There's a way to date that speeds your path to love–AND heals your life in the process! Here are the six steps to turn your search for love into a true adventure of healing. Jump in!
Episode Table Of Contents
Episode Introduction: Adventure Of Healing
Your search for love can and should be one of the greatest and most healing adventures of your entire life. As you uplevel the way you search for love, you speed the time it takes to find love and you uplevel the quality of the person that you're going to meet and you also uplevel your ability to sustain love and help it flourish. In this episode, you're going to learn the six steps to turn your search for love into an adventure of growth and healing so stay tuned to the Deeper Dating podcast.
Hello, and welcome to the Deeper Dating podcast. Today we're gonna be talking about how to turn your search for love into one of the greatest adventures of healing of your lifetime.
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So, okay, let's get started.
Today we're going to talk about a subject that I feel deeply passionate and excited about, and it's the fact that our search for love can be, and should be, one of the greatest adventures of healing and wisdom gathering of our entire lives.
Search For Spousal Relationship: A Journey of Adventure and Learning
There's no question that the search for a healthy spousal relationship is the absolutely most significant time of our adult lives. But it also, can and should be, a journey of adventure and learning. And I'm going to explain six points that, if you hold those points in your search for love, this journey will become one. Not where you just try to get there as quickly as you can, and find the one, and change yourself, and play the numbers game, and do whatever you need to do to find that love, but a journey that will open your world and your entire future.
And there's so many reasons for this. And one huge reason is that the greatest lessons of your life can be found in your search for love, because these are the greatest lessons of love, and you learn them when you date and how you date. And those lessons apply to everything. And there's a certain way that we get this cheap dating advice, which is, how to play hard to get, how to make yourself irresistible, how to seduce. This kind of stuff deepens us, not at all. And uplevels us, not at all.
Hence, this does not uplevel the kind of partner that we're going to meet, because when we truly uplevel the way we search for love, we uplevel the kind of people we meet, as well as our ability to maintain love.
So, we're going to talk about six lessons each of which… And, actually, I made a little acronym out of it. It's the word DATING, D-A-T-I-N-G, that we're going to use as a kind of memory device to help us remember these. And I'm going to be speaking about each one of them.
And if you approach your dating life as a journey of wisdom gathering, it will become a journey that will heal your entire life, as well as dramatically change your ability to find the right person for you.
So, we're going to have a poem that's going to accompany us on this journey. And it's a poem by the poet Cavafy. It's called Ithaka, and it's about taking a journey, and how if you're only fixated on getting there, you miss the adventure but you also miss the wisdom.
So, we're going to visit that poem at a few different junctures in this podcast. And we're going to start with the beginning.
Except from Ithaka
As you set out for Ithaka,
hope your road is a long one.
Well, hopefully not a long one.
Full of adventure, full of discovery.
May there be many summer mornings when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you enter harbors you're seeing for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony
sensual perfume of every kind —
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to learn and go on learning from their scholars.
Well, I'm going to stop there. But I want to say that, once you learn the key first lesson, which is discrimination, where you don't get into situations where you keep dating jerks, where you keep dating people who treat you poorly, where you keep dating people who lack integrity, who prove dishonesty.
Once you make that choice, that deep kind of existential decision, the waters become calmer, and the adventures become greater and more beautiful, because you're going to discover, as you date different people, you'll discover different worlds in each person.
You'll discover different ways that these people touch, or kiss, or their loves, or their passions in life, or their particular gifts and qualities. You're going to be stopping at port after port until you find the port that's home. But once you make the decision, and now we're going to go to the first one, which is discrimination. The D for dating is Discrimination.
Two Kinds of Circuitries of Attraction
I often say that there are two kinds of circuitries of attraction that all of us have. Circuitries of attraction of deprivation and circuitries of attraction of inspiration. So, what does that mean?
Attractions of deprivation, I'll tell you what those mean. Those are attractions where somewhere we keep needing to think we have to fix ourselves. We have to try harder to get this person's love. We have to somehow prove ourselves. Proving yourself is a key marker, that feeling. As opposed to a feeling of just being able to be, to play, to share, to express yourself. You're looking for a partner with whom you feel the latter and not the former.
And there's a marker point where you make a decision that you are only going to pursue your attractions of inspiration. People who inspire you by their goodness, by their integrity, by their decency, by their growing an appropriate availability. People who have curated a life of goodness, and people who are honest and available.
Discrimination is a huge thing
When you make that choice, you cut out God knows how much noise from your search for love. Discrimination is a huge thing. When you're dating someone, and they say something a little bit nasty, you say, "Oh, I do not like that." Or they treat the person in an ugly way, you step back and you say, "Very, very bad sign." They don't listen to you. They only talk about themselves.
