If you’re single on Valentine’s Day, this episode is for you. These 3 reasons for big hope may fly in the face of most everything you’ve learned about dating, but they truly lead to healthy, lovely, sustainable love. Enjoy each of these reasons, because they point to your new future.
For single folk, Valentine’s Day and Valentine’s week can be a glaringly awkward time. Stay tuned to this episode of the Deeper Dating podcast for a message of hope for every single person who is not in a relationship and hopes to be in one.
Hello, everybody, and welcome to The Deeper Dating Podcast. I’m Ken Page, and I’m the author of the bestselling book Deeper Dating and the host of this podcast. This is Valentine’s week.
And in this episode, I want to offer a message of concrete hope for everybody who’s single, or dating, or not dating but wanting to find their beloved on this loaded day and week.
In this podcast and every episode, I’m going to share the greatest tools that I know to help you find love and keep it flourishing and heal your life in the process. Because the skills of dating are nothing more than the skills of love, and the skills of love are the most important skills of all for a happy and meaningful life.
And if you want to learn more about the Deeper Dating path to real intimacy, just go to deeperdatingpodcast.com. And if you sign up for my mailing list, you’ll get free gifts and you’ll learn more about how to use these ideas to transform your own intimacy journey. And you’ll also find a complete transcript of this in every episode.
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And finally, everything I’m going to share in this podcast is educational in nature. It’s not medical or psychiatric advice or treatment for any condition. If you’re experiencing any serious psychological or psychiatric conditions, please seek professional help. Okay, let’s jump in.
Valentine’s Day is such a loaded day for so many of us. And when you’re single and it’s Valentine’s Day and Valentine’s week, there can be a kind of real pressure, or a sadness, or a sense of emptiness, or a sense of failure, or just really experiencing kind of a missing place where a relationship should be.
And all the cultural pressured messaging that tells us about how we have to be with someone on Valentine’s Day certainly doesn’t help.
How We Are Misled in Our Search for Love
But I want to offer a very real message of hope to everyone who is single, looking for a relationship, and willing to do the deeper, richer work to find that. I want to start out with a quote that I just read from Elaine Welteroth who wrote More Than Enough. And I love this so much. She says,
“Don’t be eye candy, be soul food.”
And that’s what I want to start with in this kind of offering some thoughts of real hope. A little bit about how we are misled in our search for love and the pain that that leads to.
All over the world, single people are being taught that the search for love is a race against time. A numbers game that favors the young and the beautiful, and that everyone has to become more witty, and more charming, and more sexy if they ever hope to find love and build a family in this world.
And then through mass media, people are presented with this never ending stream of airbrushed, over-romanticized images of love. And then we’re invited to this endless banquet of new ways to meet, just about all of which are dehumanizing.
And at the end of the day, this kind of soulless approach does not lead to love. It leads to insecurity and desperation. I want to say something about why before going on to a path that is more hopeful. This approach is doomed to fail because it diminishes our sense of self-worth.
An Inner Environment of Desperation
It makes us colder. It makes us less kind. It makes us more jaded. And then in the service of our goal, which is to find love, we throw our humanity and the humanity of the people we date right under the bus.
Also, this approach creates an inner environment of desperation, which is then bonded with a deep desire not to show that inspiration. So there’s a kind of frozenness, an awkwardness, that we end up stuck with that ends up leading us to make bad choices. We become judgmental of ourselves and other people. And then also, it creates this unhealthy pressure to find the one.
I remember being a kid and what Valentine’s Day was like then. I still remember it with delight and pleasure because you would make Valentine’s Day cards for all the boys and all the girls that you just liked, and you would end up with a big batch of Valentine’s cards.
I still remember that, and I love it and I believe in it. This year, I plan to send out and give out Valentine’s Day cards to so many people who I love because there’s just such a sweetness in that.
Marianne Williamson, who I quote often, said it so beautifully. She said,
“As I grow spiritually, my friends feel more like lovers and my lovers feel more like friends.”
So I just want to put this out that on Valentine’s Day we can think about the abundance of intimacy that we have and just do sweet things to honor that and celebrate it. I think it shifts the focus in really good ways.
