Naked Truth #1 – Meeting your soul mate could feel very different than you think
When I met my husband for the first time, he was a complete surprise—not an unexpected surprise, but a quiet one. I had arrived at the restaurant early. In fact, he had gotten lost and was at least 20 minutes late for our date. I was seated at the bar, and he walked over to me, took my hand in his, and said, “It is so nice to meet you.” The moment I lifted my gaze to meet his, I knew the meaning of the phrase, “The eyes are the windows to the soul.” I was staring into the eyes of the kindest person I had ever met. In that naked moment, he revealed himself to me and I to him. As someone who usually felt anxious on first dates, I was totally at ease.
The feeling I had that night, staring into the eyes of my future husband, took me by surprise. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before. There were no fireworks or fanfare. I didn’t feel butterflies in my stomach or light as air. Truth be told, I’d felt those things before… with my ex- husband, and 12 years later, I was asking for a divorce. This was different. It was like I’d come home and I was finally where I belonged.
So many people are stuck on the idea that when they meet the person they’re meant to spend the rest of their lives with, they’ll experience this overwhelming rush of adrenaline and excitement—that weak-in-the-knees feeling they talk about in movies. And when they don’t have that experience on the first couple of dates, they’re ready to write that person off convinced that he or she isn’t “the one.” But if you talk to people who are in loving, committed relationships, they’ll often say meeting their mate didn’t feel overwhelming or like some out-of-body experience—it just felt right. They will also say they didn’t fall for their partner overnight; their feelings came on slowly, and it wasn’t until weeks or months into dating that they realized they’d met someone they could spend the rest of their lives with.
So, if there are no butterflies or fireworks on a first date, how can you possibly know whether a person has the potential to be “the one?” Here are a few suggestions:
First, you need to see if you can find a handful of qualities you really admire about your date. When I first met my husband, I could see that he was kind, accomplished, present, self-aware, and generous, among other things. He was clearly a very special person, but he was also completely different from other men I’d dated. I honestly didn’t have a clue how we would fit together as a couple. I felt like I was in unknown territory. But just because it didn’t feel familiar didn’t mean it wasn’t right… which leads me to my second suggestion:
If someone you’re dating has some admirable qualities and is not like the people you usually date, you need to give him or her a real chance. If you’re like most people, you haven’t chosen the best partners in the past, which is why you’re still dating. To find the right person, you need to get out of your own way and date people who break the mold.
Third, with each date you should feel like you are learning more about each other and growing closer. This can take some time, so pay attention and tune in to subtle shifts in your feelings. Maybe you find that you can’t stop thinking about the cute gap between her teeth or how calls his grandmother every Sunday. It can takes time to develop a real friendship with someone new… and if you really think about it, a partner is actually a best friend that you have sex with.
If you met someone new and he or she hasn’t blown you away just yet, keep in mind that dating is a journey of the heart, but a racing heart isn’t always the best indication of a good match. If you’re out in the dating world, I encourage you to let go of your wild fantasies and expectations, get out of your own way, and give people more of a chance. Who knows? Your soul mate could be hiding in plain sight, and it’s only a matter of time before that person comes into focus.
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