My Biggest Lesson In Non-Attachment And It Came From Tinder
After 3 incredible weeks in Bali I’m sitting here, under a new moon in Aries, reflecting on what an incredible trip this has been. People often ask me why I keep coming back to Bali—and how I don’t get bored spending a whole month ALONE—and it makes me sad that they don’t get why. I talk a lot about expanders and the importance of having people and places in your life that truly expand you—that force you to challenge what is possible.
And this past month truly has been one of massive expansion.
It all came in the form of a cute guy I met up with on Waihi beach, one week before I flew to Bali. We met on Tinder, obviously, because nobody actually just meets on a beach, right?
If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that my relationship history has been a little fraught. Massive heartbreak, cheating, emotionally unavailable men, and the most recent guy that ghosted me at the start of this year. But still, I hold the hope and remain committed to receiving whatever lessons I need for my evolution in the love department. The last thing I want to do is close my heart and perpetuate the belief I’ve harboured for most of my adult life; that I’m unloveable and men always leave me.
Anyway. I met him on Waihi beach for a morning walk, I had my dogs with me, very practical activewear on and definitely not a hint of make-up or effort. I had gone away to Waihi with my mum to have some time together before my trip, so dating was the last thing on my mind. He was cute, kind and showed a lot of interest in my dogs which is an instant turn on for me. I went for a swim while he sat with the dogs and he held a towel open for me as I came out of the water. I don’t think a man had ever done that for me in my entire life. I was so gobsmacked that I even wrote about it on my Instagram here.
It was a quick date; I needed to get home to do something. (Gals, remember—you don’t want to spend tooooo long on the first date, okay? You’re a busy ass lady with an abundant and important life.) Later that day he texted me and asked if I wanted company that night. I was shocked that he’d already driven one 2 hour round trip to see me and was prepared to do another. There must have been something about my laid-back-cool-unbrushed-hair-too-busy vibe that impressed him. I agreed. Nonchalant as all hell.
I knew that he was freshly out of a two year relationship and figured he was just ready to get back on the horse. I’ll skim over the details of our second date, but I was quietly impressed with how brazen and forward he was, promptly sitting down and putting his arm around me in a little log nest I’d built for one. We’d only met 10 hours prior. We sat on the beach, drank red wine and watched the stars come out. Conversation flowed effortlessly, unlike our first attempt at kissing which needed some direction. One of the things I appreciate about him is how amenable he is to feedback.
Two hours later, we went our separate ways and vowed to stay in touch. It was a couple of days later that he messaged me and asked if I’d mind if he joined me to “hang out” in Bali.
At the start of this year I’d experienced this deep sense that a man was coming to Bali with me, but one week out from my flight and no suitors to speak of I’d forgotten about it. Throughout all of the personal development and healing work I’ve done, I’ve really started leaning into my intuition and learning to listen to the downloads and sensations I get in my body. It really is our clearest messenger and one of the strongest relationships we’ll ever have.
I said that he could join me two weeks in, and we agreed to spend the first 4 nights together and then reassess. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that we spent 11 nights together in Ubud, Nusa Lembongan and Canggu, and yesterday he left to go and spend 4 nights alone in Uluwatu to integrate before I meet him up there for one final night together before he flies home.
(For all the ins and outs and musings on how things unfolded you can read my Instagram posts here and here. And if you want to hear his raw account, including the deep, dark secret he didn’t tell me before Bali, you can read that here.)
If you have followed me for a while you’ll know I’ve had a fairly chequered past with men for my entire adult life. My longest relationship is 2.5 years and most have ended in heartbreak. I’ve mostly attracted guys who would do drugs, cheat, steal money from me and were emotionally unavailable, because I harboured the belief from a young age that “I’m unloveable to men” and “men always leave me.” And those beliefs might not be my fault, but they are my responsibility. My wounded self created them, and then I co-created my reality through them in the guys I dated.
At the start of this year, on a final call with my coach, I cried “I’ll be happy when I have a boyfriend.” And exactly one week later the Universe delivered me a handsome, intelligent, affectionate American surgeon who I dated happily for 3 weeks before he ghosted me on my birthday weekend.
Me: “I’ll be happy when……”
Universe: “Wrong. I’ll give you something to test that theory and then I’ll take it away.”
The big lesson here was that happiness isn’t outside of myself, and nor is it outside of you. And that’s why non-attachment is such an essential part of the bigger picture.
It’s a self-worth game, and my self-worth has never been higher than it is now, which is why I keep putting myself in the testing grounds of wherever my greatest growth lies. Every time I get knocked down, my resilience strengthens. Every time things ‘don’t go to plan’ I’m reminded that I don’t need a plan and a predetermined outcome, I just need to trust and surrender to what is.
And so I asked for a lesson in non-attachment and I got it.
I knew early on--before coming to Bali, actually--that he wasn’t ready for a relationship. But I also know that people are fluid beings, ever evolving, and perhaps he’d change his mind. (Not that I knew I was ready for a relationship either, but your ego always want to know that there's a possibility there.) Nevertheless, I chose to surrender to the process and show up fully with this man as if it was the real deal. Because I truly believe in ‘acting as if’, because it puts you in the vibration of readiness. Act as if you’ve already got the dream job. Act as if you’re living in your purpose. Act as if you’re in your dream relationship. Act as if you have perfect health.
On our final night before his solo trip he asked me if I’d share what he’d taught me. Communication has been a huge part of our connection. There’s literally nothing that was off the table in terms of sharing. NOTHING. I told him that he’d taught me the importance of making a man feel needed, and to allow him to do things for me. I have a habit of walking really fast and not waiting for the person I’m with to walk beside me (quite the metaphor for life, really!), and that made him feel like he wasn’t wanted or needed. I also told him that he’d shown me how important it is for me to have a man who is passionate about my business--which he is--and for us to be able to speak the same language--about mindset and consciousness and humanity at large--which he does. Even if our belief systems differ greatly, which they do.
I asked him the same question. For him, he admires how self-contained I am, and it allowed him to be more self-contained too. He’s always been a rescuer in his relationships, and for the first time he’d met a girl who didn’t need rescuing. He also said that how secure I was in myself triggered his own insecurities, which I held space for him to face off with here. He’d learnt that it was okay to put his own needs first.
Maybe he is the perfect guy for me, despite the wet towel on the bed and the occasional snoring and forgetting to buy me water when I ask him to. Or maybe he was the perfect guy to guide me through this poignant chapter of my romantic evolution. I trust that whatever I need, I’ll get, because I’m unattached to any particular outcome. He doesn’t owe me anything; he owes it to himself to show up fully as himself and extract whatever healing he needs. He’s already given me everything I need: openness, honesty, intimacy, laughter, and a safe space to unfurl my wings. I think he could be ‘the one’ before ‘the one’.
Thank you so much for all of your support on this journey; it hasn’t gone unnoticed. Xo
PS. A reminder that my group online coaching program HEARTSPACE starts on April 14th, so if you have a friend who is healing from heartbreak and ready to return to love in a small, supportive container, I would be so grateful if you would send them the link.