New online dating service is for those who have faith

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Attunement without realness is just self-sacrificing. Intimacy does not need to be a privilege granted only those in our innermost circle. Dating someone you’re not into would be a waste of time.

You can get better and better at creating all different kinds of intimacy, with all different kinds of people. They look far less appealing than they did in their photos. Rejecting your date might be the best course of action. Intimacy, it turns out, does not require sex, or long-term partnership. Chances are high that you’ve had deeply significant, meaningful, fulfilling human interactions that were neither romantic nor sexual. Other times, you were moved or inspired, learned something new, felt deeply connected, helped someone. Some unique form of intimacy is possible between you and this other human being. If you reject the other person, you’ll never find out.

What new forms of support can you offer each other? Instead of progressing toward interdependency, commitment, and marriage, you are progressing toward mutual understanding, greater risk-taking, and more complete contact. If you want intimacy, you need the second approach. We’ve been taught to act cool, to look composed when we feel like a mess, to perform in order to be liked, to partition out the parts of ourselves we show from those we hide. You open your arms and move toward someone for a hug.

The “only date” rule is the spiritual foundation of Deep Dating. The more you can thwart the normal process of building expectations about the future, the more present you can be. Instead of grasping to reach a goal, you’re surrendering to the process. We are ashamed of our struggles, our limitations, and our imperfections, and we fear that if people knew what we were really like on the inside, they wouldn’t want us. We think we have to stop being our real selves to get people to like us. Do they light up, contract slightly, take a deep breath, turn slightly to the side?

Over time, you’ll get more involved in one another’s daily activities, depend on each other to meet more and more of your needs, start to intertwine your lives. You were trying to prove yourself to your date, or covering up your embarrassment about something they noticed, or testing to see if they like you enough to come after you. 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.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.

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