An article by my friend Dr. Keith Witt about online dating and the amazing love story of Arya and Kirk who met on www.integralsingles.com inspired this newsletter. Please share it with your single friends.
Keith, who is an excellent and inspiring Integral therapist, wrote:
"I love online dating. I think online dating is among the most wonderful outcomes of the linked-in information age. Computer dating has revolutionized meeting potential lovers and life partners the way viagra revolutionized treating erectile dysfunction. Yes, it's that wonderful." Click here to read his entire article.
Keith is right... today 30% of couples who get married found their partner online. This number will become even higher as singles ...
1. Post engaging and authentic profiles that speak uniquely to the partner they want to attract (click here if you would like help with this from me) and current, representative photos.
2. Interpret profiles from an Integral perspective and ask pertinent questions before going on dates.
3. Consider increasing mobility of singles, especially at higher levels of consciousness, to be with their soul-mate (see Arya's and Kirk's story below).
4. Understand which dating websites cater to which levels of consciousness and post their profiles there.
There are over 400 dating sites which cater to, and attract singles from different levels of consciousness. The most popular for:
Red/Green: www.okcupid.com, www.plentyoffish.com, and www.craigslist.com, which are all free, appeal predominantly to pre-conventional and post-conventional singles (~60% Red, ~20% Green, ~20% Amber and Orange) who often don't look for committed relationships or don't have the capacity for them. Even though there can be some gems there, especially on Craigslist and okCubid, you mostly get what you pay for.
Amber: www.eharmony.com caters to conventional/conservative singles who seek traditional committed relationships and marriage. I heard from several integral singles that eHarmony did not even accept their application because they could not match them with any of their claimed 20 Million members (go figure).
Orange: www.match.com, the most popular open/paid dating website, attracts mostly modern rational singles. It always amazes me how few Green and above singles one finds there, despite the millions of members they claim to have.
Green: www.greensingles.com focuses on post-modern pluralistic singles and www.spiritualsingles.com on pre and transrational new-age singles, so beware of the pre/trans falacy on both sites. Naturally, these and similar sites have smaller membership numbers than the websites above.
Teal and above: www.integralsingles.com is currently the only dating site that is exclusively for Integral and Transpersonal singles worldwide. In addition to the objective"right-hand" exterior attributes, members can also list and search for subjective interior levels of development in multiple lines (consciousness, spiritual, sexual, interpersonal etc.) and personality types. We also just added a text field for Authentic Evolutionary Purpose.
www.integralsingles.com currently has over 700 female and male members, with new members joining almost every day. This may seem like a small number, but is roughly 10 times the amount of second-tier members than all the other dating sites above have combined. We recently added a new feature that allows new members to contact other members for free, and an affordable point system for additional message exchanges.
The most important thing to consider is that most second-tier evolutionary singles are willing to relocate to another state and even country to be with their soul-mate. With all the various right-hand factors that matter like compatible age, interests, lifestyle, dreams, goals and purposes--let alone sexual attraction and emotional chemistry--it is just unlikely that he or she will live in the same area as you do (but it is possible so start there). So even if you can't relocate, your Integral soul-mate most likely will! Join www.integralsingles.com today to find and contact him or her now.
Read more about integrally informed online dating in Integral Relationships: A Manual for Men page 163 - 172.
Arya and Kirk, a Testimonial for www.integralsingles.com
From Kirk, August 27, 2013,
"Our story tells what's possible through www.integralsingles.com. It's the story of two people who have decided to get married after having met through this website. I am one of those people, Kirk, and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and my fiancée is Arya (they got married in May 2014), who lives in Switzerland. Eventually we will both live in Switzerland (they now do). Read the detailed account of our story below, written in the hope that it will inspire others who might want to do something similar to be with the right person. In the end, perhaps geography is not the most important factor when it comes to finding true love… Arya and I are very grateful for www.integralsingles.com, to put it mildly."
What follows is a detailed account of our story:
Shortly before www.integralsingles.com came on-line, I had made a conscious choice not to do any more dating until I had done some serious inner work that had to do with grief, particularly “letting go” of some past things. I had absolutely no interest in on-line dating as a result, but I decided to join the site so that I could be one of the first, figuring I’d eventually be interested in genuinely trying it out. I put up a ghost of a profile, hoping no one would actually write to me.
For close to a year after I received emails from the site with my monthly matches, and each time I would look at the little thumbnail photos and see where the various ladies were from, and I always found it fascinating. But I never once considered dating one of the ladies – until one day in late March of this year, when Arya was one of my matches. Her photo absolutely fascinated me, and I looked at it constantly, often booting my computer back up after shutting it down, just so I could see her photo again. I was deeply moved not just by her beauty but by the wisdom I saw in her face, and by the humor I could see in her – both qualities she most definitely embodies in a huge way.
Finally, after about a week of constantly returning to my weekly matches email so I could see her face there, I went on www.integralsingles.com to read her profile. It was literally the first time since putting up my scant profile that I had gone back to the site itself. I was overjoyed with seeing her photo in the much larger format, and I was deeply fascinated by what she wrote. It was in German, so I had to translate it, but what it said was so interesting I could not stop thinking about it. I knew that eventually I would write to her.
