Dating Profile

I'm a straight man, years old.

I'm looking to go on dates with new people, with the possibility of long or medium-term partnership. I'm open to both monogamous and polyamorous relationships.

(I'm currently infrequently dating one polyamorous partner. After trying for a bit, neither of us anticipates our relationship developing into a serious life partnership. We've discussed it, and if I met someone with whom I was compatible and who wanted monogamy, we would stop dating to make space for that.)

I look like this.

What I Want

I’m attempting to live with an open heart, robust ethics, and scrupulous epistemic standards. Above everything else, I want relationships, romantic or otherwise, that support and nourish me in that.

I'm open to two pretty different flavors of relationship:

Medium term - Once-or-twice-a-week companionship

Currently, I’m mainly looking for more companionship in my life.

I would like to have to have someone to spend time with about once or twice a week: talking, circling, co-working or strength training, cuddling, having sex, being curious together, all with a practiced expectation of being fully honest with each other.

This kind of relationship amounts to approximately what poly people call a "secondary partnership": emotionally intimate, but not the primary structure of one's life. This might work best for someone who already has a primary partner, or who is otherwise committing most of their energies to a high intensity project.

(This somewhat-out-of-date document gives some ideas for what that could look like, given my focus on my work.)

Long term - High intensity Partnership (with a capital P)

In the long run, I’m looking for a spiritual collaborator*, for the other half of an altruistic power couple.

A Partnership with someone relentlessly and ambitiously dedicated to improving the world, who is striving to grow in skill and wisdom, who would accept my support in that, and who will support me in turn. A relationship in which we work together, train together, rest together, and help each other to live in integrity with our values. This entails, among other things, spending a lot of time working, at the expense of typical fun/leisure activities.

I want a partner who inspires me to be better than I am.

(Some more operationalization of what this kind of relationship might look like here.)

This is a very rare and intense kind of partnership, in some ways more committed than a marriage to raise a family. Finding a person who wants this, and making it work with them, is a serious, long-term, project.

* - To be clear, I am an atheist. It is an extremely important fact about the universe (and about my worldview) that we are beyond the reach of God. But I am deeply concerned with matters of the spirit, no matter that souls turn out to be implemented by neurons.

Constraints and relationship-essentials

Work

Out of a combination of personal inclination and moral commitment, I work a lot. I spend the majority of my waking hours (including most evenings from 7pm to midnight) either working on projects with collaborators or sequestered in my office, writing, programming, reading, studying, and doing admin tasks.

Anyone dating me in any recurring way will need to be ok with that, either because they have a similar orientation to the world themselves, or because they’re chill with a relationship that is intimate, without being time-intensive.

Honesty

The thing that is most important to me in all of my personal relationships is skilled honesty.

I've sometimes been in a context where there was a forbiden conversation, some true fact, or some belief I held, that I didn't feel free to acknowledge–because it would offend someone, or because it “wasn’t my place”, or because pointing out some farce would make things worse, or because it seemed like it was intruding on the other person, who didn't want to hear it, etc. In a situation like this, I feel presure to pretend about, or distract from, or downplay the thing.

I’ve come to think that I can’t build a robust relationship on a foundation of this kind of holding back. I want to participate in contexts where I can be fully honest, and it is safe and practical for people to be fully honest with me, up to and including all of things that it is usually not polite or acceptable to say.

Creating those kinds of contexts by merely intending to be honest isn't sustainable. It requires skill to say the things that can't usually be said, in a way that doesn't do undue harm.

I make explicit considered effort in all my important relationships, to build an API such that the two of us can say anything (including our judgements, frustrations, and deep feedback) in a way that the other party can hear it without feeling attacked. And I’ve sought to develop the skills to support this kind of honesty, Nonviolent Communication, rationality, and circling skill.

It is important to me that, between the two of us, we have enough skill to maintain this kind of connection: that it continues to feel possible, for you and for me, to share what’s up for us, even if that is uncomfortable or impolite or awkward. This is crucial for me in an intimate relationship.

Meta

Relatedly, relationships with me typically involve a lot of “meta”: doing checkins, talking about the relationship and how it is or isn't working, flagging frictions and generating creative solutions together, investing effort trying to improve our communication processes, etc.

Some past partners have found this onerous or annoying. “Can’t we skip all the process talk, and just do the cool things that the relationship is about?” I don’t see it that way. Much of what I care about in a relationship is the strength of the relationship itself, and this sort of meta and process-iteration is a means to that.

Completely unironically, leaving comments on my relationship-communication google docs is one of my love languages. (The google doc format is optional. That's just a communication method that has worked well for some past partners.)

Relationship style

I'm dispositionally monogamous, generally preferring to commit to only one person. However, I am happy to date people who have other partners themselves, especially if I can see that that makes them happy.

