If you have noticed a pattern in your life of dating the wrong types of people then this episode is for you. I share one of the two most game-changing pieces of all the material I teach in my dating intensives about how to up-level your attractions. Yes, that is correct. You can actively alter your dating preferences. Learn the important difference between attractions of inspiration and deprivation and how to get turned on by goodness.

Listen to this episode to learn how to up-level your attractions to up-level your future.

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Show Notes:


  • What is the most common message Ken gets from listeners
  • How to up-level your attractions
  • What happens when you shift your attraction patterns
  • How are attractions of inspiration and deprivation different
  • What are the three stages of changing your attraction patterns
  • How much should you share with your romantic partner


How to up-level your attractions:


  1. Stage one: learn the difference
  2. Stage two: make the decision to only pursue attractions of inspiration
  3. Stage three: get to know the new you and keep an eye out for stepping-stone relationships


Important Links:



6 month coaching and mentorship intensive with Ken Page


Attracted to People Who Aren't Good For You? Here's How to Change That


Do you keep finding yourself attracted to people who aren’t right for you, who can’t commit, who don’t treat you right, with whom you can’t build a life together? If so, stay tuned to this episode of the Deeper Dating® Podcast and you’ll learn the steps that you can take to transform your attraction patterns, which means transforming your future in love.

Hello everybody and welcome to the Deeper Dating® Podcast. I’m Ken Page, I’m a psychotherapist and I’m the author of the bestselling book, Deeper Dating and the creator of the Deeper Dating Intensive and your host in this podcast. And today, I’m so excited to be speaking about what I think might be the most game changing piece of all the material that I teach. Well, let’s say one of the two. And it’s around being able to up level your attractions, which will up level your future in the realest possible way. So it’s very, very exciting to me to be able to share these tools with you that really are life-changing and that I hear from people all the time have changed their lives.

But I just want to say that if you want to learn more about the Deeper Dating® path to deeper intimacy, just go to deeper, a lot of deeper, deeperdatingpodcast.com. And there you’ll find transcripts of every episode and lots and lots of different resources, and you can get to join my mailing list, get a free eBook and other gifts. So I’d love to have you become part of my learning community.

And I’m also going to be teaching a live course on this material I’ll be talking about today, but you’ll get to hear about that more later. If you like what you hear here, or see here, if you’re watching it on YouTube, I would really appreciate it if you could subscribe, leave a review. Those are really helpful ways to say thank you to me and we just have such exquisite reviews and they mean the world to me. Okay, let me jump in.


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This is a concept that we don’t get taught that is inspiring, profound, moving, and really, really important in a very structural way. It’s this, our sexual and romantic attractions can change, and do change, as we change in certain ways. This is the most amazing thing, and what I’m going to teach you in this episode is how you can actually up-level your sexual and romantic attractions, which means that you are going to have so much of a happier future potential.

And you will save yourself so much pain and so much grief, and you will be able to connect your places of deepest heart, deepest soul, and deepest meaning to your search for love and your intimacy life. So that doesn’t have to be a separate thing. All of your beautiful work on your own growth actually can connect to your dating life and your dating life can become a journey of healing. Watch how that happens, because it does.


Our sexual and romantic attractions can change and do change as we change. Share on X


One thing I would say is that of all of the letters that I get, and I do get lots of letters and comments from people talking about how their lives have changed from this work, the one that I get the most frequently is this. It’s people saying that they up-leveled their attractions. They learned the lessons that I’m going to be talking about today, and they found themselves falling in love with someone that they would not have fallen in love with in the past. Someone who has goodness and decency and stability that they would’ve not noticed in the past because they educated their attractions.

You can’t force your sexual and romantic attractions. It’s a self-cruel thing to do to even try. But you can educate your attractions and up-level them in a really authentic way by doing the simple but profound shifts that I’m going to be talking about in this episode today and that I’m going to be talking about as well in this live class.


Attracted to People Who Aren't Good For You? Here's How to Change That

Attractions of deprivation are like scratch the itch. They’re like an itch you cannot help; it feels like the deepest truth that you have to scratch that itch to get what you want, but it’s not the deepest truth.


But I just want to read you a message that I got from someone very recently that in very simple terms describes exactly what I’m talking about. This is from someone whose name is Emmy. She gave me permission to say this and she said, “It’s so nice to connect. I’ve listened to your podcast for a few years now and it has taught me so much. And I used to be like the old you.” Which is true. “And I always dated the sexy unavailable men.

