How Do You Know?

Last week, a friend and I were chatting and we got into the topic of ‘just knowing’ that the person you were with was the one you were going to significantly be with. Both of us wondered how people ‘just knew.’  Also, how do you know the other person got the memo?  There are, after all, two people in a relationship.

 

And once you both know, can your past or the stuff that happened with your parents influence you into not knowing?

 

Almost fifteen years ago (was it that long ago?), I thought I knew. I, we, were both so confident in the fact that we would be together that we spoke of marriage, children, where we would live etc. I was so sure that I failed to see how his dreams and mine just didn’t align. In fact, I was so sure that I didn’t even make my own dreams.

 

We were so young that we didn’t even know ourselves, so how could we possibly know we wanted to be with each other? When I started to explore my dreams, I realised that trying to be the person who fit into his dreams would be the end of me.

 

Then about seven years ago, it happened again.

 

This time though, it was more that I really wanted to know. Perhaps we both did in a way. We worked the social scene well, but he never really met any of my friends. Because I was the nomad and wasn’t fully rooted here, I was just sort of absorbed into his social life. There was a lot about the friends and family that I loved, but in a way, I wonder if I distracted myself into this elusive ‘knowing’. At some point, you have to wonder about not being able to have a meal together without the television on or just being able to do simple things together, like go for a walk in the sun, or go to the beach, things that require you to actually be together.

 

Maybe it is a personality thing.

 

I’m such a sucker for love stories it’s quite worrying.  In my travels I have friends who met their current partners when they were 19 or even younger than that. Somehow, they knew then and they know now. Something about their knowing allowed them the space to explore their dreams with the comfort of having a place to land in the end. Then I’ve met people who know within the first few meetings.  Then I’ve also met people who don’t worry about knowing for sure and just go with it.  And yet I also know people who might know but will analyse and second-guess themselves into not knowing.

 

Is it the curse of the thinker to never find this kind of knowing? – The kind that comes from deep wisdom and intuition instead of the head.

 

Or is it such that when the time comes, your heart will just know and your head will shut the fuck up?

 

Perhaps you can’t know until you truly know yourself and embrace the parts that you keep hidden from the world. Until then perhaps you will date the job title, the big car, the physically attractive person who will look good together walking hand in hand and at social events. It is perhaps not until you know the loneliness of that of relationship that you understand that perfection might not be perfect.

 

It is all an exploration isn’t it?

 

This knowing is such a mystery.

 

I don’t know how to know but I know that I can’t start to know until we can see each other without the glitz and the glamour (in my world, it includes being sweaty, smelly and occasionally teary and snotty as well). We can’t know until we can laugh with (and at) each other, fall over, make really bad jokes, go through conflict and recover, be in silence together, know how to tease each other, have conversations and walk, just walk without having to do.

 

We can’t know until we can just be together – you and me.  No candles or flowers, no sweeping off feet (definitely no sweeping off the feet), no social spotlight, just us being apart of each others’ unglamourous and sometimes even mundane and uninteresting lives.

 

Will I ever ‘just know’?

 

Perhaps I did.

 

But perhaps really knowing is over rated.

 

Perhaps it is just knowing enough, letting go of perfection and expectation, and then taking a leap of faith with the rest.  Perhaps it is a degree of surrender and a lot of trust.  What is life after all without taking some leaps and what value is love if there is no risk involved? And what can we know until we know?

ImageSoul Mates and Twin Souls by Dr. Tan Kheng Koo

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Online Dating – Just Not My Thing

I am a single woman in my 30s.  Having ended a relationship over a year ago, I had decided to embark on a journey on my own for a year.  Well, that year ended, and I found it was time to get back on the horse, so to speak.  Although I have a somewhat active social life, it is now more restrained that it was previously.  Gone are the nights spent in dance clubs and weekends spent in hangover-ville, to be replaced with meals with friends, yoga classes, and socialising within the same community.  Having exhausted options to meet men in my circle, especially since the yoga community is at the moment made up of 90% women, (guys, come on, get your assess into the studio will you?) I was led to the only option (apparently) left.

Love

Love

So, in an attempt to get back in the market, I joined an online dating site. I’ve heard that some people find these sites highly effective.  However, one might need to go through hundreds of profiles to find one that fits.  So, not wanting to have to scroll through hundreds of personals, I joined one of the sites where people are matched with you based on some form compatibility.  What could be compatible with a Muslim yogini ex traditional Malay dancer with one foot in the yoga community and another foot in the corporate world, and dyed red hair to top it off, I honestly don’t know.

So anyway, there were a few nice guys on there, and a few weirdos as usually happens on an online dating site, well, and real life. The fact that I didn’t end up dating one of them for a fun time is a big step forward for me. To be completely honest, I met a couple of people who if I had met in any other circumstance would have become friends.  I am told that the site I am on is more “serious,” for people who really want a relationship, which according to some, it looks like I don’t.  And herein lies the problem.  It’s not that I am 100% not open to a relationship.  The fact that I am on a dating website proves that this is not the case.  It’s that either date or part mentality, leaving no space for anything else.  Those who know me know that I don’t work well within black and white situations.

It seems to me that a lot of times, everything else we do is something to tick off the list.  Finish school, check.  Go to university or trade school or whatever, check.  Relationship, check.  Marriage, check. Baby, check. And the truth of the matter is, I don’t want a relationship to be something that I am checking off a list of things to do.  Perhaps I am a dreamer or a silly idealist, but whatever happened to the magic of infatuation? And then from that infatuation leading into love? Or a friendship that blossoms over time into something more? Or even letting go of force and allowing something to develop organically? We rush everything, and this is just something I don’t want to rush.  When you go on that first date generated from an online meet, it is make or break. The option of becoming friends is just taken out of the equation, because of course, when we’re on dating websites, we have everything else in life but a relationship, so that becomes a goal.

A relationship as a goal? I can’t deal with that.

It seems sometimes that although we want relationships, we are not really open to falling in love.  Yes of course it is important to have an idea of what you want in a man, but which attributes matter to us, and at what point do these attributes become another thing we are doing more for the benefit of everyone else? It seems with all the logic and algorithms and boxes to tick, that everything comes from thought and intellect, but what is love if not a matter of the heart, a matter of feeling? Sure, there’s sex, but if there’s anything I’ve seen in our society is that although we have sex with more people in our lifetimes, we’re actually more likely to have some barriers up (including alcohol) and therefore less likely to be intimate.

I strongly believe in surrendering to what is, and that nothing happens until it is time to happen.  We need only be open to it happening.  There is effort and push in everything, and perhaps in this matter, there need not be.  So perhaps, it’s time I shut the account and allow what will be to be.  After all, if one doesn’t fall in love, it doesn’t mean that one leads a loveless life. And being alone doesn’t mean that one is lonely. Call me old fashioned. Call me a confirmed old spinster. Call me a hopeless romantic, or just call me plain hopeless, but you know what? For some things in life, it’s really great to just be able to trust and surrender.