I have only ever seriously dated one person at a time, and incidentally, I have only ever seriously dated people who were poly. (Effectively, I was monogamously partnered with someone who was dating other people.)

I am more than willing to participate in a fully-monogamous partnership, if we're a good fit. I've dated poly people, not because I particularly prefer poly, but because the people I've been interested in have been poly.

Kids

Raising kids appeals to me, but I’m not currently planning around having a family. However, I would do that if I found a highly compatible partner and having kids was important to her.

That is to say, I am open to having kids, but only if we are an exceptionally good match.

I do have strong views about schooling and education for any children I have.

I think that I am unusually committed to the good, which is probably somewhat heritable, and the world would be better if there were more people in it like me. If you wanted my sperm, without parental obligations, I am likely open to that, though I can probably suggest even better candidates.

Sex

Sex is more important to me in the case of a once-or-twice-a-week companion than in the case of a committed Partnership. The point of having a capital-P partnership is mostly to help each other be better. For that, and sex can be nice, but it isn't necessary. In the case of a more casual relationship, sexual and intimate emotional satisfaction is a larger fraction of what I care about.

I’m interested in doing deliberate practice to get good at sex: focusing on my partner’s experience, with ample verbal and nonverbal feedback (plus after-action debriefs). It would obviously be better to do this with an emotionally-intimate partner, but I'm potentially open to trying with someone who I'm not otherwise dating, if we can establish really good communication and clarity about expectations first.

Vegetarianism

I'm vegan (with some caveats). So far, 100% of the people that I've dated seriously and 100% of the people that I've ever been in love with have been vegan. This is mostly correlation—the sort of people that I tend to be attracted to tend to be vegans. But it's also causal—I care about the ethics of the people I spend time with. For most people, eating factory farmed meat is the action that has the most awful direct negative consequences, that they partake in regularly. (Additionally, seeing someone eat meat tends to reduce my level of attraction for them.)

I'm not confident, but I think I probably don't want to date people who aren't vegetarian, or who aren't otherwise careful about the externalities their life has on animals in factory farms.

I'm not listing this as a firm deal-breaker, but it is important to me. If you eat factory farmed meat, and we get moderately far into dating, I'll want to have an honest and reasoned conversation with you about the ethics and tradeoffs involved.

(I'm conscious that abstaining from animal products entirely is not a healthy choice for some people, and that there are additional tradeoffs.)

Some notes about the kind person I'm looking for

I tend to like, and like spending time with, people who embody either unusual moral commitment, emotional/relational skill, and/or intelligence.

Some concrete, non-exhaustive, positive signs (both causal and statistical) that you might be the kind of person that I like...

You're vegan · You've done more than 20 hours of circling · You donate a largish-fraction of your income, or did at some point in your life · You majored in (or audiodiacted) a STEM subject · You participate in volunteer or social activism projects · You don't drink alcohol · You have a personal practice of Gendlin Focusing or parts-work · You've reflected seriously on ethics and integrity, and have some provisional conclusions which guide your personal choices · You prioritize exercise and physical health · You write a blog about ideas · You read (most of) the LessWrong Sequences · You invest heavily in personal development · You like or have been involved with musical theater · You distinguish between the social justice issues that are rolling moral catastrophes and the ones that aren't · You have at least one private or public writeup of how you think about ethics or a particular ethical decision · You journal regularly · You consider "having true beliefs" to be an ethical imperative

You absolutely don't have to match all of that (or even most of it!). If you value similar things, consider reaching out. : )

Some friends' descriptions of me:

Friend 1: "Erudite, stoic, and unrelentingly devoted to good. Also a little bit clumsy, but you can leave that part out.”

Friend 2: "Human, on the lower end of height but upper percentage of brain capacity with a weird interest in saying true things, keeping commitments, and deliberately practicing skills he wants to get good at."

Friend 3: “Eli is kind of what you would imagine a human might be like if you hadn't met any humans but had built a lot of houses.”

If you want to say hello...

If any of the above sounds interesting to you, or even if you just want to say hi, press to tell me your name and a few sentences about you (or just email me here). Maybe we can meet up the next time we're in the same metropolitan area.

I'm grateful to everyone who takes initiative and reaches out, even if it turns out we're not a good match. In an important way, your doing that is the only reason this system works at all. So thank you. : )

If you would like more detail about who I am, or what I care about, you might explore the rest of this site, particularly the public statements page, or flip through my blog and/or archived twitter threads.


Aid my quest!

If you’re not a good match with me (you’re male, or married, or want something different than I do), but you'd like this project to succeed, you can help by connecting me with thoughtful, single (or non-polysaturated) women who want the sort of thing that I want. If you took even 5 minutes right now to flip through your facebook friends and consider if any of them might want to date someone like me, you will earn my gratitude.