Now, at the time I felt like I was ready to start dating again, but like most people I figured on finding someone who lived nearby, in the San Francisco Bay Area somewhere. Because of this, I didn’t write Arya for a couple days after reading her profile. What I did do, I have to confess, is make sure I had some Swiss authors among the favorite writers I listed on my profile – Jung and Hesse – and I listed Rilke as well. This was not just because I love these writers but to give my profile a bit of a Germanic flavor ... for when a certain pair of eyes would read it. Finally, on April 5th, I wrote my first letter to Arya. I spent hours crafting this short letter about what I liked about her profile, all the while making it seem like I had stumbled upon it while coming to the site, rather than telling her that she was the whole reason why I’d come back to the site in the first place. That would be way too much at this delicate juncture.
At first I didn’t hear back from her, and this made me sad. But just trying with her encouraged me, and I also realized that I really was ready to begin dating again. I had done the inner work I needed to do, I could tell. And, as it turns out, she had been doing the exact same thing for most of the last year as well. Indeed, she had even written a journal entry about it last year, on the Summer Solstice, an entry in which she said she intended to be with the right man on that day the following year. She read me the entry on the Summer Solstice this year, while we were together in Switzerland.
But I am getting ahead of myself here, so I’ll return to the story as it unfolded.
About a week after I wrote her my initial letter she wrote me back. I was thrilled to receive a letter from her. She expressed her total lack of interest in any kind of “cyber-only” relationship, musing as well that emails are often misunderstood. She was interested in meeting me relatively soon, if we were going to establish any kind of connection at all. She thought it was wonderful that we had connected on www.integralsingles.com, but she worried that letters can often be misread, that a face-to-face connection was vital.
At this time I feared that she was simply much too far away, physically, but even so I read her reply over and over and over. Finally I took a chance and suggested she come out to California. I am a teacher at the local junior college here and my son was about to graduate college, so there was no way I could go to Switzerland at the time. (I get way more vacation time than most people, but I don’t get to choose when it is.) This was all happening in April, and it was a full two months before I could be in Switzerland. So I cheekily suggested she fly to California.
Well, she said No to my suggestion, but it was the sweetest No any guy ever received, and that was when our daily correspondence began. From that moment on, we wrote each other every day, and amazingly we never had the least misunderstanding, and there was never even a single false note in all of those letters. She even remarked that I not only understood whatever she said perfectly, but I often went on in my replies to talk about related things, things she herself had been thinking but didn’t express in her letters. We both felt the magic of this correspondence.
Meanwhile I was dating some pretty terrific ladies right here in the Bay Area, all of them philosophical, spiritual, beautiful. After a terrific second date with one of them, I came home totally excited, could think of nothing else, until a new letter arrived from Arya. It suddenly occurred to me that if I got into a relationship with someone here, I would never be able to try with Arya. I cannot possibly communicate the feeling of distress this caused me. I hadn’t realized just how important she had become to me over the six weeks or so of constant letters, ever since my suggestion that she come to California. Again, I was dating some truly marvelous women who lived near me, but I realized my heart was with her, in Switzerland.
A few nights later I decided I simply had to go to Switzerland to meet her, as soon as possible. Everything else could wait until I saw what she and I could do together, in person. The next morning I went on-line to tell her as much, and there in my inbox was an invite to come to Switzerland and stay with her, an invite so sweet and beautiful, well, it would’ve caused me to go even if I hadn’t already made my decision.
That was at the very end of May. On the 4th of June I had my airplane ticket, and on June 18th I arrived in Switzerland, and we met for the first time at the Zurich airport. (Believe me, you do not know what nervous is, what anxious is, until you have traveled overseas, to a place you’ve never been before, to meet a potential lover.) She drove me to her house, I showered and shaved as she made some coffee, and we had a wonderful talk. After about an hour we were howling with laughter and holding each other. The nervousness was completely gone. From there, it was nothing but purest flow.
When I left Switzerland nine days later, I was devastated, and so was she. We were in love, completely in love, and we couldn’t bear to be apart.
While we were together in Switzerland, wonderful things had happened. She told me about the Summer Solstice journal entry, on the Solstice itself. (She also pointed out to me that it was me who suggested we meet around that time, and that I even used the phrase “Summer Solstice” in suggesting as much, rather than just mentioning a date on the calendar.) We didn’t once leave the Zurich area, spending our time walking in the forest and talking and just being together. It was fantastic, absolutely fantastic.
The hardest thing I’ve ever done was getting on that plane to leave.
For an entire month afterwards I was in a state of shock. As I said to one of my friends, Arya would be the woman of my dreams, if I were a better dreamer. She is more amazing than any woman I would’ve dreamed up. I went to Switzerland to meet and spend time with her, and I had an experience that was probably twice as beautiful as my sweetest fantasy would have had it.
Well, within a few days of my return to California we made plans for her to come here for most of August, and for me to return to Switzerland most if not all of autumn. (Unbelievably, I had already made plans to take the Fall semester off, thinking I’d go on a retreat to Bhutan with a group led by my yoga teacher.)
Now Arya has come to California and returned home, and I am eagerly anticipating my return to Switzerland. She left behind a few things, for her next visit. She also took one thing with her that she didn’t have before – the engagement ring.
The marriage will take place on April 5th next year, the anniversary of my first letter to her. By that time I will be a passable beginner at speaking German, and I will be preparing to spend the rest of my life surrounded by mountains rather than grapes, or the beaches I grew up with. Most wonderful of all, I will spend every day with the love of my life.
We have not worked out all the details yet. I will either teach classes on-line, or work in Zurich, and I’ll rent out my house, possibly as a vacation rental. I will be with Arya, and I’ll work out the rest of the details eventually. All in good time.