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Can you completely relax with this person? If so, there is deep trust, foundation of lasting relationships.
Has your health deteriorated since dating them? If so, and there’s no obvious physical cause, move on. Tricky because dating raises stress levels, which affect our immune system, which IS our health. Give it time. There’s EUstress and there’s DIStress. Know difference. Work with a certified EQ coach.
6. ZEN: “We do not want churches because they will teach us to quarrel about God.” Chief Joseph EQ COMPETENCY: Constructive discontent.
When there are disagreements, figure out what you’re really arguing about. If it’s just semantics, it’s just semantics.
It was in vogue, for instance, in Renaissance to debate how many angels would fit on head of a pin. This is hardly likely to play itself out in how person lives their life. It’s an intellectual exercise.
7. ZEN: “A mind all logic is like a knife all blade. It makes hand bleed that uses it.” Rabindranath Tagore EQ COMPETENCY: Integrated self. The interface between intellect and emotions.
Someone who engages in intellectual repartee about matters of heart hasn’t got it together, and you don’t need to get-together with them. Wouldn’t you rather be loved than understood, if it came to that (and it will)?
8. ZEN: “Beware, as they say, of mistaking finger for moon when you’re pointing at it.” John Cage EQ COMPETENCY: Intentionality.
Date person long enough to determine that when they talk about their religious beliefs, they have intention to follow them. In other words, they’re not just repeating something they memorized, or just saying what they think you want to hear. Someone deeply in that delicious falling-in-love stage will do this. Haven’t you? That’s why we take our time. 9. ZEN: “The first sign of your becoming religious is that you are becoming cheerful.” Swami Vivekananda EQ COMPETENCY: Positive attitude, optimism.
IF you believe this is test of “being religious,” then Swami Vivekananda is man for you. If you prefer a person with a positive attitude, as I do, and it comes with religious belief, better yet. (Studies show marriages are happiest when number of positive comments about self, other and relationship is 3x number of negative comments.) 10. ZEN: “When a dog runs at you, whistle for him.” Henry David Thoreau EQ COMPETENCY: Common sense! When it feels right and good, go for it!
Ultimately it’s difficult to live with someone who doesn’t have your same values and priorities. SHAWNA discovered this when dating a man outside her faith. He loved her and was willing to convert, attending classes and services with her. She was troubled that even so, he didn’t “believe” what she did. Growing up with a certain faith engrains it at a level that can rarely be approached when it’s learned later in life. There’s a huge time factor in there. This may or may not be unsurmountable. In SHAWNA’s case it was. She couldn’t feel he had, or ever would have, same beliefs as she did.
TOMAS, on other hand, fell in love with someone outside his faith, from another culture, and more than 10 years younger. “Still,” he said, “we’re two peas in a pod. I could care less if she goes to a synagogue and I don’t.”
SAMIA married someone she met at her mosque, but problems began to spring up immediately. “I assumed too much, she said. “I thought we felt same way about things, but it didn’t live out way I thought it would. I wish I’d given it more time. It’s hard to think when you’re that much in love.” SAMIA found it was a difference that wouldn’t work and they separated. In their case, their religious beliefs, in words, were a match, but they weren’t lived out in ways that were compatible.
P.S. If you come from different faith backgrounds and plan to have children, work this one out ahead of time. It can be a bigee when time comes.
©Susan Dunn, MA, Emotional Intelligence Coach, http://www.susandunn.cc . Coaching, internet courses and ebooks around emotional intelligence for midlife, transitions, personal development, relationships and career. Susan is the author of “Midlife Dating Manual.” For FREE EQ ezine, mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org and put “ezine” for subject.