You know, we want to give people a little bit of a chance because people are awkward in first dates, but quickly, quickly, quickly you will know, is this a person of quality and goodness? And if not, then that person is not for you. So, that's discrimination. And when you start trusting your sense of discrimination, your world changes. And this applies, of course, with friendships, with family, with jobs, with everything. So, that's a really important point.
Your intuition is shouting
Michelle Marchant Johnson, a wonderful dating coach, says that we're constantly trying to outwit our intuition, because our intuition is either whispering or shouting, "I don't like this." Or, "This feels safe. This feels good." And what we want to look for, again and again, our pivotal question should be, "Does my soul feel safe with this person?" And, of course, that grows gradually, and you only know that in time. But, when that becomes your marker question, and every other question, which there are a lot of important other questions, become secondary. I cannot tell you how your world changes. And it saddens me that we're not taught this first in our dating lives.
Okay, second, the A in dating, Authenticity. This is a big one. And everyone always says, "Be yourself." But it's like, "Be yourself, but make sure you let your femininity out. Be yourself, but make sure you're still an alpha male. Be yourself, but be confident." All this crap. We do not get to be pretzels, folks. That doesn't happen.
We got to either be our self, and be able to hold that self, including our humanity with a kind of dignity and honesty. We don't get to do both. As much as everyone tells us, "Be yourself, but be ultra, ultra fabulous and palatable to, basically, everybody."
So, authenticity is not such a simple thing, because our real self is more sensitive than we might want it to be, more unique than we might want it to be, more passionate, more driven, more tender, more introverted, more shy. More whatever, less whatever, our authenticity is nuclear in its power. And it's a lifetime to learn to bear the power, and the beauty, and the sensitivity of our authenticity. But that's the lifetime adventure that is the great, great, great adventure of intimacy. When we're looking for love, when we find love, and as we're sustaining love.
So, some questions that we can ask are, "Are there parts of ourselves that have felt too timid for the world? Parts of ourselves that have felt stepped on?" And you can ask yourself these questions. And what I'm going to say is, "These parts, each one, is your treasure." What I call your core gifts.
So, parts of you that have felt too timid, maybe for the world. Parts of you that have felt stepped on by the world; these are your treasures, and you only, only, only, only want someone who treasures them. Parts you thought you had to hide, or tone down, or airbrush; those parts are all your genius. But we think we have to just change them, or airbrush them, or fix them if we're ever going to make it in this cold world of dating and of life.
And the journey that I take people on, and the intensives and the courses that I do, the entire deeper dating journey says, "We need to go back to those parts of ourselves that we thought we could not bring along for the ride, if we are ever going to succeed in life. And we need to embrace them and realize that our greatest gifts lie there."
Cherish Your Core Gifts
These are parts that I call our core gifts. And the bottom line is that, the degree to which we learn to cherish those parts of ourselves, and only look for the people that cherish them, too, the degree to which we do that, our sexual and romantic attractions will actually begin to change. Really, truly.
We will start meeting and finding, and finding ourselves attracted to, and finding that it's mutual, people who are of a higher quality. People who are kinder, more available, more creative, more interesting, more honest. That's what we find when we cherish our core gifts. We become attracted to those people and we're more likely to meet them. We're more likely to find mutual attractions.
This is kind of a miracle, but it's really true, and it's the deeper blueprint of searching for love, and of love that we don't get taught. But the converse is true also, the degree to which we put those parts of ourselves in the basement and close the door, to that degree, we're going to end up in masochistic situations in our relationships. We're going to end up with people who don't treat us right, who don't get us, who chip away at our sense of self-worth.
Because suppressing these core gifts is actually an act of quiet violence against our very being. And that violence begets violence in the choices that we make.
Reclaim your authenticity
So, this lesson of authenticity is world changing. And in my courses and in my intensives, this is the part that's the foundation of the deepest, deepest change. This is the baby that makes this into a true adventure of healing and wisdom, is that we reclaim those parts of ourselves, and that we learn to lead with them, and then we learn to dignify those qualities, and then we only choose people who do the same, and our world becomes different. And that, in a tiny nutshell, is the wisest path to finding love.
Okay, that's the D and the A. And now we go to the T in dating, which is Thoughtfulness. Thoughtfulness, I'm going to put into this one, kindness and understanding, which research shows are the two most sought after qualities for men, for women of all ages, and all backgrounds. That is the most important quality for anyone seeking a mate.
So, as I've said before, I don't know why so much of dating articles and advice is not about kindness and understanding and thoughtfulness, because it's a key. And, in fact, thoughtfulness is the longest lasting aphrodisiac that exists in love.
