Chapter 22 of my First book: Finding MY soulmate (a.k.a. becoming a believer in MY 4th Life Quadrant)

 In Book
C

CHAPTER 22: Finding MY soulmate (a.k.a. becoming a believer in MY 4th Life Quadrant)

DRAFT

Soulmate. Noun.

A person ideally suited to another as a close friend or romantic partner

It took me a while to finally come up with the wording
i.e. the naming convention
for MY 4th Life Quadrant.
I also took me some time to start spending some time in it.
Quality time that is. One of my Top 3 LOVE languages.

“I love it Dave! Captain Courageous is cute 😉
There’s something amazing about people who are not afraid to just be themselves”
– A very beautiful woman in MY Life

January 2015 to January 2018: Defining my Soulmate Quadrant. From theory to reality
If I got 5 cents for every time that someone told me that soulmates don’t exist, I would be a very wealthy Martian by now. “Dave. Get with it. Soulmates, they are like leprechauns, they don’t exist. You are going to have to settle for less!” Oops, I thought to myself. I had better rename my soulmate quadrant something else then. Maybe Life Partner? Or Better Half? Or Spouse? or Settling for Less? Well, I ended up renaming it. And then, renaming it again. Back and forth, between “soulmate” and one of the “other” names, often based on a recent conversation with someone, or after having read an article on the subject.  How many times did it change? I don’t remember, but it a was a lot.

In hindsight, I now realize that it was hard to stick up for something that, at the time, was a whole lot more theory than reality to me i.e. the concept of the soulmate. But since I was planning to devote a whole one of my Life Quadrants to it, I felt like it might be worth exploring. I had spent enough time exploring this topic through other people’s lenses, it was time to explore it through mine.

Well, to make a really long story, a little bit shorter, explore it I did, and I have decided to name this Life Quadrant my Soulmate Quadrant and, this time around, I am sticking to my guns, and my naming convention. These are the stories of how I was finally able to embark upon the part of my journey of exploration that ended up taking my 4th Life Quadrant from theory to reality, while at the same time, allowing me to meet a lot of very beautiful and caring women.  Including one who is currently exploring that quadrant with me, and I must say, I am enjoying her company. A LOT!

January 2015. Happy big 5-0. Ready to start dating again.
Start dating again? I had barely dated before. Prior to getting married, the longest that I had lasted in a relationship with a woman was 2 months. Twice. Prior to that, the record was 2 weeks. I had a lot of shorter relationships than those as well. Lots. But the minute that things would turn south, I was out. I believe that the author of “Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus” referred to it as a “rubber band” effect.  When I would start to get close to a woman, my rubber band would pull me back. In my case, pulling me so far back that I would back right out of the relationship, and on more than one occasion, regretting having done so.

Now, here I was, ready to hit the dating scene again.  This was after a self-imposed, 2-year hiatus on dating, during which time, I was going to take care of a few things on some other fronts first, namely on the Me, My Kids and My Career fronts (a.k.a. Life Quadrants). The dating and meeting women would have to wait. Well, the wait was finally over, as I told my best friend over beers celebrating my big 5-0, and the recent big drop in my weight.  I was primed and ready to go.  Humm. He thought to himself. “I might have someone in mind”. “I will put her in contact with you, if she is interested, and the two of you can take it from there.”

Boy, was she in for a treat. Little did she realize it, but she was about to be introduced to someone I am now referring to as Super Dave. He was, shall we say, a legend, in his own mind. Things were going well for Super Dave in those days. Things were finally going well for him at work and he was coming to grips with the demands of single parenthood and, he was even looking good in his new wardrobe, which had gone from a size XL to a size M.

But, there were a couple of other areas that Super Dave had not yet mastered. So, unless possessing the listening skills of a chair and the Emotional Intelligence of a rock were super powers, Dave had some more work to do. Some more work to do on himself. Was he aware of that at the time? Not!

