I want to warn everyone – I’m going to be talking to JUST the Intuitives here.
That is, only those who have taken the free “learning styles” test in the Genius Awakening system and tested out as an Intuitive, not a Sensor. I’ve gotten a lot of questions from Intuitives about dating and finding the perfect life partner, so I think it’s high time it was addressed.
So, for the Intuitives…
In the world of dating and romance, some people seem to be compatible with absolutely anyone. They always seem to have someone, they spend about two minutes between relationships and are confused by the idea that anyone would have trouble finding ‘the one’. I like to think of these people as the equivalent of Type O- blood donors. Considering that Type O- blood donors have saved a lot of lives, that’s not entirely a bad thing. Having an accommodating personality keeps the human race going. But Intuitives – you and I – are more like Type AB blood donors: we’re usually not a match, but when we are we’re absolutely imperative. That’s the dream: being with someone who creates a “you-shaped” space in their heart, and you create one for them back. That’s connection.
As an Intuitive, you probably often find yourself feeling a little alien. A little on the edge of the room, a little on the edge of fitting in, a little on the edge of every relationship. It’s difficult to fully commit because it’s difficult to fully connect. Connection doesn’t happen as frequently for you as it does with other people, and so in a worst case scenario you can find yourself either perpetually alone or assume you’ll have to settle. Neither is a pretty prospect if you’re lonely and would love to stop waking up to an empty bed.
So, how do you live the dream and avoid the nightmare?
Here are 7 things you have to keep in mind if you going to find, create, and then not sabotage the hell out of the dream relationship:
#1: Stop trying to date like everyone else.
One thing has to be remembered: You’re not like other people, so stop trying to date like them. That means traditional templates aren’t going to do the trick. Are you a woman and have read “The Rules?” That’s amazingly awesome literature… if you want your relationship to be based upon creating addiction through inconsistent reward. (i.e. Giving a rat a piece of cheese only sometimes when they perform a task of your choosing, thus making them obsessed with doing that task just…in…case…they get the cheese. Genius, really. But maybe not so good for LTRs.)
You’re an Intuitive. Rules are something other people have to worry about. You live life based upon deep insight and innovation. If that means following some rules sometimes, serendipity! But usually that means using rules as a guideline and throwing them out the moment they become contextually inappropriate.
Okay, so what does that mean? That means if you’re using dating manuals or expert suggestions you have to be willing to abandon them the moment they’re not working out for you. You’re not supposed to call a guy first after an awesome date? You’re not supposed to tell a girl you really like her if she’s super pretty and used to getting that kind of treatment? Sure, those both make sense… contextually.
You’re a pattern recognizer. If you continue to do the wrong thing on a date, that doesn’t mean you’re not following the rules well enough. That means you don’t have enough information to form really solid patterns yet, and that means more experience/practice. This is difficult because we always want to master something the first time around. It’s difficult, sometimes humiliating, to totally botch a situation (especially in a social context). But that’s how the world stays stagnate – fear of failure. Follow the advice of the great Intuitive master Samuel Beckett, “Fail again. Fail better.”
In the Genius Awakening program we go over the enormous disservice we do to ourselves by fearing failure, and being a “Sins of Omission” instead of a “Sins of Commission” society. It’s fascinating information, and a total game changer.
#2: Don’t settle for someone that can’t satisfy your biggest, (currently) unmet need.
What is your biggest unmet need? As soon as you read it off this blog the likelihood of turning into a bobble head increases 80%. (That means you’ll nod a lot.)
Your biggest need (and probably unmet at this point) is regular, high quality, abstract, conceptual conversation. That’s it. That’s your biggest unmet need. It seems so simple, but without it you curl up, crawl into yourself and die a little inside. Finding someone that can engage and enjoy that kind of conversation is like finding an oasis in a desert, and sometimes you can see it as the only source you’re ever going to find.
If you’re with someone that can’t or won’t talk about your ambitions, ideas, and extrapolations on the life, the universe and everything, then you’re with the wrong person. Period. That doesn’t mean they have to be Intuitive, but it does mean they can’t be dismissive of your Intuition. If they shut you down every time you want to talk about highly abstract conversations, it doesn’t matter how great they are on paper (or in the sac, or when they take their shirt off…), you’ll only be okay with that for so long before you realize you’ll have to get it from outside the relationship. Which is okay – maybe you have friends that are abstract conversationalists. But think about how much more satisfying that conversation would be in a romantic context: over dinner, walking together, or lying in bed. Think of having someone who not only believes you should be dreaming big, but supports those dreams. (“Hell, yeah, quit your job and start an ecologically progressive sustainable energy company!” or, “I KNOW you could end up on the TED stage!”)
