Again - so much gratitude for your participation in the meetup! We hope these notes will help as a reference...
After some introductory questions and discussion, we started the night by doing a short meditation to get into your body, drop into the heart, and set an intention for how you want to feel at the end of the workshop.
This is an exact example of what you can do before any date [and before anything you do in life actually].
We call this getting into alignment.
We mentioned that it takes the average couple 10 months to fully be themselves with each other. This is totally a symptom of not being in alignment. Not being yourself in a romantic relationship is usually because you aren't really tuning into yourself. You're trying to be who you think the other person will like. It can also be a symptom of just plain nervousness and tension associated with commitment and newness. These feelings make us constricted, not free flowing.
Alignment Practices Before a Date
Whether you have worry thoughts, excitement, nervousness, or any other natural response when you're experiencing something new [like a new person on a date], the sympathetic nervous system is actually activated. This is the fight or flight response, which means that your body is orienting towards fighting or fleeing. Your body is wanting to MOVE. But if you're on the typical date, you're just sitting still. That urge to move is being uncomfortably contained in your torso - which is a very small area for all that energy. Repressing the urge only exacerbates the feelings - possibly leading to overwhelment or freeze.
The way this affects you on a date may include: rigidity in your body, awkward laughter, talking too much, talking too little, saying things you wouldn't ordinarily say, stiffness in speech, inability to stay present with the other person, etc.
When the sympathetic nervous system is online, your social engagement abilities are literally turned off because if you were in a dangerous situation, your energy would be best spent on getting out of dodge, not chatting.
Here are some ideas on how to sequence that energy out so that you're not repressing it...
1. Move your body vigorously! You could do anything from taking a jog, doing some push ups, or jumping jacks. The exercises we did in the workshop was Tag Everyone's It and Body Tapping and Sounding. The latter practice is actually inspired from Tai Chi.
- Rub your hands together FAST for 30 seconds, breathe fully.
- Separate your hands about a foot apart, and just feel the energy there.
- Start at your feet, and start patting with medium strength every part of your body that you can reach - front, back, sides all the way up to your head.
- When you get to your chest, beat there for several seconds while sounding - low sounds, high sounds, goofy sounds that don't make sense, whatever goes!
- When you get to your head, tap lightly and then massage the scalp and face paying extra attention to the jaw and ears.
2. Reframe the date as a FATE - a Friend Date. Simply think of it as a time to connect with another human being like you might with a new friend. We're just taking some time to connect. This takes away the pressure of "this is a time to assess whether we are a match to spend the rest of our lives together."
3. Assume this person is amazing. This will allow you to take off your "red flag" lenses - of which it doesn't feel good to be on the other side. And if you really tune into your heart - you probably don't feel good with those glasses on either. What we resist persists. So when you have very specific deal breakers in mind - you might actually attract them. When you have specific deal breakers that are actually triggering to you - like you get very charged when you think about it - you likely have "shadow." This means you are denying that aspect in yourself, which also attracts it!
Assume they are amazing is a reflection of you knowing your own amazingness. It will be pouring out of you, which feels good to you and to the other person to receive!
4. Set an intention. This is about being a powerful creator in your life and a co-creator during the date. We gave the example of one of our clients [which is a common theme among many of them] in which she came back from a date and said that her date wasn't playful enough for her. We asked her if she was being her playful self, and she said "No. I wanted to see if he was playful." She was unconsciously having an agenda of testing him, which isn't fair. You both are co-creators of the experience. And if you can be an intentional co-creator, you'll attract likeminded others!
- Close your eyes if that feels good [if not - have a soft gaze looking down].
- Take some deep, full breaths.
- Tune into your heart.
- State something in your mind's eye that feels good as an intention for the date. It may include the pieces from above, but definitely make it your own!
- BOOM! Just by setting that intention, your mind body and spirit all start to orient toward that in a seemingly magical way.
Have Fun During the Date
First, why are fun dates important?
- Raises your vibration, which allows whatever you want to flow to you
- Allows you to "enjoy the journey" to love
- Frees you up to be more of yourself - why wait 10 months?
- By giving yourself permission to be yourself, you unconsciously give the other person to be THEMself.
- Being yourself is the best filter system for the right match
- Allows you to be more present
- Laughter and dopamine actually brings you closer
- Helps you get rid of the "investment mentality"
- Starts the relationship with a precedent and foundation of being ourselves and having fun
- Having fun is a key ingredient for a sustainable relationship
There's probably a lot of other reasons too, but we think that's enough to inspire you to make a shift!
Below are the paired mini-date exercises we did. Use them in your dates or as inspiration for your own creative ideas!
