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In this episode, I’m going to share four beautiful, profound, and amazing hacks for deeper intimacy, especially for Valentine’s Day, whether you are single or coupled. Stay tuned to this episode. The 99th episode of the Deeper Dating Podcast.
Hello, everybody. Welcome to the 99th episode of the Deeper Dating Podcast. I’m Ken Page and I’m a psychotherapist. I’m the author of Deeper Dating and the Cofounder of DeeperDating.com, a space for people to meet online in an environment that is inspiring, warm, safe, and fun. Today, in this podcast for Valentine’s Day, I am going to share some very powerful, beautiful, and eye-opening hacks for deeper love for single people and for people who are in couples.
This week and every week, I want to share with you 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 the skills of love, and the skills of love are the greatest and most important skills of all for a life that has happiness, joy, meaning, and comfort. If you want to know more about the deeper dating path to real intimacy, just go to DeeperDatingPodcast.com and you’ll receive free gifts. You’ll get a lot of free resources, and you’ll learn a lot more about using these ideas to transform your own intimacy journey.
If you’re interested in DeeperDating.com to meet people, just go to DeeperDating.com, and you can sign up for free and start connecting in a very different way with people. I also want to say that everything I share in this podcast is educational in nature. It’s not medical or psychiatric advice or treatment. Also, I just want to say that if you like what you’re learning here, it would be a wonderful gift if you could subscribe and leave me a review. Thank you for letting me give that little plug there, and let’s dive in.
I want to start with single folks, having lived for decades as a single person looking for a relationship. I was reading recently about a research and what it says about what to do when you just wake up in the middle of the night, and you can’t go back to sleep because something is bothering you. That happens to me sometimes. I was very interested in this. What it said is that the research shows that one technique that really works is that you have paper and a pen right next to you by the bed. If you wake up and something is spinning around in your head, you will have a much better chance of getting to sleep if you do this. You write down what the issue is, and you make a commitment to yourself that you are going to tackle this in a conscious and thoughtful way, and then you are much more likely to be able to get past the anxiety and go to sleep.
I think that that concept with something difficult, taking some kind of a conscious action is so important. Valentine’s Day, a suggestion for a process that you can do. First, I think it’s a great thing to celebrate in some way by nourishing yourself, whether that’s being alone, ordering insanely fabulous take out, having a Zoom call, or depending on who you can be with, being with somebody who you really love and feel safe with, and making a commitment. Creating a contract with yourself that in the year ahead, you are going to find a path, an approach to finding love that is deep, smart, practical and suits you, and that you’re going to commit to it.
That’s going to take a bit of research to find the work that speaks to you the most, and you can search and search for a teacher whose work really speaks to you. There are a number of great teachers out there. Finding the work that really speaks to you, and then getting a learning partner, a buddy, or joining a community of people doing that same kind of work if that teacher has an ongoing kind of course going on. Because the research shows that the way to create change that lasts is to find a template of understanding that is wiser to you, and then find a community or a person with whom you can have support. Those are the keys. Those are the research-backed keys.
We live in great poverty of understanding what our deepest gifts are, and that makes us spin around in circles.CLICK TO TWEETIf you make this next year one where you make that commitment, the gifts will be absolutely incredible because as you up-level your skillset at finding love, as you infuse wisdom, goodness, care, smarts, and discrimination into your search for love, you will feel better about yourself. You will feel more like you have a beautiful backbone. Your own unique flavor of wisdom will begin to take over the way that you do things, and you’ll have support at those crossroads where you get triggered in old ways.
You’ll have a person with their arm around your shoulder, even though not literally, probably, saying to you what they see. That drop of infusion of wisdom from someone else at a juncture where there’s been tightness, fear, discomfort, and anger just makes all the difference in the world. It makes me think of Dorothy when she took that oil can, and she would just oil the joints of the Tin Man, and then he could move again. That is I think what happens when we get to these really reactive and difficult junctures, and somebody tells us something wise, and we soften and loosen. I’ve had that happen to me so many times in my intimacy life. I rely on that. I don’t know where I would be without that softening, wisening influence. If you give yourself that Valentine’s gift, I think it’s one of the most beautiful and precious gifts that you could give yourself.
Write A Valentine’s Day Card
Now, I want to share one for couples. This is actually one that is not just for couples, but it’s a great one for couples. Here’s what it is. You’re going to be probably writing a Valentine’s Day card. If you’re not, I really encourage you to. I encourage you in this card to really take the time to describe the things you most love, most respect, and most learn from about your partner. It’s easy to say that you love them and why you love them. That’s great. We want that in the card, but to then say what you respect them deeply for about who they are, and then getting really vulnerable. What you learned from them, what they teach you, because you’re with them, because they have gifts that you’re trying to cultivate that they’re better at, and of course, vice versa.
