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Dharma and Dating
Answer
9/18/20 2:11 AM
Hi DhO friends,

Like many of you, I've been a long time meditator, have read Daniel's book, interested in paths and the spiritual and wholesome life in general. My mind seems to move more towards settling down in marriage. I don't know if I will be a celibate monk in this life. I know it's probably better to live in Brahmacharya (pure like a conch shell, away from the dusty life etc.) but I am willing to take full responsibility for my decisions. I am in my 30s and have zero dating experience.

I would just like to hear your opinions, that as serious practitioners did you look for partners who were also into this crazy (used affectionately) Dharma stuff? Did you look for a good person in general? Is compatibility the most important? How does one go about it? What are some tips for selecting a partner which would lead to a succesful long term marriage? What are some unexpected benefits you found in a happy married life? What are some downsides? I'm not even sure if I should talk to two people at once/ Anyways, please feel free to share your opinions without inhibition.

Sometimes I feel like giving up on this project thinking probabilistically: "There is 50 % chance of happiness if I end up in a bad marriage. There is 100 % chance of happiness if I continue on the path as a single person." Don't know if my thinking is wrong, but it makes sense to me.

RE: Dharma and Dating
Answer
9/18/20 3:54 AM as a reply to Mettafore.
Mettafore:
Hi DhO friends,

...

I would just like to hear your opinions, that as serious practitioners did you look for partners who were also into this crazy (used affectionately) Dharma stuff? Did you look for a good person in general? Is compatibility the most important? How does one go about it? What are some tips for selecting a partner which would lead to a succesful long term marriage? What are some unexpected benefits you found in a happy married life? What are some downsides? I'm not even sure if I should talk to two people at once/ Anyways, please feel free to share your opinions without inhibition.

...


I don't think it is necessary to restrict yourself to another meditator.


This additional information might be helpful:

You have to meet approximately 23 people to have a 50/50 chance of finding one who is compatible.
https://diamondcuttersintl.com/how-many-people-do-you-have-to-meet-to-find-your-soul-mate/


If you discuss these questions with a friend they will help you to fall in love:
https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/love-sex/relationships/a32618/36-questions-fall-in-love/


Some people are naturally good at interpreting signs of non verbal communications. If you are not one of these people you should start paying attention and start trying to get better at it.

Notice whether your attitudes about the relationship change after having sex. Your entire outlook on the subject, like whether you really feel lonely, or whether you want to commit to a legal contract, or how you feel about the person can change 180 degrees simply because of the change in hormone levels.

Clear verbal communication is one of the most important things in a relationship. For best results both of you have to be willing to understand this and attempt it. It's nice if both can communicate calmly but yelling and shouting is better than pouting. Some people come from families that communicate loudly and emotionally, it doesn't necessarily mean it is acrimonious. "I feel ____ when  you ___."  is a very useful template for smoothing out rough spots.

But you don't have to accept the role another persons sets you up to play in a dispute. If someone is angry, or nasty, you can stay calm and pleasant and friendly. You can stand up for yourself and your rights in a relationship while being pleasant and understanding of the other prerson's situation without giving in. If someone finds fault with you, you don't have to agree or get defensive.

RE: Dharma and Dating
Answer
9/18/20 4:59 AM as a reply to Mettafore.
For meeting, you should consider dating websites /apps as the most efficient path.  Which website will depend on your area.  Get a friend to take some nice pictures of yourself in different settings. For profile description include some pithy lines about things you enjoy doing or interesting factoids about yourself.  

Also for meeting you could go to meetups that involve things you're interested in.  Once you have gone a few times & are comfortable with the people there, you may identify someone of interest & ask them out on a date but also call out "no pressure" so it doesn't interfere with future group participation.

all above is moreso in a non pandemic world.  Of course be cautious/follow best practices.

For getting into relationship you should be open about your intent but also not overly intense about it.  For being in a relationship know that it is hard work but the first year or two or more should feel easy.  Long term it takes discipline on both parties & counseling.  The Gotmans research has shown that contempt is the one trait which dooms relationships to fail because it invalidates the other partners attempts to improve.

Just some thoughts on how I would think about it, if I had your goals & questions.

RE: Dharma and Dating
Answer
9/19/20 1:02 AM as a reply to Mettafore.
I've given this some thought. I used to think it was stupid for e.g., Christians to only go on Christian dating sites and such, but now I don't -- the reason is not so much that we want to find people who are into the exact same silly thing we are, but that we want to find someone who has deep, compatible life strategies and goals.

One relationship I had that eventually fell apart, I attribute its failure to having different strategies for being happy. This is a very big deal in a relationship. It might seem like you want to find a Buddhist, or a mediator, but what you really might be looking for is someone who has the same strategy you do about how to be happy.

I feel no need to be with anyone anymore, but I see it could be fine, as long as we're on the same page about this fundamental issue of how happiness must happen. Where does it come from? Can you depend on anyone else to provide happiness? These sorts of issues. The problem is that they're such deep issues that we rarely say them out loud or even realize what our own positions are.