Don’t settle. You can absolutely find that person, and here’s how:
#3: Think abundance, not scarcity.
Approximately 30% of the population is Intuitive. That means 30% of the population thinks in terms of patterns, despises the mundane, thinks about the future more than the past and wants to talk about the meaning of absolutely everything. Now, when we consider that 70% of the population doesn’t think like this, it can be disheartening. 70% sounds like an awfully big number. And it is, which is why you feel a little bit like an alien. But let’s put this into perspective: out of every 100 people you run into, 30 of them are likely to be Intuitive. Of course, this varies largely on the environment you’re in. If you work for the DMV, you’re going to be around far fewer Intuitives. If you go to a personal development seminar, you’re going to be around way more Intuitives. On average, however, 30 out of 100 people think like you and want to the same thing: to make a huge impact on the world and play a much, much bigger game than most people play.
Okay, so let’s say half of those 30 are men and half are women. That means out of every 100 people you meet, approximately 15 are the gender of your preference. According to stat reports, of those 15 people, about four or five of them will be between the ages of 20-40. So, let’s say you’re 30 years old and you have a range of +/- 5 years. (You want someone between 25 – 35 years old.) So, that pares it down a bit, maybe down to three. Therefore, out of every 100 people out there, 3 of them will be the right age, the gender of your preference and Intuitive.
That may seem like a low number, but let’s look at some other numbers. The average life expectancy of an American is 28,470 days. If you meet one new person every other day, that’s 14,370 new people in a lifetime. So, over the course of a lifetime, you’ll run into 4,311 eligible candidates with which to spend your life (or, at least, a pleasurable portion of your life). Most people find a life partner between the ages of 20 – 40, and even then you’re talking about 2,190 people.
And that’s if you meet a new person every other day. Clearly your odds improve with more exposure to new people and environments that attract Intuitives.
If you think there’s no one out there for you, that’s because you’re seeing scarcity, not abundance. Which brings us to point number four:
#4: “What the Thinker thinks, the Prover proves.”
I’m going to throw down some knowledge on you. Ready? Here it goes: you are a slave to your perceptions. Slave. This is one of those interesting factoids that we have no problem believing about other people, but usually refuse to see about ourselves. Which is total BS. (Blind Spot. What else did you think I was talking about?) We’re just as susceptible as anyone else. More, from the point of view of some philosophies.
This is good news and bad news. It’s mostly bad news when you don’t understand how this works, or refuse to see it, because then you can’t control the mechanism. It just happens to you. But the good news is that if you realize this about yourself, you can stack it in your favor. It’s not bad to be a slave to your perceptions, its bad when you have little to no control over the perceptions, themselves.
Okay, I’ll explain what I’m talking about:
In Alaska, the perception is that there are seven men to every one woman. The actuality is that there is an (approximately) even split between men and women in Anchorage, the biggest city in the state, with perhaps the numbers slightly favoring men. The only place you see such a huge discrepancy between men and women are in the outskirts (‘the bush’), which has very, very little population, anyway. So, the perception doesn’t really match the reality. But the perception makes a HUGE difference in how men behave around women in the city of Anchorage. Men are conditioned to think women have their pick of anyone they want because women are the commodity, and you have to be extra super special awesome in order to attract a mate. It gives the women crazy amounts of dating power, and overall adds to the unhappiness of most of the men, who act more desperate than they need to, turn women off with this behavior, which then fuels the perception they can’t get a date.
The men who are the most successful are the ones who believe that there are plenty of women out there and they just need to find one they like. They’re never without a date. Now, they’re just as much slaves to their perceptions as anyone, i.e. their behavior is modified dramatically by what they believe. But their behavior is working for them, so their perception is a helpful one.
It’s less about trying to force yourself to stop being a slave to your perceptions (cause you’re not going to succeed, unless you become a Buddha; but then you just climb up a mountain to contemplate your navel and let rats chew on your fingers), and more about thoughtfully choosing the perceptions which are going to influence your behavior.
