"steve you look like someone who does TED Talks"
~ Braeden, on social networking app Kippo, 2023
"You opened up a new mini-world for me to explore in NYC 🙂 Growing up down South, I never had a community of friends in my childhood. Now, in NYC I have the most fulfilling social life filled with incredible people and gatherings. You played a significant part in building that, and I’m grateful. I commend you, friend, for reaching out the way you have."
~ Friend, 2019
"Love you so much ❤️ Did you know that meeting you and the Liminal community you created was THE reason I decided to stay in NYC? One and only, single reason. That group of people was the first true community I’ve ever had, and fundamentally shifted the direction of my life and my much deeper sense of self and belonging. I am so profoundly grateful for you and for how welcome I’ve always felt around you. Your friendship has always been a source of giddy joy and curiosity and exploration and softness. I’m excited for a lifetime of exploration and yummy hugs together, my dear friend ❤️"
~ Liminal fellow, 2019
"In this episode I lie down with Steve Dean. Steve Dean is a dating expert. a mega connector. an adventurer. a perpetual nomad. and an event superhost. he's the founder of the dating industry consulting firm Dateworking, which you can find on Dateworking.com. He stewards workshops, dinners, coworking sessions, and massive meetups like the food court centered "Hygge" (which means cozy in Danish). Steve Dean intentionally dates people from all different parts of the social spectrum, including those he would never introduce to his friends, in order to understand their perspective on the world. I think he's actually an anthropologist at heart, and dating is the tribe that he studies. He's a quintessential participant-observer. His experiences are research. His research is experiential. His brain incessantly crunches data and relentlessly seeks for the most optimal of the optimal outcomes. I've never met a human machine quite like him."
'People have been coming to me for years to talk about polyamory, given how much of my work focuses on love, sex, intimacy, et cetera. But you, Steve — you're the first person I've ever come across who has taken this process of falling in love with multiple people and learned how the brain and body respond at each granular stage in that process. You should write about this.'
~ Dr. Helen Fisher after her presentation at an NYC conference, 2016
"2 of the 3 partners I saw often last summer are now seeing 2 of my best friends. I'm also really close friends with those 2 partners. It makes me so happy that this can exist. And that I actually was able to go from telling them I'd like there to be room for this to it actually happening and me not harboring much of any resentment or jealousy. So crazy how my perspective has changed in the past year. It's amazing. Steve, a year ago, I could never have imagined this even being a possibility. I would've probably been torn up over this. If I hadn't met you that may still have been true. You changed my life, man"
~ D.F., 2015
"I know it's been a while since we last spoke, but I just want you to know that I think your articles are genuine, honest, effective and insightful. They're great! I have single friends who can benefit so much from a lot of the territory you touch (as do I although I'm in a long term monogamous relationship now), and I think it's because you touch on kernels of genuine human intimacy that extend beyond romantic tropes and thus pave the way towards healthy intimacy. It's cool! I like that you're so focused on this direction. It's both practical and personal at the same time. I think you're really onto something."
~ R. A., 2016
"From the day we met, you got me thinking about making life what I wanted it to be, not what I was told it had to be. Your approach to relationships, living style, residency status, and your overall life intrigued me, as it does for many others who cross your path. Conversations with you were like the spark that finally ignited a questionably prepared campfire which hadn’t lit despite many attempts.
In the ensuing years, I opened my relationship and moved more times than I can count, while starting to develop relationships with you and the amazing people you surround yourself with. For the first time in my life, these felt not like relationships of the situation (school, work), but relationships of substance. This was made clear when you and I kept our friendship going strong while I lived out of state for almost 2 years.
On that note of substance: Prior to meeting you there was maybe one guy in my life that I felt like I’d had anything approaching a true friendship. These days, probably 90% of people I interact with socially on a regular basis are people I know as a direct or ripple effect of meeting you. And I feel comfortable having deeper, more meaningful conversations with just about any of them.
A year ago I was a nomad wandering around Berlin, not sure where I’d go after coming back to he US for a few weeks. But at a weekend getaway with you and some of the wonderful people I’ve met over the years, I realized that, for the first time in my life, I wasn’t on the outer edges of a social circle anymore. I had a community of friends that I truly felt I’m a part of."
~ Friend, 2019
"So I organized a gangbang for my girlfriend last night, and in the middle of it one guy was like, hey….do you know Steve Dean?? And I was like, yeah! Let’s talk about Steve, and the orgy paused and we both bragged about knowing you."
~ [redacted], conveyed to me at a very unrelated social gathering, 2023