And finally, I turned my strategy around with your advice.” Which is exactly the advice we’re going to be talking about today, but also in some new ways. “Now I’m with a lovely and kind-hearted man and we’re having a baby together in November. Thank you for sharing such wonderful insights.” This is like, of all the different messages that I get, it is from people who have shifted their attraction patterns and changed their lives because of that.


Stages of changing your attractions


And we’re going to be talking about how to do that. I’ll say that the second most common message that I get from people is people saying, I haven’t found my partner yet, but I have hope again. I have hope that there is a way to do this that doesn’t ask me to be someone other than I am. I have hoped that there’s a path that actually has hope and has kind of research-backed direction. So I feel very privileged to get to share these ideas.

And now let’s jump in. Okay, so I’m going to talk about three different stages of this journey of changing your attractions because when you change your attractions, you change your future. And this is the thing we get taught about attraction all the time.

It’s how to make yourself more attractive, how to make it… which is like, “Ugh.” Which means you’re not attractive enough to begin with, which means that there’s a flaw that you have to fix, which means that you have to fake it in some way that who you are is not good enough and that looks like the path to success, but it’s the path to fucking hell.

And this is something that all of us in our lives, I think in different ways have recognized that this thing of fixing yourself and changing yourself and being more like such and such and such and such seems like it’s going to work, but it’s a carrot in front of a stick and ultimately it dismantles us. And we end up feeling like Humpty Dumpty, like broken and unput together-able. What I’m going to talk about today, de-Humpty Dumpty’s us. It puts us back together. So the first stage is identifying your circuitries of attraction, and I’m going to share this concept.


You can educate your attractions and up-level them. Share on X


Many of you have heard it before, but those of you who are new to this work haven’t heard it. So I’m going to say it briefly. This is the piece that Oprah excerpted from my book, Deeper Dating, and I’ll tell you about this from my past history. So I was someone who only was attracted to a certain kind of guy that was cocky and arrogant, a bad boy type. This was an antidote to my own pain around how deeply sensitive I was and how I could be hurt by life so easily.

So I was attracted to someone who didn’t have that, and that’s a whole other issue, which is like how our Core Gifts relate to who… our relationship to our deepest Core Gifts very largely determines our attractions. But that’s for another episode. In any case, that’s who I was attracted to again and again, and as a gay man, this is my story, but it’s a universal story as well, which is why it resonates I think with so many people of all different orientations and gender identities and life experiences.

Again and again and again I had this experience and one day I had this insight after a lot of frustration and the insight was I remembered someone in high school who I fell profoundly in love with and who literally changed my life and my future, who I loved largely because of his incredible goodness and decency and spirituality.

And I thought, “Oh my God, that’s amazing. I must have another circuitry and I do have another circuitry where I can be attracted to goodness. Holy cow.” I did not remember that. I did not realize it. This was the beginning of a very long journey and a lot of thinking and a lot of teaching and a lot of talking and a lot of years and actually some decades before I was able to really click this in to making changes, but it was a revelation.


Attracted to People Who Aren't Good For You? Here's How to Change That

Your attractions will begin to change; your circuitry will start to get attuned to goodness, stability, generosity, kindness, and availability.


And this is true, I think essentially for all of us, we have two circuitries of attraction, talking in a very crude kind of way. Those are Attractions of Deprivation, which are attractions where we feel like somebody almost loves us but doesn’t fully love us, almost loves us, right, but doesn’t love us right. Is almost available, but then they’re not available. And this grabs us in two different places. One, our longing and our hope for love.

And two, an ancient sense of there being some lack in us, something that makes us not lovable, which creates a sense of desperation, an intense kind of compulsive need to get that person to love us because it’ll kind of prove that we are worth loving. This is white-hot stuff. It feels like love. It can pull us for years and for decades until we recognize that it’s false. It is fool’s gold.

It is not the kind of love that lasts. It is not the kind of place where we want to build our home in the world. It will be destroyed in almost all cases. But there’s another circuitry that you have, and I have, and it’s what I call Attractions of Inspiration, and it’s where we can be attracted to somebody. We have to be physically attracted, of course, but where we’re attracted because of their goodness, because of their generosity.

Because of their sense of adventure, because of their consistency, in other words, like character kind of qualities, because of their generosity. And I’m not talking about all of these qualities in some kind of flashing process where they’re really gorgeous and amazing and larger than life, and then they disappear and then they come back.