How does one choose their perception?
Robert Anton Wilson in the (absolutely amazing) book Prometheus Rising begins the first chapter by saying, “What the Thinker thinks, the Prover proves.” Meaning, there are two parts of us – a Thinker and a Prover. It’s the Thinker’s job to understand information and then come to a conclusion about that information; it’s the Prover’s job to prove that conclusion – to gather evidence in the Real World in support of the Thinker. In more modern terms is called Confirmation Bias, and you’re doing it even now about something you don’t realize you’re doing it about.
If you want to alter your perception, get your Thinker to come to a different conclusion, and then get your Prover to start proving it. You think you’re ugly? That’s a conclusion your Thinker came to. It thought it was being objective and helpful, and it has no clue that ‘objectivity’ about beauty is complete BS (not “Blind Spot” this time). You’re actually allowed to believe whatever you want to about how you look. Plus, you’re someone’s type, I don’t care who you are. So if you think you’re hot (I mean, really think it), your Prover is going to find reasons why this is true. This how average people who believe they’re hot get tons of play. Their Prover is making it happen.
Okay, so end philosophy lesson and begin practical application: believe there are lots of people out there that think like you do and are out there looking for you, too. I guarantee you’ll find them. Based upon our earlier math, there are 2,000 people out there waiting to meet you, waiting to lose themselves in conversation at a coffee shop and watch “Firefly” with you. (If you don’t watch “Firefly,” well… what’s wrong with you?!) If you really think this, you’ll prove it. And you’ll have more options than you know what to do with.
That is, unless you pretend you’re just like everyone else. Which is why we’re going to talk about #5:
#5: Are you in hiding? They probably are, too.
There’s a lot of pressure put on Intuitives to behave they’re just like everyone else. Pretend for a moment that you’re left-handed (unless you are left-handed, then pretend you’re you). Imagine what it’s like to go through life with absolutely everyone assuming you use right-handed utensils. No accommodation is made for your preference, and if you mention it people will blink at you as if to say, “well, what do you want me to do about it? You’re the weird one, figure it out yourself.”
There’s approximately the same percentage of Intuitives as there are left-handed people – as mentioned before, about 30% of the population. And Intuitives often get the same expression on the faces of other people when we express our needs – a blank stare that says, “What do you want me to do about it?” I understand this response, because (to pull from the earlier illustration) I’m right-handed and I find that I generally don’t give a rat’s butt about left-handed needs. It’s just not on my radar. If you think about it, you probably ‘get’ it, too. But just because we may understand the perspective doesn’t mean it has any less impact on us. And just as left-handed people painfully teach themselves to use right-handed scissors just to get by in the world, Intuitives learn to look and act like everyone else for the same reason. Just to get by.
In the “Intuitive Awakening” program (the 8 week webinar series that you get with Genius Awakening if you are an Intuitive) we call this behavior “blending,” and we go into great depth on why this behavior will kill your soul. But in the context of dating, it doesn’t just kill your soul, it sets you up to kill someone else’s, too. I know, that sounds way dramatic. But seriously – if you’re hiding the best parts of you, the parts that want to innovate and discover and glean insights, then you’re either going to end up with someone who doesn’t know or want to know the real you, or someone who desperately wants to know the real you and you’re just not showing it to them.
But before you can even get to the point of slowly killing another human by being in an inauthentic relationship, you have to get into that relationship, first. And here’s the point: if you’re hiding who you are, another eligible Intuitive isn’t going to realize you’re different. They aren’t going to see you as being like them. And, like you, they’re going to hide who/what they are, too.
The only way to solve this is stop catering to the rest of the world and embrace being different. Announce to the world that you have very different preferences, and if they look at you with a blank stare then you know they’re not the person you’re looking for. You keep doing this and you’ll find people like you. Hell, you’ll be a beacon of light and inspiration where other Intuitives can relax in your presence. You’ll be so amazingly attractive to them they won’t know what to do about it except tear your clothes off and make mad passionate love to you*. (*Results may vary.)
The one thing you’ll want to absolutely avoid is acting like just because you’re different, that makes you better. And that’s why #6 is so important.
#6: Snobbery will get you nowhere.
