The “only date” rule is the spiritual foundation of Deep Dating. The more you can thwart the normal process of building expectations about the future, the more present you can be. Instead of grasping to reach a goal, you’re surrendering to the process. We are ashamed of our struggles, our limitations, and our imperfections, and we fear that if people knew what we were really like on the inside, they wouldn’t want us. We think we have to stop being our real selves to get people to like us. Do they light up, contract slightly, take a deep breath, turn slightly to the side?
It just means you need to put up a couple No Trespassing signs. For instance, sex might be out of bounds, but physical affection still well within your boundaries.
If you never set the boundary, you won’t be able to risk affection, because you won’t want to be misread.
They expect the date to go somewhere you don’t want to go, and you don’t want to lead them on.
This doesn’t mean you need to preemptively cut short the journey.
Once you and your date understand each other’s limits, you can fully enjoy the territory that remains open to you.
The shift from rejecting to redirecting means any date, with anyone, within any boundaries, has the potential to become a profound experience. Establish where you, and your date, have put up No Trespassing signs.
Apply this scenario to every date you have with anyone and you’re ready for Deep Dating. The point is to treat each date as a complete, self-contained relationship. Instead, we ask the most boring, low-risk questions we can think of.
The most important rule of Deep Dating is that each date you’re on is the only date you’ll ever have. There are great advantages to treating each date as if it’s the only one. No one likes small talk, but we waste our time on it because it’s safe. How does hearing about the other person’s experience change your experience?
You think you’re on the hunt for a suitable partner. Fail to check them off and you’ll waste your time with the wrong person. You’re dating because you’re on a primordial spiritual quest. Following each of the six new rules below helps you to get unusually close, unusually fast. The quality of the encounters determines the quality of the relationship. Unless you can get close enough, unless you can really get in with each other, you won’t have a chance.
You’ve been programmed to believe the person in front of you is a kind of checklist. Worse, you might repeat the same mistakes you made in your last relationship. You just want to find “the one”, and you deserve to. When somebody you like flirts with you, when you have a new crush, when you start to fall for someone, it stirs your soul. Would you want a long-term partnership that consisted of unsatisfying exchanges: small talk, cautiousness, testing, pretending, withholding? So why would you want a short-term partnership that’s made of that stuff? You can’t wait around for the relationship to develop slowly over time.
If you only have one date, the date you’re on right now IS the relationship. For one, you have to actively create the date, moment by moment, rather than waiting for the date to happen to you. Real talk is risky, unpredictable, and sometimes even awkward! Answer these questions, and you give someone a window into your world. It goes without saying that game playing is the opposite of being real.