He was so excited about his new look on the outside, that he had forgotten about all the stuff that he had on the inside. Well, he was about to find that out. Find out that his journey of self-discovery and self-transformation still had some ways to go. He was about to become aware that he still had a lot of work to do. But, luckily for him, he was going to have the opportunity to do some of that work with a very beautiful and very special person.

When it comes to being set up. Turns out, his best friend chose well. Best friends tend to do that. It might have something to do with them knowing your values and the type of person that you are. Well, we were introduced and we met. As mentioned, I had figured that my life transition was pretty much done. Health and wellness wise, maybe it was, at least in that quadrant I was getting close. But, on the relationship front, especially relationships with women, not even close. Wow! Can you say crash and burn? So much for my super powers. Welcome to the dating zone. Oh! Oh! I feel that elastic band starting to stretch. Time to bolt.

But then, something strange happened. I did not bolt. I stayed in the relationship. Even when things got a little rocky at times, I stayed. I stayed, and I learned. I stayed, and I grew. I grew as a person, and I grew as a Martian.  I learned about relationships, and I learned about myself.

She even taught me how a Martian can listen to someone from Venus. It was when we were walking in the park together one night, that she taught me the concept of listening. Quite the feat. In those days, my nickname was “David Walker Talker” and not “David Walker Listener”. She had the coolest way of conveying that message to me. I would love to share the approach with you but, as Tom Hanks mentions in Saving Private Ryan, “I think that I will keep that one to myself”.

Anyways. I had no idea that we were supposed to just listen at times, and not try and fix things. Interesting! You hear that Super Dave! Not everyone is interested in hearing about how you fixed yourself, and how others should emulate you. We are pleased to hear that your approach worked for you, but that is you. That does not mean that it will, or would, work for everybody else. O.k. Thanks for the feedback. Noted, for future reference.

Well, in the end, it turned out that our timing was not right. At least not right, in my finding my soulmate department, and not right, in her finding her soulmate department. But, the timing was perfect, in meeting someone who had the patience to help me take on another transition. In this case, a transition from rubber band man to someone who really appreciates the company of a beautiful, loving and caring woman. For that, she will always have a special place in my heart.

November 2015. Taking a first pass at my on-line dating profile. Un-Authentic ME.
It took me a few hours, but I had done it. After procrastinating, for I don’t know how long, I had put together the first draft of my on-line dating profile and it was “not that bad”, if I did say so myself.  But, I figured that I might want to get a second opinion, and who better for that, then my relationship counselor. Oh! Did I forget to mention it to you? That is how single people meet other single people these days, on-line. Yikes!  Hence my on-line profile.

Well, I shared it with her, and she was not impressed, not at all. “Dave. This is not you! What about your kids? There is no mention of your kids. You love your kids. They are such a big part of your life yet you don’t even mention them”. To which I replied, “I only have them one week out of two, if a woman does not like kids, she can still be with me, PART-TIME”. Yikes! What kind of soulmate is a part-time soulmate? Then she challenged me again, “Dave, what are all these activities that you list as things that you like to do? Have you even tried any of them?”. Yikes! O.k. Sounds like time to head back to the drawing board, or in this case, version 2.0 of my dating profile. Got it. Oh! and by the way. Any other advice? “Yes. Just be you Dave. Be the authentic you.”

November 2016. Exploring the top traits of my Soulmate. In theory, at least. As a start.
It had been a year since I had posted my profile on a couple of dating sites, but let’s juts say, I was struggling a bit in making the time (a.k.a. finding the courage) to reach out to prospective soulmates. For some reason, Captain Courageous had not yet shown up in this, his 4th Life Quadrant. All that to say that, there was not much action, nor progress, in making the theory real. So, I came up with an interim approach. I would explore the topic through one of my newly launched blogs.

I am giving myself full credit for tackling this topic as my 5th Blog, “Dave’s Top 5 List: Top 5 10 Traits of MY Soulmate”. I even elicited the help of several denizens of the planet Venus.  In hindsight, connecting with a couple of Martians might have been insightful as well, but it might also have proven more difficult, since the topic is not something we Martians like to chat openly about.

