There’s a marked difference between dating because you are alone and need companionship, and dating because you’re trying to form a committed relationship. Without even recognizing it, this is the dating dilemma each of us faces throughout the entire dating process.
There’s much more to relationships than a simple attracting impulse. When wading into these delicate waters, you must know what you want. Are you ready for a relationship? Do you have commitment hang-ups? What about your date? Many singles out there long for serious relationships but have unresolved commitment issues.
Today’s digital dating apps can be even more daunting as there are far more dates to choose from. Your mission: Find the right person on this planet for you. Someone who makes you shine, with whom you resonate. That’s how loving relationships begin. But are you ready?
Relationship or Companionship? That is the Question
Things can often be confusing for those of us dating—that awkward but enchanting stage of courtship. Dating is fraught with uncertainty. It’s not always easy to overcome loneliness or achieve ‘love.’ Our hearts are delicate. Great care must be taken when giving away this most precious possession.
The sanctity and harmony of our homes, the safety of our families—everything is affected by our dating choices. We must be wise when choosing whom to let into our lives. Solitude is often necessary first for self-discovery. Finding Mr. Right or Ms. Forever is neither fairy tale nor picnic!
Fears and phobias can easily squash even heartfelt relationship goals. For those actively hoping to find lasting companionship, and all those navigating the dating scene, I offer you some Rumi—a Sufi poet and mystic, in love with love and logic. May Rumi’s ageless wisdom help you discern the priorities of balance and love, letting you choose wisely throughout the delicate maze of dating.
01. Lover, Know Thyself
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” –Jalal A. M. Rumi, c.1207-1276 AD.
As we’ve covered in other XO articles, there are many sources of happiness. Most often, happiness comes from one’s experiences, from growth, or from giving back to society. The same things can bring joy in healthy couples—shared experiences, growth, and giving back. These elements are often interpreted in committed relationships as love.
For those feeling lonely or longing for love, Rumi would tell us: Don’t seek love. Instead, make yourself ready for love, knocking down any false barriers. In this way, when love finally finds you, you’re ready.
02. Be Aware of Distorted Dependencies
“Whenever we manage to love without expectations, calculations, negotiations, we are in heaven.” -Rumi.
Distortions in relationships can happen when a partner acts with narrow self-interest, placing expectations, calculations, or other negotiations onto the relationship. Rather than mutual respect or a disinterested approach, selfish interests prevail.
Relationship distortions can also happen when one of the partners feels wholly dependent on someone else for their happiness, wholeness, or well-being. Rather than being comfortable alone, they may feel incomplete unless they have physical contact with another. At the extremes, people who feel incomplete without others will need more attention and company.
We all likely face such feelings of complexity within ourselves at different moments in life without judgment. The soundest advice: Strive first to feel complete and whole before you set off to conquer others. In this way, you’ll engage from a place of completeness and peace rather than neediness or dependency.
03. Watch Out for Falling Pedestals
“Dear Soul: don’t set a high value on someone before they deserve it. You either lose them or ruin yourself!” -Rumi.
Too often in relationships, we put people on pedestals so high that they can’t help but fall off. In the early stages of dating especially, we often romanticize and glorify our newly met companion in our minds. Before placing a new partner on a pedestal, make sure they deserve it.
We, humans, are fraught with weakness and prone to failures. None of us will prove perfect. We even fail ourselves at times. Try never to demand the impossible, impose the artificial, or expect perfection. Genuine joy in any relationship depends on healthy boundaries, earnest communication, and objective realities—seeing things as they are.
04. Read All the Signs
“When love is not accepted, move on. When love is not appreciated, walk away. Hopefully, time will teach what true love is.” -Rumi.
They say that love is blind. That can be tragically true. That’s why it’s so important to set healthy dating intentions and read the signs in a potential partner. Healthy relationship intentions require being honest with yourself and your significant other. If the chemistry or values are not meshing, note it and move on if your efforts are not appreciated. Read the signs so you can act accordingly. Make sure you value yourself and know you are worthy of sincere love.
05. Being Alone ≠ Loneliness
“Do not feel lonely; the entire universe is inside you.” -Rumi.
Before we can ever hope to share in life comfortably, we must first become comfortable with being alone. That will mark the most significant difference between being alone and feeling lonely. Yet even those who enjoy solitude, who prefer being alone, may still long for the right companionship. Pangs of loneliness can affect most of us. Rumi recommends practicing gratitude for your solitude. With the universe pulsing inside you, know that you alone are enough. Take a moment to appreciate that you’re free, complete, and not with the wrong person.
Work out your dynamics and artificial barriers in advance for those wishing for a healthy, committed relationship. Don’t let loneliness dictate whom you choose as a partner. Have the strength to live your best life, staying true to your purpose—your dreams and goals.
Ready? Or Not?
Ready for a healthy, committed relationship? Or still, have some self-care work to do?
We can only hope to be honest—let alone open and emotionally accessible—to others by being honest with ourselves. If you’re not in the right headspace to commit to someone, don’t. Take your time. Committing to someone—love itself—makes us vulnerable.
Make sure you know what you truly want in advance. Work out what your values are so no one can undermine them. Stay centered—especially when falling for someone. Above all, dare to express yourself, always seeking transparency and honest dialogue. Honesty with ourselves and others prepares us for healthy relationships of any kind.
Fear not for those feeling brokenhearted—those looking for companionship or a relationship but striking out! In this brimming universe, there’s someone for everyone. As Rumi would say, trying to convince you of this eternal truth:
“The love you seek is also seeking you.” -Rumi
Stay joyful, my friends.