As I was fantasizing about the possible months to come, we spent a couple of lovely nights with each other.
It’s being in the present moment, embracing our partner tenderly, while also being painfully aware of any baggage they haven’t sorted out. Practicing Buddhism is about working with these two sides of the same coin.
In many ways, it’s like John Mayer says: we’re slow dancing in a burning room. It’s leaning into the human experience: the sadness, joy, pain, fear, doubt, and heartbreak.
The two-year-old inside of me stomps my feet when I hear this quote. But, when I dig deeper, I see that all the growth I’ve experienced in dating has happened as a result of difficulty and messiness.
Despite being a foot-stomping child much of the time, I believe as a Buddhist that to be a human is to suffer.
He was much younger, in an entirely different place in life, and not particularly nice to me.
I had hoped we could pursue a relationship despite the red flags.
We learn to offer ourselves compassion when we see our chaotic humanness. However begrudgingly, we give our insecurities and doubts a pat on the back and we look ourselves and those we’re dating right in the hearts. Except that I mentioned there was heartbreak amongst the joy.
Like many of the colorful fantasies we play out in our minds, we all (Buddhist or non-Buddhist) hope that dating will feel like a fairy tale, but it rarely turns out that perfect. I’d like to share these three lessons from amazing Buddhist teachers that illustrate why the beauty is actually in the mess. We all desire certain outcomes, and when situations don’t turn out the way we thought they would, it feels like a devastating blow.
At the time, I had a feeling we weren’t a match, but my human heart wanted to believe something different.