In this consumer society, dating has turned into a science of the mind, a calculated process in which you are supposed to identify your Key Requirements and Dealbreakers and go directly to the “job interview”. This is when you sit across from each other on a first date over coffee, drinks or food and ask each other horrible questions like, “What was your last relationship like” and “do you want kids” and “are you interested in marriage?” while you stutter and try to be impressive and look for red flags and mostly don’t feel anything at all. It is no wonder that most people look at dating as a terrible chore, a necessary evil that they must endure in order to experience sex, intimacy and relationships. Not surprising considering that so many people out there are approaching dating, checklist in hand, ready to cross people off at the slightest provocation, or, perhaps worse, trying to create a relationship with someone who they feel absolutely nothing for but who fits all of their pre-conceived pre-requisites. Women say things like, “He seems so great on paper, I’m just not attracted to him at all. Do you think there is something wrong with me?” The answer is YES, what is wrong is that you are checklist dating. Dating in San Francisco, I (Celeste) actually had men ask me, “don’t you have any questions for me?” They seemed astonished that I wanted to spend the first date just getting a feel for the person and, most importantly, how I felt when I was with them. The biggest problem with checklist dating is that it assumes humans actually know what they want all the time and that their desires never change, yet any marketing researcher can tell you that people make decisions based on emotion as much as they’d like to think they are making decisions that are reasonable or logical. We can’t tell you how many times we have worked with men and women who have said that they weren’t ready for a relationship and, within a month, had met a person they were really interested in and chose to start a relationship or swore they would never move out of San Francisco and then got married to someone and off they went. In the face of this, we propose a different kind of dating, what we call Embodied Dating, a process during which you could actually enjoy yourself and the experience for exactly what it is, AN EXPERIENCE, a time to see how you feel with another person and who you are when you are relating, a time to play with someone and see if you play well together, a time to see if you feel happy, excited and TURNED ON by the other person and to see and feel into what is possible for the two of you. Next time you go on a date, we suggest you leave your checklist at home, just this once, and share an actual experience with someone.
Reminds me of my to do list — I create this long list with no possible way of ever completing it and live with the feeling at times that I’m such a failure for not doing better. No one can live up to all our expectations and neither can I live up to theirs. Rip up all relationships list!!!