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There’s a hard-work miracle that happens when we learn the skills of wiser dating: Not only do we find healthy love more quickly; we actually heal our lives in the process. Before you’re in a relationship, with or without therapy, (and I deeply believe in the power of good therapy!) you can learn to develop a more secure attachment style, learn deep self-love, and live in braver and more passionate ways. And every one of those skills will speed your path to healthy love! Learn these wonderful, life-changing principles in the episode!
Table of Contents:
The Dating Principles That Heal Your Life AND Lead To Love
Wiser Dating Can Transform Your Life–And Lead You To Healthy Love
It’s the new year. Is there a way that you can search for love that is not only going to help you find healthy, beautiful, sustainable love more quickly, but will heal your life, your heart, and your attachment wounds at the same time? The answer is yes. Stay tuned to the Deeper Dating® Podcast to learn more.
Welcome to the Deeper Dating® Podcast. This is Ken Page, a psychotherapist, coach, author of the bestselling book Deeper Dating®, and Cofounder of DeeperDating®.com, an environment where single people can meet online in a way that’s respectful, kind and inspiring. I’m so glad to have you here today. In this episode, I’m going to be speaking about how your search for love in the coming year can heal your life as you learn wisdom and intimacy skills that not only help you find love quicker, more peacefully, and more successfully, but heal you in the process, because as you up-level your own healing and your own self-love, and this is an amazing, amazing thing and really true that as you do that, you also up-level the people you’re attracted to, and in some very strange and mysterious way, the people that you meet, and the people who are attracted to you back.
We’ll be talking about that today. It’s a very I think inspiring, inspiring way to understand the wiser search for love. First, I just want to say a couple of things. One is if you like what you’re hearing here, please feel free to go to DeeperDatingPodcast.com and join my mailing list. You will get free gifts. You’ll get to hear about all of the free and other things that I offer, and you’ll also get transcripts of every single episode. In addition, I just want to say that what I talk about here is not to be considered in any way medical or psychological treatment in any form. If you are experiencing symptoms that concern you, please do seek professional help, and finally, if you like what you’re hearing here, I’d love it if you could subscribe and leave me a review on any platform that you listen to this on.
The Deeper Physics Of Dating
Let’s jump in. I think that in my really, really many years of working as a psychotherapist and my decades of work in kind of fine-tuning what I’m learning and understanding, and teaching about how healthy beautiful love is actually found, as I learn what I keep finding to be true, which is kind of miraculous to me, and I call this the deeper physics of dating, is that as we learn to honor our deep authenticity, and to discover and cherish its unique and quirky language, the language of our hearts, the language of our creativity, the language of our sensitivity, the language of our passion, which often makes us feel like aliens in the world, and these are often the parts of ourselves that we feel we need to airbrush or suppress or tame or domesticate or train, or just get rid of altogether if we’re ever going to look sexy and hot, and be attractive, and confident, and be able to find that quality person, or make ourselves irresistible, or any of the other bunk that we get taught we have to do.
These parts of ourselves are our treasures. These are what I call our Core Gifts. They are the parts that make us who we are. They are the deep language of our heart and soul and often, they make us feel strange and different. I think the human journey and the intimacy journey is learning to normalize and treasure, and hold with what I call cupped hands instead of squeezing, grabbing, trying to change, or flat hands, which are kind of cold, and objective, and not filled with love.As you up-level your healing and self-love, you also up-level the people you're attracted to. Click To Tweet
The world, schools, work, and God knows, dating advice teach us again and again and again that these are parts of ourselves, the parts that don’t fit in, that we have to fix if we’re going to find love. The very reverse is true, and that is why the wiser path to love is so much like the artist’s path, so much like the philosopher’s path because the journey is to step into your truth. The truth of what hurts your heart, and the truth of what fills your heart, and the truth of what love means to you, and the ways you want to be touched, and the ways you want to have sex, and the ways you want to have romance grow, and the honoring and the dignifying of those parts of ourselves.
I think that you can hear from what I’m saying why this path A) is more likely to lead you to find someone who loves you for who you are, and B) Why this path heals your life, because this is something that I say that until we know our Core Gifts, Cervantes said that when you read a translation of a book, it’s like looking at a tapestry from the back. When we live without knowing, honoring, and treasuring our Core Gifts, it’s like looking at the tapestry of our lives from the back. You miss the patterns, you miss the colors, you miss the beauty, you miss the uniqueness.
All you’re looking at is kind of like what the structuring of it is like instead of what the art of it is like, so the true journey to find love is a journey of learning to love your quirkiness, your uniqueness, the things that touch you the most deeply, and to begin to find a language where you could talk about that on your dates. I was just talking with someone about kind of her dating journey. We were talking about how the world of online dating and the world of dating tells us that we have to kind of take this mechanistic numbers game approach.
