I recently posted a video on Instagram that went viral, receiving 200,000 views in a few hours. I was hesitant on posting it because the topic was quite ‘meta’ and I thought it would be hard to understand. Clearly, it resonated so I wanted to share the concept with you.
When we date, it’s common for people to lead with one aspect of themselves. I call this ‘the hook’, which can vary from using charm, good looks, intellect, money, wealth, status, or even being useful, as the way to get someone to like them.
Often this is a quality that has been validated or rewarded since they were young. For example, if you were constantly told as a kid that you were pretty, you might use your physical appearance as the main attribute you rely on to gain romantic interest. You might spend a lot of time and energy on physical perfection, and even hold yourself to impossible standards of beauty because you’ve put so much of your value in looks.
Or perhaps your parents focused on your grades and achievements when you were a kid. You grow up thinking that success and money are what give you value. You then pull out all stops when you date – you pay for everything, you spoil the person with lavish gifts, you emphasize how accomplished and successful you are.
And it might work well – at getting a date or someone to be initially interested in you.
While this can help open the door to attracting someone, it’s not what grows the connection into a deeper bond, because it’s an ego transaction.
Ego Transaction vs. Soul Connection
An ego transaction is when we date someone only because of their superficial qualities. It’s also what happens when we lead with superficial qualities and do not let someone see who we really are. Instead, they are dating our representative.
This kind of connection is fickle because we can lose it at any time. Because let’s face it, there’s always going to be someone hotter, smarter, or richer.
A soul connection, however, is when both people reveal who they really are – not just a perfected version. They show their essence: their scars, their bruises, their history – all of themselves, included.
It’s only when two people show up as their authentic selves that there is a possibility for a soul connection to be created.
While people can always out-ego you, they’re not going to be able to out-soul you.
Of course, I’m not saying that on date one you suddenly reveal all your childhood trauma. Nor am I promoting the idea of a one and only soul mate (hint: it’s a lie). I’m suggesting that in order for someone to actually create a bond that goes beyond a superficial attraction, you need more than the one aspect that opened the door. Rapport, trust, and bonding is all part of a dance that happens through time and experience with someone, and it requires gradually letting someone see the other parts of you.