I recently entered into a relationship after many years of avoiding relationships and it was an absolutely amazing experience for me.
My first date with this man was lined up to be for one afternoon after work. We had arranged to meet for dinner. As I was preparing to leave work I felt a little bit of nervousness, but when I got into my car this passed, and as I drove towards the restaurant I felt a deep settlement in my body. I felt much more of a woman. It was a truly incredible experience as I hadn’t ever felt anything to this depth within myself before. All feelings of nervousness were no longer there and there was just a feeling of absoluteness, knowing and grace.
When I arrived and met my date we decided to go for a walk before having dinner. As we walked along the river a bird was flying along beside us about 2 to 3 metres away. It kept flying at a height just above our heads then plummeting straight down into the water only to come back up and do this again. It did it for the whole length of our walk. We looked at it and laughed. It was a bit of a sign saying, jump right in — something I often wouldn’t do for fear of getting hurt or rejected.
There was such an ease to being with this man and he shared he felt the same with me.
I hadn’t gone to the date with any expectations or pictures, there was just an openness to meeting him.
We connected over dinner and the conversation was easy and flowed. I left the date with the same feeling as when I drove to it, this in itself was pretty cool for me. I haven’t ever really found it easy to open up with men but there was something about this man that I trusted and the ease I felt around him was a new marker of how I could just be myself with another – no trying to impress or needing to be anything.
Over the next few days we continued to communicate over text message and decided to meet up for dinner again a few days later. He arrived at my house to pick me up and this time some nervousness had crept in. We went to dinner and the conversation didn’t flow as much and it was a bit awkward in moments. On the way home he shared that he had felt a bit nervous about what to expect on a second date and had even googled it. I shared that I felt a bit the same and could feel how we had both now had pictures creeping in of ‘measuring’ each other and where this was going and how it would work etc., instead of just staying with what we felt.
We decided to take the pressure off it needing to be anything and from here our dates changed a fair bit. We loved hanging out together. Previously I have avoided spending time with the same person but this guy somehow found his way in and I just loved being around him. Our dates from this point changed – they were pretty unconventional and included things like helping with a work project, cleaning a property, taking a friend’s kids out for the day and meeting his family at a busy and hectic market – they were all pretty funny experiences but allowed us to get to know each other more just through living life together.
Over the next few weeks it grew into a relationship and this for me was the first relationship where I felt that I was actually myself in it. I wasn’t perfect but I felt a total ease within myself and I was able to open up with this man in a way that I have never opened up with another before.
Through this I started to learn much more about myself. I always had this idea that I wasn’t good at relationships but this experience was starting to totally bust this open for me. I got to learn that I actually wasn’t this standoffish person, but that I had an amazing capacity to express love. I had held this back for a long time but was now at a place within myself where I had dropped a lot of the protection and was able to open up in this way and it was an amazing feeling.
I adored this man and didn’t hold this back. At times he said he felt it was a bit difficult to accept the love as he had stuff coming up with that, I wobbled and held back a little bit but soon came back to sharing with him how I felt about him.
From being with him I learnt how I am able to hold people and express a huge amount of love (yes, this wasn’t perfect and there was need in there too at times) but I got to see that what I bring and offer another is absolute gold when I let it out and I got to feel the difference that it makes to someone.
The more that I expressed this my body started to change. I felt more beautiful in myself as a woman, I walked taller and my face got softer. Other aspects and relationships in my life also started to change. I became more of myself at work and was opening up with others more too.
I got to see that when I come from love it makes a huge difference to others.
I stopped getting so invested in or intense about things and was more able to allow things to be.
The relationship lasted for a couple of months before ending. When it ended I didn’t have any resentment or bitterness. There was still just a feeling of accepting and still deeply loving this man, even though the way this would be expressed would change.
I did have feelings come up of missing him and missing the connection that we had and also an old pattern resurfaced for a few days of wanting to hold back love and not let anyone in.
However, what I came to realise was that love wasn’t tied to the relationship. It was something that came from within me that I allowed out to be expressed with another and that this didn’t lessen or leave me because I was no longer in a relationship.
I also got to feel and realise that the depth and level of love that was expressed in this relationship is a depth that sometimes people never get to experience in their whole life: that people can be in relationships but it can actually be quite lonely. I had all the pictures and thoughts come up that for it to be a ‘successful’ relationship there needed to be wedding bells and happily ever after. However, I got to see that even though it ended, for me it was a truly successful relationship because through it I learnt to express love in a way that I never have before, and this stays with me.
It is now there as the foundation for my next relationship. It’s my starting point, and from there I know that my expression of love can only get deeper and grow.
I also learnt that I don’t need to hold myself back in celebrating and enjoying myself as a woman.
This came out more in this relationship because it was there in me to be let out. The relationship – and its ending – showed me that I can continue to get to know, enjoy and express this side of me, regardless of whether I’m in a relationship with another. Being in this relationship was an amazing experience for me as I started to let more of myself out and share this with another. Through this relationship I have learnt that I can continue to bring this quality and a deepening connection to all of my relationships.
For further inspiration …
Saying ‘no’ to the pictures and ‘yes’ to loving ourselves, first – Adele’s experience.
A powerful audio – what is true love?
Loving ourselves is the path to true love with another.. read Zofia’s story on dating and finding true love.