Ironically enough, this blog turned out to be the only one of my “Top 5 list blogs” that turned into a top 10 List. A sure sign that one is having trouble identifying, the TOP traits. I won’t repeat the whole Blog here, feel free to read it at your leisure on my website, but guess which trait came in at #1?

I will give you a hint. It starts with a C. If you guessed “Communication”, you are right. Oh, and our good friend, “Trust”? Right up there as well. Oh, and being authentic? That one came across, loud and clear from all of my female collaborators. Supposedly, if I portray myself as someone that I am not, then I am going to attract women that are looking for someone else. They are not going to want to stay long with me nor, supposedly, will I want them to.

Oh, and one more concept to share, from one of my collaborators. “Things will just flow” she told me. Interesting. And how will I know when that happens? I asked. Her reply, “YOU will just know”. O.k. Well, I have not felt that one before, but it sounded kind of cool, so I was looking forward to it. But first, there was one small detail to work out, and that was actually reaching out to women in the first place. There was not going to be a whole lot of “flowing” unless I started connecting. Captain Courageous. Where are you?

Spring 2017. Starting to make the theory real. Hitting the dating sites. From Fear to Fun.
Spring is in the air. Love is in the air. But, for some reason, I don’t have a whole lot of messages in my dating site in-box. Not too surprising, given that I am still not sending out a whole lot of them, or any of them, for that matter.  Funny, I have recently developed the courage to reach out to just about anyone to see how I can help them out as a coach and storyteller. I actually enjoy it. Too much at times.  A lot of my other business-related activities are suffering because of it. They are just not as much fun. Yet, and, here is where my questioning comes in, what is stopping me from doing the same in my quest for my potential soulmate? i.e. what is stopping me from reaching out to them?

I had tried everything to make it EASYER on myself. Scheduling time in the morning when I am most energized. Scheduling time on my weekends, when I didn’t have the kids. It was the strangest thing. And then one day, it just seemed to click. In hindsight, I think that is the day when a whole bunch of things just clicked. Although I was not doing a whole lot of reaching out, I was doing some, and, so far, the results were way more positive than negative, which I found encouraging. More evidence, as I call it, that action, results in good things happening, if you persist. Some women were even courageous enough to reach out to me.

And guess what? We seemed to share similar values. Humm. I guess my authentic ME dating profile was a good idea after all. Thanks relationship counselor! Before I knew it, I was experiencing even more positive consequences of my actions, from both my proactive, and reactive ones. Before you knew it, I was experiencing the M word. Momentum. I was starting to have fun. I was no longer feeling dread at going on the dating application. It no longer felt like a chore. I was actually going on it, at the end of the day, when I had the least amount of energy, and it gave me energy! How cool is that!

Then, to top it all off, one of my friends, one from Venus, let me in on a little secret. Supposedly women like men who write. Now, I realize that she might be sharing that one thought through her own lens, but who cares. I was now into writing, so I was going to write. So, all of a sudden, I was no longer staring at someone’s profile, struggling to come up with some way to connect with them, I was now composing a story, to share with them. Just like with my blogs, it was up to them to choose to read it, or not. I felt good, often great, just sharing it. Just like with my blogs, I felt so excited to hit the publish button when I was ready to share, in this case, it was the send button.

And sure enough, just as hypothesized in my blog, the women who shared my values and appreciated my honesty and authenticity, were the ones who reached out. The others did not. I even met a few women who, although we did not become soulmates, would later become friends. How cool is that!  Beats the hell out of watching movies all by myself in my basement on the weekends, like I used to do.

May 2017.  It takes TWO to tango. Well, It also takes time to Tango. Quality time.
Despite my newfound comfort in reaching out to women, it was one who had previously reached out to me, that had my undivided attention in those days. Her name is Qita. She had reached out to me in the fall, apparently, my profile, my authentic one, resonated with her.

We decided to meet, as friends at first, and share our respective stories, and journeys and, wait for it, our values. It turned out that my values GPS was coming in handy after all.  As it turned out, we had a lot of them in common, including a love for children, our children (Yes, the ones that I was trying to hide in my previous profile) and, get this, my #2 value, “learning and growth”. Can you say growth mindset? She could.

