In this episode, I’ll share a simple way to stay connected to your heart, develop your sense of discrimination, and lead you most quickly to the healthy love you desire. All in one easy-to-remember acronym: the word BASICS.
Table of Contents
Episode Introduction: Healthy Love
I love simple ways to remember life’s deepest truths. In this episode, you’re going to learn a simple acronym that will help you claim self-love, increase your capacity for discrimination, and find healthy love in the quickest way possible. Stay tuned to the Deeper Dating Podcast to learn more.
Hello and welcome to The Deeper Dating Podcast. I’m Ken Page, a psychotherapist and coach and author of the bestselling book Deeper Dating: How to Drop the Games of Seduction and Discover the Power of Intimacy. And today I’m going to teach you an acronym. It’s the word BASICS that’s going to help you get in sync and in line with your deepest values, your deepest gifts, and your greatest sense of discrimination, all of which will help you find love in the quickest and easiest and wisest way possible.
What the Listeners are Saying
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Also, everything I share in this podcast is educational in nature. It’s not medical or psychological advice or treatment for any condition. And if you’re experiencing any serious psychological conditions, please seek professional help. And finally, if you like what you’re learning here, it would be a fabulous gift to subscribe and to leave me a review with your thoughts and reflections. So thank you so much for that. And let’s jump in.
For me it’s really helpful to have ways to remember the things that matter most because it’s so easy to get distracted by things that don’t matter or things that seductively take me off a path that I’ve decided is probably the wisest path for me.
So I decided I wanted to create an acronym for deeper dating, an acronym that I think captures, not all, but, much of the most important points of all for people who want to deepen their sense of self-love and find love because the two are so profoundly connected. The acronym is the word BASICS, and half of the letters in that acronym are things that you can do to help shift and change your own approach to your search for love.
And the other half are ways to be discriminating about the people that you choose. To see which kind of attractions might lead to pain and which are much more likely to lead to love. So let’s jump right in and look at these. Okay, so the first letter in the word basics is B. And that stands for bravery. In my intensives, in my classes, in my courses, in my book, so much of the work is internal, the building of a foundation of honoring the parts of ourselves that are the deepest down what I call Core Gifts.
The Process that Leads to Self Love
And that’s a very rich, rich process. One that leads to a lot of self-love, a lot of self-honoring and a real shift. But there comes a time when those beautiful inner processes need help. And the help is the help of bravery and in the search for love, bravery truly, truly is a necessary ingredient. In some ways it’s the yeast that makes the bread rise. So that’s a fabulous question that we can ask ourselves is, am I being brave?
Am I being brave in this search for love?
And what that means is learning new lessons. It means getting out there. It really does mean getting out there.
It means being willing to see and face old patterns that didn’t work because we get very patterned in things like the search for love because there’s so much risk inherent in it. So we find safety patterns, but those safety patterns often hold us back from the very thing that we’re seeking. So bravery, the bravery of being on line at Starbucks, as I’ve mentioned before, Arielle Ford says this, and looking up from your phone and seeing that there’s someone you’re attracted to and figuring out a way to maybe start a conversation with them.
The bravery of going to events with people who share your values, actual, real, live events. The bravery of diving into online dating period or diving into online dating in new ways. The bravery, the ongoing bravery of revealing who you are. So we don’t get to do this without building the muscle of bravery. So the second letter is the letter A. And that stands for authenticity.
The Power of Authenticity
And my last episode was all about the power of authenticity, how committing to our deepest authenticity is about the greatest act of self-love that we can do. And when that’s combined with saying, “I’m only going to look for people who make that authenticity feel safe.” And we’re going to get to that a little bit later, but when those two things are combined, we have the most powerful and simple path to finding healthy love.
So authenticity, which of course is connected to bravery because it is not easy to be authentic. And all the messages that you hear that tell you be authentic, but also fix yourself in this way and fix yourself in that way and act confident and act this way and act that way. It doesn’t really work.
Ultimately, we have to choose the honoring of our authenticity as the primary path we’re taking in our life and in our search for love.
And when we do that, we develop a dignity that is beautiful and impressive, and rare and deeply, deeply attractive to the right people. So all of this process that I teach is based on the magic of authenticity. And I’d want to call it a superpower because in a way it is, but I also don’t like that word superpower because it’s a superpower that is very, very human.