You can make a pact that the two of you write this letter to each other. That’s even more fabulous, but in it, you put in all the words of what you love, respect, adore, and are attracted to about them. It feels very vulnerable to do it, but when you do it from that place, you will feel your Eros begin to loosen up like that same squeaky tin can thing. You will find your heart and your love begins to loosen, and your Eros begin to loosen up again. It’s also a really important process because we live in a kind of great poverty of understanding what our deepest gifts are, and that makes us spin around in circles. It’s very hard to go forward into a difficult world if we can’t name the treasures of our being, our Core Gifts which often have been stepped on or taken advantage of, but which are the treasures of our being in which our life’s task is to learn to become heroes around those qualities.
Your loved one can name those for you. It’s a beautiful process and it will last. It will last for you because of the things you get taught, because we need to be instructed in our deepest gifts, and the things that your partner will learn, the closeness that will happen, the way that both of you will be able to rest in a place of, “This is what they think of me. They might be really annoyed at me now. I might have been a pain in the ass. We might be going through a really difficult time, but there’s a shelf I can rest on, which is they do think this about me. They feel this about me.” We can hold that to our hearts and reframe, and rename our journey based on that understanding.
We can move ahead remembering how much we’re loved by this person, because it’s so easy to stop remembering in day-to-day life how much this person treasures us, loves us, needs us, adores us, not at all moments, but in an essential general way. That is a practice that the two of you could do together, or the three of you. It is just fabulous. You can do it with anybody you love. This could be a Valentine’s gift.
I love when my child was really little, everybody gave Valentines to everybody else. There are these little tiny Valentine’s and everybody gave them to everybody. I think that’s what Valentine’s Day should be. You could do this process to single folks with friends and coupled folks, you can do this with other people that you love too.
Next, single folks. There are so many different things. This is just a quick one, but I want to encourage you to look at the new wave of dating sites and functionalities using video, using ways to connect. I will say that my husband and I have put heart and soul into this new event, which is called Deeper Dating. It’s actually experience events online as well as an online platform. It’s built with love and for love. It’s built to incubate intimacy every step of the way throughout the process. We’d love to have you joined and you can join for free, and connect with people for free too, and hear about upcoming events in your area. This gives me great joy to be able to tell you about.
Discover Your Inner Dating Coach
The next kind of process or hack that I would love to share with you is one of my very favorite processes in the world. I do it pretty much every day. I have a buddy that we share our Inner Mentor Processes with. I’m going to tell you what it is. You’re going to discover your inner dating coach. Just follow me along with this. I just want you to imagine yourself, and I’m going to keep it pretty brief. You can find recordings of this. There’s an entire episode, it’s episode number three, focused on this exercise, but here’s a quick one. I like you to remember a time that you felt like your love was flowing freely and beautifully. There was that wonderful sense of love, not with someone who betrayed you. It doesn’t have to be with someone you’re with now, but when you do it, I don’t want you to do it about a relationship where there’s the flavor of betrayal in it.
When we get to these really reactive and difficult junctures, and somebody tells us something wise, we soften and loosen.CLICK TO TWEETSomeone with whom you could think of this, and remember the good in a very rich way. A time that you felt like really the love flowing between you and another person. It does not have to be a romantic partner. It could be a child, it could be a grandparent, it could be anything, it could be a pet, but the way that it feels for you when love is flowing, when that oil can has really lubricated your being and love is moving through you. You don’t have to remember perfectly, but just remember the wonderfulness of that. I want you to remember a time that you felt really comfortable in your own skin, and how marvelous that feels to feel comfortable in your own skin. It could be at any point in your life, and you don’t have to bring it back perfectly. It could be a gentle wisp of a memory that comes in and out. It doesn’t have to be really strong or crisp by the time that you felt that and how that felt.
We’re going to do one more. A time that you got through a relationship difficulty in a really good way with someone who could listen to you, where the two of you moved to a new positive place together, and you remember that there was learning in it and growth for you. It didn’t have to be a big change, but it was something where you said, “I’ve just learned something about how to love and how that felt,” how that feels in your heart. Now, I just want you to imagine, and it’s a fantasy, a you who loves freely as you, a you who stands in his or her or their own feet, loving as you are from the heart, and the soul, and the core of who you are. This is just you, like the you that you’re meant to be when you’re fully unfurled in love. Just picture that. You don’t have to earn it or be it right now, but just imagine it. Imagine what this being’s face looks like, how it feels in this being’s heart.
