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December 5, 2022

Dating is a trip: Be mindful of your set and setting.

The science of human connection is a multi-dimensional one.


When two or more people interact, they bring their entire personal histories, mindsets, belief systems, intentions, biological predispositions, and identities into one big “soup”.

And what’s more—that soup isn’t happening in isolation: It’s happening within an ever-changing environmental context.

Needless to say, we cannot control the specific outcomes of our interactions with others—this is the beauty and challenge of relationships! There are just so many factors—individual, relational, and social—outside of our control that come into play.

BUT—we CAN be intentional about our “set & setting”!

I borrow this expression from the field of psychedelic therapy, where it is well known that the quality of an altered state experience results from so much more than just the drug compound and quantity.

Psychonauts know that their experiences are heavily impacted by internal and external contexts in which the drug is experienced—which are known as “set and setting”.

  • “Set” is short for one’s mindset—the mental state a person brings to the experience, like thoughts, mood and expectations.
  • “Setting” refers to the physical and social environment in which the user has the experience.

Bridging it back to dating, I invite you to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What mindsets—thoughts, moods, expectations, beliefs, etc. do bring to your dating life? What are their impact? Which mindsets do you WANT to bring more of?
  • What social and environmental contexts are you designing in your dating life? How intentional are you? Can you pick contexts and activities that fuel your energy, like creating dates that feel actually exciting and magical to you?

I believe those questions can revolutionize your love life from a “bad trip” to a good one.

This is what I do with my dating coaching clients every day. We let go of what we cannot control, and focus on what we can! Letting go of outcomes brings the best out of people, and their entire lives can then transform.
Wishing you all a wonderful journey!
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Marie Thouin  |  Contribution: 1,160