Why dating in Amsterdam taught me some of my most valuable life lessons

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So when you’re single let’s be honest, dating is a big part of your life. Well at least for me it was.

I visited Amsterdam three years ago and I fall in love with the city and the men! I mean I have never seen so many good looking men in all of my life in such a short radius. I think the Dutch men are rated some of the best looking men in the world **dreamy in love emoji**.

Coming from South Africa and having mixed parents I never saw myself as being short of attractive but moving and dating here in my first year threw me off my feet. Needless to say I was also integrating into a new city, new job and new culture. So there were a lot of things going on in my life all at the same time.

It took me a good year to get my confidence back and start living life in Amsterdam as if I belonged there.

If I may go back to the beginning, I left South Africa where I worked as a lawyer. I was over life in Johannesburg. It was the same day in and day out. Same people. The adventure of something new seemed like magic to me! I have always been a dreamer, I just imagined my life taking off in Amsterdam – meeting that beautiful dreamy Dutch guy, settling down in one of those beautiful apartments on the canal and working happily in my corporate job.

Knowing myself and my life, of course it did not go like that. Dating, living and working in Amsterdam turned out to be more of a challenge than I expected. I had to learn the Dutch culture, the working culture and dating culture.

Coming from South Africa the norm is go to school, study, get a job, date, marry and have kids. But in Amsterdam, the dating and life culture is completely different and I loved that!! Because dating here gave me a broader and better perspective on life and my own personal development.

The most important lesson I learnt was to become ‘chilled’ (as a lawyer that was definitely a skill to learn). Dutch guys are the next level definition of chilled (in fact I don’t even think that the Oxford dictionary expands the definition to that level). That’s simply because settling down is not a priority for them. Settling down is something that happens much later on in life. Being single is normal because it is not framed as something to achieve but rather something that comes about when the other things fall into place such as establishing their careers, homes, traveling and exploring the world. Life is all about doing them first, and then the rest follows.

Many cultures question being 36 and still single (I’m simply setting some context here). The culture in Amsterdam is to not to rush, take your time and have fun along the way.

Dating in Amsterdam taught me to embody life in a chilled and relaxed manner. If a guy texts you today and then 4 weeks later or asks you out on a date 3 months later – that’s apparently normal. There is just no rush (or he is just not that into you). When I learnt to be more at ease with dating here, it taught me to embody the principle of detachment to my life as a whole. I learnt not to be attached to dating or the guy but more to have fun and enjoy the journey. In fact I started to see dating as gaining valuable life experiences because believe me there were a lot of experiences gained along the way. Detachment was the most valuable lesson I learnt in life because attachment to anything creates suffering. Suffering happens when something does not work out they way we expected it to or hoped it would.

It also taught me that dating and settling down is not a race and through this I have learnt to thoroughly enjoy my singledom. In a big city like Amsterdam you are not short of choice. So never get stuck on the first few guys you meet because there sure are plenty more fish in the sea – here or anywhere else in the world for that matter. So let’s not get fixated on a specific person or outcome.

I also learnt to not never give yourself away just because a guy is good looking. It’s a funny thing but as woman we tend to accept breadcrumbs from guys just because they are good looking. It’s as if we still need our self worth to be validated. I once listened to a podcast and the speaker said “ladies stop accepting breadcrumbs you are not a duck” and that hit home for me. No matter what cultural background you are from you never have to lower your self-worth. Once you embody your self-worth you raise your vibration. The higher your vibration the more of a quality man you will attract – trust me! All you need to do is practice patience.

No matter where in the world you are from, who you meet or where you end up what is meant to be will always be. Most of all everything works out exactly the way it is meant to. I am firm believer that what is meant for you will never pass you by.

Importantly dating teaches us to let go of attachments, people and the past. By doing this we set ourselves free, which raises our vibration because we are no longer holding onto things or expectations. We are setting ourselves free by releasing and letting go, which makes us lighter in our energy and this is what ultimately allows us to attract things and experiences on the same vibrational frequency as us.

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