Differentiating attractions of inspiration and deprivation


That’s the path to hell, path. Those are attractions of deprivation. Attractions of Deprivation are like scratch the itch. They’re like an itch you cannot help. It feels like the deepest truth that you have to scratch that itch to get what you want, but it’s not the deepest truth. It’s the false truth of addiction. It feels like what you want, but it’s going to leave you so empty.

Attractions of Inspiration are really, really different. We feel them like a kind of glow, a safety, and a blossoming from within. They grow usually a little bit more slowly. And if we don’t train ourselves to notice the difference, and amazingly, amazingly, amazingly in the ridiculous amount of dating advice, this is not something that we get taught and it’s something that we all have to know. And when we know it, we can build a good future for ourselves.

And for me, being single for decades and decades and choosing and finding the wrong people, this is what made all the difference in the world. This is what led me to love. This is what led me to marriage. This is what led me to my family of creation. It’s this knowledge that starts with stage one, it’s recognizing the difference between your Attractions of Deprivation and Attractions of Inspiration.

And I said in my book, and I say now, that if I was going to boil everything that I teach down into one message, it would be recognize the difference between your Attractions of Deprivation and your Attractions of Inspiration and make a decision to only choose your Attractions of Inspiration. In our six-month intensives, we do a lot of work on this, and people end up creating a pledge, which is a pledge of saying, “No more Attractions of Deprivation, only Attractions of Inspiration for me.” And when we make that pledge and stick to it, our lives change. Our futures change. There’s no going back when we follow that pledge.


What I am going to talk about today de-Humpty Dumpty's us; it puts us back together. Share on X


So then what do we do when we begin to recognize this? Well, first, we notice what are the patterns of negative qualities that we’ve been drawn to again and again. And then we notice just like I did that time, what are the patterns of goodness and consistency that we have also been attracted to, the ones that really move us and touch our hearts because we got that circuitry too. And then we make a decision, and this is stage two.

Stage two is making this decision of saying, “I am only going to choose partners with whom my soul feels safe and feels seen.” When we make that decision, we reorganize around dignity and self-love, but something else happens too. When we make that decision, we start noticing those people and there’s research to back this up. We start noticing them. We start becoming more and more attracted to them.

And that’s the message that I said I get most of all from people, “I wouldn’t have noticed this person, but now looking for kindness, goodness, availability, generosity, I noticed this person and little by little my feelings grew toward them and I just could not be happier”. This is this unbelievable message that I hear so often, and it’s what can happen for you as you live this. So you make that your question, “With whom does my soul feel safe and seen?” And that becomes your new filter.

And as this happens gradually, slowly, not quickly, it ain’t no 90 degree turn or 180 degree turn. It’s like a giant ocean liner turning in the ocean. It takes time, but you’re erotic and romantic circuitry begins to change, turn on, starts to get linked to goodness, to generosity and stability. We begin to re-circuit ourselves, and this is doable.

We may need help. We may need support. Most of us do. This is not like stuff that most of us could do on our own without support, which is why I believe in getting support so deeply. But your attractions will begin to change. Your circuitry will start to get attuned to goodness, stability, generosity, kindness, and availability. So this is an amazing thing.

And then here are some of the changes that you’ll start to notice along with that. When I recognized this, here’s what happened to me. First, all of a sudden I realized I was dating people who were doing better things in the world, were kind of more devoted to kindness, had a quality of decency to them. I couldn’t believe it, and they were attracted to me, and I didn’t want to run for the hills. These were changes that I noticed. It was still a long time that I kept learning.


Attracted to People Who Aren't Good For You? Here's How to Change That

This is a path to self-love; a path to the kind of relationship that you can build a world around.


Hopefully these ideas will speed things up for you. It took me a long time. But those were some of the early changes that I started to notice, and they were wonderful. There was a warmth inside of me. There was more self-love, and I started privileging that sense of warmth and safety and goodness with the guys that I dated. And I started getting more and more allergic to the assholes that I was dating before that to those kind of qualities. I cannot tell you how priceless it is when that starts to happen for you.

And if it’s happening already, really honor yourself for that. If it hasn’t happened yet, do this work and it will happen and it’s priceless. It is priceless because it means that your future is going to be different and so much better and so much wiser. So that is the second step.