It’s the superpower of honoring our vulnerability, and that is a superpower. The third step here, the third key is the letter S. B-A-S, basics. And the letter S stands for what I say is the single most important question in your search for love. And if you make this question your main question, it changes you and it changes your search for love.
Keeping Your Heart Safe
And I truly mean that, and it does it in powerful and beautiful ways. So what is this S? The S stands for safety. And the question is, does my soul feel safe with this person? Now maybe you don’t like the word soul, then you want to say heart, does my heart feel safe with this person?
Or maybe you’re saying, “Yes, safety is really nice, but what about sexual attraction and what about location and what about age and what about height?” Et cetera, et cetera. And yes, all of those are real questions, but when they become your first questions, you become more brittle, more anxious, less resonant with your authentic self, and all those questions come and all those questions get answered in time. But when you make your first question, does my soul feel safe with this person?
A few things happen; one, there is a core level that you’ve chosen to honor your authenticity and that’s the greatest thing of all. That’s the place to start. The other thing that happens is you activate your sense of discrimination because somebody might be really nice, but that doesn’t mean that they’re really safe. It just means that they’re acting nice potentially.
And for most of us, we tend to deactivate a very organic and natural sense of discrimination that we have by thinking, “Oh, I’m being too sensitive. Oh, I’m being too much. Oh, I’m being too judgmental.” We’re going to talk about this more a little bit later. But there are things that we can absolutely be too judgemental about and we’re going to get to that.
Honoring Your Discrimination
It is the last letter in the word basics, but when it comes to a feeling of safety and a feeling of inspiration, that’s where we get to be deeply discriminating. And that’s where we kind of really get to trust our sense of judgment.
So, does my soul feel safe with this person? Now you may not know that right away. In some cases you’re going to know it really quickly because they’re going to do something kind of creepy or ugly or unkind. And then you’ll say, “Noted.” And you’ll be aware of that, and you may decide “that’s it, I’m done.” Or you may say, “I’m going to give this person one more chance, but I’m aware of this tendency.” When you honor your discrimination, you notice these things and you take them seriously.
So let’s picture this now, think about the last date you went on. And imagine if you were on that date and you asked yourself that question,
Does my soul feel safe with this person?
And that became your paramount kind of question. Re-look at that date and see if you would do the same things, how that would have shifted things for you. And picture doing this as well on future dates, imagine how it would shift things if that was your primary question.
And again, sexual attraction will come. That’ll take care of itself. It’s either going to be there, it’s going to be something that you feel like could develop or it’s just not going to be there, and of course you honor that too, but then maybe this person becomes a friend. This is a way to live. It’s not just a way to date.
The Two Circuitries of Attraction
The next question is, it’s the I in the word basics and it stands for inspiration. And I speak a lot about the two different circuitries of attraction we have. We can all be attracted to what I call attractions of deprivation, which is where we feel like the person’s just not really loving us, not really accepting us, not being available over a significant period of time and we try to get them to love us right or treat us right or stop drinking or whatever the thing is.
But ultimately there is an embedded quality of deprivation, which we can’t change and which feels like an itch that we have to scratch again and again to finally fix. And we all have that circuitry of attraction. But we have another circuitry of attraction too, which is what I call attractions of inspiration. And that’s when we’re inspired by a person’s treatment of us, treatment of themselves, way they live their life, the way they handle issues of availability and presence and integrity.
And that’s what we want because that sets up a whole different wiring. That sets up this gorgeous wiring where goodness and Eros combine. Where a sense of this person’s safety and goodness and also their hotness and sexiness and their sexiness and lust and warmth of your connection all fuse together, and that’s happiness. And you don’t find that without safety and inspiration. So that’s the next question. Am I inspired by this person and who they are in terms of particularly qualities of integrity, decency, goodness, availability, care, generosity, et cetera.
There’s a lot more to speak about here, but I just want to say one other thing, these attractions of inspiration often grow more slowly with an attraction of deprivation.
Hook, Line, and Sinker
You are hooked from the beginning in many cases or you’re hooked when all of a sudden the distance shows up or the unavailability shows up. It’s like the hook just gets you.
