Retrospectively, I know why meditation is important to me. This is what I experienced after one weekend of online dating.I meditate so that I can reflect on my experiences, both the delightful and the painful. [or should I say, a failed attempt at online dating because you need to have actually gone on a date for it be considered dating…right?Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor tradition; nor rumor; nor what is in a scripture; nor surmise; nor axiom; nor specious reasoning; nor bias towards one’s beliefs; nor upon another's seeming ability; nor upon the consideration, 'The monk is our teacher.' When you yourselves know: 'These things are good; these things are not blamable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness,' enter on and abide in them. His misspent past also includes stints as a pro-wrestling announcer, substitute teacher, video store clerk, martial arts instructor, crisis worker, and heavy metal musician.He is a lay member of the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives. There's no question in my mind: dating is dharma in action.‘ It’s just a matter of Find the life you want live, and you will attract the right person.Sitting around waiting for life to happen to you is not exactly attractive. Readers of my early ’00s newspaper column emailed me with hundreds of horror stories, and sometimes their experiences would bring tears to my eyes. Still, I remained gun-shy—thanks to overexposure to online dating’s downside.
The idea first comes up as a joke between me and my Tricycle editor: As a newly single Buddhist mom, why don’t I post my profile on a couple of the new online “dharma dating” sites, and write about my experiences? For years I’ve mocked the idea of shopping for a mate the way you’d shop for a book on (“Add This Man to My Cart! Once, while browsing for a used couch on Craigslist, I popped over to the Men Seeking Women section for a look, and the ads all ran together in my mind: 6-foot divorced sofa, 45, brown hair/blue eyes, overstuffed cushions, slightly cat-clawed, wants to spank you. In my twenties and early thirties, during the long periods when he and I weren’t a couple, I had explored a series of relationships with some wonderfully offbeat men: A Brazilian massage therapist who was paying for his master’s in somatic psychology by programming computers for a 900-line in Las Vegas.
I breeze through the questionnaire: How “green” am I? But just recently, I heard of an entirely new niche in the online dating market, for “conscious singles.” In this case, being conscious means living life in a thoughtful way, following a spiritual path, valuing nonsuperficial things when seeking a life partner. Perhaps my age (middle) and shape (no longer thin) and strong personality (pitta, remember?
He gave her the once-over, and just as she raised her hand to wave, the car sped away. Stunning tales of similarly dehumanizing behaviors abounded, and it also became clear that pretty much everyone was lying on their online profiles, often underreporting their age and weight.
Some of us are tempted to relive every dating mistake we’ve ever made in our mind, or worse, pay bitterness from a former relationship forward to the next people we meet. Sure, at first, it feels like your love is unshakeable and everlasting. I’m not saying that people DESERVE to have bad dates, but there are folks out there entertaining the mistaken idea that the world owes them a boy- or girlfriend. If you treat people like they are out for themselves and will betray you at the first available opportunity…you will probably find what you are looking for.
Four months later, you are shocked to find yourself wanting to smother him with a pillow because you can’t stand the way he grinds his teeth when he sleeps. In fact, this would be a good time to remind you that… In fact, we've all heard the story about people finding peace with singleness (Singlitude? )--and then meeting someone, throwing their entire world into disarray. If you expect the best from people while being clear about what those expectations are, you have a better than even chance of finding someone who can meet them. Learn to notice the warning signs and stop going out with them.