Guest post by Dr. Chad Fortnight
Are you like me in that you simply don’t have time to follow through on long-term relationships due to a pell-mell non-stop no-time-to-breathe whirlwind helter-skelter schedule of 24-hour stuff that never seems to end? Do you regret the hours spent wasted in bars chatting to interesting and attractive people who it would take an absolute age to become closer to on date after date after date after time-eating date? Are you cynical about the prospect of keeping one partner for life, knowing full well the limited lifespan most marriages have in the modern world and the complications with kids that can cause? You need the ‘potential’ dating plan. A foolproof system that allows you to experience lifelong relationships over seven days, through a simple process of honing mind over matter.
Step 1. Choose a man or woman who appeals to you, and ask them out on a date. (If they refuse, you can attempt the following steps by merely observing the person from afar, but for now, it is advisable to start with a mutually agreed date). One the date has been scheduled, make a list of the aspects of their appearance that both appeal to and annoy you, and a provisional list of the traits that frustrate and delight you.
Step 2. Go on the date. Make sure the date is person-centred, not an activity. A quiet drink a restaurant or bar is fine. Ask the person about their past relationships, their family, their current occupation, their dreams, hopes, goals, and opinions on as many topics as possible. Make mental notes. (Taking actual notes is not advised, as it might ruin the prospect of the essential second date). Be sure to come across as interested in the person and make an effort conversationally yourself, to secure the second date.
Step 3. During the gap between dates, write down all the facts about this person and begin constructing scenarios that might arise in a long-term relationship—the fun activities together, sources of argument, incompatibilities, shared pleasures. Lie back on your bed and imagine as many of these scenarios as possible. To conduct a full ‘potential’ relationship, take each of these scenarios (or character traits) to an endpoint where the relationship will terminate. Squeeze as much pleasure as possible from the traits that appeal to you and take them towards the realm of frustration and departure. Here is an example:
a. Both like tennis. Scene: on tennis court where you banter and smile and laugh and have healthy fun. You don’t mind his or her competitive nature, until later he or she becomes determined to win and is less kind to you about your flaws. Arguments about balls being ‘in’ or ‘out’ spring up until the tennis stops completely.
b. Dislike of housework. Scene: when you are both married and have children and you are forced into doing more of the dishes and housework due to his or her domineering nature, and laziness in matters of domesticity. You may then decide to break up on the basis of this inequality and arrange visiting rights for the child.
c. Fondness for musicals. Scene: you indulge your partner’s fondness for this entertainment until it becomes clear they are completely shut off to other musical forms, and other forms of entertainment like books or cinema, and what you thought was a harmless trait has become an intolerable narrowness they refused to change.
Step 4. Second date. At this point, all the traits you dislike about the person should be amplified enough for this date to be the last—and good riddance. If you find you discover new traits of the person during the date that appeal to you, try to devise quick scenarios where these traits may cause frustration and unhappiness using the practice you have put in over the week. Remember to remain aloof on the date so the person doesn’t like you.