What do you want your dating and love life to FEEL like? What is it that you want to EXPERIENCE?
I’ve come across quite a bit of jaded, exhausted, bitter, sad, hurting and/or bored people who are “tired” of dating. In fact, after breaking up with one lover and checking in with him, he said he was so tired of his repeated cycle that he might just marry the next woman who had all of her teeth, for simplicity sake.
I want to offer some food for thought and a perspective shift because I simply cannot imagine ever being tired of dating. DATING, to me, is so amazing, fun and adventurous. Sure, some people have challenging personalities, need a little self-improvement or simply are not for me but DATING! How can one be tired of dating?!?! I define “dating” or a “date” as the intentional time set aside to spend with someone I am drawn to on an emotional, sensual, physical, sexual, spiritual and/or mental level. I can never be tired of that!
Anyone can date. Married couples can date. Single people can date. Polyamorous people can date. Those in committed monogamous or open relationships prior to a formal marriage union can date. Dating doesn’t mean we are “this” or “that.” Dating, to me, means we have set aside INTENTIONAL time to spend together. Netflix and Chill can be a date. A baecation to Thailand can be a date. Eating dinner at Beauty and Essex can be a date. Going Salsa dancing can be a date. The activity of the date can vary.
Now that we know the definition of dating and understand that anyone in any situation whether single or not can date, let me explain why I NEVER get tired of dating!
I never get tired of dating because instead of focusing on character traits that I want in a potential long term partner that I start to check off the moment I meet them, in MY world of dating, I focus on what I want to FEEL and what I want my EXPERIENCE to be. Whether I’m with a new lover and it’s date one or we have known each other for years and are going on date number 40, I know that no matter the date type….biking together, eating together, having a picnic...I know what I want to FEEL and EXPERIENCE. And if what I FEEL or EXPERIENCE isn’t in alignment with my desires and values, then I change things up. Do you know what you want to feel and experience? When you shift your focus to this, it helps to create an environment of mindful, intentional and deliberate dating.
No matter the date type or who I am on a date with, these are the types of things I want to experience. Sensuality. Power. Provocation. Adventure. Rituals. Romance. Thrill. Enchantment. Delight. I want to feel sassy and sexy. I want to feel that yummy flirtatious energy. I want electricity. I want to feel desire and wantonness. I want subtle gestures and overt ones.
Therefore, even if I go on one date or ten dates, and it works out, or it doesn’t work out, I know that every moment of every date FELT good. Every moment was a wonderful, pleasurable experience. I never look back and say, “Oh I went out with three guys last year and none of them worked out, and I wasted my time.” What I do know is that I had awesome experiences last year. I went to a speakeasy, and I went to a burlesque show, and I went to St. Lucia. The food was yummy. The sex was hot. And that volcano crater spa clay treatment he surprised me with blew my mind.
This must be seen differently that serially dating for free meals and experiences. Remember, I said I’m into mindful, intentional dating. I don’t just date anyone. Whether you’re a friend or a lover or a colleague, of course, my hope is that you are a person of honor, integrity, character and more. I mean, come on, I expect that out of every human who is an active part of my life. BUT, if I am drawn to you on a romantic level and I want to explore, there is a purpose behind our time together.
I date because I am a sexual and sensual being attracted to people. I say that because otherwise, what I'd have are a bunch of friends I'm building lifelong friendships with. But the people I date, it’s more than a friendship. I am attracted to them in one way or another, and I want to explore what that means.
I don't know if I will ever marry or have children. And, as mentioned, I don’t date for free meals. In fact, I'm one of the best chefs I know. Beyond that, my favorite thing to do is to cook for my lovers. So for me, I date because there are certain experiences I want to have in my connection with my lovers.
I also date to build my connections with those I care about. I don't do fuck buddies. The men in my life aren't just dicks in a jar. They are a part of my life. Many, I have built a friendship with over time. They matter to me. Therefore, whether they are only in my life for six months, three years or a decade and that’s it, in the time that I have with them, I want to connect deeply, intimately and beautifully. That type of connection manifest in the time we spend together. The time we spent together is very different, intentionally than the time I spend with friends.
I want to dwell and play with seduction, flirtation, yum, desire, passion, pleasure and more in a way that’s not just platonic. (Otherwise, you're a friend and not a lover.) So when I date you...whether we're going to eat dinner, going on a walk, or traveling...it’s a way to explore those feelings and experiences that I take joy in having with someone else.
I asked my friends what did they want their dating life to FEEL like too. Here are some of their responses. Does any resonate with you?
“Relaxation, peace, mental arousal, physical synergy, and emotional safety. I want someone unselfish and willing to try new things and someone who realizes that physical intimacy may not always mean sex, sometimes just touch. Someone that will not make me feel like a perv or sex starved woman. Someone who might even awaken new things in me.” - D.M.
