The Art and Science of the Intentional Love Affair

Our intimate relationships are typically the most important, challenging, transformative, frustrating, and fulfilling parts of our lives. Every relationship is a testament to the “miracle of we” — somehow, out of billions of people on the planet, we find each other, we share all of our hidden parts with each other, and we create entire new realities between us.

And these relationships are never static. They are constantly shifting, morphing, and evolving as we both grow together, or as we grow apart from each other. And the more intentionality we can bring to our relationships, the greater the chances that our intimacy can not only survive the inevitable challenges and frictions of our lives, but actually thrive because of them.

In this thought-provoking episode, Dr. Keith Witt and Corey deVos delve into the intricacies of intimate relationships, exploring the concept of “intentional love affairs” and how they can be cultivated to deepen connection and intimacy. They discuss the importance of fostering better friendships, nurturing love affairs, and developing the ability to solve problems so effortlessly that they may not even appear as conflicts to others.

The conversation also explores relationships in all four quadrants. They discuss the impact of space and time on relationships, highlighting how proximity and schedules can either limit or enhance intimacy. They touch on the influence of technology on relationships in the modern age, discussing its role as both a facilitator and a barrier to connection, as well as the many addictions, allergies, and growth opportunities that we see around the nearly ubiquitous availability of pornography. They also explore a number of techniques, practices, and therapeutic systems that can be used to bring more intention and connection into our relationships.

Keith and Corey also explore the spiritual understanding of eroticism, masculinity, and femininity, and the role these elements play in the dynamics of a relationship, and emphasize the importance of having a series of conversations that foster deeper emotional and spiritual connection.

This episode is a deep dive into the complexities of love and relationships, offering profound insights and practical advice on how to navigate your own intimate connections. Whether you are in a relationship or single, this episode is sure to provide valuable perspectives on love, intimacy, and personal growth.

I am surprised by what sounded like a lack of empathy or at least sympathy towards to incel community during this dialogue. Perhaps it has already been addressed in another series in more depth and with greater compassion?

Hey Matt, yeah we have talked about this in some past episodes. I do have a great deal of sympathy for the incel community. I don’t sympathize with their surface views whatsoever, which I think tend to be incredibly toxic, self-defeating, and often abusive — but I very much sympathize with the deeper currents and conditions that are creating things like incel communities in the first place. Which would include:

  • New selection pressures due to social media and online dating that emphasize objective physical traits much more than subjective qualities,
  • Overall sense of male disposability in our culture,
  • Lack of healthy masculine role models in our culture,
  • Lack of emphasis on personal development and growth in our culture,
  • Mental health and resentment issues that often accompany sexual frustration,
  • Psychological defense mechanisms that cause us to project our own self-loathing outward onto other people,
  • The natural human desire to find a community of people who feel the same way we do,
  • Social media bubbles that allow the commiseration between frustrated young men to lapse into outright resentment and aggression toward women.

And that is where my sympathy really comes from. It’s similar to how I feel about people who got captured by Qanon and other conspiracy groups like that. I think more often than not, these folks are a product of their times and of their life conditions. That is, in a world where information moves they way it does in ours, things like incel communities and conspiracy cults are always going to be inevitable, and I am always heartened whenever I find people who have found their way out of those sorts of downward spirals.

So on the surface, I find the stated views of the incel community to be typically reprehensible, as well as an obstacle to the sort of love and dignity and happiness that they crave. But on a deeper level, these are human beings who have fallen through the map, are lost in their own suffering, and deserve as many opportunities for healing as anyone else. So I do my best to include those deeper structures, while negating the surface structures of misogyny and projected self-violence that these communities so often produce.

I hope that is helpful. What do you think?


A not on the “Incel” community is that they are not all physically repulsive right-wing troll memes.
Life would be a lot easier if it was possible to broadly categorize people like this.

Here are some examples of other types of incels:

  • The wannabe so-called “sigma”. He is trying to improve himself, but his progress is being twisted and exploited.
  • The followers of the likes of Sam Harris and Jordan Peterson, Et al. - again, men who are trying to make progress but are being offered dead end solutions.

The vast majority of these men are not so much toxic, nor abusive etc. They are most often the more passive aggressive types. They would like to see themselves as the “Chad”, but can’t even remotely pull it off and also at the same time know they don’t really want that anyway - so there is a kind of paradox going on.
Here are some works of geared toward the more legit real-life Incel audience:

It was very helpful and I’m not sure if there’s anything I can add other than how I’m curious about those deeper structures and currents you mentioned and perhaps how to better facilitate helping people out of or completely away from their downward spirals. I have been subject to these issues myself so I’m sensitive to and personally motivated for some resolution in this area.