Sometimes Love Arrives in Packages We Aren’t Expecting

My son Wyatt

My sister recently shared an email with me that was from a consultant she follows named Ritu. In the email, Ritu talks about reframing our thoughts on love and the different ways it may show up in our lives. She included a quote from Bishop Jakes that went something like this:

“We expect to find the love we want in the packages we want it to be in. But the Universe sends us the love we need, often in packages we might not expect.”

It was a timely email to read because I’ve been thinking lately about sharing how love arrived on my doorstep last fall in a package I hadn’t been expecting.

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My Advice to a Newly Engaged Man? Never Stop Dating Each Other

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There’s a younger man in my office who recently became engaged. He met his now-fiancé in high school and had been dating her for the past 12+ years. When he told me he had proposed, I congratulated him then asked if he’d like a little piece of advice. 

“Of course,” he replied.

I said, “Never stop dating each other.”

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Finding the Right Person is Like Finding the Right Mug

Ever notice when you find the right mug–one where the character and quality feel really good–it can positively enhance your coffee or tea experience?

I’ve discovered the same is true for finding the right person. Not that finding the right person will only enhance our coffee or tea experience, but all of life’s experiences as well. And the right person must feel good from the start, just the way they are.

I’ve learned this lesson about the similarities between finding the right mug and finding the right person the hard way by mistakes I’ve made in the past.

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7 More Songs for the Last Few Months on Bumble

Photo credit: Sanita Kalnite

After spending over a year on the dating app Bumble, I’ve decided to call it quits for awhile. I’ve deleted the app from my phone and am now using the time I spent swiping, chatting and meeting people to focus on other things.

As I look back and review my time spent on the app, songs always have a way of bubbling up in my head to characterize the experience. In addition to my post, 7 Songs for 7 Months on Bumble, here are 7 more songs that capture the final few months:

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Three Relationship Questions to Ask

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“Are you in a relationship with him?”

This question always baffles me. When I’m asked this, my reply is “Of course I’m in a relationship with him–we are relating to each other.” In my opinion, aren’t we in some type of relationship with everyone in our lives? Aren’t we in a relationship with the people in our family? With our friends? Our co-workers? Our neighbors? With ourselves?

So the question, “Are you in a relationship with him?” isn’t enough for me. There are other more meaningful questions to ask–questions that get to the heart of the things. 

Here are three more meaningful questions to ask:

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7 Songs for 7 Months on Bumble

Photo credit: Sanita Kalnite

Spending the last seven months on the dating app Bumble has been an educational experience.

I’ve been taking a dive into the wild and a bit wacky world of online dating. When I first started this foray, I quickly discovered there were a lot of things I didn’t know. I found myself googling a number of words I’d never heard before. What’s a sapiophile? A pluviophile? And then there’s all the acronyms and terms. LTR. FWB. Ghosting. And what does that symbol mean?!

There was so much to learn.

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Getting Still

I have a problem with getting still.

When I’m faced with a situation and not sure what to do or believe, a friend told me to get still and listen to my gut–that it knows.

But I have a problem with getting still. 

When I am still, the silence can be agony for me. When I wait for an answer to an important question, a text reply from someone, or a response from an on-line blog on a piece I submitted, and sit in silence, it can be agonizing. When I am still, my mind makes up all kinds of stories to fill the silent space. 

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What Fills Your Love Bucket? Seven Things To Keep In Mind

Healthy, meaningful relationships take work. Attention needs to be paid to what matters to each person involved.

It’s like each person in the relationship has a Love Bucket with a small hole at the bottom. In order for each person to feel loved and emotionally secure in the relationship, regular deposits need to be made into their Love Bucket. If regular deposits are not made, the Love Bucket slowly drains until it is empty.

This is not a good place to be.

In order to maintain a healthy, full Love Bucket, it is important to be aware of the following seven things:

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It’s The Marriage That’s Broken, Not The Home

When most people ask why my marriage ended, I usually reply that we were never doing the same dance. It was much more complicated than that, of course, but this describes the gist of it. I needed marriage to be a tango and he needed a line dance–two very different things.

I stayed a lot longer than I should have for a variety of reasons, one of which was that I did not want to be divorced. I did not want my kids to be from a “broken home”. 

But since we weren’t doing the same dance, there was no love connection. Even though we were living under the same roof, in a sense we were already separated and our “home” was already broken.

In Grounded Spirituality, Jeff Brown writes:

..many seemingly intact families are deeply broken…a home is not broken when parents are separated or divorced. A home is broken when there is an absence of love.”

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You Better Shop Around: Seven Strategies for Seeking that Special Someone

Now that I am no longer married, I’ve decided to take a peek into the wide world of dating. Although I know I am capable of living alone, I’d much rather be in a relationship–to have that special someone by my side to share tacos, sunsets and all the other joys of life. 

I want to be purposeful about the process—to be mindful and take it seriously–but also stay lighthearted, have fun, and try to see the humor in all of it. I’ve joined a few meet-up groups and have created profiles on a few dating apps. As I have been swiping left and right, I was amused to find the voice of Toni Tennille singing “You Better Shop Around” running through my head:

 “Try to get yourself a bargain, girl
Don't be sold on the very first one
Good-looking guys come a dime a dozen
Try to find the one who's gonna give you true loving

Before you take someone and say I do, now
Make sure he's in love with you, now
Make sure that his love is true, now
I hate to see you feeling sad and blue, now

My momma told me, you better shop around”
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