The dreaded pro-con list of relationships. Setting the bar and creating boundaries in what you will and won’t accept in a potential partner can be daunting, and, it can also be liberating. I get it! This is my raw and real feelings on setting up relationships that work, drawn from years of failures and surveying others…yes, this gets messy so hold on tight!
If clarity is the mother of all beginnings and intention is the rocket fuel that carries us through, then establishing guidelines is the best we can do to keep a relationship on track when passion runs high and we pull back our barbed-wire defenses for intimacy to peep it's scared face from the shadows of shame and past regrets.
Exhausted after a recent tryst with a potential girlfriend lasting only two weeks that left me mentally, spiritually and emotionally drained, I confided in a trusted mentor and with curiosity asked, “do you think I’m a good man?”
Sensing my need for validation from my latest dealings with this energy vampire, this mentor stated, “It doesn’t matter what I think Robin, it matters what YOU think.” Bam! Before I could even reply, she then asked, “Have you made a list of qualities you desire in a girlfriend?” I was blank faced, I had nowhere to go…she had called me out, or really…called me forward to own this situation and BE the man that amazing women would kill for.
Our natural cravings for love cause us to do just about anything for affection and to be looked upon as special. In those moments, reminded once again, sometimes even regretfully, that we haven’t been giving those very things to ourselves and must return to self-love first. Damn, time to call the sponsor and get back into the recovery circles!
What was I thinking! I had developed my spiritual consciousness to a PHD level over 10 years of deep soul-work and here I am making decisions at a 4th grade level by not establishing clear boundaries and giving my heart away to quickly. “Slow down, Robin! What is your hurry anyway?”, I would say to myself, frustrated why I am so drawn to people, yet as soon as romance sparks, I get weird.
A few deep breathing exercises, a yoga session and a few calls to the coach later, I finally settle in, to go within. No, women aren't bitches, they're not fucked up, or greedy, or just users of men. Labeling crap outside myself is the easy victim way out and I was going to boldly stand in front of life's mirror and demand a clear reflection.
Then it hit me. The words of the wise King Solomon’s words my mother use to repeat to me as a boy, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23)
Sigh and Surrender. I had been careless with my heart, letting ones in to the emotional vulnerability of my soul that were unqualified to handle me. This toxic track has been run dozens of times before when the starting-pistol fired in the race of love, naively thinking that chemistry was all that was needed to make a relationship work. Wrong!
It was time to make a list!
Out came the pen and paper. I sat and looked at the blank page, the words, “My Next Girlfriend” written boldly at the top, double underlined with exclamation point. A couple glasses of Cabernet later, still nothing. An hour crept slowly by as Elton John hummed quietly in the background hoping nostalgia would kick-in and fuel something really creative, still nothing. I pondered on past relationships, what worked, what didn’t, what I hoped to recreate and hoped to avoid…still nothing.
What started out as a simple challenge to make a list kicked off an inward journey to turn my attention from the world of all things female, and meditate on my own energy, my own state of awareness and what it is that I wanted. Gasp, this was going to take some time.
Then it hit me! It couldn’t have been more clear. Like attracts like, right? What kind of relationship do I want with ME, myself? If I were dating me, what qualities would be attractive to a woman and therefore need to be cultivated?
My arm twinges, the pen draws taught between the fingers as my spine straightens, eyes widen to a fixed gaze at the paper and slowly, a list begins to form.
A life of her own.
She has her own activities, interests, income and circles of friends, perfectly happy without any “need” for a male counterpart. Her life-plan is filled with adventures and travels along with an available space for a guy like me to accompany her. She cares for her belongings, yet appreciates my male handiness of making sure everything works just right, eliminating the frustration of rickety hinges and squeaky doors, occasionally cleaning her car or making sure it’s filled with gas. She is a wise steward of money, investing regularly in her future and others that are less fortunate. She is grateful for the experiences I create for us, having appreciation for my contribution to the world.
She is engaging, well educated and adjusted. Having traveled through her own personal development, she’s surrendered the baggage of adolescence, replacing it with a valuable tool kit of ways to daily assure her happiness. She meets her own needs, yet appreciates the many complimentary gifts others bring to her in friendship. She wants me, but will never compromise her own values to have me. She stands her own ground, while creating a flirtatious dance of energy that fuels a state of anticipation, fanning the celebration of love. She shares her heart, her dreams and hopes from a place of connection, unattached to the outcomes. While she enjoys the company of gentlemen, she’s not over-consumed with dating the masses and has no complicated scenarios of obsessed ex-lovers creating needless drama creating a splintered heart of macro connections. She is honest and clear with her intentions and hasn’t the need to create stories to avoid revealing a double life. She is complete in her relationships that have clear boundaries, beginnings and ends.
Spiritual practice surrounding love.
She’s not a yogi or a belly dancer or healer or worker of light…whatever. She's neither hiding behind or arrogant with the titles and labels of religion or spiritual practices but rather connects regularly to something outside herself, living for meaning and bowing to a Higher Power and all the creative forms that shows itself to be. She won’t tolerate a complainer yet will meet the hurting and downtrodden with love and compassion. She embodies the essence of “namaste” to people, is living poetry-in-motion and draws from a deep well of love along her path. To know her, is to know the gentleness of God.
A strong flame of femininity.
She radiates the duality of both softness and power, a light beaming from her elegance that stirs hearts and mends the bonds between us. She stokes my fire of masculinity to own my power and embody manhood. Her fire burns so brightly, together we create the beauty of twin flames of encouragement, oxygenating the source within us.
She’s beautiful, not just because of the way she looks, but because of who she is. She’s one of those girls that never gets a second look because nobody ever turns away from the first one. She leads herself with her head and others with her heart. Her bare feet grace the earth with effervescence as she dances in a drum circle, yet also radiates glamour in the sexiest of cocktail dress. Cross cultural in her ways, without judgement of others and only a few preferences of her own, she smiles at me a hundred different ways, each of them melting me to a puddle and stirring my heart to a roaring flame all at the same time.
She is my next girlfriend.