Take the Time

Correct me if I’m wrong, but dating should probably not be an instant gratification exercise.

Actually, I am wrong. Folks can decide for themselves if that’s what they want it to be, and many do. Let’s find someone to whom we are vaguely attracted, make sure they’re minimally compatible and off we go. It’s a simple and fun game. Everyone’s a winner.

Maybe. In your twenties this might work. Maturity changes us in funny ways though, morphing our values and fiddling with our sense of attraction. One day that girl with a pack-a-day habit and a taste for bad-boys fills our dreams and the next she looks like a stinky tramp. That’s the way we work.

Just as learning a useful skill or studying for a qualification takes time and effort, so does learning how to be with people. Judgement, clarity, discernment, understanding and a little detachment require thought and even discipline. And that’s merely to get to know ourselves, the first step.

The difficulty lies with the fact that few people, if any, are around to guide us. My parents sure didn’t say:

You know, it will take a long time to understand yourself, and only if you carefully examine your actions over years. And then you will do well to apply the same kind of calm contemplation to finding the woman you want to be with as your spouse. It’s a serious business…ultimately, the most valuable of your life.

Yeah. That would have been useful.

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