Apparently, we had some other things in common as well, because we eventually decided to take our relationship to the next level. And you know what? It has been flowing ever since. And by flowing, I mean, across the board, especially on the communication front. Unlike in the past, I am now sharing my thoughts and feelings.  All of them. Nothing is taboo, and, so far, nothing nasty has happened top me. Just the opposite, there is a real trust that has developed between the two of us.

Yes. Communication and Trust. It seems like the advice in the blog was right. And best of all, as that Venusian contributor mentioned in the blog, it will “just feel right”, and so far, it does. Although I am only in the early stages of this relationship and time will ultimately determine if this is my soulmate or not, things are flowing. Things are flowing! How cool is that! It feels right, and the timing feels right, this time around, but there is just one little issue, more like a challenge.

And that challenge is, wait for it, TIME. I have been juggling 3 Life Quadrants for the better part of 3 years now, and I am an accountant and not a juggler. Now, all of a sudden, the theory has become real, and now, I not only need to, but I want to, make time in my life for someone else. Talk about a reality check. Ready or not, the 4th Life Quadrant is now up and running. No more theory Davey Boy, it is real now. Date nights. Vacation time together. Just plain talking and spending time together. They all take time and I have a business to run, and so does she. I have kids to take care of, and so does she. I have family and friends to connect with, and so does she. Yikes! Four quadrants! Quality time in four quadrants! Yikes! Can you say balance? Forget saying it, can you say live it? Live it, day in, and day out.

Well, we have put people on the moon, so I am confident that we will figure out a way to make this one work. Notice that I said WE, and not ME. Remember it takes TWO to TANGO. Sounds like a little re-prioritization is in order. Sounds like it is time to change a few old routines, and maybe even start a few new ones. But where there is a will, there is a way, and in this case, our will, is our desire to spend quality time together.

And guess what? We both did the “Love languages” self-assessment a little while ago, and, as it turns out, we both have the same primary love language in common, “Quality Time”. O.k. Not in first place, but following very closely behind. How cool is that?

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So, What did I learn?

How did I make change EASYer on myself 😊 (or not ☹)

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“Communication to a relationship is like water to a plant”. I am not sure who came up with that saying but I just love it. And by communication, my hypothesis is that, they meant open and honest communication. And that takes work, a lot of work, and a lot of courage, and a lot of trust. EASYer said than done when the initial stage of the relationship or “honeymoon phase”, as Gary Chapman refers to it, in his book, “The 5 Love Language”, is over. Whether it is at the end of that so-called honeymoon phase, or a bit later on, a lot of people just seem to stop working the communications front. And the results are not pretty.

As Gary shares in his book, “Presently 40 percent of first marriages in this country end in divorce. Sixty percent of second marriages and 75 percent of third marriages end the same way.” And if those statistics are not discouraging enough, just think of all the relationships and marriages where people are still together but have really grown apart. They are physically together but not emotionally. Not a pretty picture ☹. It does not sound like there is a lot of WORK happening on the communications front these days, at least not among a lot of couples.

Funny how we hear lots of advice these days to take self-care of oneself and care of our kids and other family members but, and maybe this is just me, there does not seem to be as strong a message out there to take care of our life partner and our relationship with our life partner. They often seem to end up coming in last. Funny how that works. They are the one with which we will likely spend the most time with, relationship wise, over the course of our lives, yet they are often last on the relationship maintenance front.

Well here is to communication and here is to communicating with one’s soulmate. You hear that Qita! I am committing to keeping the communication going post honeymoon phase. I can’t think of an EASYer way to both maintaining and taking our relationship to the next level than communication (i.e. watering our plant). 😊 But don’t forget, it takes TWO to Tango. So, keep me honest. I promise to do the same with you. To do the same with you because I love you!

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That was all about me. What about YOU?What are you doing to make your journey of change EASYer on YOU😊 (or not ☹)

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How are things flowing in your soulmate quadrant?

Is it time for a little more quality time?

 

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