We come spinning out of nothingness, scattering stars like dust – Rumi
It’s almost midnight. My date and I have consumed nearly two bottles of Argentinian wine after a 5 hour dinner and as midnight strikes she yawns and announces her desire to go home. I have one more desire and contemplate how to make my move.
In late July we met in front of the St. Julien Hotel in Boulder. I first saw her at a party last year, but I didn’t really SEE her. Seeing that is, in the Avatarian sense where the Navi with their pure primitive hearts and telepathic minds recognize one another’s souls. She stood at the entryway as I approached, as if she were waiting for me. We chatted briefly and she handed me her card. A few days later we were hiking, chatting and glowing. Two weeks later, we were reminiscing about meeting at the St. Julien. It’s an odd phenomenon that when we have an experience we are not necessarily conscious of the subtle thought forms and energies that we have perceived in that moment. But in retrospect I saw the essence of this woman then– ageless, elegant, gorgeous, radiant and proud. She appeared as a brilliant meteor that fell from the Perseid showers onto the circular pavestones where valet attendants take the keys of the well- heeled clientele.
By our second date, she’d given me a printout of the 12 stages of courtship: a road map to committed love. The stages are as follows, and are relevant throughout the duration of a committed relationship:
1. Noticing - seeing what is attractive in others and being conscious of the desirable traits in a long-term partner.
2. Attraction- curiosity and desire about the physical, emotional and intellectual traits of others.
3. Flirtation - playfulness, seductiveness and social cues that send signals of interest.
4. Demonstration – of prowess in athleticism, dressing to please the other person.
5. Romance – the ability to experience, express and receive passion.
6. Individuation – in a healthy relationship, each individual feels free to be who they are without fear of disapproval or control by the other (wow, I’d love to experience this).
7. Intimacy – the “attachment” phase in which a relationship deepens in its meaning and integrity.
8. Touching- the healing physical touch that requires trust, care and judgment.
9. Foreplay – holding, fondling, kissing and sexual play that build tension and eroticism
10. Intercourse – surrender to passion; to let go and trust yourself and your partner to be vulnerable.
11. Commitment- the ability to bond or attach to another. In contrast, addiction is the failure to bond.
12. Renewal- the capacity to sustain the above dimension in an existing relationship.
“Successful couples continue courtship, continue to show the other they are a worthy partner, continue to make efforts to attract their mate, and continue to express the value they have for each other.”
I’ve studied these two sheets of paper for some weeks, contemplating the meaning within each stage. I responded by sending her the Borat version of courtship in which his cross-country trip ends in an attempt to steal Pamela Anderson from L.A.
I don’t know what this meeting of our two souls will be – but she wants to explore it slowly. A part of me wants to dive in headfirst for the exhilaration of falling in love. As I am prone to project fantasy into the future, she grounds me in the moment. Robert Johnson wrote in his book “Owning Your Own Shadow” that falling in love is a disservice to the lover because one projects their happiness upon another person. Then when the intoxication of falling in love fades to reality, there is inevitable disappointment in the other person.
It’s midnight on my futon – the wine has made us both a bit loopy. I remember being 13, visiting my first girlfriend Jannie Israel at her day camp in Ossining, N.Y. We walked out into the woods on to a large granite rock nestled in a grove of oak and maple trees. We were talking and I kept contemplating my make-out move – but I was too afraid to do it. Decades later with my radiant date I feel the same way – like an awkward adolescent about to make his first move. She sits back down when I tell her there’s one more thing I want to do. Then I say “It’s time to kiss the Prince”. I’m an asshole. I meant to say something like “This Frog needs to become a Prince by your kiss” – either way, it’s totally cheesy. Not only that, I don’t even have a real couch to host this momentous event – it’s an old black futon with bamboo printed fabric. I left all the good furniture with my former girlfriend. I lean in, make my move, and……….