Sometimes thoughtfulness even makes people fall in love. In fact, in my book, Deeper Dating, I talk about a journalist, Wendy Whitham, who met this guy… And she was always dating these really smart, kind of witty, cocky, arrogant guys. She met this guy from the Midwest and he was not that way. And, at one point, he swiped his Metro card to let her through, she's completely not used to this, and she was wearing a hoodie, and it was raining outside. And he just took his hand and just touched the top of her head really sweetly. It was just a thoughtful, sweet… It was just a sweet and vulnerable gesture. And she thought, "Oh, my God. I think I'm falling in love."
Thoughtfulness is a turn on
That moment, the moments of you expressing thoughtfulness. Think about it, thoughtfulness is such a turn on. So, when we begin to become kind and generous and thoughtful in our dating lives, and then we look for people who know how to give that back, we are making wiser choices. And we make these kind of choices, our search for love feels like a wisdom adventure. It really does. And we know that that's the greatest adventure of all.
So, now I'm going to move on to intuition. And that's a big one. That's a really, really big one. I encourage you to think of your search for love, less as kind of like gold that you have to get to immediately, and of course I want you to get there as quickly as possible. And these lessons not only set you up to find love that's better and keep love in a better way, but they speed your path to love in breathtaking ways. At the same time, they make it richer, not slower, because they really do speed the journey.
But this concept of a treasure hunt is a really beautiful concept. Thinking of your search for love is a wisdom treasure hunt. So, at a treasure hunt, you don't just get told where the treasurer is. You get told, "Walk down the block, make a right and look under the mailbox on the corner of Smith and Main." Then you go there, and there's the next message.
When you approach your search for love that way, at the different pain in the ass crossroads, the different complicated points, the different painful points, the different potential points, when you approach it this way, you get wisdom messages. You learn really important things.
Turn your anger into an ask
I'll just give you a tiny example. I was dating a guy, who, kind of really frustrated me because he was kind of consistently thinking of himself in different junctures and not kind of taking me into account. And I was right about that, but in the interim, I talked to one of my best friends about that, and he said, "He's really trying to be a good boyfriend, so if you could just tell him… Like, not get mad at him for this. Turn your anger into an ask. Ask him directly for what you want, because he wants to give it to you. He wants to be a good boyfriend."
Well, this blew my mind, and it was right. When I did this, it was like a magic kind of thing. He was able to hear it with appreciation, with kindness. It led to deeper closeness. Ultimately, it wasn't the right match, but that was just a tiny example of a wisdom lesson I learned that changed my life.
The Inner Mentor Process™
So, if you kind of open up to your intuition in your search for love, and you start listening to kind of the whispers of your intuition, you are going to start getting insights. As you do the process that I call the Inner Mentor Process™, every day you'll get insights. I believe that's episode three. You will get insights that will heal you, that will guide you, and that will change your way of thinking, and your way of being.
I teach a practice that's in episode three called the Inner Mentor Process™, which is a way to tune into your own intuition in very deep ways every day and to use that as your daily meditation in your search for love.
It's a constant source of wisdom. And as you do that every day, you will get fabulous insights that are wisdom insights, and you'll feel them as wisdom insights. And that is what makes the search for love into a true healing adventure.
The Guiding Insight
So those are insights, and I want to talk about a particular insight now to an intuitional insight, which I call a guiding insight. That's the big stuff. That's the stuff that maybe wakes you up in the middle of the night, that hits you like a revelation and it could be a quiet revelation. Like I remember someone who was dating this woman. He was on his first date with her and he just remembered thinking in a very quiet way, this could be home for me. This feels like home for me. And that defined his future.
A moment of guiding intuition
I'll share a story from my own life about a moment of guiding intuition. I had gone to see Almodovar's movie, All About My Mother. A beautiful, very powerful movie. I saw this movie, and I left the movie theater, and I felt something stirring inside of me that I did not know what it was. It felt very odd, very strange, I didn't know what it was. And I said to my friend, I need a minute. I went off into a corner of the movie theater, and I just thought, what is this? What is this that I'm feeling? And it hit me, I want to become a father.
I knew that, and I went back to him and I said, "Nazario, I just decided I want to adopt a child and become a dad. And he was like, "Whoa, whoa." But I did, and it changed my life, and it changed my world, and it led to an indescribable amount of love and fun and silliness. And it led to my husband, and his daughters who became my stepdaughters, and the entire world that I have now. That was a guiding intuition. And at different points, each one of us gets these intuitions and as we learn to understand them, to listen to them, to listen to their whispers or their shouts, our entire world changes.
What makes the journey into an adventure
So as you learn to listen for your guiding insights, those are kind of those points in the treasure hunt where you say, okay, this is what I have to do next. And this is what makes the journey into an adventure. And you can do this on your next date.
