One of the hardest things for me to do when I first started dating my husband was to stay present. See, from the very beginning I was really attracted to him and I felt as if I had known him my whole life. It just felt so easy to be myself with him.
This doesn’t mean that I wasn’t scared out of my mind, however. When I met my husband, I had been widowed for a little under a year. I had no intention of meeting anyone that night, and I certainly did not expect to meet the man I would marry a year later! I was unsure of myself, still healing from my loss, and positive that I would never really ever fall in love again.
And then life pleasantly surprised me!
As soon as we started talking, I felt he was someone I didn’t have to pretend with. He was so “real.” He didn’t seem to be trying to impress me (although he was), and we talked and talked about everything! Our first phone conversation lasted 7 hours!
And, even though things seemed to be going well, I was still terrified. He’d say something that would give me hope that maybe he was someone I could fall in love with again. Before you knew it, I was standing on a beach in an ivory-colored dress, declaring my love to him forever.
Or he’d say something that I didn’t like. And, all of a sudden, I would flash back into the past and remember an argument I’d had with my late husband or something that happened in my past that I did not want to repeat! Each time I fast-forwarded into the future or I hit the rewind button and blasted back into the past I was cheating myself out of experiencing and relishing in the present moment.
What I didn’t know then is how common this is among women. We are so afraid of “wasting our time,” getting hurt, or not ever finding the man who’s right for us, that we spend almost all of our time rewinding into the past (and comparing what’s happening not to it) or fast-forwarding to a future we have no way of knowing will come to pass.
And, all the while, we’re missing what’s actually happening here and now. We may either be ignoring the red flags that are warning us this isn’t the guy for us, or not paying attention to all of the ways that he is showing us that he may possibly be the right guy. In short, we cheat ourselves out of experiencing what is happening here and now, in the present.
So, what can women do to stay in the present moment when dating?
- Avoid asking questions and having conversations that are premature in nature. Many times, in our effort get reassurance from a man regarding of where the relationship is going and whether he’s “a keeper,” a woman will prematurely ask questions such as whether he plans to marry (or re-marry), have children (or more children), what his financial status is, and, later, where he thinks the relationship is headed. All of these things are important to know. However, they’re not the types of questions that necessarily need to be discussed on the first few dates. Similarly, asking him how he feels about you or whether he sees a future for the two of you, while obviously something you want to know, especially if you’ve been dating for a while, are conversations that are much more meaningful when they occur naturally in the course of going out together.
- Check in with ourselves to see how you are feeling when you’re with him. Rather than spending time wondering if he likes you, if he’s going to call, or if he’ll ask you out again, focus on how you’re feeling during the date. Do you like what you’re learning about him? Do you want to speak with him again? Would you like to go out with him again? Are you having a good time? Focusing on what’s going on inside of you will help you stay present-minded.
- Allow yourself to enjoy each stage of the relationship. Rather than trying to rush things to the next stage, allow the relationship to go at its own pace. Too many times, for example, women rush into having sex in an effort to make the relationship more intimate than they are at the time. Wondering and focusing on where the relationship is going can keep you from enjoying and appreciating what is happening right now. Instead, relax and relish in each moment you create and share together.
When we allow the relationship to unfold naturally, without trying to get him to tell us where he feels the relationship is headed or worrying about what he’s thinking or planning, we give ourselves permission to just be. Staying focused on the present moment, allows us to enjoy every step of the way toward creating the loving, tender, passionate relationship our hearts truly desire.
For a more in-depth conversation on what you can do to stay present, join the Intimacy Skills Training for Single Ladies on Tuesday, January 15th, at 9:00 p.m. EST/6:00 p.m. PST.
Questions? Comments? Let us know below! We love hearing from you!