Today is an episode of Deeper Dating Q&A, where I offer expert advice for all of your questions about love, dating, and sex. In this episode, I answer listener questions about tough topics like how to become a student of your attraction patterns and the problem with trying to force the self. I offer up questions to ask about a partner that you may not be sexually attracted to and discuss whether or not you should listen to your gut about a new relationship. I also give relationship advice to highly empathic people and explain the value of the heart-based approach to finding love.
Listen in to learn how to find out a person’s true character, how to consciously cultivate fantasy, and tips for using logic to express emotion.
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- What to do if you are not sexually attracted to your partner
- Questions to ask about a partner you may not be sexually attracted to
- Listening to your gut about a relationship
- The heart-based approach to finding love
- Consciously cultivating fantasy
- Relationship advice for highly empathic people
- How to find out a person’s character
- Becoming a student of your attraction patterns
- Tips for using logic to express emotion
- Challenges of dating as a neurodiverse person
- Get a copy of Deeper Dating by Ken Page
- Join the Coaching and Mentorship Intensive with Ken Page
- Connect with us on Instagram
Welcome to the Deeper Dating Q & A where I answer your most pressing questions about love, dating, sex, and intimacy. And I answer them in such a way that listeners will be able to take lessons and insights for their own life away from this episode, so, stay tuned to the Deeper Dating podcast.
Hello everybody & welcome to the Deeper Dating podcast. I’m Ken Page, and I’m a psychotherapist. I’m the author of the best-selling book, Deeper Dating, and the creator of the Deeper Dating Intensive. I’m so happy to be with you here for this Q&A session where I get to answer your personal questions about love and sex and romance in a way that hopefully brings insight to many of you who are listening.
Does your soul feel safe with this hot and sexy guy? Click To Tweet
I’m excited to jump in. But first I want to say that my commitment in this podcast is to offer you the greatest tools and insights that I know to help you find love, keep it flourishing, and heal your life in the process because the skills of wiser dating are the skills of wiser intimacy, and those are the greatest skills of all for a meaningful, rich, happy life.
If you want to learn more about the Deeper Dating approach to the search for love, just go to deeperdatingpodcast.com. You can sign up for my mailing list, get lots of free resources and information, and read and hear every episode, transcript, and recording.
Listening to your gut:
Let’s jump in. For reasons of confidentiality, I’m not going to be mentioning people’s names in this episode. One woman called in and explained that there were these two different guys that she was dating. One of them, she was super attracted to, and there was a really intense charge. But she wasn’t that emotionally involved with him and didn’t feel that he was at her level of depth emotionally and maturity.
The other guy was someone who she felt very emotionally involved with and found that the feelings were deepening. This was someone who was really capable of meeting her emotionally. But she was not physically attracted to him.
So I thought this was a really, really important question. In fact, before deciding on the questions I was going to answer, I thought about that being maybe the biggest question of all that people have. As they do this work and learn to honor their nervous systems, their hearts, their souls, their vulnerability, their authenticity more, they find that they’re developing richer, deeper relationships, in general, and with the genders or gender that they’re interested in.
But sometimes they end up in a situation where all of these kinds of shifts that we talk about here are actually coming true for them. They’re thrilled about that, and they’re thrilled about this new person, but they’re either not sexually attracted or they’re not sexually attracted enough. The people that they are sexually attracted to, maybe spiritually and emotionally, don’t feel as mature or safe or generous or authentic.
We shove away the possibility of true presence and intimacy by saying this is boring. Click To Tweet
The first thing I want to say, and I want to say this so many times, I just think that people who are doing this different work here of building their circuitries of attraction to healthy relationships really need to know that you do not need to be with someone who you’re not physically attracted to, nor should you be with someone who you’re not physically attracted to. We talk about this a lot in the Deeper Dating Intensives. Also in Chapter 11 in my book, Deeper Dating, we spend a lot of time with that as well because it’s such a big and important subject.
So the first thing I want to say is that, like I said, you don’t need to, nor should you, be with someone you’re not physically attracted to. That forcing of self is a kind of cruel thing. As a gay man, I spent years doing that to myself. I intimately know that pain. So one of the questions that I have for the person who asked this is, have you been physically and sexually attracted to this person?
If you’ve never been physically or sexually or erotically attracted to this person, that’s one thing. If you’ve been dating this person for a good while and you have never been physically attracted, it’s probably not a romantic and erotic match. It might become that at some point. It’s even possible that if you let yourself off the hook and give yourself space and don’t demand that you feel sexually toward this person, that Eros can blossom, but you pretty much need to assume that it’s not there, and, to the best of your knowledge, it’s not going to blossom, and you need to let them know.
