On saying it all [in dating].

I’ve been in early days of dating soooo many times. Its not been, ‘I’ve been in a thing for a year here, another thing for a year there’ — but more like, ‘I’ve been in a lot of 3 week explorations of possibilities that don’t turn out to be the thing’ on rinse n’ repeat.

Call it bad patterning, call it being uncompromising.

I call it (both of those!) AND listening to the truth. Nobody thus far has been the truth. That feels like a blessing — I’m not waking up every day knowing in a deep part of me that I’m not living a lie in order to have ‘the thing’.

It also feels painful: I’d love to have ‘the thing’ — a partnership, a family, a multi-story pre-war brownstone on a tree lined street in Brooklyn.

Something that’s true that I wish were not true: I feel fear that the chance has passed, and it wont be back.

One upside to this reality: I’ve gotten really good at saying alllllll the things. The early days can provide that, cuz its that liminal space between vulnerability and excitement.

Some snapshots of v recent interactions help illustrate the point //

I was at a play party last Friday. I ended up in an (MDMA-induced) deep connection w someone. My draw toward him came after a verbal check-in (something borrowed from years of being in women’s group) — aka a read out of what was internally alive as we were entering the situation.

Tho a play party isn’t where you’d expect to be doing read-outs of what’s alive in one’s body and heart — there I was, giving one and asking for one in turn. When he met mine with depth and articulation — my full being pulled towards him.

Fast forward to 5am, and it was time for me to go home. I asked him if he’d be open to us ‘checking out’

It felt *really hard* to do — but I found the words for an experience of anxiousness I was having: I watched myself leave being present w him, to portal to this future-based anxiety of whether we’d speak again, whether the connection had any meaning, whether there’d be ‘more’. I felt stupid, like a 16-year old afraid of rejection. I spoke to that too. I owned it all.

In this instance — he met it really beautifully — reflected and validated the feelings.

That doesn’t always happen.

I encourage sharing anyway.

On a different vibe, there was a recent online dating sitch that also called on me to say the things — there’s actually been like 5 — but I’m using this one cause it illustrates a point relatively quickly.

Up front: when it comes to any dating dynamic — be it an online or IRL connect — I try *really hard* never to ghost / leave a thing hanging. Sometimes it just straight up slips, and that’s ok. But I see the online dating space as a playground on which I practice — using my words, speaking my truth, saying what can feel hard to say — cuz for better or worse the stakes feel low.

So enter Adam. I’ve made it clear when it comes to digi-dates (what I call online connects) that I don’t do in-person meet ups unless there’s been a FaceTime first (DM me if you wanna know more bout the process cause lord knows I’ve got a lot to say on it). Adam has missed the time we’d set to FT (twice), and now he’s pushing for an in-person. He’s leaving town soon and he wants me to pop over to the park to meet him and his dog. Its simple — they’re just a couple blocks away. I could do it, and part of me is compelled cause he’s asking.

I don’t go, cause he’s jumping over what I’ve asked — for a FaceTime — and cause holding onto feeling like I’m protecting / honoring me comes first. Moreover, now none of it feels particularly good, and I know I’m not interested in any kinda further contact. Alas — instead of letting it all slide into the ether of lost, vague, embryonic digi-connections — I drop a 2 minute and 30 second voice note bringing full transparency to my process and my experience.

Its a haul of words. Every time, its a haul.

Over time, it’s gotten easier.

The more I feel toward someone, the harder it is to own the experiencing.

I own it anyway.

I’ve found that for as much work as it is — there’s deep rewards, and its a really good litmus test: men are either like, ‘yes, this is what I’ve been wanting to find’ — or its a hard ‘no’.

All that is great information.

Cuz I’m here for spaces where I can say it all — and for potential partners who can say it all, too.

When it comes to ‘saying it all’ — here’s some things I’ve learned about approach:

  1. If I’m gonna drop a share that has depth — I ask permission first. It allows receiver to acclimate and feel prepared;
  2. I describe my experience — what’s alive physically, what’s alive emotionally, what thoughts are present;
  3. I try to jump over the urge to hide the from the shadow/wound/shame that’s present. I go towards, vs away, from those;
  4. I avoid blaming + finger pointing of any kind;
  5. I ‘cop’to’ if/when I’ve done something that I feel I should own/apologize for;
  6. I state what I need or want back; for instance, I might say, “I don’t feel a need for you to do anything but affirm that you’ve received this.”

Here’s some questions for you, if the theme of ‘saying it all’ resonates //

  1. What’re you holding back saying? If you’ve got a sense — why’re you holding it back?
  2. What truth are you ready to own? Why that one?

If you feel called to share your responses, I’d love to receive. Email ’em to me → allie@equanimityequation.com



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Equanimity Equation

Equanimity Equation

Currently exploring at the intersection of experience design, community + inner work.