In the third installment of the Asheville Dating Manifesto, writer Laura Hope-Gill waxes poetic about love, dating and assorted matters of the heart. Hope-Gill got this conversation going in the public square that is Twitter, and I’ve found it to be a great discussion. Hope-Gill’s writing about half way through is really quite beautiful. Here you go:

@rfrostbanjo It doesn’t have to be a jungle out there. It can be a rainforest. : )

@StJadwiga You were content, not grasping!

@StJadwiga to sit with the negative feelings, find their source. It’s not the person we just met.

@rfrostbanjo We have become slaves to the sexual revolution!

And we have storms in us we want others to quell.

@StJadwiga And it waits.

@StJadwiga Yes.

@zensutherland Beautiful.

@zensutherland We’ve turned it into war, and it is about the opposite. Compassion.

@zensutherland I know! And people do judge. In a wonderful date, people just listen to each other.

It is secret and shy.

The soul is slow.

We’ve forgotten that this is about the soul, not the body.

And not to worry afterwards about “the call.”

And that can be all.

And if there is a kiss, there is a kiss.

On a date, two near-strangers get to sit inside that vast sea we are all inside already.

Love already exists.

Not domination or trickery.

Not entrapment or seduction.

Not war.

Compassionate dating.

To witness and accept.

But to sit, enjoy a meal, enjoy a story, peer into the wonder and promise of another human being for two hours.

Not to tear ourselves apart like victims.

Not to hold on tightly.

Not to grasp, not to need.

I get to bless my date, and, in my case, he gets to bless me with a good evening.

I think of dates as blessings.

To walk away if they aren’t okay or if they are using us to work through problems, not heal them.

And also to heal the past wounds in the person we are dating, to let them know they are actually okay, if they are.

And to view dating as opportunity to heal past wounds, not run from them.

To feel everything, especially when it is uncomfortable.

To not present ourselves as appetites but as whole individuals with really, really complex stories and lives.

To not turn “hello” into “I love you” in a matter of weeks.

To actually see if two lives can resonate on many levels.

To feel the doubt without having to act on it, make it go away.

Dating should provide a space in which to do this.

What we need next is an emotional revolution, one where we actually engage our emotions, listen to them.

The sexual revolution was cool, don’t get me wrong.

More thoughts on dating: we associate dating with 1950s culture. Not all of it was bad.

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