Today I share the pledge that you can make that will change your future in love. This commitment changed my life and led me away from so much pain. In this episode, I pinpoint the secret to finding lasting love and share tips for identifying attractions of inspiration in yourself and others.
Listen in to learn about the ways that different types of attractions present, how they make us feel, and the different sorts of futures that they can lead us to.
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- What is the difference between attractions of inspiration and attractions of deprivation
- What are attractions of deprivation
- What are the key signs of attraction of deprivation
- What is the key question in the search for love
- How to identify attractions of inspiration in yourself and others
- Download your copy of The Pledge
- Apply for Ken’s six-month Deeper Dating Intensive
- Get a copy of Deeper Dating by Ken Page
- Join the Coaching and Mentorship Intensive with Ken Page
- Connect with us on Instagram
Hello everybody and welcome to the Deeper Dating® Podcast. I’m Ken Page and I’m a psychotherapist, author of the bestselling book, Deeper Dating®, and the host of this podcast, and today, I’m going to be speaking about a pledge that will change your future in intimacy, and I’m very excited to share it with you.
In this episode and in every episode, my commitment is to share the greatest tools and insights I know to help you find love and keep it flourishing and heal your life in the process because the skills of dating are the skills of intimacy, and those are the greatest skills of all for a happy, meaningful life.
Your psyche is going back to the scene of the crime to finally be loved right which is usually a recipe for disaster. Click To Tweet
If you want to know more about the Deeper Dating® path to real intimacy, just go to deeperdatingpodcast.com and you can sign up for my mailing list, get some wonderful free gifts, and learn more about how to use these ideas to transform your intimacy journey and you’ll also find a complete transcript of this episode and every episode, and this one is particularly important because there’s a link for your pledge within the transcript.
And by the way, if you like what you’re learning here, it would be a wonderful thank you if you could subscribe on iTunes or elsewhere and leave me a review. So, thank you so much for that. Okay, so let’s jump in.
This is a pledge that I have created that is a marker in your intimacy journey. It’s been a marker in my intimacy journey. This commitment changed my life. It led me to the love relationship that I’m in now. It led me away from so much pain and that particular, particular pain of trying to change myself, to make myself better, to get someone to treat me right or love me more gone and done by making this deep commitment.
This is the concept that Oprah excerpted from my book, and it’s something that people tell me has truly changed their lives. So, it’s a concept, and that concept is “know the difference between your attractions of inspiration and your attractions of deprivation,” which I will explain, and only choose to pursue your attractions of inspiration.
Finally, shut the door on your attractions of deprivation. Make a decision to make that change and it’s world-changing and life-changing and I just want to tell you that that choice will lead you to so much less pain and so much more happiness. It’s simple, it’s binary, and it’s world-changing and it’s life-changing.
Attractions of inspiration versus deprivation:
So, what I’m going to do in this episode is I’m going to explain the difference between attractions of deprivation and the attractions of inspiration, how they present, what they look like, how they leave us feeling, and the kind of different futures that they lead us to, and then I’m going to read you this pledge, and this is a pledge that in my intensives, I give this pledge to everybody, and then they take it and make it their own and we do this beautiful ritual, which is very moving, very profound for people where they take the pledge that they’ve created, read it to the whole community and have it marked and honored.
The drama of making up and breaking up feels like love. Click To Tweet
So, I’m going to read the pledge to you. You’re going to be able to pick it up from the transcript and you can print it out or you can just create your own from scratch or edit this one, whatever feels right to you, but this is going to be your baby. It’s going to be your pledge. It’s going to be the line of demarcation that is going to shift your future to one based on self-love and wisdom.
Is it easy? No. Do we need help and do we need support to make this real? Do we need to come back to it again and again? Does it take ongoing bravery even in the context of a relationship that we’re in to live this concept? Absolutely, but hey, I mean, bravery is kind of where it’s at and the intimacy journey is not one for the fainthearted.
Gandhi said it beautifully. He said, “Love is the prerogative of the brave.” So, I’m going to read you something from my book Deeper Dating® that captures what attractions of deprivation are.
“Have you ever been crazy about someone who wasn’t really emotionally available? Have you ever invested far too much time trying to teach someone to treat you right? Have you ever continually tried to prove your worth to someone who never really thought you were that wonderful or felt desperate for the affection of someone who sometimes loved you, sometimes treated you wonderfully and other times treated you badly and acted like they didn’t love you?