I encourage you to treasure, treasure, treasure, treasure the emotional and spiritual and intimacy growth that allowed you to meet someone so wonderful and connect with him.
The other guy, the guy with whom there’s this really hot, romantic, and sexual charge, the questions to ask are, what is this person’s character like? Do they have an addiction issue? Do they have a serious mental health issue that’s not treated? Are they wonderful? Are they decent? Are they kind? Are they honest? Are they essentially available? If all of those things are true and there’s a quality of some immaturity or lack of depth, work on it, work on it, see what you can develop with that person, because why not?
There’s this wonderful, erotic charge, and that is a really great thing. But if your gut tells you that this is not someone who has the capacity to relate in the kind of deep way that you’re looking for… Again, different people relate deeply in different ways. Some people do it non-verbally. Some people are not so great with the words, but they’re great with the presentness. They’re great with the generosity. They’re great with the decency and the truth. Other people are really good with words, but maybe not so good with the other things, and that’s not so great.
The question to ask, and I’m going to be talking about this in another answer to another question, is, does your soul feel safe with this hot and sexy guy? Is there this quality of decency and generosity and goodness where even if it’s hard, this guy still tries to be decent and caring, and honest? If so, those are great things. If not, this really might not be the best match.
The heart-based approach to finding love:
If you are going through a kind of change here with this mindful approach and heart-based approach to finding love, you might be moving away from these real hot types that really scratch the itch when it works right and tortures you when it doesn’t work right, losing your taste for that and developing your taste for available people. If you historically have chosen people who don’t treat you right or are not available, you will probably find yourself either less interested or more judgmental or more distancing from people who really are available because your psyche isn’t used to it and because it’s an entirely different level of risk. So our being doesn’t experience it as, “Oh, this is scary.” We shove away the possibility of true presence in intimacy by saying, “This is boring. This is not exciting.”
So with this guy, are there things about him that are sexy to you or sort of sexy that you could kind of slightly fetishize or think about or fantasize about? Are there things that are not full-on sexual, but like holding hands or touching or playing with his hair that feel like something you would really like to do even though you don’t want to go to more intense sex? See if you can let yourself do that.
Are there things that turn you on to do that you could, in your own private life, fantasize about doing with him? Because it’s a really good thing to consciously cultivate fantasy, turn on and all of that, with someone who’s a wonderful person. There’s nothing better. That’s the place to be doing that.
I would say if you’re seeing this person, even if you’re not sure if there are impulses to maybe just do something, ask him if that’s okay to just do that and not do anything more. You might find, especially if you don’t pressure yourself and you go with not only turn-ons, but your pacing and your deeper emotional self, that Eros actually begins to grow. This is a way that we can have some degree of mastery around Eros.
We can’t force Eros. We can’t force turn-on, but we could play with it. We could knead it. We could fantasize.
Where feelings are deepening, sometimes just touching fingers or just touching hands or eye gaze or sharing something deeply vulnerable invite Eros to come alive. But there can’t be pressure, and there needs to be joy. There needs to be joy in some of this process of fueling Eros.
So I would say both of these guys are worth exploring if the character is good in this super hotty guy, but don’t force yourself to feel like you need to be sexual. To me, you’ve described huge learning because you described that you’re using this kind of work and these lessons and what you’ve learned here and you’re finally meeting somebody who’s a deeper, richer, more present person. That’s what happens when we do this conscious authenticity intimacy journey. So three cheers for that.Going slower is a really good thing because there might be the sense of enthusiasm and excitement which should be relished and treasured and not squashed. Click To Tweet
Next, we had someone who reached out and said, “I need advice for high empath, highly competent people. I’m a really highly competent person. I’m a high empath. I know how to give. I know how to do. I know how to listen. I know how to be there. But I just don’t see the signs. I have so much to give. But again and again, I date people where I don’t see the signs, and they can’t match me.
They can’t give like I can give. They can receive, but they can’t really be present for that. And they ultimately really disappoint me. So what’s your advice for high empath people who just don’t see the signs?” She said, “Should I just go slower? Is that going to help at all?”
I want to share a couple of thoughts here. Yeah, going slower is a really, really, really good thing because there might be this sense of enthusiasm and excitement which should be relished and treasured and not squashed. But you want to know the person’s character. How do you find out the person’s character? By practicing deep authenticity.