You could start learning to listen to what your gut says, what your kishkes, as we say in Jewish, your insights say, your internal organs say when you're on a date with someone. Your head might say, this person's gorgeous or I'm really attracted, or nah, not for me. Or this person lives too far. But when you drop down into your guts, you might feel something really different, which is closer to being a guiding insight. So key part of turning this into an adventure of growth and healing.
Okay, next is the N in dating. That's nakedness. So what do I mean by nakedness? Well, obviously nakedness, but there are other kinds of nakedness to and love asks us to get naked. When you say I love you for the first time, or you share that something hurts you or it's difficult for you, or you turn your anger into an ask, or you dignify a need of yours, there's that feeling of nakedness that comes with that.
There's a ring of fire that we have to walk through that it feels very vulnerable and very exposed. And just as the parts of our body that have the most nerve endings are usually the parts where we can feel the most exposed and have the most positive sensation. Also, the most pain.
The feeling of nakedness
Those places that surround our core gifts, our truest self, have a feeling, often there's a feeling of nakedness. And when you're with someone who accepts you for who you are, it's like a leap where you get caught and that feeling of being caught by the other person, of not being left to plummet or be left alone or be unseen but be caught and be held and be appreciated. When you share that vulnerability, and it's held by the other person, well, that's happiness.
And so allowing ourselves to be naked and not just airbrushed is a profound privilege of being in a good, healthy relationship with a safe person. It's an unbelievable privilege, but that doesn't mean it's easy. And that doesn't mean that there's not this feeling of nakedness. It's like a mini series of comings out that is just a part of being human and being intimate.
Going For It
Finally, the G in dating. I'm calling that, going for it. And that's bravery. In this special sauce of wisdom dating, we cannot forget that bravery is a big part of things because it really truly is. So that's the final letter in this process, and it's going for it. It is.
If you like someone, letting them know. It's getting out there when you just want to stay home and stay in your pajamas and watch Netflix, but instead you go out to an event. Or it's when you feel shy to contact somebody online, and you do it anyway. It's when you say maybe I mean this, I mean it that I am really looking for love, and I am going to do what it takes. I'm going to get the learning I need, I'm going to invest however I need to invest – time, energy, money, get the support I need. I'm going to get out there. I'm going to do this, I'm going to really do this.
What stops us from going forward
And let me just say another thing too around the going forward. When you make a commitment, what stops us from going forward? Often it's fear of rejection. When you make a decision that you were going to be your authentic self and lead with that self. And your definition of success in dating land is your ability to do that and then discriminate, and only choose the kind of people who are going to accept and appreciate those qualities in you. You actually break the spine of your fear of rejection.
I remember a client of mine who was dating, talking about the experience of how his own decision to lead with his gifts changed everything for him. He said, "I'm not afraid of being rejected anymore because I'm just going to be me and if someone doesn't get that or appreciate that and there's not a mutual sense of that kind of sharing, then that woman is just not for me." And he said, "I am so much less afraid of rejection." And actually, it's really true.
Bravery is Needed
So if you want to go for it, this shift in commitment that we've talked about, it's going to really, really help you with even a deep fear of rejection. So bravery, it's needed. It's part of the secret sauce, and it means getting out there even if you don't feel like it. It means reaching out. It means letting people know that you like them. It means committing to that nakedness. And this is also of course, what makes this an adventure because it's an adventure of bravery.
I remember somebody telling me that he had an assignment, that he would, when he went out to a party or a club, he would go to the most attractive people and talk to them, and he would allow himself to be repeatedly rejected. And I thought that was the most scary and awesome thing in the world. And one day I did try that.
I was at a bar, it was a long time ago, but I said, I'm going to do this. And I went up to like 8 or 10 people, I talked to all of them and no one was interested in me at all. But I did not leave that bar feeling sad. Well, a little sad, but mostly I left feeling strong because I had followed through in my adventure commitment.
Keep Ithaka always in your mind
The last thing I want to say is, I want to go back to the poem, Ithaka. And Cavafy says,
Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her, you wouldn't have set out.
And what I want to say to you is that if you arrive in Ithaka empty because you have not learned wisdom lessons, there'll be not enough to give you in Ithaka. Ithaka will disappoint you. Your love will disappoint you because you won't have gotten there rich with the wisdoms of intimacy that a good dating search teaches us.
So if you take your journey to find love on as one of the most important, gorgeous lessons in journeys of your life, you will arrive at Ithaka, you will find your one more quickly. You will find someone who is more right for you, and you will arrive so much richer.
So thanks for listening to the Deeper Dating Podcast. Please remember to leave a review on iTunes, and I look forward to seeing you next week.