Friday, January 4, 2013

PowerLife Love:Dating

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__________________________________________ My mother, may she rest in peace, always said that people should not be allowed to marry until after 40 and by then they'll have better sense. She always got laughs whenever she said this and while I always appreciated her humor, I cannot agree with her assumption; people become wiser with age. I have met many people under 40 with great wisdom and maturity. At the same time, I have met people over 40 with the maturity of a toddler. I do believe, though, that my mother was on to something. Before we can think about finding a life-long mate, we need to take the time to know who we are whether the age is 18, 82 or anything between.

My love history includes two heterosexual marriages and two same gender relationships. The shortest was my first marriage which lasted 8 months. The longest was 15 years. Through them all, I was monogamous until the end. There were things that I liked about each person, and more things that I did not like. I am not in contact with anyone from my past relationships, which gives you an idea about how they all ended--not so well. 

I share this about myself because I am now thinking about dating again, and the Living PowerLife approach has helped me prepare. While before I would mostly let relationships happen to me and then hope for the best, today I expect to be intentional and knowledgeable. Intentional about who I allow into my life and knowledgeable about the kind of people who are good for me. Before exploring dating, though, let's review.

Beginning the Living PowerLife approach to health and well-being includes taking an objective assessment of where you are, who is important to you, where your attention and energy are focused, and how you feel. To do this means that you broaden your scope to examine your relationships, living habits, and diet. This is how to gain insight into what you have expected out of life in the past. With the new insight, you then narrow your scope to focus on yourself.  Think of a spotlight, you and a stage. The spotlight is your attention and the stage holds everything/one that is important to you. 

With Living PowerLife first, widen the light so that you can see the entire stage. In this light, you look at your past and present relationships and try to understand some of what they reveal about you. Second, narrow the light so that you see only yourself.When the light is on you, past hurts, accomplishments, and the emotions behind them come forward. Both lights have information about how you really feel about yourself, and how those feelings affected the decisions you have made. The entire process ends with you knowing who you are, accepting that person, and understanding where you want to go in the future. From there you accept yourself completely and start to make new decisions about how you want to live. 

Living PowerLife involves recognizing what makes you afraid, and facing those fears. All of the work until now has been personal and involved you alone. To prepare for dating, means that it is time to widen your focus again. It is time to broaden the spotlight so that it lights up your new stage. If you are like me, your stage may be smaller with fewer people and less clutter on it. You probably feel a little anxious about meeting new people and experiencing the rejection that sometimes comes with dating. On the other hand, you should feel much more confident about what you want, where you are going, and comfortable with your own company. This is power.

One day during one of my daily reading times, I ran across an article written to help people who wanted to stop thinking about an ex. The author suggested sitting down with pen and paper and making a good riddance list--all the things you will no longer have to put up with now that your ex is gone. You make the list by completing the sentence, no more... I gave it a try. While thinking about my most recent ex, I started a list. I was surprised by how effective this little doddle was. 

Some of the items were funny, and some not so much. Some were painful to remember. Some were even a surprise because as I wrote, more came to mind. All in all, in less than 30 minutes I had listed over 60 items on my good riddance list. Then I wondered how this could work in reverse. I put together a welcome here list for when I started to date again. My welcome here list is made up of all the attributes I want people in my life to have or appreciate. For instance, a person who appreciates direct communication is an item on my welcome here list. 

Are you ready to start working on your welcome here list? Get out a pen and notebook and finish this sentence; some more... List all of the attitudes, attributes, habits, likes, interests, hobbies, and talents that you want people to increase in your life. For example, one item on my list completes the sentence this way--some more laughter. Once you have completed your list, go back and read what you have. This is where you will start to identify the kind of people you want want to date. 

Remember, date with power.

From My PowerLife to Yours,


I especially want to thank my family as I take Living PowerLife into a new year. You have made my life richer, safer, and more loving than I could ever have imagined. Much respect.

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