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  • Steven Robinson
    Steven Robinson

    Embracing the Unexpected: A Guide to Mindful Dating for Modern Women

    It's an irresistible challenge to action. Over the next day, consciously decide to embrace the essence of what is. Regardless of the situation - perhaps your printer malfunctions, your date stands you up, or your flight experiences a significant delay - learn to accept it as if it was your desire all along. You could even go as far as voicing out, "And this is exactly what I wanted!" in response to any event that your mind instinctively wants to push back against.

    Imagine, for instance, being held on the line for forty-five minutes by your cell phone provider. Instead of seething with impatience, you tell yourself, "Interesting... I've been on hold for forty-five minutes... and this is exactly what I wanted!" Now, when you lose your connection just as you're about to speak with a customer service representative, instead of frustration, you calmly say, "Ah... just got disconnected... and this is precisely what I wanted." While it may seem a tad eccentric initially, this practice serves a dual purpose. It infuses a sense of humor into otherwise aggravating situations and, more importantly, helps you become conscious of all the instances where you resist the reality of your present circumstances, inadvertently causing yourself distress, frustration, and dissatisfaction.

    This exercise of acceptance is an integral part of mindful dating. It's all about embracing the present moment, the good and the bad, and learning to navigate the unpredictable waters of modern dating with a positive, accepting attitude.

    Let's delve into another interesting aspect of our perceptions and where they come from, drawing from a personal childhood experience. As a young girl, music was a vital part of my life. One song that remains etched in my memory was by an artist named Falco. It was a catchy tune that I used to enthusiastically sing and dance to. At nine years old, I was fascinated by his thick foreign accent and the lyrics about hot potatoes, an unusual subject, I thought, but shrugged it off, attributing it to his Austrian roots and the '80s zeitgeist.

    The song played in my head something like this: "Hot potatoes, hot potatoes, hot po-ta-toes, hot potatoes, hot potatoes—oh oh oh, hot potatoes . . ." It was a funky electronic number, and in the summer of 1985, I considered it the epitome of cool. Fast forward nine years, and I found myself watching a "Top Hits of the '80s" music video special on MTV when they announced Falco was up next. I was excited, thinking I would finally understand the peculiar potato fascination.

    To my surprise and slight embarrassment, the song had nothing whatsoever to do with hot potatoes. It was called "Rock Me Amadeus." As a nine-year-old, the name Amadeus was not a part of my vocabulary. I had innocently filled in the unfamiliar with something I recognized (hot potatoes), and until I was corrected, I wholeheartedly believed Falco's hit was an ode to starchy tubers.

    This anecdote serves to illustrate a fundamental truth: our knowledge and understanding are a mere accumulation of thoughts and information we've gathered throughout our lives. Most of us rarely question the accuracy of these perceptions, accepting them as truth. When it comes to men and relationships, this could mean we harbor beliefs and ideas that not only miss the mark but also hinder our chances of experiencing a fulfilling and healthy love life.

    The fact of the matter is, our parents probably didn't attend a "How to Have Wonderful Relationships" course in school. What about your grandparents? Did they enroll in "Loving and Lasting Relationships 101"? I would venture a guess and say no. They simply learned from their parents, who learned from their parents, and so on, tracing all the way back through time. This generational passing down of knowledge, while not inherently wrong, does not always provide the most accurate or helpful information.

    While it's neither your fault nor anyone else's that you might have been operating on some outdated or incorrect information about relationships, the responsibility to change and adapt now lies with you. As the renowned Maya Angelou once said, "Now you know better, so you do better."

    Mindful dating requires a similar approach. It's about actively seeking to understand and question the beliefs and perceptions you've held about relationships. Do these beliefs serve you, or do they stand in your way? Are they based on your own experiences or inherited from generations past? The answers to these questions can help shed light on your dating patterns and behaviors, paving the way for healthier, more satisfying relationships.

    To do this, we must adopt an open mind, embracing new ideas and perspectives. This doesn't mean you have to dismiss everything you've learned about love and relationships thus far. Instead, it means examining those beliefs with a critical eye, keeping what serves you, and being willing to let go of what doesn't.

    As we navigate the unpredictable world of dating, we can choose to view each situation, each setback, each unexpected turn of events, not as obstacles, but as opportunities for growth and self-improvement. We can say, "This is what I want!" when things don't go according to plan, and mean it. Because in that moment, we're choosing to learn from our experiences. We're choosing to grow. And that, dear reader, is what mindful dating is all about.

    This journey is about empowering you to take control of your love life. It's about providing you with the tools and knowledge to make better decisions, to foster healthier relationships, and to break away from outdated and unhelpful beliefs. It's about helping you embrace the present, the reality of what is, and finding joy in the process. Because that's the secret to a fulfilling love life: not in finding the perfect partner, but in becoming the best, most authentic version of yourself. So take the challenge, embrace the unexpected, and embark on the journey to mindful dating. You might be surprised at what you discover.

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