New expectations dating
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.
Imagining yourself from their perspective informs your moment-to-moment choices about what to share, to ask, to offer. They lose themselves in the minutia of their date’s responses. Putting all your attention on the other person keeps you hidden. What does it really mean that you’re “not into” them? There are parts of the map you’ve never investigated. If you were dating for partnership, the goal would be to find a partner.
Attunement without realness is just self-sacrificing. Intimacy does not need to be a privilege granted only those in our innermost circle. Dating someone you’re not into would be a waste of time.
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.
That’s the basic pattern of how most of us move from dating to partnership. You can Deep Date someone over time, but when you treat each date as a self-contained experience, as if your entire relationship is happening here and now in this one date, you move through a different progression. Any time you reveal your motivations, you’re choosing realness over performance. Realness, however, is only half of the intimacy equation.You can get better and better at creating all different kinds of intimacy, with all different kinds of people. They look far less appealing than they did in their photos. Rejecting your date might be the best course of action. Intimacy, it turns out, does not require sex, or long-term partnership. Chances are high that you’ve had deeply significant, meaningful, fulfilling human interactions that were neither romantic nor sexual. Other times, you were moved or inspired, learned something new, felt deeply connected, helped someone. Some unique form of intimacy is possible between you and this other human being. If you reject the other person, you’ll never find out.Each Deep Date is another chance to practice becoming more and more yourself. Within seconds, you know you’re not into them, and you never will be. You have to go through the motions with someone you already know you’re going nowhere with. Sometimes rejecting them seems like the only option.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?