She went on 25 first dates in one year. This is what it taught her about finding your soulmate.
Okay, quick poll. Who reading this loves dating — to be clear: Staying as open as possible while putting your time, energy, and heart on the line as you get to know a complete and total stranger who, you can only hope, is bringing the same intentionality to the table? It can be exhilarating, awakening or honestly, terrifying. I can only speak for myself when I say, it’s often a rollercoaster. Know how I survive the highs and lows? Self love.
Know how I survive the highs and lows? Self love.
Super corny, I know! But one of the many things I’ve learned about myself is this: I believe in soul mates. I believe in true loves and divine partnership. And, while those beliefs allow for wonderful ways of showing up in a relationship, they can make dating difficult. When what you want becomes clear, you know when it isn’t there. So, the optimism generated by a new potential partner can fade in three dates, three hours, or three minutes. Self love allows me to show up in an authentic way, despite the fear that can come with uncertainty.
When I started this journey, I didn’t think I’d be able to date again. But, after accessing my 2018, I realized, over twelve months of being truly single for the first time, I’d gone on 25 first dates. That’s 25 meet-ups with 25 very different souls. None of whom were my mates. Many whose names I can’t remember — sorry! I do, however, remember the scenarios…
There was the guy with beautiful hair, who taught me how to steal from Target and Trader Joes over a shared order of edamame.
The guy who told me he was 40 but was really 50.
The guy who asked me to meet him by his house, with the plan to walk to dinner nearby but, when I arrived, just wanted me to come inside and “hang.” (We did not.)
The guy who invited my dog and me on the perfect date: A walk through the park followed by lunch at my favorite dog-friendly brewery. Then mysteriously ghosted.
The guy who took me on three thoughtful dates, could do the perfect Obama impression, and walked on the street side of the sidewalk like a true gentleman.
The guy who, while I was abroad, suggested we send each other a photo a day to recap our experiences and had flowers delivered to my home when I arrived back stateside.
And a lot of men in between. Nineteen to be exact.
While I didn’t find my person, with each date, I was getting closer. And it wasn’t because of the odds. It was because I was becoming more aware of my value, more in tune with my intuition, and quite honestly, in the absence of a partner — I was able to focus on self love.
I learned to forgive myself. And, in forgiving myself, am now better equipped to forgive others. I started giving myself unlimited encouragement. And, in encouraging myself, am now able to encourage others. I learned to make a judgment-free space for my feelings. And, in making that judgment-free space for myself, I now can share that space with a partner. I’m convinced the universe knows, and is bringing me closer to, my soulmate, no matter the outcome of any individual date.
I’m convinced the universe knows, and is bringing me closer to, my soulmate, no matter the outcome of any individual date.
I met my first and only love, to date, at 19. Over the course of our relationship, I said “I love you” a million times. Three words I never once said: “I love myself.” It’s a wonder how I so freely expressed my love to my partner but never to the person I’d entered and would leave this world with, me.