d not only brought him a woman who has and lives certain standards, who knows what self-care is and applies it (yes, I turned up at his house with an overnight bag, a fluffy dressing gown and ugg boots so I would not be cold!), but I’d invited him to join me in a level of intimacy, care and gentleness that he had not known before. By his own admission, he’d not met a woman like me before, nor experienced the level of care and love that I had brought to him each time we met.

So, what was my response to being ‘dumped’ again? Initially I felt disappointed as I don’t see that having things in common is what a relationship is about. What do you have when one or both of you lose interest in that ‘thing/hobby/activity’ that you did together? Is this what happens to couples when they say ‘they grew apart?’.

So yes, there was initial disappointment but no tears, no regrets, no ‘what ifs’, and no persuading him otherwise. I quietly sat with the realisation that he had made the decision to not continue our relationship and confirmed to myself all that I had brought to him, and what a blessing and a healing the relationship had been for us both. So really, was I dumped? The answer is no, I could not attach this expression to that experience.

As brief as it was, it was complete, and it had served its purpose. For me, not holding back and bringing all of me no matter what, and for him, to be with a woman who invited him to just be his tender, gorgeous self with no demands or needs.

I now go into a relationship based on how it feels to be with that person. How it feels to sit and talk, or to walk together whether in silence or talking. How it feels when I’m not with them – am I thinking about them non-stop, do I ‘need’ to see, talk or receive a text from them?

These latter ways in some instances have shown me that I may have some expectation or need from them or the relationship, and at other times it has revealed that there is a genuine pull for us to connect.

Over these last two years, I have had some of the most exquisite and deep connections with the men I have dated that were not based on doing amazing or fun things together, or through having amazing conversations but by simply being together. There has been fun too, but what has been the most significant marker for me has been the grandness of the connection first with myself, and then with them.

I have dated three men in this two-year period who I have experienced a deep connection with. So, why did they all end if they were so beautiful?

What happens when you feel something exquisite and true from a depth that you perhaps have never felt before? What happens if you feel this the first time you meet, or the first time you kiss, and you’d never experienced this in the twenty or thirty years that you were married?

What happens when a woman who knows who she is (without perfection, of course) brings you a quality, that you’ve not experienced before, that says “I see YOU”, that says “I won’t accept anything less than gentleness and tenderness between the two of us”, and that doesn’t ask you to be anything other than yourself. What do you do with that?

After about eight to twelve weeks of dating, each one of these relationships ended, and each time I have experienced a very deep healing. I have felt the pull to surrender into what was on offer with each relationship, and I did that to the best of my ability, taking what I’ve learnt into the next experience and getting support where I needed it.

In a truly humble way, all of these experiences have taught me incredible lessons about myself and others in relationships, and this has been invaluably valuable and purposeful.

And so, I don’t see dating being about ‘getting a partner’ but more about bringing all that I am to every person I come into contact with, online or offline, and to not be different with someone just because we are dating.

I don’t know what lays ahead, and I don’t need to.

Every relationship, every meeting and every conversation is an opportunity to deepen in love with myself and all others and the love that is always there from my Soul and from God.

I am then a reflection of the truth of who we are without attachment or expectation to an outcome or to meeting ‘the one’ or my ‘perfect’ man. We then both have the space to be our true selves without the imposition of the expectations and projections that are often placed on one another. And then the magic happens – in this space, we are offered healing and to let go of old patterns and behaviours of past relationships.

How enriching and refreshing to begin each relationship or single date with fresh eyes, an open heart and a vitality that isn’t reserved just for the young, but is available to all at any age or stage in life.

"Life is all about expressing love, not about outcomes, success or results"

Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations Volume I, ed 1, p 691

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  • By Sandra Dallimore

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