The third step is this weird kind of stage of liminality being between worlds where it’s like, “Oh God, I’m interested in this person, but it’s not what I’m used to.” It’s where your sexual circuitry, your romantic circuitry is different now, and it’s kind of bewildering and strange and confusing. This is a place where we often encounter what I call stepping stone relationships, and they are rough.

Those are relationships where we meet people and it’s like, “Oh my God, this is an Attraction of Inspiration. This is what I’ve been looking for.” But it’s new and we don’t know for a while. And then we discover if we’re trusting our nervous system and we keep asking ourselves the question, “Does my soul feel safe and seen?” We will figure this out quickly. Thank God. If we don’t ask ourselves that question, we could be in for a long time of pain.

This is something in the intensive that I’ve seen again and again, is that as people trust their nervous system, they get out of those stepping stone relationships quicker because the person is they seem like the real thing, but they’re not. Another thing that can happen is, and this kept me single for decades, this thing that I think is the single greatest saboteur of healthy, new love, and it’s what I call the Wave of Distancing.

And it’s where someone’s available and they’re not going anywhere and there’s not drama and you don’t have to prove yourself, and they’re there. There is no drama in the fact that they like you and they’re there and they lose market value in your head and in your heart dramatically because of that, because it’s not what you’re used to. So this is a whole other subject that I’m covering, so many pieces in this episode, but the short form about what to do about that when that happens.

And if you’re someone who has historically been drawn to unavailable people, you almost definitely will experience the wave. And in my deeper work, in my intensive, in my book, in my course, in my upcoming course, which is called Finding Your Beloved, I teach this in more detail. But the short form is don’t flee and don’t pressure yourself. Because if you flee, you’ll never find out. It’s a bumpy period you’re going to go through.

It’s some hard white water because you don’t want to get yourself enmeshed in a relationship that you’re not going to be interested in. You don’t want to hurt the other person, but you don’t know because all of a sudden your feelings have gone away. So don’t flee, but don’t suffocate yourself or force yourself to do intimate things that you’re not ready for. Give it some air, give it some space because it’s a spasm of fear and it will unknot itself, really. And when it does, your attraction almost definitely will come back and with it a better sense of if that person is right for you or not.


Get to know the real you


So as you do this work with support, please with support, because otherwise we trick ourselves. I really believe in support. As you do this work, you are so much more likely to find a healthy, beautiful relationship. And then there’s an entire other set of tasks. And I’m just going to say something briefly about that because in those relationships, the same skills you use to build attraction in your dating life, you use in the relationship, but it’s kind of different in a way.

Because now you’re with somebody and you’re with somebody who is so much more likely to be able to get you past your shame, get you past your fears, get you past your trauma. Harville Hendrix talks about this. He says, “Being in a conscious relationship is the quickest way to heal better than psychotherapy.” That’s what Harville says, and I agree to some degree. So then there you are in this relationship, and you’re going to find that there are pockets of shame around your deepest, most vulnerable parts, and you’re not going to want to share those parts.

And if you don’t share those parts, which are your asks, your needs, your wants, your intense enthusiasms and your fears, if you don’t share them, you will start to believe that the person is rejecting you because they don’t like those qualities. It doesn’t make rational sense, but it’s what we do. So this brave, brave step of starting to really do your asks, because you have probably found someone that you can do that with.

And when you do that, your sexual asks, your romantic asks, your emotional asks, one, you dig a deeper stake into the ground of what you need and what you believe. Two, the relationship begins to become dynamic because both of you are sharing what you need and what you want. And so there’s an aliveness there and a sense of growing commitment. And when your partner can meet those things, it’s very sexy. It’s very wonderful. And gradually over time for me, it was a long time, the wave starts disappearing.

So you can see that this is an intense journey. It’s a journey that has many parts, that it’s got some whitewater sections. But just simply when you start thinking, “Is this an Attraction of Deprivation? Is this an Attraction of Inspiration? Does my soul feel safe and seen with this person?” And you build your search for love on that question. Nothing I think could meet you, could bring you more speedily to the kind of love that you’re seeking.

Some caveats, if there’s deep PTSD, if there are untreated, serious psychiatric conditions that are not stabilized, if there’s any active addiction, these principles will help, but they won’t stick. So those things do need to be addressed. But outside of that or including that, this is a path to self-love, a path to the kind of relationship that you can build a world around.

Thank you so much for listening, and I hope to see you on my mailing list in any of my events and courses and blessings on your journey. And I’ll see you or speak to you in the next episode of the Deeper Dating® Podcast. Thank you.


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