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Dating From the Inside Out
by Susan S. Davis

Spiritual Equality in Relationships

As we travel on the road and search to develop relationships, it is often commonplace to become aware of various kinds of spiritual views in the process. Whether one considers themselves a “spiritual” kind of person or not, it is inevitable that in this day and age, we will run across some form of spiritual movement – no matter where we reside.

Interestingly, in the past thirty years of so, Western society continues to struggle with the sex-role revolution that began so long ago, in the 1960s. There is no doubt that the disruption in the respective duties and place in society, of men and women in relation to the "traditional family," all the way to things such as the availability of contraception, have all stemmed from, in part, persistent feminist protests.

 

Almost since the industrial revolution, “traditional” usually has been defined by the concentric patriarchal family, with men bearing the prominent breadwinner role. For the most part, during that time, women’s responsibilities revolved around caring for children and running the household. As the feminist revolution evolved, and as vast numbers of women entered the workforce and improved their own education, the traditional familial and societal roles of men and women began to change. Roles of men and women in our society today, are so diverse that they include all manner and levels of duties for both. Thus, there really is no longer any “right” or “wrong” way to fun a family, or to live in general, as a man or woman. Virtually all kinds of familial situations have been embraced by our culture, from the more “traditional” mother, father, child environment, to single living, single parenthood, alternative relationships, and gay and lesbian partnerships, all with or without children, either born into the family, or adopted.

However, although most women who have come up through the ranks of the social sexual cultural revolution, will acknowledge that great strides have been made in developing autonomy, many women have been known to say that they do not consider that equal partnerships are commonplace within many of the romantic and intimate relationships that they have been made aware of, or have been involved in themselves.

Conversely, it is also commonplace, that men have expressed a growing dissatisfaction with their positions in relation to women in our society as it is today. Despite the changes in both culture, as well as the attitudes of men and women toward their roles, it seems as though inequality between the sexes still exists in their lives together. Unfortunately, the inequality sometimes does negatively affect intimate relationships.

One of the ways to combat the onset of situations, which may conceivably arise from inequality between the sexes, with regard to dating and relationships, is investigating how the spiritualist movement has approached these types of issues.

One good reference point to begin is with a book by Charlotte Sophia Kasl, entitled If the Buddha Dated: Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path. The book takes the perspective of devising tactics that involve delving in to the purpose of romance, by confronting some of the most basic psychic theorems, through various spiritual philosophies and doctrines. The areasaddressed in the book include:

 

Preparation for Love
Awaken Your Desire
Enter the Sacred Fire
Keep Loyal to Your Journey
Going Deeper
Living in the Heart of the Beloved

With topics ranging from the logical (”Using Ads, Dating Services and Singles Clubs,” “Children and Dating”) to the spiritually philosophical (”Notice the Flow of Giving and Receiving,” “Be a Spiritual Warrior,” “Finding Love Beneath Illusions”), the book is a simple, yet comprehensive guide to the basics of the new spiritual alignment, mindfulness and the metaphysical.

The book includes quotations from Zen, Sufi, and other wisdom traditions, as well as those dealing with experiences of people from other walks of life, helping to unravel the some of the complex affairs of the heart.

Each chapter is based upon having a more compassionate understanding of the dating process; what it is, why it is and what we can hope to gain from it. The dating process is approached as more of an awakening of ourselves, to better address the anxiety and uneasiness of new love. Through that type of method, we may more easily discover our potential for the kind of vibrant human connection based on awareness, kindness, and honesty that many of us seek.

By taking a pro-active approach to the possibility of inequality within relationships, we may actually instead, attempt to develop ways to remedy situations, before they begin. By endeavoring to do that, there is less possibility that inequality will be allowed to have an impact at all, which will in turn, foster greater fulfillment in romance. Above all, we should remind ourselves that when we live by some level of spiritual guidance, accountability, or integrity or whatever it may happen to be, we can offer more depth of intrigue, curiosity and a light heart, to the experience of the romantic journey.



Susan S. Davis is a published book author and writer, currently doing research for a romantic screenplay she is writing. Her Dating From The Inside Out column is published every Tuesday.


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