Now, I’d like you to imagine that you jump into this self, this inner mentor, this you that you’re meant to be. Just jump in, it’s a fantasy. It’s just a fantasy, but it’s also not a fantasy because you know what it feels like on some level to be this being, because you’re in some ways almost there. Feel, imagine that you are there. You are actually there, you are this you, and look at the you of today. Right now, in your intimacy journey, from this place of essence of wonderful, unfurled you, what do you want to say to the you of today? If you have paper and pen, write it down, otherwise speak it out loud or whisper it, or just think it. Take a minute to do this. You can pause this for as long as you like.
That is your inner mentor message. You can go back and do this so quickly. You could do it at the drop of a hat once you get comfortable, really quick. I promise you, at the crossroads of your intimacy choices when you do this, the response you get, the wisdom you get will move you in a different direction at those crossroads. Every one of those directions weaves you in a different life direction, in a different life pattern, and weaves you and moves you closer to richer, deeper love. Try this. Have this inner mentor be a dear partner to you. The other gift that happens with this is that the more you do it, the more you become that inner mentor, the more comfortable you are living in that amazing space. This is a treasure of an exercise, and I encourage you to use it, to do it, to do it every day, to do it really quickly, but watch what happens. You’re just going to love what happens.
The Marriage Hack
Next, this is for couples and it’s pretty cool. It’s called the marriage hack. This is a technique that is very highly researched. It was developed by Eli Finkel, a very renowned relationship expert and researcher. The marriage hack, and you can do this with close friends too. You can do it in all kinds of relationships, but this is an exercise that what Eli says is that it is the best 21 minutes that you will spend all year if you want to improve your life. The research shows that the quality of your spousal relationship affects the quality of your life more than anything else, including your health. It’s pretty wild. By healing the quality of our spousal relationships, we just bring so much more love and ease into our lives, and meaning, and possibility.
If you look at a graph of the trajectory of marital or spousal relationship quality, you don’t have to be married, but it’s a committed relationship. If you look at a graph, you see that virtually, almost every couple, the quality of their connection decreases the quality of their communication, of their listening, of their treasuring. It gently decreases year after year. It’s a downward slope that’s almost universal, not a quick one in the cases of most healthy relationships but it’s a downward slope. This exercise, basically wherever you’re at, it won’t raise you to a higher level of your slope, other things will, but it will stop the slope from going downward, which is why the sooner you begin this process, Eli says, the better for you. Here’s what it is. It’s very much like the Inner Mentor Process.
You could actually even add the Inner Mentor Process if you like. Here’s what it is, 21 minutes. The first thing that each of you do together is to think about a recent argument. It’s an argument that kind of captures a stuck point in your relationship. It’s a kind of argument or stuck place that happens again and again. You are going to write down the experience of a recent argument where this happened to you. Maybe it’s nagging, maybe it’s around sex, maybe it’s not feeling listened to, maybe it’s differences in how you relate to money, or the children, or politics.
First, just write down what that is, then you’re going to write three different things. Each of them is going to take seven minutes long. You’re going to think of this conflict and you’re going to imagine a neutral third-party that wants the best for everybody, wants the best for both of you and for the two of you as a couple, and for each of you individually. A neutral third-party that wants that. You may even tweak that a little bit I think, and make it like a very wise-being. The research shows doing this exercise with thinking of a neutral third-party who wants the best for everybody.
You’re going to write about what this neutral third-party would tell the two of you to do to handle this. Again, a neutral wise third-party who wants the best for both of you. Write down seven minutes what this person would say to the two of you to help you both get through this. The second question you’ll answer for another seven minutes, each of you will do this, is what do you think are the obstacles that you’re going to confront when you try to adopt this new approach or perspective? You’re going to write about the obstacles that you think will happen for you as you try to make this change. Both of you do that, seven minutes.
The third seven minutes is you write down what you can do individually and as a couple to surmount those obstacles. What Eli says is that the greatest determinant of a healthy relationship is how the couple handles conflict. That’s the greatest determinant of a good relationship. This gives both of you the space to think in really different ways, and to think in more conscious, more caring, and more compassionate ways.
What Eli says is that the research shows that the two of you get to do this together. You might not want to do it on Valentine’s Day because it could be a little difficult, or you might want to do it on Valentine’s Day. You do this 21 minutes once a year. The research clearly shows there’s beautiful and dramatic results. These are four different hacks that I’m very excited to share with you. Each of them will open up a world and open up your world to becoming that person who you were born to be, who you’re meant to be, who can love more fully, richly and wisely. We know there is nothing better than that. The knowledge that you’re going to tackle this will change your Valentine’s Day for the richer and the better. All my best to all of you on this Valentine’s Day, and on your entire future journey in intimacy. I look forward to seeing you on the next episode.