We love Peter Novotny’s reflection on his experience of deep dating, a new phenomenon which is changing how we relate to each other for the better. Keep reading to learn more…
Short Meetings That Reveal Profundity
By Peter Novotny
Speed dating has the advantage over internet dating sites, in that you have a real person in front of you who is as vulnerable as you are, so the contact is personal and human, though it can still lead to a lot of masks and social faces that show what is expected rather than reveal what is. The disadvantage is in the word speed, there is not enough time to get an impression that is anything other than superficial. Or from the other side, to make an impression that communicates that you are a worthwhile, interesting person.
So when I read about deep dating I was interested. 12 minutes is not particularly long, but the idea of sharing an experience and then being able to talk about your experience and hear from your partner about theirs, well that sounds like the main skill in relating, it sounds like life itself. And if the meeting is a little intimate, all the more important to be able to talk about it. I have always found sharing with a partner was the best way to see experiences from different points of view. And how women experience something becomes less baffling, can even be like awareness expanding, if you can learn to listen, and understanding can follow.
So one Friday evening I found myself in an elegant hotel meeting room sitting on a cushion on the floor having been invited to sit opposite a member of the fairer sex. The leaders, Katarina Hawken (Nemcova) and John Hawken, explained that to see the best in each person was part of the beauty way of tantra. Having been told often that I was too critical, I decided that it was indeed time to exercise my compassion and my heart. Looking around the circle, Katarina invited us to see the many different faces of woman or of man each one unique. To appreciate each woman for herself, not comparing her to some impossible ideal.
The tantric salutation, the namaste, helped as well to get into the right frame of mind. I greet you as a mirror of myself, so if I am respectful and gentle with you I am also respectful with myself, and can be accepted rather than judged. This emphasis took away the typical meat market ambiance of a dating evening, created less pressure, so that even if we did not immediately find our life partner tonight, we could enjoy meeting some interesting people.
So each meeting was energetic rather than verbal and helped take us out of our heads and into our bodies. All the meetings were gentle, nonthreatening and fun, but I had a couple of favourites. In one, we sat on cushions back to back, and were encouraged to lean and be leaned on equally, to find a balance of taking and giving. It was not easy, but after a couple of minutes we sort of got it, and it felt deeply relaxing and full of trust. When John asked us to imagine having this quality of mutual support with a life partner, the tears unexpectedly came to my eyes. Another favourite was breathing together and letting our bodies as we sat opposite each other rise and fall as if on the same wave of breath. I felt really dreamlike, like in an altered state, and safely close to this complete stranger. With everybody, we were talking about our experience as if we had known each other much longer than the actual twelve minutes.
Overall it was a great experience, and I came away with a couple of contact numbers to explore further. I have decided to go again, as they do vary the meetings, and anyway each different person provides a new and valuable experience. So maybe I will meet you at the Deep Dating in Dublin at The Clarence Hotel in Temple Bar area on 18 August 2023 at 19.00. I hope I will feel that magical melting with someone, but at the same time I feel I am learning to be more open, more aware of the interaction with others, less full of thoughts and more sensitive to what is actually happening between me and the other human being I am relating to.