If you haven’t come, introduce yourself. I don’t think we’ve met yet because these are the most compelling attractions of all in many cases, and we are not taught to distinguish between those attractions and attractions of inspiration.”
Ditch attractions of deprivation for good:
“Attractions of deprivation,” I’m going back to the book, “draw us in and then down like an undertow. If we don’t get out in time, we’re almost sure to get hurt. We keep feeling like we have to do something to win our partner’s love, approval, or care, and we spend way too much time worrying about what we’ve done wrong or what we can do differently to make things right.
Often we know it’s kind of a bad idea, but we convince ourselves that we can change the person or we know it’s a bad idea. We know we’re not going to be able to change this person, but the love is so intense and the sex is so hot that we say, “Sorry, I don’t care. I’m going to do this,” which is so understandable, but that does not mean that it doesn’t lead to pain and lost precious time because it does.”
So, like I said, these attractions can be white-hot. They can be so sexy and so intense because they trigger all the places where we feel we weren’t loved enough and that brings up an ache that is so deep and so profound that we would almost do anything to save ourselves from that pain or to repair that pain and fix it and this is something I’ve said before, but Harville Hendrix, the brilliant, brilliant theoretician, and teacher and therapist says that the people often who are like the nines and the tens, 10 out of 10 of attractiveness, like the people that make us feel like weak and shaky with desire inside continuously.
When you live the pledge you will reorganize your being around dignity, goodness, love, and safety. Click To Tweet
We’re continuously off balance with them, but they’re so desirable to us, are that way because on the surface, they embody some of the best characteristics of our primary caregiver, but underneath, they embody the worst characteristics of our primary caregivers.
And our psyche is going back to the scene of the crime to finally be loved right, which is usually a recipe for disaster. Unless the other person is very conscious, very willing to do the work, and in my opinion does not have an active addiction and if they have serious psychiatric conditions, those conditions are stabilized. I think those two things are necessary for a healthy relationship and almost all of us can be really sucked in by those attractions. It’s just so desirable to want to get that kind of person to love you right because they almost do.
So, you go overboard. You compensate. You worry. You think. You create strategies. You look for a million articles online about how do I get somebody to finally love me? You read a million articles on how do you flirt better? How do you act more sexy? How can you lose those extra five pounds?
Whatever it is that kind of you’re doing, but the bottom line is this. If someone is an attraction of deprivation in an essential way, that’s their character and that’s their relationship to you and you are not going to change that and that is not where happiness is going to be found, but boy, I spent so long looking for those relationships and so many of my clients do also because they’re the sexiest, hottest ones often upfront.
So, some of the key signs of attractions of deprivation are lying and cheating, selfish behavior, narcissism, an essential level of unavailability, addictive behavior, hurtful or cruel behavior. As I mentioned before, unstabilized, serious psychiatric disorders, and blaming and manipulative behavior. So, let me just clarify that most of us have many of those things to a certain degree in our personality.
This is not a black and white thing and Daniel Siegel says so wisely that, “All relationships are a process of rupture and repair. So, that has to happen, but in an essential way, if those qualities are really there, that’s a big problem, and if you look at your future, it’s probably not going to be a future of happiness.” So, that was what I thought that attractiveness looked like and love looked like for many years. So, I pursued guys who had those qualities and were sexy and hot and there’s a lot of really rich material here about how when we look at the patterns of the ways that our partners have not treated us right, the areas where they have disrespected and stepped on us are parts of ourselves that we have not yet fully learned to dignify and treasure and honor.
And you can learn more about that in my course and my book and my intensive and in some of the places where we go into these things more deeply, and let me also just say that we are now interviewing for the next cohort of the six-month Deeper Dating® Intensive, which is an amazing experience with only 12 people working closely with me personally over half a year. So, if you’re interested in learning more about that, just go to deeperdatingintensive.com.