This is a very, very rich question. Where do you, as a highly empathic person, decide you’re not going to say what you need? Where do you decide not to say, “Hey, that kind of hurt my feelings? Or could you frame it this way instead? Or I didn’t feel heard”? Where, as a high empath person, are you blocking the fullness of your being?
Because if you want to find out if this is the right person for you, you need to show the fullness of your being. That is how you will learn if this is a good match and what this person’s character is. So that’s one rich question is, how are you eclipsing your power, your tenderness, your presence, and your needs in order to keep the relationship going? If you are, that’s the gold zone baby. That’s where it’s hard and it’s scary, but you practice sharing more of you. Then with eyes open, you witness how this person handles it.
These are skills that we need to learn. This is why I say that the single most important question, the question we should live with as our priority and everything else will kind of cascade down out of this top-tier question, which is, does my soul feel safe with this person? Does my deep self feel safe with this person and not episodically safe, but in fact, essentially safe?
Here’s another question, and this is a rich, rich, rich, rich piece of work. It’s something that, in our Intensive, we spend a lot of time with. I spend a lot of time about this in my book and my course because it’s so hugely important. It’s to become a student of our attraction patterns. So what I would say is look for the qualities where it didn’t work.
Allow yourself to practice externalizing responsibility for this exercise, like assume it was the other person. What are the negative qualities that you’ve seen in these people that you’ve dated where you ended up being disappointed? What qualities have shown up again and again, maybe in slightly different guises, but still showed up again and again?
It’s gold to know that because that’s your iconic, not healthy type. You’re magnetized toward that type, so it’s going to take conscious work to de-magnetize and not get sucked into that kind of gutter ball relationship. When I say gutter ball, I don’t mean that it’s a relationship that’s in the gutter. It’s just, I’m a terrible bowler. When I bowl, my ball keeps going into the gutter again and again and again. I’m not very good at it. That feeling of, like, “Oh, it went into that groove again, and now it’s going to go nowhere good. Nothing good is going to happen.” We need to know the types of relationships, the qualities of character that happen again and again that have led you to disappointment.
Once you know that, that’s a lot to work with because you can look for those qualities, and if the next person you’re dating has those qualities, you know that’s a warning sign. If they have those qualities and you feel drawn to them in a kind of unhealthy way where you’re looking for them to validate you or to accept you or to approve of you, then you know that the task at this point is to pull away from that person, to detach, to take space, to ask your friends for help, to ask your therapist for help and to begin to pull away.
As a deep empath, not only can you feel for people, but you can feel when things feel wrong. Work that skill of trusting that discrimination because that’s a really essential task. Lots more there, I’m going to leave this one at that.
Becoming a student of your attraction patterns:
We’re just going to do one more question. I’ve got a bunch of other really wonderful questions, so I might do another Q&A sooner than I have before in the past. The question was from someone who expressed being neuro-diverse and having a kind of quality of really strong logic, difficulty with expressing emotions, but super, super clear logic, and a deep appreciation for clarity, logic, truth, and an intelligent understanding of things.
She said that people that she has dated, it’s been difficult for her because they want her to be able to express things more emotionally or be able to operate more richly and fully on more emotionally expressive tracks, and they don’t necessarily appreciate or validate the beautiful clarity and logic of her intellect.
So her question is, “What do I do? Do I just date other people who are neuro-diverse in a similar way to me who also really, really understand and appreciate that quality of logic and don’t get lost in emotion-land which will make me feel safer? Or do I work on these skills of developing these qualities and run the risk of being hurt, not seen, and not understood?” That’s a rich and fabulous question.
First, congratulations on the self-honoring of understanding these aspects of yourself and also seeing the gifts in them so clearly. That’s huge, huge progress.
I would give this one a both/and answer. One thing’s for damn sure. You definitely need to be with people who don’t shame you, blame you, and have a lot of space for the beauty of your intellect, your clarity, and your logic. They’ve got to love that stuff. That has to be loved because it’s so much of who you are. If they tweak you and encourage you a little bit, if they get impatient somewhat now and then, if they ask you for more emotional expression but they treasure these other parts of you, maybe that’s not so bad.
I think it’s good to honor your dominant quality. Love it, as I hear that you’re doing. Dignify it, absolutely, but in a gentle way. Cultivate the skills to be able to deepen your emotional expression and get support in doing that, too, because that’s just a really good thing to do.
So dear folks, there’s so much more, but for now, we’re going to need to close. I look very forward to seeing you on the next episode of the Deeper Dating podcast. If you like what you’re hearing here, I would love it if you could subscribe and leave me a review on iTunes or Spotify or anywhere. Thank you so much, and I look forward to our next time.