Whether we are conscious of it or not there is a constant stream of self-evaluation going on in the form of critical self talk: I need to work harder. I should get out of the house more. Why am I so tired? I need to lose weight. Why did I have to eat so much? Am I a good enough x? Was I too defensive with so-and-so? Am I pulling my weight? And it goes on. Fearing judgment, we evaluate ourselves from a socially-agreed-upon yet often out-of-reach standard, exhausting ourselves with self-admonishment at failing in every regard.
But instead, we can step outside of thought and enjoy our lives.
Dating becomes an extension of that mindset. We sit across from a potential partner while our minds carry on the perpetual critique but now with a new target, Is he smart enough? I don’t love his clothes. He seems too serious. Does he make enough money? What will my friends think of me for dating him? Or even, Does he like me?
But again, we can step outside of thought and check in at a deeper level.
I’ve been listening to the book Deeper Dating by Ken Page since October. It’s taking a while to get through since I haven’t been on many long drives lately. But I have been dating, trying out suggested exercises and actively considering the philosophy. I love this book.
On all my dates for the last three months, I have stepped away at some point (gone to the bathroom) to sit alone, in silence, and feel my most base emotive sense, beyond questions. Am I happy? Laughing? Is my energy expanding? Or is it shrinking? Am I turned on? Asking what does it feel like in my body, rather than mental processing as my guide. My body feels and energy have determined whether I choose to keep spending time with someone.
How do I respond to this person? is a different paradigm than…
Does this person seem like a good match for me?
There was a hand on mine and I felt warmth.
An arm around my shoulder felt secure.
His gestures felt generous.
When we kissed, I was charged.
When alone, I was thrilled.
All systems go.