- Partner A - Tell your partner a quirk you have that you like. Maybe it’s something someone has noticed and told you or you just know it about yourself.
Partner B - Repeat it back in your own words, and celebrate it with them!
- Partner A - Quirk that you’re not so sure of.
Partner B - Repeat and celebrate!
Why talk about quirks?
Making light of yourself. It’s our quirks that make us stand out and maybe even more loveable. It's admitting your humanness with the other person. It's a kind of bonding over our shared humanness. You don’t have to wait until you're caught...reveal your quirks now! It's hilarious!
- Partner A - Ask your partner to tell you one of their dreams
Partner B - Build off their dream. Make it bigger and more real.
Why talk about dreams?
This can reveal so much more about the person than their past or even their present. Maybe the person has a job that you judge as not interesting enough. That might make you not want to see the person again. But maybe that person has a dream of retiring in a few years to build a treehouse in Bali to live half the year. Also, once you're in a partnership, encouraging each other's dreams is another key ingredient for a sustainable relationship - why not start on the first date?
MOMENTS OF IMPROV
The next few exercises are about being receptive to moments of improv. Kendra gave the example of walking down the street on a fall day, gathering up an arm full of leaves and throwing them on Chris' head.
Make up a secret handshake
Pretending you’ve known each other forever, improv an old couple that's married. Have a conversation from this place. This is especially fun to do at a restaurant. This was actually the game that sparked the beginning of our relationship!
As you're walking next to the other person, you can do a little Wizard of Oz skip to get in sync with their walk. It's a playful thing to do that can create a moment of laughter!
Make up some different walks together playing with who follows and who leads. Let it unfold and see what you create together!
SYNC UP Game: Take turns asking a question and saying 1, 2, 3 and both of you answer at the same time. You can have a conversation after each, which can also be revealing and fun. You can track how many you get synced up on your hand just to add an element of teamwork/competition/heightened energy!
Some example questions:
- What’s your favorite animal?
- Name an outdoor activity you like?
- Place you want to go?
- Favorite time of the year?
- Best kind of weather?
- Most friends would say you have this quality?
Name as many things you love about yourself, and when you start losing momentum, throw your arms up in the air and say “I love everything about myself!”
Asking the other person to name some things they love about themselves reveals a lot about who they are, who they want to be, and how they feel about themselves.
Huggle. A huggle is a cross between a hug and a cuddle. When humans make physical contact for more than 7 seconds, our bodies naturally produce the neurotransmitter oxytocin. This is the feel good, blissed out, bonding neurotransmitter that makes us feel a sense of optimism, calm, and self-esteem.
CREATE A DATING WISHLIST
This is an exercise we didn't actually get to do, but we touched on it in our moments of discussion. Create a list of places you've been wanting to go, restaurants you've been wanting to check out, experiences you've been wanting to have, and things that you find fun, interesting or will help create laughter. Pay attention to adding things that have potential for revealing more sides of each other. For instance, instead of picking a simple restaurant, pick a restaurant that's interactive like a fondue restaurant or one that has a unique atmosphere like Dushanbe Teahouse or one that has a unique theme like Hooters [haha, just making sure you're still paying attention].
Benefits of this list:
- Gets rid of the "investment mentality" because you'll be doing something for your own pleasure. Even if the relationship doesn't go anywhere, you didn't waste your time.
- Allow for a more sustainable dating journey because you're not just doing the same type of thing over and over.
- Sets you up to have fun and enjoy yourself!
Something to Ponder
Most people tend to think of compatibility as being based on how many common interests and qualities we have with someone.
The truth is what makes compatibility is YOU. You CREATE compatibility. And when you know this secret, you can have a magical partnership with many more people than what you originally may have thought. AND - when you know this secret, you can have a relationship that lasts. One of the biggest breaker-uppers is when one person seemingly changes and then the couple thinks: I guess we're not compatible anymore.
We call this realer kind of compatibility that's based off creating it: ALIGNABILITY.
All of the practices in this document from things to do before the date to things to do during the date are examples of practicing alignability. Alignability is about conscious communication skills, responding to each other in a kind way, looking through a lens that they are amazing, being yourself, allowing them be themselves, expecting and seeing the goodness in another, delighting in each other’s dreams, building trust, being able to be light-hearted about your own and the other person's imperfections [Wabi Sabi Love], and much much more!
We hope that what you take from this information is that you are not a victim to the crappy world of singledom and modern dating. You get to create it how you want it to be! This is the best foundation for a potential relationship and allows it to last a lifetime. Feel free to ask any questions!
May the love be with you!
Chris + Kendra