A Wiser Path to Find Love
But in the broader picture, I believe that there is a wiser path to find love and that when we take this path our life changes and there becomes great reason for hope and there also becomes an experience of deeper radical self-love.
I just want to talk about three things for everyone who is single, who’s looking for love that you can take on that if you do take these on they will profoundly change your search for love. They will profoundly increase the chance that you will find love, and they will absolutely make yourself, make you love yourself more.
So the first is to stop playing it cool. There is this cultural tendency that we have to kind of suppress our excitement, our enthusiasm, our desire, our delight and turn it into some kind of more attractive and non-needy and less effusive kind of presentation of self, and that doesn’t really work.
So instead of playing it cool, I encourage you to practice kindness, consistency, and availability. That’s work. That’s work to do those things. But when we do those things, our world changes. And in dating, we have definitely been trained to be cool and not kind.
I often say that next has become the modern dating call. So that unkindness just kind of takes over. This is something I’ve spoken about in some previous podcasts about online dating.
And yes, it is scary to show an extra degree of kindness and generosity. It exposes our soul. That’s exactly why we should do it because there is no better way to discover who is worthy of your core self.
Becoming a Student of Your Attractions
So the next time you’re on a first date, just try showing more kindness and more generosity from beginning to end. And then notice that person you’re with and if they match that, if they show that too, if they show that these are values that they live by and appreciate.
So kindness doesn’t only help other people, but it leads us to meet kinder people and there’s a message of hope. The more you cherish and value kindness, the more you swim upstream against this cultural tendency toward coolness and coldness.
The more you value and show kindness, the more you will meet kind people. Watch, you will see this happen. And it’s a great, great kind of harbinger of very valid and very real hope.
So then, another thing that you can do this year to change your future in your search for love, and in love, is to become a student of your attractions. Because we’re taught that deep passionate love is found by following our most intense attractions. But it turns out that our most crazy intense attractions are often the fast track to personal hell.
And anybody who’s really looking for real and healthy love has to learn to understand their patterns of attraction. Because if we don’t, we go out into the dating world unprotected and at risk.
So if we take the time to look at the relationships that haven’t worked and this is something that I do. I teach in my book and in my upcoming, soon-to-come-out downloadable audio Deeper Dating program. I teach in all these ways that one thing we need to do is to notice and identify our patterns of attraction.
A Message of Hope
Because when we become a student of those patterns, we begin to refine them. And I promise you that without that you will slow the speed of your journey to love incredibly. And with that, with learning to articulate the patterns that work and that don’t work, and refining and changing those based on the inner wisdom and the wisdom of people around you that help you see a different path, you will change your world.
Again, a message of hope. And when you do that, you will see a difference in your experience. Your field will actually begin to change. And this kind of hope is not that kind of empty hope of maybe the next person, maybe the next person. It’s a sense of hope that is fueled by, as they say in 12 step programs, there’s an acronym for GOD, and that’s good orderly direction.
When you take these steps, you will feel an inner fullness because you’ll be taking a process of good orderly direction in your search for love.
And the next step is learning how to build romantic and sexual intimacy in your healthy relationships. This is something I’ve spoken about a lot. But how many of us have lived in the experience of the people we’re most attracted to aren’t that interested in us? And the people who are crazy about us we’re not that interested in?
And really, that experience is almost universal for single people, but it doesn’t mean we’re incapable of intimacy. It just means that we need new tools to navigate that kind of complex, almost universal situation. And we know that our sexual and romantic attractions can’t be forced, but we’re not taught that they can be educated.
How to Stop Being Single on Valentine’s Day
So as you take the steps of choosing to date only people who inspire you with their consistency, decency, goodness, and potential availability when you make that choice that that’s all you’re going to be looking for and that availability one is so damn sweet, and so is the consistency one.
Because we can find people who are immensely available for transcendent connection but then just disappear. Or people who can love us in really deep and passionate ways but they have a boyfriend, or girlfriend, or wife, or a husband already. Because really, it’s hard for any human being to bear the heat, the beams of love in deep intimacy.