But this is something I’ve talked about. I still remember, and boy did I have a long way to go after this still, but I still remember when I had this insight because I just felt so helpless being attracted to the same kind of guy again and again and again and again, and then I remembered that I had fallen in love with someone in high school, and I loved him because of his incredible decency, because of a quality of beautiful radiance of spirit that he had and I thought, “Wait a minute. Maybe I can be attracted to those qualities too. Maybe I have a different circuitry. God knows I got my circuitry of attraction to deprivation. God knows that, but I think I might also have this other circuitry where I could fall in love with someone because of their inner beauty.”
Of course, you have to be physically attracted to in both cases, but this was a revelation to me. This was a revelation, and I thought, “Maybe there’s hope. Maybe I can pursue that kind of love.”
So, now I’m going to talk about attractions of inspiration, but I’m going to say one thing first. It is so, so, so hard to get out of an attraction of deprivation. It is harder than we think, and the repercussions are often so much more painful than we would even expect. There’s a healing that happens. There’s a rawness. There’s a vulnerability.
And what I would say is in order to get out of these relationships and in order to get through the grief and the pain of loss, we need beautiful, beautiful ongoing support. It’s just too hard to do alone in most cases, nor is it wise to do it alone because the medium of healing is intimacy with other people that you can bitch with and complain with and cry with and over and over and over again. These are the really good friends. Go over what happened and how you’re thinking about it, but that’s intimacy and that medium of intimacy is what heals us to get ready for real intimacy.
Our friends hopefully remind us of what we’re looking for in a lover. So, attractions of inspiration, and now I want to read something from the book also.
“Now, we come to the simplest path toward happiness in love. The great secret, and I really believe this, to finding lasting love lies in choosing and cultivating only attractions of inspiration. It’s so simple, yet it takes decades for most of us to arrive at this truth if we ever do at all. The drama of losing love and finding it again, the drama of breaking up and making up feels like love, feels like the re-earning and re-earning and re-earning of love, but essentially, that’s not really what you want in a relationship.
You want to be able to do the deeper work in an environment that feels really safe, in a love that feels really safe with a person who feels essentially and deeply safe, which is why I say your key question in your search for love is, “Does my soul feel safe with this person?” Not perfectly safe, not that I’m not going to get into my stuff, but in a deep and essential way, does my soul feel safe? Because that is where happiness lies.”
Take The Pledge:
Attractions of inspiration have a warmth about them. They have an easiness. Like a friend of mine says that her mom used to tell her that, she’s straight, “Finding a guy is like going into a shoe store. You don’t want to leave with this fabulous pair of shoes that’s pinching your feet and tell yourself it’s going to get better.”
You want to leave with a pair of shoes that are comfortable and feel right from the beginning and the same is really true with relationships. So, in attractions of inspiration, our challenge is not to win the person’s caring. It’s to accept and return our partner’s caring. Of course, in the beginning, it’s a process of falling in love and getting to know the other person, and both of you kind of winning each other’s caring, but I’m talking about in an ongoing way. So, attractions of inspiration are fueled by a sense of well-being, as opposed to that horrible itch for something that’s being denied us.
And I promise you those relationships are out there and we can measure the quality of our lives by the relationships of mutual inspiration that we’ve cultivated. Another wonderful benefit of attractions of inspiration is that they expand us into a bigger self. They make us into better people. We like who we are with our partner.
Their essential love and support and championing and cheerleading for us allows us to become bigger and greater with a kind of voice of support and encouragement behind us, and interestingly, kind of one of the secrets of attractions of deprivation is that we use them unconsciously as an excuse for staying away from our own greatness and our potential because we spend so much time trying to prove ourselves that we have so much less time to express ourselves and take true risks in the world and create what it is that we’re aching to create in the world because we’re spending so much time trying to get this other person to give us the kind of love that we want and need.
So, your attractions of inspiration are an invitation to your potential greatness in the world as well. So, what are some of the hallmarks of an attraction of inspiration? Do you feel inspired by your partner’s essentially consistent caring and acceptance? Are you inspired by this person’s goodness and decency and integrity?
Is your love fueled by respect for the kind of person that this person is? Is your partner, and are you, willing to do the hard work of healing your relationship’s area of weakness? And is your partner essentially mostly free of those qualities that we listed with attractions of deprivation? Now, another question here, which is a really important and ongoing question is, what about you? What about your qualities of deprivation, inspiration?
