If you’ve been dating to get a partner, you’ve been lying. When you got fooled into believing that the purpose of dating was to land a partner, you learned to date by a set of implicit rules. Maybe it’s in the way they inhabit their body, or in how they look at you. I don’t care how good you are, how honest, or how noble. The real problem is that you’re postponing, sacrificing the date that’s happening now on the altar of potential future partnership. Everything frustrating, discouraging, and disappointing about dating comes from this future-orientation. You don’t need to organize your dates around a possible future. As a result, they can feel what’s beautiful about you. Creating intimacy is a skill you can get better and better at. Something about the way they move through the world, or something they can see that you can’t. And you’re never going to squeeze magic out of a checklist. You’re really dating for the magic, but you’ve learned to play games to get yourself a partner, and every bit of game playing shuts the magic tap off a little tighter. You start off by letting yourself be taken by their unique beauty. In turn, you do your best to let the other person see you. You didn’t postpone anything in service of some potential future. Deep Dating is the art of creating intimacy right now, today, on this date. Withhold your real self unless you think they might be “the one”. If you decide they’re not, come up with a pretext to get out of it. Imagine someone you like has invited you on a first date, or that you’ve invited them. As you feel more and more deeply connected, you come to trust one another. Eventually, the power of your connection changes you, makes you more into the person you’ve always wished you could be. All of this has happened in a single encounter, a few hours together.Why rush off when you can enjoying hanging, talking, and snuggling with the community of people you just spent the day getting unusually close with? You think you’re on the hunt for a suitable partner. Fail to check them off and you’ll waste your time with the wrong person. You’re dating because you’re on a primordial spiritual quest. Following each of the six new rules below helps you to get unusually close, unusually fast. The quality of the encounters determines the quality of the relationship. Unless you can get close enough, unless you can really get in with each other, you won’t have a chance.
We’ll end with a couple full on (practice) deep dates, and practical guidelines for initiating Deep Dating in the world outside the workshop. Join us if you’re single and dating, in a committed partnership, or anywhere else on the relationship spectrum.That doesn’t mean you have to be careful, just that you have to care. If you’re not into someone, that just means you know a couple places the journey won’t go. The road to long-term partnership will remain gated and locked. What you don’t yet know is where else it’s possible for you to go.Imagining yourself from their perspective informs your moment-to-moment choices about what to share, to ask, to offer. They lose themselves in the minutia of their date’s responses. Putting all your attention on the other person keeps you hidden. What does it really mean that you’re “not into” them? There are parts of the map you’ve never investigated. If you were dating for partnership, the goal would be to find a partner.You have to trust that somehow you’ll get what you need, that you won’t be alone, that you’ll be fulfilled. But the future was never under your control anyway. Figure out what they seem to want, and give it to them. Act like the person you think they want to be close with, and keep acting. Sometimes your fears come true, and someone, in fact, doesn’t want you. Sometimes, however, you show someone everything, and they still think you’re groovy. If you’re paying attention, you know whether to warmly embrace them in response, or to jettison the hug in favor of a hand briefly clasping their shoulder. Then you even respond to how they respond to your response.If you can have everything you wish for already, right now, on the date that you’re on, the future becomes less of a fixation. The problem with this approach is that you get to be close to the object of your desire, but they never get to be close to you. You give them your beauty, your weirdness, your insecurity, even your pain. Moment by moment, you keep paying attention and responding appropriately. If you’re not attuned, you risk just expressing yourself all over the other person.