Falling in love on the first date is highly unlikely and, contrary to popular belief, totally undesirable. If I think I am in love after the first date, I am probably mistaking initial attraction for the unhealthy part of me that is attracted to the unhealthy part of him. And what feels like love at this point is more likely lust. Whether it is coming from me or from the other person, to feel in love after one or two dates is more about being in love with the idea of being in love, which I have to admit I was. Until I know someone, I have no idea whether I am in love or not. In fact, thinking I am in love blinds me to seeing this person with any objectivity.

In all matters, but most especially love, be honest with myself.
There were things about this relationship that bugged me from the
beginning, like the high-speed race toward physical intimacy, but I wasn’t
honest with myself about it. I let Rael take the lead on dictating the course
of the relationship. I never considered it my responsibility to determine
whether or not this was something I wanted. What I responded to was his
overall enthusiastic need to be with me. It is difficult to see the situation in
black and white when there are colorful distractions, like lots of attention,
words of love, and generous gifts involved. Had I been totally honest with
myself, I could have seen there was little to substantiate this overwhelming
feeling of passion that had swept over both of us, except the dysfunction
that drew us together in the first place.

Pay attention to key concerns or fears early in a relationship. It
bothered me that Rael espoused the value of the kissing stage, but at the
same time pushed me to see how far I would go, which I promptly justified
as his overwhelming love for me. When I woke up in the middle of the
night awash in fears and misgivings, my Inner Guide, that voice within me
that knows the truth, was sending out smoke signals to which I needed
to pay attention. I knew we were going too fast – emotionally, physically,
mentally – and I had the right and the obligation to myself to put on the

brakes, but I didn’t. The difference between self-care and self-neglect is
directly tied to my ability to pay attention to the warning signs and listen to
my heart. If I ever fear I am losing myself in a relationship, I need to pay
attention to what my emotions are telling me.

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

~Rumi, thirteen-century Sufi poet


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