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The Tao-Low on Love

Over the weekend I began (and quickly, ravenously concluded) a book by Benjamin Hoff entitled The Tao of Pooh. This witty and interesting little book guides a new-comer to Taoism through its principles and ideals as they relate to the characters of Winnie-the-Pooh.

Of the many principles of Taoism (pronounced dou-iz-uhm), the one that struck me the most was the sort of go-with-the-flow attitude of Taoists. One of the chapters in the book discusses at length how we tend to push against the natural flow of things, be it in nature, life or relationships with others. This got me thinking about how Taoism could be applied to dating. Consider your past relationships: I’m willing to bet that there are one or two people in your Old Flames file that you’d like to forget, people that you look back on and wonder “What was I thinking?!” When we start to feel lonely it’s amazing the people we’ll turn to as a prospective partner, particularly when all we really know aboout them we found on a dating site. Personalities, looks and ideals suddenly become less important and easier to overlook, until one day we discover that all that trying to go-against-the-grain of our emotional and even sexual desires is just fruitless. At first their flaws were acceptable, even seemingly understandable, but suddenly you find that you’re in a relationship that you can’t wait to get out of. Trying to force someone who just isn’t right for you into being you’re “The One” is no different from trying to force a square peg into a round hole. If a person isn’t right for you and you begin to see those signs, just go with the flow and cut them lose. It’s not fair to you or them to keep forcing something that’s not there or hoping that you can mold them into what you want in time. Relationships do require effort and work, but those first few encounters shouldn’t be like taking medicine and waiting for the cure to take. They should be nearly effortless, like floating with the tide of a river.


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