If you asked me a year ago if I would be able to write weekly about dating, I believe my response would have been, “Hell No!” Surprisingly this experience has been somewhat challenging. In the same breath, writing about a topic we all wish we could master has also been rewarding and insightful. It has opened my eyes to understanding the true meaning of love. The ability to inspire, motivate and encourage anyone looking for love or struggling to keep a relationship alive has been the best part. That’s why I end each post with my catch phrase, “Date Smart…Date for Success.”
Dating, relationships and love are complex but we as humans will continue to struggle to find the right ingredients for making the perfect relationship. Although, I cannot say that I’ve mastered the art of love, I can say with pride that I understand the meaning of love. With each day that passes I see love with fresh eyes. I believe once I opened my eyes and embraced all the love around me I was no longer afraid of love. I stopped looking at all the failed relationships and started to look at the many shades of love. The pet lover playing with their pet, the straight couple holding hands, the gay couple subtly touching on the subway platform, the elderly couple helping each other across the street or the father helping his daughter ride a bike for the first time. I think you get the point!
Finally I get it! At one time in my life I believe I was selling myself short when it came to being loved. I would settle for less than what I wanted or deserved just to say I loved when in all honesty I wasn’t even close. However, the lesson here is that I didn’t love ME. Nor was I willing or able to allow someone else to show me love or allowed them to love me the way they knew how. There it goes again, shades of love.
Love doesn’t mean staying with someone whose idea of love is not in line with yours. Nor should you make excuses for someone else when it comes to matters of the heart. The heart does not know the meaning of time. We approach love, dating and relationships differently and if you see a difference, know that it’s okay. If something doesn’t work for you, it’s okay say “That doesn’t work for me.”
Just the other day someone asked me what they should do when you have so much in common with someone who has been introducing you to their family and friends but giving mixed signs about being in a relationship. Mixed signals are an indication that you need to be asking some questions. Don’t allow the fear of knowing the truth prevent you from asking. Communication is key.
Remember, how you express your feelings and act in a relationship is most likely completely different from someone else. For example, meeting someone’s family may be a big deal to you but to others it’s not. Projecting and reading into someone’s actions is not dating smart. It’s not recognizing that there are many shades of love.
Just the other day while on the subway ride downtown the lesbian couple sitting across from me gave me the inspiration to write this post. It was at that very moment that “Shades of Love” came to mind. To the naked eye they seemed so different from one other but from their laughter, their slight hand gestures, and subtle touching and acting as if no one else was around I started to understand that accepting to live in a world with different shades of love is living in a world that is not defined by anyone else but love. Yet again, another “aha” moment. There are no rules to love or one set way to find love, be loved or rule for how you should act when you find love. Ask yourself, “Do I live in a world where there are different shades of love?” If so, in my eyes that’s “Dating Smart… Dating for Success!”