Tag Archives: perception

What You See, What I See | Single Dad Laughing

What You See, What I See | Single Dad Laughing.

Compassionate Dating?

Dear Heart,

Let me first commend you for taking the bold step of starting to date again! Well done! I know you were very anxious about dating again, because you prefer being in a relationship to searching for one. Let Us take a moment, to remind Our Self that attitude matters so much when dating. If you can approach dating with an excitement, thinking, “I may meet a great love today!” you can transform your dating jitters into something far more enjoyable.

I am not sure what part of Us can take responsibility for Our dreams, but We had a nightmare last week about this blind date. So many factors in the dream led to greater and greater anxiety before even meeting the date, so Our dream self was in no fit for anything…and We woke up with our physical heart thumping and the rest of Us very unsettled. To avoid having the chance to get anxious We scheduled the date right after a discussion of the Tao Te Ching (and I was actually a bit late as a result).

I came to the date, fully present and engaged, practicing Buddhism’s lovingkindness for this other individual who was seeking love. We were both searching for happiness, both for the evening and for our future. I came without expectation, without desperation, without a need to find a body to touch, or a heart to love. My attention was open, come what may.

So, Heart, you were open, but i also sense you were guarded in some small way…but no, that cannot be true. What I can see as being guarded is just less desperate and eager to find love. You were calm! It is amazing to see how you have evolved.

Our Mind was quite entertained and engaged by our date, wouldn’t you agree? The conversation flowed well and was deep while still being quite playful. Mind was definitely intrigued, but thankfully, not the only part of Us that was engaged…

A truly important feature to the experience of human love is physical chemistry. And, Body was not feeling intrigued by this date. Basically, Body was enjoying the wine and not expecting to be called up to bat on a first date. I had made it clear that I was not someone what wanted physical intimacy on a first date. Well, our date decided to kiss me, and We let it happen, but Body was shocked by the absolute absence of any feeling in response!

How many times have we all heard that the first kiss can really help determine if there is chemistry? I only partially bought it…I never had fireworks explode on a first kiss, but I have had bad ones before…but mostly I knew already that I was not interested before those former kisses occurred. Mind thought We wanted to see this man again, Heart was waiting to be more appealed to, but Body vetoed this poor man absolutely! Our kiss was so bad, that my lips did not feel like they were mine, and neither his nor mine felt like living flesh! It was too long for a first-date first kiss and it was not executed well. Our overall opinion went from an optimistic “there is potential here!” to a confident “there will be no second date!” in seconds.

Unfortunately, our first kiss was not our last kiss. He kissed me goodbye in the same way, causing me to endure it out of lovingkindness, but then having to laugh it away after I was safely in the subway station alone.

When this gentleman texted me eagerly this morning to ask for a second date, I had to reflect on how my open,genuine enjoyment of our time together could be perceived by a date as confirmation of equal attraction. I knew I had to refuse his request, but could not anticipate the task with joy. The truth of the matter was, I did enjoy myself, and I was glad to have met him. I think we had lots of things in common, but it was just simply and truly not enough for us to have a romantic relationship. I employed lovingkindness again in my reply.

I am curious, Heart, what you feel is the best way to date with compassion. There is so much advice that recommends being yourself when on a date, but in this world where love is so hard to feel on a day to day basis from strangers around us, I worry that my attitude of lovingkindness is not truly kind to the people who are misinterpreting it to mean I am really interested in them. Mind, is whispering these worries in my ear, so I am going to just say one more thing on this subject…mainly to Mind…

By practicing lovingkindness last night both my date and I had a wonderful night. By practicing lovingkindness as I told my date I was not interested in pursuing our relationship further, I received a very lovely and respectful response that seemed to only express gratitude as well. So my dears, let Us continue to practice lovingkindness, since it seems to be working just fine!



One of the Most Valuable Lessons I Ever Learned

One of the Most Valuable Lessons I Ever Learned.

“Everyone is dancing the best dance that he or she can.”

A beautiful reblog about changing perspectives on people in your lives. Check it out!

A Behavioral Economics approach to a Break-Up?

To other questioning Minds,

I have been taking a wonderful class through the Coursera.org website on irrational behavior. My professor is Dan Ariely, a leading researcher in Behavioral Economics. He began his career by examining patients perceptions of painful procedures. He had personally observed that all the nurses choose to complete the specific procedure as quickly as possible even if that meant more intense pain. He discovered that they believed they were correct that this way would be better than a longer, but less intensely painful procedure.

After doing many extensive tests, Ariely discovered two significant things. First, most people declared that they too would prefer the short/more intense procedure over the the longer/less intense one when given a hypothetical scenario. However, his second discovery clearly demonstrated that patients who had the shorter/more intense procedure indicated significantly more negativity than those who experience less intense pain over a longer time. He concluded that intensity is more of an indicator than duration in these case. So don’t rip that band-aid off to fast!

This had me wonder if there would be a similar occurrence between physical pain and emotional pain. Would longer periods of emotional pain that had less intensity of feeling perceived as preferable to short and intense bouts of high emotional pain?

Consider this as just food for thought: Would you prefer a fast, quick but extremely emotional break-up, or would you rather have your relationship die a slow death?

From my experience, the worst experience I had was the one that I had no warning about, which happened quickly and more completely uprooted my life. The other relationships had warning signs, and I was in prolonged contact with my ex as we sort of slowly extracted from each other in stages. I am NOT saying that this has any bearing on how much I loved each of these men. I am merely describing the break-up experience. In fact, the man with whom I had the worst break-up was probably the least well-matched to me…(or is that part of my perception of him now BECAUSE we had such a hard break-up?)

Another piece of this interesting study by Ariely was that people who went from high levels of pain to low levels had a more positive opinion of the procedure than those who ended on an intense pain level. This seems to support the idea that if it is all possible to “complete” your relationship (see my reblog of http://bit.ly/X4HmX4) on a high note!

This is a limited pool of data to draw from, but if any of you have opinions on this as a hypothetical or can draw on your own experience, I would be very interested in how you perceive your past break-ups! Perhaps, there is some irrational behavior going on when we try to go off our exes cold-turkey style!

Thanks for reading,

this Mind

p.s. See more of Dan Ariely on his website: http://danariely.com/

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