What are the qualities of deprivation that you might have that you need to work on? What are the qualities of inspiration that you have that you should really celebrate and honor? Those are worthy questions to think about, but even if you have attraction of deprivation, even if you have these deprivational qualities, which you do need to work on, it does not mean that you shouldn’t look for an attraction of inspiration because that will also help you grow.
So, here’s what happens when you make the decision that you are only going to pursue your attractions of inspiration. You might have to end some relationships or lessen some relationships or terminate some relationships, and that’s going to be painful as hell, but it’s step number one, and again, do that with support. You might find yourself drawn again and again to attractions of deprivation simply because they’re so sexy and there’s the thrall of the almost that can kind of keep us like it’s like a carrot and a stick kind of thing.
So, the task there is to make a deep commitment to say no to those relationships. Think of it like a bustling door, and you put your back against that door and press it down and lock the door so that you are just not going to allow those romantic attractions of deprivation into your life, and then you make a decision to follow and pursue and look for your attractions of inspiration.
Well, the minute you make that decision, you will actually start looking at potential dates differently and also the principle of instrumentality, a studied and researched principle in the realm of attraction, and I don’t mean the law of attraction. I mean, real academic studies of attraction, says that if someone meets a goal you’re looking for, you’re more likely to notice them and be attracted to them.
So, the minute you make this your very binary decision, it’s either A or B, and I’m choosing B. The minute you do that, you’re going to start noticing and looking for attractions of inspiration more, which is awesome and fabulous. You will say no so much more quickly to attractions of deprivation, which you should celebrate because there are just no better muscles to build than those two muscles.
And little by little, you will start losing your taste for attractions of deprivation. You literally will, and you will start growing your taste for attractions of inspiration, and you will experience the steadiness, the happiness, the soul-fillingness that happens when you do that.
So, in our intensives, we create a pledge, and I’m going to read this pledge to you now, and I’m going to encourage you to download it from the transcript, make it your own, and hopefully in the presence of someone else, you could do it yourself, but it’s so much better to do it with someone else and even if you have a single friend who’s also looking, the two of you can do this pledge and make a ritual out of it, and then go out to dinner or do it over dinner, but do it in some way that you celebrate and honor the importance of this, and then each of you can give feedback.
In the intensive, we take a number of weeks to do this, and it’s just, it’s a life-changing and beautiful, beautiful thing that you can do on your own at home. So, I’m going to read you the pledge now, and you don’t need to copy it down because like I said, there’s a link in the transcript, and I tend to be a little bit wordy. You can change this however you like. It’s called My Commitment to my Future, Happiness, and Love, and here it is.
I commit out of my own self-love and my desire for a beautiful, loving relationship to develop my awareness of my circuitries of attraction to deprivation, and to protect myself from the damage and harm that those circuitries cause. Wonderfully, I also have the circuitries to be attracted to inspiration.
Now, I make the commitment that those are the only attractions I will follow. From now on, I will only pursue my attractions of inspiration, and I will consciously, actively, and bravely seek out, pursue, invite, and welcome these attractions of inspiration into my life and into my heart. I will say no again and again to attractions of deprivation. I will only be with someone with whom my soul feels essentially safe, loved, and supported by, no one else. For my future and my dream of a love-filled life, I now make this commitment, and then you sign it and date it.
So, take a minute to notice if that touched you, if it excited you, and to think what it would be like if you lived this commitment in your dating life, what it would do to your self-love, what it would do to your internal atmosphere, what it would do to your sense of dignity, to your sense of hope. This is within your reach. You might need support, but with support, it will be within your reach.
So, I’m very happy to share this pledge with you, and I encourage you to make this pledge because not only will you be making the pledge, but when you live the pledge, you will reorganize your being around dignity, goodness, love and safety, and your commitment to those things. You’ll reorganize your being around self-love and self-honoring.
You will develop more of a healthy spine. You’ll be able to say no to love that isn’t right more quickly. You’ll be able to suss it out. You will develop your sense of discrimination on subtler and subtler levels and your sense of personal power as well.
So, I encourage all of you to create your own pledge and to share it with someone and I’d love it if you could write to me, leave me a review, do whatever you want to let me know what happens when you do this because this is a way that you can have such beautiful agency in this incredibly important and incredibly challenging journey to find and nurture healthy, beautiful love.
Thank you for listening, and I look forward to connecting again on the next episode of The Deeper Dating Podcast.
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