When we were little kids, the vast majority of us received a piece of educational ‘wisdom’ that was equal parts well-meaning and destructive. It generally came from a parent (or parental figure), and the message itself was so pleasing we would have bought it even if it hadn’t come from a parent. The message? If anyone has a problem with you for any reason, then it must be because (and I quote), “They’re just jealous.”
Such a broad-brush, universal statement said with such unequivocal authority gives a little person the impression that they are only unacceptable if they are the object of envy, and that pretty much gives them a pass to do whatever they want. “You’re just jealous” has been the Get Out of Jail Free card used by seven year olds in playgrounds around the world, and while they may learn quickly that phrase doesn’t really hold a lot of water to the recipient, some part of them secretly carries this belief into adulthood.
True, as adults we’re usually sophisticated enough not to let our neo-cortex actively entertain the thought “they’re just jealous.” But you better believe the chimp inside sees this as a valid belief and, if nothing else, a viable last resort. That’s why we turn snobby when we’re socially threatened. ‘I don’t have to care if you’re looking down at me because it’s you who secretly realizes I’m better than you.’ This is a wonderful little dynamic, with each person racing to play the snob card first.
Here’s the deal. As an Intuitive, you’re going to get a lot of people not liking the way you think. It’s not that they necessarily dislike it, it’s usually that they don’t care. What you love isn’t what they love, what you want to talk about isn’t what they want to talk about, and that makes you either weird or boring to them. Since you probably feel pretty much the same way about their conversation, but only see them as boring (as there’s so many of them you’re the weird one), it’s super dooper easy to dismiss these people as ‘less intelligent, less cool, less imaginative, less ____.’
That Get Out of Jail Free card that’s been sitting in the recesses of your mind just waiting to be played is going to become really, really attractive. But don’t use it, no matter how appealing it is. And if you’re using it now, stop it.
The truth is that every person on the planet fills a role within which they can either be useful or useless. That includes them. That includes you. As an Intuitive, you are generally most useful in the role of Trailblazer. But if you’re a snob, you’re going to turn everyone off to your message, your ideas and your personality. This includes fellow Intuitives who would otherwise want to listen intently and give you juicy, delicious feedback.
I’m sure you know how much you love people who act like snobs.
If you find the person of your dreams, but you come across like a snob because you’re used to being defensive about your identity, they’re going to move along to their next candidate. There are, after all, 2,000 eligible people for them, too.
But the single most important thing to remember when preparing yourself for the best relationship of your life is this:
#7: Don’t give your power away. You’re responsible for getting the relationship what you want.
The best way to have an absolutely kick-ass relationship is to remember that, at the end of the day, it’s you who creates the relationship you want. Stop waiting for the universe to deliver the perfect candidate. If you’re having trouble finding someone you like, then kick up the amount of time you spend meeting new people. If you can’t find someone who will talk about the things you want to talk about, stop waiting for it magically happen. Place finding that kind of conversation at the top of your priority list. If you run into someone you can talk to but isn’t eligible, pursue who they’re talking to. And then pursue who that person is talking to. Network. Triad. Find a tribe of people who you can relate to.
If you’re settling in a relationship, it’s YOU who settled. No one forced it on you.
If you’re hiding your light, it’s YOU who went into hiding.
If you choose unhealthy perceptions that get you nowhere… yup. You did that.
STOP IT. Take control of yourself, learn tools that are tailored for people like you, and never believe the lie that you have to be like everyone else. You were designed to be different, to be a check-and-balance system for the status quo. You’re meant to break their rules so that their rules don’t stagnate and become completely unreasonable.
The world needs you to be YOU, not them. Your future relationship will love and adore you because you’re YOU, not them. Do the world, your future relationship, and yourself the favor of fully embodying your unique talents as an Intuitive.
Antonia Dodge is a co-founder of Genius Awakening, a business designed to help people leverage their own mental processes to optimize productivity, communication, job satisfaction, and most importantly – happiness. She has over 10 years in applied psychoanalytics, profiled hundreds of people, and consulted for companies such as Zappos, Zappos Insights, Hot Topic Media, Oracle and Voyage Media. She has helped developed over 20 high level trainings, products and resources and served on the leadership team to plan and orchestrate TEDxSinCity, an independently organized TED event held in Las Vegas, Nevada.