You look and you look and you look until you find the right person, and there absolutely is some real truth to that, but if we don’t make these deep shifts where, as they say, the secret to looking for your soulmate is to learn to lead with your soul. If we don’t do that even in our early dating, even in our profile, even in our kind of like having coffee with somebody, if we don’t share and show our heart, our soul, and our humanity, then we waste vast amounts of time.
A Soul Journey
This is a soul journey, and anybody who tells you that it’s anything different than that is missing the point. This is why I say that the one question that we should enter in the new year, in your new year, in your search for love, and for those of you who are in relationships already, the same question applies, “Does my soul feel safe at this moment? Does my soul feel safe with this person? If not, what can I do?” This is what one of my children says all the time like when they were younger, they would say, “Dad, I just need time to come back to myself.” When our soul doesn’t feel safe, how can we come back to ourselves?
When we’re doing early dating, right, you’re on your first date, you’re on your second date, there’s this big, vast spiritual question of, “Does my soul feel safe? Does my deep heart feel safe?” We may feel like, “How the hell do I know that? I met this person ten minutes ago. We’re sitting here drinking a cup of coffee, or we’re on Zoom together or on the phone together. How do I know if my soul feels safe?”
What I would say to that is that the learning to ask that question will fine-tune your receptors toward soul safety. The more you make that question important to you, the more honed your intuition and gut will be about this fabulously important question. That’s number one. Number two is, often, what we feel more quickly if we let ourselves honor it is when our soul doesn’t feel safe with someone.If you don't share and show your heart, soul, and humanity, you waste vast amounts of time. Click To Tweet
My friend, the author, Pam Cytrynbaum, talks about something that her mom told her when she was dating, and it was this. It was in this case, this heterosexual case. It was like she said, “Guys are like shoes. You go into a shoe store, and if there’s a pair of shoes that look really, really fabulous and they hurt to wear and you tell yourself, ‘Don’t worry, they’ll stretch out. I’ll be able to fit into them,’ it usually ends up pretty painfully.” You want to be able to love a pair of shoes but leave the store with them feeling comfortable on you, and that kind of comfort is like safety of your soul.
You may not have this quick answer of, “Does my soul feel safe with this person?” but you’ll probably come up pretty much quicker with, “Does my soul not feel safe with this person? Was this person just mean to the waitperson? Did this person try to find a location that was fair to you as well? Was this person generous in their ability to listen?” You’ll notice those things first, and as you learn to pay attention to those, this is what happens and this is how our lives get healed by wiser dating. When you listen to that, you dignify yourself. When you listen to and think about that question, you build that kind of quality of having a spine, a central self that aligns you.
The other person picks up on that because there’s a dignity. There’s a dignity in it, but not only does the other person pick up on it, and this is what’s so preciously, amazingly, fabulous, is your deepest self, your inner self picks up on it, “Oh, I’m being protected. I am being dignified. This person, me, who’s steering the ship is honoring my need for safety.” When that happens, the unconscious walls that we create against intimacy can finally begin to come down, because the part that’s creating those walls, which is the part that doesn’t feel safe, begins to feel safer.
That is why we heal our attachment wounds, and we can heal our attachment wounds not just through therapy, not just through being in a relationship with someone with a secure attachment style, but through developing a secure attachment style with our vulnerability, with our Core Gifts, and with our passions, because that is the primal place where we need to build that kind of intimacy security.
The Principle Of Trusting
As you learn to follow this principle of trusting the feeling of, “Does my soul feel safe?” you will begin to heal your attachment avoidance and anxiety, because this part of you that has felt unprotected or unsafe will existentially begin to feel safe in its own home, which is the great miracle. That’s the power and the beauty of this approach to the search for love versus the one that just says like, “Try harder. Hit the pavement.” The virtual pavement in this case. “Get more attractive. Get more irresistible. Learn this technique. Learn that technique.” This is bullshit, and it is bullshit that causes pain to our hearts and our souls. This is one of the greatest missions of your adult life, is your search for love, and as you do this work, you will up-level your self-love and somehow, miraculously, it’s really true, you’ll up-level the kind of people that you’re meeting, and your taste will change in people. It’s an amazing thing and it’s true.
