Dating a buddhist
And what do you think might be the karmic consequences of being responsible for my demise? I will politely decline correspondence with anyone who doesn’t live within easy driving distance of me.Those who live nearby I will steer as quickly as possible toward face-to-face meetings.The idea first comes up as a joke between me and my Tricycle editor: As a newly single Buddhist mom, why don’t I post my profile on a couple of the new online “dharma dating” sites, and write about my experiences? For years I’ve mocked the idea of shopping for a mate the way you’d shop for a book on (“Add This Man to My Cart! Once, while browsing for a used couch on Craigslist, I popped over to the Men Seeking Women section for a look, and the ads all ran together in my mind: 6-foot divorced sofa, 45, brown hair/blue eyes, overstuffed cushions, slightly cat-clawed, wants to spank you. In my twenties and early thirties, during the long periods when he and I weren’t a couple, I had explored a series of relationships with some wonderfully offbeat men: A Brazilian massage therapist who was paying for his master’s in somatic psychology by programming computers for a 900-line in Las Vegas.
I browse through the paperbacks, discreetly eyeing each arriving customer.
Sign-up questionnaires ask me to evaluate every aspect of myself: physical appearance, lifestyle, personality, dietary preferences. The getting-to-know-you questions pelt me through the ether: “What’s the most fun thing you’ve done this week?
And, of course, spirituality—to a depth I imagine not normally addressed by the average dating site (“What happens after the body dies? Is the not-yet-enlightened prince who will eventually become the Buddha really the sort of guy I want to be flirting with this time around? But didn’t he run out on his wife and child to wander around with a bunch of celibate homeless people? ” “What spiritual teacher has influenced you the most? ” A resident of a Tibetan retreat center in Canada writes, “I smiled at you but I have no idea what a smile means. ” As a writer, I already spend a good portion of my days staring at my computer screen; I quickly discover that I don’t want to conduct my social life there.
Weeks 4-5 I consult Online Dating for Dummies, which recommends that the first meetings be brief, for coffee or tea, and that they be held in a busy public place.
So I meet my first date at a bookstore café that’s bustling enough to feel anonymous.