With attractions of inspiration, that wild hook does not get you.
And the growth of a connection of inspiration happens often more slowly because it’s more organic, it’s more intuitive, and also it happens more slowly because our insides recognize that this could be real. So we don’t latch on or jump on often quite as quickly because we kind of know this is the real deal. And so we enter into it more slowly, and our attraction often grows more slowly.
So now we come to the C in the word basics. And the C stands for character. And I’ve said this a number of times before, but I interviewed Hara Marano who was the advice columnist for Psychology Today. And she said,
“There are three things that are the most important things in your choice of a partner. The first is character, the second is character, and the third is character.”
And she is right. She is right.
And I want to say something else about this now, which is that niceness is not the same as character because anybody could be super nice to you. They could love bomb you, they could just fill you with niceness, but… And niceness is nice. Three cheers for niceness, but it’s different than character.
And character is what you see when it’s a little difficult to be honest, but the person still is. It’s a little difficult to be kind, but the person still is. It’s a little difficult to be available, but the person still is. Those things are character.
And that’s kind of the solid, solid foundation that you want to build your future on. So that’s another issue is character. And so these, the S, the I, and the C are discrimination issues. Those are things you’re looking for. Does my soul feel safe? Is this an attraction of inspiration? Do I see signs of real character in this person? And if the answers to those are yes, that is truly, truly wonderful. And that brings us to the last letter, which is S which stands for squinting.
And it also stands for stretching. So what do I mean by that? Well, let’s stick with stretching. You meet somebody and all of the things that I just described are true, but they’re like five years older or five years younger than you were planning on. Well, if all these other things are true, I really want to encourage you to stretch.
When people say to me in my courses and intensives, “I don’t want to date anybody who’s more than 100 miles away because it’s just not conducive to an intimate relationship. What I say to them is if somebody lived 200 miles away, but you knew that they were your soulmate, would you say no to them? I hope the answer is no. I don’t say that last part. I asked them that question and they always say that the answer is no.
So that’s where it’s important to stretch because when you start making these choices, you are going to be more likely to meet people who’ve got the S going, got the I going and got the C going in the word basics, but maybe you have to use the letter S and stretch in terms of their height, their distance.
Squinting Your Way to Love
Now obviously if someone’s not right for you, they’re not right for you and you can’t date someone just because they’re good for you. If that kind of chemistry isn’t there, and I’m not suggesting that you do, but if the chemistry is there and if you have to stretch, take the time to get to know the person because what’s going to happen is your chemistry with them and your connection with them is going to grow and that’s going to ultimately overshadow your hesitancy about things like the little age difference, et cetera.
So squinting, I’m just going to say something about squinting too. If you’ve ever watched an artist at work painting a subject or drawing a subject, sometimes you notice they squint a little bit and they squint because when you squint, it stops you from getting distracted by the harsh outlines of the subject and you see more into your subject’s essence. I would encourage you in your dating life to squint. If somebody’s wearing shoes or a shirt or whatever that you’re like, “Oh, I don’t like this.” Then you just squint and see who this person is and ask the other questions that we’ve talked about. And this kind of squinting is a really wonderful and important thing when it comes to superficials.
I don’t want you to squint when it comes to character or inspiration or safety. But when it comes to choice in music, when it comes to where the person lives, et cetera, et cetera, I do encourage you to squint. So that you could get a sense of who this person really is, what the chemistry feels like between you and you don’t make an evaluation that’s so preemptive that it doesn’t give you the opportunity to do that.
Aligning Yourself to the Path of Love
These six letters of the word BASICS, you can remember really easily; bravery, authenticity, a deep sense of safety, attraction of inspiration, character and stretching or squinting. And when you just click those things off and remember them, you’ll align yourself with the path that’s going to make you feel more peaceful, stronger, and it’s going to help you find the kind of love you’re looking for and heal your life at the same time.
So thank you all for listening to this episode, and if you like what you heard, I would so appreciate it if you could subscribe, leave me a review. And you can go to deeperdatingpodcast.com to read the transcript to get your free ebook that teaches the four insights that transform your search for love, or the first two chapters of my bestselling book, Deeper Dating, which teach you how to discover your own core gifts. And I look forward to seeing you on the next episode of Deeper Dating.