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I’d never heard of it, but upon further exploration, I learned the concept has been circulating around small corners of the internet and in dating books for a while, albeit mostly ones aimed at the midlife crowd.

Meghan told me about “intentional” or “deeper dating” — a philosophy she learned from her life coach that changed how she thought about dating.

This means that rather than reserving true intimacy for later down the line, you make it a feature of every encounter — by first acknowledging the parts of yourself that you’re usually hesitant to reveal, and then unabashedly putting them on the table with the understanding that humans connect to other human feelings.

Achieving this connection requires a willingness to be vulnerable, first and foremost, but also a commitment to enjoying or learning from the few hours you have with someone, honoring their most human traits, too — even if the romantic attraction or “spark” isn’t there.

By the time the pseudo-relationship came to a fiery end involving arguing and tears on my apartment stoop, the fluttery feeling had long gone, replaced by the sneaking suspicion that dating is, in fact, pure bullshit.

My friends were by my side for the whole saga, offering condolences in the form of their own horror stories.

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