The Art of Asking: Conscious Dating
By Joan Heartfield, Ph.D.
Asking for what we want can difficult. As regards relationship, historically in Western society men have been the askers and pursuers. They are the gender that is expected to take the first step. This is challenging for many men and women. It is not easy for a man to ask when he does not know if he will be turned down and for many women it is not easy to receive the attention of a man they would rather not have pursuing them.
Some people think that in an ideal world the women would choose the men thereby relieving the men of the need for “hunting” for a partner. This tactic could allow women to take responsibility for their desire to connect and empower them to ask specifically for what they want in each situation. Men would know that this particular woman wants to get to know him further, and if he feels the same way, graciously accept the invitation.
But men should also have the right to ask for what they want, and many women prefer a man asking.
It seems some aspect of the feminine would like to find balance with pursuit, sometimes choosing the age-old desire to be pursued, and sometimes seeking to pursue. This requires men to drop into their yin essence and be more relaxed around what women want and it requires women to step into their yang essence and be clear in sharing their desires.
The challenge is always around the feelings and style of both the person asking and the person being asked.
How we ask is important. Neither women nor men like pressure, a come-on, hype, or any type of demand in the asking process. Neither do men or women like games. Be real. Ask with warmth from a neutral, open place. Be open to but not attached to the outcome. The more centered you are, the easier it is for the other person to feel you, rather than feeling their reaction to a strategy you might be using.
Once we are asked to join someone for a “date”, how do we know whether to say yes or no? Sometimes it is obvious. At those times we feel it in every cell of our bodies. When we get a definitive YES or NO, choosing is easy.
What about when we don’t know? Do we check it out and say ‘yes’? Or do we say no and wait for the big YES?
It depends on what is alive in us. If we value adventure and like to share our minds and hearts in an exploratory way–and we feel the person has some merit, say yes. It can be useful getting to know various people. Each person is unique and has something to offer. A person you decide to date may not turn out to “the person” you want to spend your life with, but they may bring a fresh perspective or become a friend. And sometimes as we get to know someone, friendship blossoms into love.
How do you know if a person has “merit”? First see how you feel when you are with this person. Do you feel respected, appreciated and acknowledged for whom you are? Do you feel trusting of this person? Does this person exude kindness and consideration? All of these things are more important than the initial “chemistry”—your attraction to them sexually.
In making your choice, ask questions such as, “What is most alive in you these days?” “What makes you feel really connected to life?” “What is important to you?” “What do you value in your life?”
Real questions invite an open honesty and depth right away. Asking from a genuine desire to know a person invites their vulnerability. We have to feel safe to open up, and vulnerability, while sometimes scary to reveal, is nonetheless quite seductive too.
How this person answers your questions will let you know if you want to spend more time with them or not. If you appreciate this person’s energy and answers, yes is a natural outcome. If something is missing or you do not feel “right” with them, you will say no.
How you say yes or no is important. Yes is easy. No can be easy if done with love. First be present with the person asking. Look at them and take a breath. Focus your gaze on their left (receptive) eye. Always start with “thank you for asking me.” Acknowledgment is very important. If you know it is a yes, say something like, “I’d be happy to spend some time with you. I’d like to get to know you better too.” If you do not know, you might say, “I’m not getting an immediate yes or no. Let me reflect on it and I will let you know later today. I appreciate your willingness to ask.”
If you know it is a no, you might say, “Thank you for asking me. I know how challenging asking can be. I am not available to go out with you and I do appreciate your willingness to ask.”
Trust your intuition. Honor your own and everyone’s right to say NO.
The truth is, we are all being guided in our lives. We know what is true for us and we are receiving new information all the time. We must tune into and trust our own guidance. This starts with the art of asking and being honest with yourself and one another.
For the men: Imagine you are a Divine Masculine man being asked by a Divine Feminine woman for a date. This is your opportunity to step into your High Self with the women who invite you to share time with them. Let go of expectations and simply be present to the moment. Honor your own boundaries and those of your partner. Listen to what this woman wants, and share with her your hearts desires. During your date time honor her wishes. Let the woman lead. She may decide she only wants closeness and talking. Celebrate her honesty. Encourage her to trust her intuition.
For the women: Imagine you are a Divine Feminine woman being asked by a Divine Masculine man for a date. This is your opportunity to step into your High Self and be gently forthright and honest. Check in with yourself first. Discard old programs of teasing or keeping the man guessing. Do not manipulate through the unconscious use or your sexual energy. Honor your own boundaries and those of your partner.
We can create a new paradigm of giving and receiving love through conscious dating. We can create more fullness in our capacity to generate more presence in our relationship to one other through honest and respectful interactions.
This is where our conscious kindness adds more depth to our personal interactions. We can come together with true curiosity and consideration, have fun and trustworthy interactions and part from one another feeling happy. We ultimately want to leave friends and lovers better than we found them!
Joan Heartfield, Ph.D., director of Divine Feminine, A Modern Mystery School, has been teaching with Caroline Muir since 1994. A counselor, writer, and guide for over 25 years, Joan is passionate about intimacy and sacred sexuality, radically authentic communication, and the health and vitality we can cultivate in our bodies. She and her husband, Tomas, facilitate retreats for singles and couples www-divine-feminine.com and www.talkinghearts.com.