Updated: Sep 29, 2021
By Carly Sackellares, MSW
There’s one particular line in Naked Online: A DoZen Ways to Grow from Internet Dating that I feel fully encompasses the online dating experience. In Chapter 7: Sex Steering Towards Satisfaction, the authors write,
“In a state of constancy, we can connect without feeling suffocated and disconnect without feeling abandoned.”
The quote is inspired by Louise Kaplan’s book Oneness to Separateness.
The constant connection and disconnection spurred by online dating can be an overwhelming and vulnerable experience. Some of us struggle more with connection, and some of us struggle more with disconnection. So how can we make it more likely that we can connect without merging and disconnect without feeling triggered? The answer lies within Chi for Two® practices.
All of us have an energy sphere that surrounds us. The Chi for Two® Bubble practice helps us to experience this concept viscerally. Suppose you imagine yourself blowing up a bubble in the same way you blow up a balloon for a celebration. You may begin to experience what it's like to take up space — to feel into your energetic skin that separates your energy from those around you. Your energetic skin allows you to sense what is happening with your partner without letting your partner make you feel hurt, sad, angry, etc. This Bubble practice allows you to dance around with others' Bubbles like in ballroom dancing where partners are invited to each hold their own dance space.
As things potentially get heated between you and a romantic partner, your Bubble allows you to feel a deep connection with your personal passion. The Bubble Dancer practice creates the opportunity for you to explore dancing around while maintaining your energy sphere and respecting your partner in their energy sphere. Finally, you may choose to engage in a Chi for Two® Hug — an embrace where each partner’s Bubble can bend and wrap around one another until they feel it’s time to separate. Remaining mindful of your Bubble, this disconnection doesn’t feel as scary. Your Bubble can “bubble” back out and remain intact. You can stay individuated within the dance of relationship.