Deeper Dating: How to Drop the Games of Seduction and Discover the Power of Intimacy goes beyond the typical dating advice book to help you get more from yourself and relationships.
It would be easy to make a list of 10 Reasons Why You Should Read Deeper Dating If You Want To Understand Yourself and Your Relationships Better. Or 8 Ways That Deeper Dating Can Help Transform Your Relationships. But that would be utterly against the tone of the book. Ken Page’s writing, whether it’s on his blog, in his Psychology Today columns, or in this book, avoids “Quick Tip” lists while still remaining accessible to Any Reader.
Deeper Dating is as much a book for meeting your self as for meeting that right person. One of the things that Page posits is that you have to know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, your needs and insecurities, before you can be ready for or find That Person. And it’s not something you have to do alone.
Throughout the book are a series of meditations and exercises, many requesting that you have a friend (“Learning Partner”) to help you. This isn’t as impossible as it may seem (“No one will have time.” “I can’t talk about this.”) since they are not lengthy activities and rely on the reader to find their comfort level. They are designed for discovery and realization.
As much as there’s a spirit of helping yourself, there’s also an acknowledgement of the importance of others – your tribe, your community – and how finding them is part of the Deeper Dating process. You don’t need cheerleaders. You need people who know the best parts of you and emphasize those.
There are dating and relationships tips, to be sure. After all, you can’t really talk about a topic without addressing it directly. Deeper Dating delves into attraction, what it is, and how to make it work for you. Attraction is a viewed as both a positive and a negative. It’s how one handles it that matters. And a lot of what Page talks about regarding attraction is recognizing negative patterns (“Deprivations”) and how attractions have worked against you in the past, always with an eye towards making a better futures. This positive outlook is the motivating factor as he urges you to examine where you are in your life. Everything is designed to move you forward and keep you forward.
Deeper Dating also lacks the shaming that’s at the core of many self-help and self-improvement books. It acknowledges that everyone has faults, and asks you to look for these and examine them and why they might be there, but doesn’t call you “bad” or reprimand your for having them. Instead, the focus is on how to overcome them (“intimacy-sabotaging behaviors”) when you are truly ready to move towards more emotionally intimate relationships.
After the stages that ask the reader to examine themselves and the role of other others in their lives and zero in on what really matters – the gifts they have that they bring to a relationship, the attractions that will be most positive for them, and more – there are stages that include learning skills to find and build relationships and to grow them once they are established.
As with every portion of Deeper Dating, these skills go beyond a “To Do” checklist to why they are important and how to use them in a positive way. Even the section on where and how to meet people includes ways to evaluate what you are doing so that nothing is wasted effort. Everything is a learning experience, every action step has a purpose.
And how about the sex? Yes, that’s in there, too. It’s also a small portion of the book and asks the reader to think about what pleases them sexually, what they enjoy and want to express sexually, so that they are conscious of what they are looking for.
That’s probably the overall message and lesson in Deeper Dating, and what sets it apart from many others in the pack. It asks the reader to very deliberately become conscious of who they are, what they want, what they have been missing, what they need, and what they have to give. And it does this with writing, meditations, conversation, learning exercises, and skill building. Page is not asking for hours a day. But he is asking you to realize that relationships are an investment. You are giving your gifts of sensitivity, tenderness, and passion, and asking for these in return.
And he does not want your time and energy wasted on games that lead to insecurity and loneliness when you could be “on a real path to healthy, lasting relationships and personal growth and fulfillment.”
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