#122 Man seeks help on rules of dating / communication rules
DEAR ABBY: I am newly single after a 30-year marriage. Would you please explain to me the protocol regarding intimacy? After how many dates is it appropriate to engage in intimacy? And afterward, should the man call the woman or the woman call the man?
How long should one wait before calling? I'm afraid if I call too soon I'll appear needy, and if I wait too long to call I'll appear to be a player. —TENTATIVE TOM IN TAMPA
DEAR TENTATIVE TOM: When an individual has reached middle age, that person is considered mature enough to know when he (or she) is comfortable enough with another person to engage in “intimacy.” No time limit is engraved in stone. As to who should call whom first to offer congratulations on a fine performance, there is no reason to stand on ceremony. Everyone likes a compliment, and a prompt, “Thank you for a wonderful time; it was great.” —ABBY
Hi Tom: You don't say whether you're divorced or a widower, I'll assume the former so as to make the reply equally valuable for other readers.
Things have changed considerably in the past 30 years. The communication model taught to you by your parents and teachers, the way of interacting and relating (verbally, non-verbally & psychically) that you used to attract and seduce your ex will produce more of the same (assuming again that you are divorced).
Your question about intimacy is misdirected, as though what a columnist thinks or would do would work for you. It's not even an appropriate question to ask a date because it's an experience, it's something that is naturally known (providing you are in-communication with each other). It is however a great topic for conversation with a date if you ask from a position of curiosity and not knowing.
Your concern reveals you have several misunderstandings, as though there are rules for doing "it" at a right time or a right way, as though intimacy has a beginning, middle, and end. Happy couples today know that doing the laundry or fixing the car is foreplay, that how you walk through the house is foreplay, that everything is foreplay,
A short answer to your inquiry is: Communication rules. Share every thought, all your fears and considerations (up front) with each date with an intention to create a safe space for the truth to be told. The key words here are “every” and “all.” The thought you hide will be the barrier to knowing and an experience of love. You must be willing at all times to not have the relationship so as to have a relationship. Communication always produces an experience of love.
Successful supportive mutually-satisfying relationships are generated through open, honest, and spontaneous communication, zero withholds. You have to be willing to let go of your understanding of communication so as to experience true intercourse.
First. Find yourself a friend who will share their experience of you with you. Tell him/her, “I need you to be brutally honest with me.” Good questions to ask your friend are: “What would you change about me?” “What do you think others think of me?” One sure but impractical way to experience enlightenment is to elicit such feedback from all 6+ billion people on the earth; you will then know who you are, that you are everyone. If you don't feel comfortable asking a friend then sit at a barstool and engage someone enough until you feel comfortable in asking, "I'm doing an evaluation of how I come across to others, would you do me a favor and give me some feedback?"
Next. Assuming again that you are divorced, any experience of love you may have experienced during your marriage just happened. I say this because towards the end of most marriages neither know how to recreate the experience of love within a single sit-down conversation. Typically, partners accumulate so many withholds that they can't experience the love that is always there. I'm assuming that you are typical and that you began the marriage with the implied non-verbal agreement to withhold certain thoughts from each other. This resulted in mediocrity with little or no joy and happiness. You have in fact mastered talking, but as we are discovering world-wide, talking is a barrier to enlightenment, to knowing, to harmony, to peace. Talking can only take us so far. The next gen curriculum is communication.
The study and practice of communication begins with completing your past, restoring/creating a condition of integrity, so that you don't accidentally, karmically, attract more of the same. Completing your past is referred to as creating space for something new. Remember, it was your leadership-communication model that masterminded (however unconscious you may have been) the divorce. It was your karma that had a need to bring someone into your life to mirror all that you didn't like about you. Your question reveals that you are virtually back at the same fork in the road you were at just before you met your ex. Now you have an opportunity to do what works. The Clearing Process (it's free) located at The Clearing House* will support you in restoring and maintaining your integrity.
One of the first questions you'll eventually be asked by a date will be something like, “Why did you get divorced?” Your reply will determine your path. If you are not yet committed to telling the truth you will magnetically attract someone similar to your ex so that you can discover where you blew it the first time around. If your new friend ends up not liking your ex then you'll know you have trashed-talked (badmouthed) your ex. If a new friend allows (supports) badmouthing in her space (without reminding you that you're doing it) it would reveal that you're still on the way down.
Clue: The outcome of your marriage was determined before you even met your ex. It was your integrity coupled with your leadership-communication skills that produced everything.
The secret to magnificent intimacy depends on whether you've learned to tell the truth and communicate responsibly without blaming. If you've acknowledged your addictions, to withholding thoughts, to make-wrongs, put downs, condescensions, and covert unconscious sexism, then you'll attract wonderful dates. If you're still stuck partially blaming your wife for how things turned out it will be a long hard road once again. If you only pretend to be responsible, “I accept full responsibility for masterminding the divorce” you'll get caught. Eventually your addiction to blaming will leak out, you'll unconsciously let slip a blaming communication on your first date. That, or you'll lie or withhold an important thought. People of your generation were trained to withhold thoughts, always for reasons, manipulations, or strategies. Withholds are in fact deceptions, they serve as barriers to the experience of communication, to clarity, to natural knowingness.
As far as dating goes: It will be virtually impossible for to you to socialize in the presence of available women without looking like a pathetic, horny, needy old geezer. The more you resist looking that way the more pathetic you'll look which will attract a fellow addict, a con who needs someone to fix. Your uncomfortableness is communicated non-verbally to any actualized woman.
I recommend that you give up searching. Immerse yourself in a hobby, activity, or community service. In so doing a woman who is whole and complete will like what she sees and want to hang around you. Once you don't need or want anyone (because you will be whole and complete) you'll be ready. It could take ten or more years to retrain yourself, to make yourself presentable.
Remember, a woman who seeks you out, one who finds a way to introduce herself to you, has chosen you. If you do the pursuing you won't find the one who admires you enough to initiate the relationship. When a woman chooses you you already know she envisions she can make it work, and it will, providing you have learned how to surrender, to let her be in charge of the remote. —With aloha, Gabby
* Here's four free communication processes in support of communication mastery—The Clearing House.
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