All of us need to grow in our ability to do that. So if we kind of get into a pattern where we have this kind of luminous and explosive presentness and availability but it’s too much for us so we consistently hide behind unavailability, for example, we will look really fabulous to someone until we break their heart.
So what we’re looking for and what I so deeply encourage you to begin discriminating, or continue discriminating around, is the consistency of someone’s presentness and availability. Now, that does not mean that there’ll be waves of fear, that they will have walls up. All of us have waves of fear. All of us have walls.
But it’s the kind of person who doesn’t disappear, who stays present and says, “Oh, I felt that wall up and this is what that was,” and stays willing to do the work, those are the folks that are gold and those are the folks that we want to look for.
The Walls That Are Made of Us
And when we learn to become that person, which means this kind of complex, humbling process of saying, “Oh, I’m feeling a wall. I’m feeling a wall now. I’m seeing a pattern now that doesn’t work,” and holding that with a sense of space and I’m going to be talking about this in a future episode about what do we do when we hit the walls in our intimacy life.
But the truth is that those walls are not made of concrete. They’re not made of steel. They’re made of us. They’re made of our hearts and our feelings that we’ve hardened because we didn’t have the tools or the skills to protect ourselves or to choose differently.
So as we learn those tools, our walls begin to melt and they become doors. As you do that work, your intimacy life will blossom. And this is the greatest message of hope, which is that as you do the deeper work, your intimacy life will blossom. That’s a promise. As you do this work, the people you meet will change, your attractions will change, and you will sense the hope of new possibilities.
This is something that I have seen in doing this work because I’ve seen so many people find love who maybe were particularly challenged in some real and powerful ways, maybe because of their age, maybe because of disabilities, maybe because of illnesses.
But by tackling this deeper, richer work and making themselves available and combining that with the magic ingredient of bravery, their worlds opened up and they found love. And I would say that was my story, too.
The Message of Hope
So I’m going to ask you right now to just take a minute and think. Did any of the things that were discussed in this episode open a door for you? Touch a space where you said, “Yes, I get that. I like that. I could commit to that. I could sign up for that piece of the journey”?
Well, then that’s your sweet spot to focus on, and to change, and to open up. And the message of hope is this – As you do that, your dating life will open up. Your life will open up. That is the great and wonderful news about doing the work of intimacy. You change your luck.
These tools that I’m offering here really do have the power to guide us to love. But not through that bone-crushing dating game that we’ve been taught we have to endure.
So if you’re single, and if you have cared enough to listen through this entire episode, then I also want to say that you are lucky because you are someone who admits to yourself how important love is. Even if that admission might leave you feeling very vulnerable in this Valentine’s week. You’re lucky because you’re hoping and you’re willing to grow.
And in fact, I think perhaps the greatest gift in any of our possession, something that we might not have seen as a gift, is our longing to find and grow real love. We’re taught that that’s a weakness. And also, longing hurts, we’re taught that it’s a sign of failure or non-self love. But really, it is not.
Willingness to Do the Work
Longing is a gift and a strength. It is very, very humbling, but it’s a deep, deep well of sustenance and growth. And it’s that longing that helps us get out of the gravity zone of all of our patterns and tendencies that push love away or keep us separate.
Because when we feel that longing, it burns through that. We have to change, we have to grow, and we’re willing to do the work. And we all know that it’s the folks that are willing to do the work in this world that achieve the richest results.
So this Valentine’s Day, I want to encourage you to take stock of the loves that are in your life and to appreciate those folks and even do something fun on Valentine’s Day with them. I encourage you also to take stock in the ways that you have committed to growth in your life and your intimacy life because there is no, no, better investment if you want to find love than that work that you’ve put in.
And as you follow these ideas, you’ll see such changes and new possibility, and that will also be a message of hope for you. So I encourage everyone to kind of hold that message of hope and that commitment to do this growth work knowing that as you do your world will open up.
So thank you so much for listening. I’d really appreciate it if you could subscribe, leave me a review. And I look forward to seeing you next week on The Deeper Dating Podcast.