When you’re with this person, you can ask the same question of yourself, which is, “Am I being a being who’s letting the other person’s soul feel safe with me?” which is a fabulous question, and here’s another one of these like deeper physics of dating, magical, miraculous, underground formulas. The degree to which you create a life where you curate kind of a way of being that is kind and compassionate, and that’s not enough, and you dignify that and honor that, and know how rare and special and precious it is, and how much it deserves not to be walked on.If you have a crappy job and a great relationship, you have a good chance of being happy. If you have a great job and a crappy relationship, you're probably not going to be happy. Click To Tweet
Those two parts, the curating a life of goodness and generosity, and the dignifying that, and realizing really how rare it is, when you do those two things, you are so much more likely to meet partners of the gender or genders that interest you most who have curated the same kind of life. That is a miracle. It’s a miracle of wiser dating, and it’s a cause for great hope. It’s why it’s so important for us to realize that this journey is a journey that is so precious and so important.
I’ve quoted this before but David Brooks, a wonderful writer, said something like, “If you have a crappy job and a great relationship, you’ll probably be happy or you have a good chance at being happy, and if you have a great job and a crappy relationship, you’re probably not going to be happy,” which is why people should start learning the wiser skills of dating and finding love, starting when they are really, really young.
I also just want to take a step back here for all the people that are thinking, “Yeah, I get it. I get it. All of this makes a lot of sense, but what about sexual attraction? What about if this person lives 5,000 miles away? What about this person three decades outside of my like widest age range? It’s got to work. It’s got to make logistical sense. It’s got to make sexual and romantic sense, et cetera, et cetera.” What I would say is absolutely, absolutely true, but because dating is so scary and because we approach it on pins and needles, in cushions and boats of defensiveness, and that’s the entire dating culture.
There’s a lot of fear and a lot of trepidation, so what then happens is we go into fight or flight mode, which might be also like hookup or run mode or, “I’m really attracted but not so attracted that I feel scared, so that’s good and that’s all I need to start this.” All of those kinds of fear-based things where we kind of like say, “Oh, those spiritual things, they can come later,” is a bad way to start. Some of these people might become friends, and God knows, and I say this again and again and I mean it so deeply, you don’t have to be with anybody you’re not sexually attracted to. You don’t need to be with anybody you’re not romantically attracted to, but A) those feelings can sometimes grow, B) if you only go for people who you’re wildly attracted to, you’re probably going to be going for people who scratch some emotional itch that’s not necessarily healthy.
That is not always true. Sometimes the people who we’re crazy attracted to, I was crazy attracted to my husband the minute I met him. He’s definitely an attraction of inspiration, I will say that. It’s not always true but that scratch the itch place, especially where you start feeling insecure or like clingy and all of that often because of the person’s unavailability. Those can seem really hot but they’re not really necessarily good.
As you just soften around issues of initial attraction, and you give yourself more space, as you take the dial when you’re doing online dating, and you stretch the number of miles that you’re willing to meet someone at, and you stretch the age, and you stretch the weight, and you stretch the height just as much as you feel is reasonable to do, and then you do that further evaluation later, and then you go into this looking for, “Does my heart, does my soul feel safe?” You will be dating really differently.
You will soften a fear-based lens so that your receptors which pick up quality of connection will be able to be activated. The receptors that pick up chemistry that’s healthy will be more allowed to activate, because when we’re in our fear place, like I said, we often make worse choices, and most of us are in our fear place when we do online dating because it’s built to build fear, and it’s built to build fear because the question of, “Does this make my soul feel safe?” is not the question that online dating is built on.If you only go for people you're wildly attracted to, you're probably going for those who scratch some unhealthy emotional itch. Click To Tweet
This one principle and this overall approach of leading with your heart, leading with your soul, treasuring your vulnerability, and dignifying it, as well as your passions in life, and leading with those parts of you, and then only looking for people with whom your soul feels safe as you do this is an act of such profound self-transformation. It heals your heart. It heals your wounds. It changes the way you date. It changes your attraction patterns. It changes the people you meet, and it heals attachment wounds in incredibly powerful ways.
I’ve spent a really long time developing a map of this wiser path to love, and you can find it in my book, my online course, the podcast episodes, all of my interviews where I teach this because it’s a staged process. There’s so much more to talk about. I want to say that there is a second question, which I’ll talk about in a future episode, which is not just, “Does my soul feel safe?” but the second question which is, “Does my soul feel seen, and am I letting myself see this other person?”
If you can make these your questions in your year to come, if you follow this kind of deep and radical self-honoring as the foundation of your search for love, baby, watch what happens. Your field will change. It really will and that’s a glorious, glorious thing. There is such hope in this messaging, such hope in this path that says that the blueprint of how love is found is a blueprint that is benevolent. Thank you so much for listening. Go to DeeperDatingPodcast.com and join my mailing list if you like what you’ve heard, and I look forward to connecting with you on the next episode of the Deeper Dating® Podcast.
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