“I've never been asked, but I know that the main thing I want to feel is SAFE. Not necessarily physically (though you being able to throw hands can't hurt), but safe emotionally. I never open up because I never feel safe and I usually don't feel safe because I don't feel like I can trust with my heart. To feel like I can fall into someone and I don't have to carry all the bags alone. I also want to feel thought of. Sometimes I think because I'm helping so much, no one ever thinks I need anything. So in relationships, they forget to check in and say hey how's your day or is there anything I can do for you. Even if I don't need anything at that moment, just having someone ask means a lot.” - D.D.
“I want to experience FREEDOM in a relationship. Protecting your heart is so tiring. I want to let the walls down and know that in and out of his presence, my heart is protected, and I'm not alone.” J.T.
“I want to feel cared for. Secure. I want to know that I'm coming home to someone who loves me unconditionally. Who, times when the shit hits the fan, knows the difference between like and love, and knows that you can not like someone all the time, but that never touches the deep love that exists as a base. I want to feel supported. Cheered on. I want it to feel like there is an impenetrable bubble that houses my home base, where I can go and recharge with my partner in an exchange and renewal of energy that enables me to face whatever life throws at me next.” - R.F.
“I like feeling that my partner is my best friend and that I can be genuine all the time. Someone who understands my quirks and can laugh with me whenever the need arrives. I like my partner to be open minded and willing to participate in adventures with me. I cringe when I hear someone say they can't do something because their husband wouldn't like it or is afraid to do it or whatever the fuck else. This, as well as some of the other things that people have mentioned.” - C.R
“Yes!! My husband and I have been having this conversation a lot this past year. With all the changes, we've had to check in because what worked ten years ago, or five years ago, or five months ago even, might not work still. The path might have to change. If you're focused on certain acts, etc. you might be living the relationship of a different, past you. But focusing on what feeling you want means you're focused on the moving target. We realized we were both off target because we were still doing what “young us” used want. Feeling safe, supported, liked AND loved, chosen but not needed - all that leaves me space to pursue my personal joy.” - A.A.
“I want to feel safe and free, and I want it to burn. I want to be stimulated. The sex. The connection. I know what it feels like to be in a cold/dead relationship, just going through the motions. I don't ever want to feel that again.” - E.V.
“I want to experience with my lover a magical ordinary... Someone who makes everything feel so wildly new and surreal... like we’re cutting mangos together, and I'm feeding her, and she looks at me, and it's electric.” A.D.
“I want to feel safe also, and a big part of feeling safe for me is knowing that I'm free to be myself. I can be completely unfiltered, and uninhibited without fear of judgment.” N.L.
“Understanding, peace, reciprocity and freedom and as with all things I only state that which I've already proven I'm capable of providing. One who I can trust will represent and defend me in my absence to third parties would be golden as well. The feeling that "she gets me, and she challenges me to get better". M.T.
“Seen, and accepted. Mentally stimulated. Connected in heart and vision. All of this present heightens the physical and sexual attraction for me.” M.B.
“I want to experience a love so genuine and pure...... Love means respect, organic concern...... It means knowing I can do it all but loving me enough not to let me...... It means I can fall apart, and he's right there to catch..... It's transparent; it feels foreign but familiar....... It's emotional safety, free to be vulnerable....... It feels good and even in the bad times you see light and can remember the love.” N.B.
“I want to feel exuberance, unfiltered joy, calm and excitement just by being with this person. I want to feel cherished, cared for, uplifted. I want to feel desire and wonderment and overwhelmed with ecstasy and completion on such an intimate level that it scares me because it couldn't possibly be true. I want to feel powerful and peaceful and protected. I want to feel that I don't have to do it on my own, that I don't have to be at a certain level to receive what I deserve what that elusive level deserves. I want to feel a deep spiritual connection. I want to feel beyond the physical. I want to experience energy balances and intense surges and growth. I want to experience healthy challenges, support and growth. I want to experience adventure in even the little things. I want to experience love unconditionally. I want to experience openness and trust and vulnerability and offer the safety for that in return. I want to experience strength and stability and faith in another person. I want to experience companionship and unity and new experiences and daily activity and share that. I want to experience life, changes, humility and cockiness with someone I want there through it all and who wants to be there as well.” - L.N.
I ask you again. What do you want your dating and love life to FEEL like? What is it that you want to EXPERIENCE?
Think about your best friendships, relationships, jobs and life moments. Think about the feelings you have and name them. Think about the times when you feel most alive, free, liberated, content, supported and loved. Name the consistent experiences and feelings that accompany those things. That tends to be where you place a lot of value.
Asking these question changed my entire paradigm of dating and the choices I made. It changed how I listened to my intuition and even my attitude after things ended with lovers. Even if I went on ten dates with a guy and it didn't work out, I didn't feel like I wasted my time. My "experience" was still valued and honored even if he wasn't the one.
Once you know what you want to FEEL and EXPERIENCE, be sure to intentionally seek out moments with your lovers that allow for those desires.
Sheena LaShay is a Wild Magical Woman, Intellectual Sensual Shaman, and Cultural Provocateur. She stirs up controversy and yum by using sensuality, spiritual eroticism and movement to inspire women and men to reach their highest potential. She leads workshops, events, retreats and group trips around the world focusing on community, exploration and openness. She can also be found on for SheenaLaShay.com.
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