The One Thing You Must Always Take with You on a Date

how to make an emotional connectionWe’re all looking for something special.

We all want to walk away from a date with the feeling that we have just participated in something special. I’m talking about an authentic emotional connection.

What is the one thing you must always take with you on a date?

Authentic emotion. Here’s why.

People don’t make decisions about relationships based on logic. People don’t connect in a special way when the other person is putting on a performance to show their best qualities. The special connection only happens when authentic emotion bridges the gap between two people.

This becomes possible when one, or both of you, share stories or experiences the other person can relate to on an emotional level.

You may think that’s difficult to pull off with men. After all, aren’t men unemotional and disinterested in stories that have to do with emotions?

The truth is men are naturally drawn to adventures, challenges, and opportunities to get things done. But when he’s on a date, the “mission” is about making a special kind of connection with a woman. He may not be good at making that special connection happen, but it is what he wants.

Here’s how you can encourage it to happen. Touch his emotions by reflecting on a shared experience.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say I’m on a date with you, and you ask me if I ever played sports. I tell you I enjoyed many sports, but soccer was my favorite.

You nod in agreement, and tell me you were on the women’s soccer team in college. So far, so good but if we leave it there, there’s no emotional connection. It’s just a fact. We both played soccer. Big deal. It doesn’t really matter. It’s just a part of our history.

Let’s turn it into an emotional connection. You ask me what I liked so much about soccer. I respond, “I don’t know, there’s just something about it.” This is a bland statement that carries no emotion. It does not allow us to share anything in the moment. You decide to help me out. Here’s what you say…

“James, you know that feeling when you get your cleats on before the game starts?” I’m nodding, remembering the feeling of my cleats digging into the ground as I jog in place to warm up before a game.

You continue, “You remember the feeling of striking the ball to take a shot with people flying toward you from all directions, trying to block you?” Again, I’m nodding. You’re in my head. I’m going back with you. You’ve got me hooked.

“And then a slide-tackle slams you into the dirt, but you don’t care, because you know it was a perfect shot.” Now I’m really nodding, and there’s a special connection. We are both sharing the raw emotions that come from this kind of reverie.

Now THAT is a raw connection through shared emotion.

Imagine if instead you had simply said, “Yeah, I liked soccer too. It was fun hanging out with the gals and cheering each other on.”

This kind of statement is fine when you’re making small talk with your boss on the elevator. but it’s pretty flat if you’re trying to generate a special spark with a romantic interest.

You can use this same principle for all kinds of life experiences and memories. I just picked a sport because it was the first thing that came to my mind.

You could just as easily communicate in this way about a hiking trip, a special dessert from a local diner, the feeling of fall leaves crunching under your feet while trick-or-treating as a kid. The list is endless.

how to make an emotional connection

The principle is this. Share the details in a way that evokes the pleasant emotional experience of having something in common with someone else. It makes you feel alive. It chases away feelings of loneliness. It helps to generate a special kind of bond.


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37 thoughts on “The One Thing You Must Always Take with You on a Date

  1. Richard Rombek Mikaya said:

    Dear James Bauer,
    Greetings ,
    Very interesting to read the advises you give to ladies. Please continue educating those who are hard to have experience in life.

  2. Judith k said:

    We tried a long distance relationship but its not working for me. We were in a relationship some year ago. He asked me to try again at the beginning of this year. We called each other almost everyday. What I have discovered is that he doesn’t keep his promises. If I call him he doesn’t take my calls. He doesn’t reply my messages. This is the second time he has done this to me. The last time he had promised to visit me. He didnt turnup and shut me out. No calls no messages no replys. Nothing. What should i do?

    • James Bauer said:

      Judith, I once heard a famous business consultant say he would never do business with someone who showed up late to a meeting. His reasoning was simple. In his experience, people who show up late tend to be self-serving and generally make bad business partners and bad employees. It may not always be the case, but he found it to be true often enough that he uses it as a principle.

      I would say the same when it comes to communication in a long-distance relationship. Someone who does not go out of their way to look after your feelings, your perspective, your needs, is unlikely to be a good lover in the long run. I wish I could give you better news than that, but your happiness is worth more than the time lost from starting over.

      • Judith k said:

        Thank you very much. I think we need to part ways. Up to now he hasn’t talked to me.

    • Yvonne said:

      Let it go…I was in a long distance relationship for 10 months. My guy did the same thing. I was always at his beck and call. He would tell me to call and it would go straight to voicemail. I would email him and he sometimes wouldn’t respond. He kept promising me that he would come out and meet me…..never happened. I was emotionally into him that it hurt me so bad.. like we were married. He had such a spell on me…I never thought I would get caught up in something like that….Lesson learned. Good luck to you

  3. Jaan said:

    Hi, thanks for this insight – it was illuminating. I would like to buy the associated booklet – when I opened the link the first time I didn’t have time to stop and purchase it but now when I open the link from the email your blog article leads to an unrelated booklet. (This is just a few hours later). Would you please advise? Thanks.

  4. shanti said:

    Thank you James! I know, I have to make my decision sooner or later. Maybe I’m just jelaous on his profession, because I would like to be the first priority in his life. But he said to me at the very begining of our relationship that his job is always gonna be the Nr.1 in his life, because it isn’t a job, but his calling, so the woman who wants to be with him has to accept it. He never was married and he doesn’t have children.
    At the beginning I could accept this, because I was madly in love with him, but now after one year I often feel lonely when he is away on different stages. We have always very intense and regular contact via skype or phone, but I’m missing the physical intimacy which isn’t always available when I need it.
    My best friend told me, I’m too demanding and should accept the situation as it is. My problem is, that I need a lot of body contact with the man I love and in our relationship I’m having him near around me maybe only 6 months in the year. Normally the men needs more physical contact ( sex…), but regarding this point I’m obviously having strong masculine energy.. But I don’t want to cheat on him when he isn’t available.
    Maybe I only need to hear that every relationship has it’s price and that I will never have everything from one person, as you already said. My dilemma is- to settle for this situation, or to search for the ideal partner for me. If there is something as an ideal partner??

  5. shanti said:

    Hi James,
    what would you advice to a woman like me ( divorced, 47, with teenage kids), who is having a relationship with a man which is actually “married” to his profession as an opera singer- he will always put his career first, although he needs as well a loving and supporting soul mate and he is giving his best to me. But he never can give me everything I want, his career is always standing between us and I have to step back many times and wait for him, because he is not available or just too busy with his stressful job. I know that he loves me, he is faithful to me and he is trying to be a really good partner to me. And being a musician myself I understand his work very well. The difference is that I’m a teacher and not active on the stage like him.
    But, after one year I feel more and more frustrated, because I think I don’t get enough from him or I feel stressed because he is stressed when he comes to me over the weekend and needs some time to relax and forget his job for a while.
    I love him, but I know I have to accept that his job will always play a leading role in his life, or I should break with him. Which would actually break my heart.
    Any advice for me?

    • James Bauer said:


      You seem to love him and get a lot out of the relationship, but you said he can never give you everything you want. I understand and grieve that with you. However, I will point out that no man (or woman) can give a partner everything they want. If this man gives you more of what you want than any other man you have considered or been with, then perhaps your joy will increase as you mentally let go of fighting for more than what he actually has to offer you. If, on the other hand you really know deep in your heart that he could not make you happy in the long term without a change, then make the painful choice to leave now rather than after five years of hoping.


  6. Kate said:

    Hi James,
    I met a guy 4 months ago. We dated one time. After meet both of us feels very good. We planed another date several times, but for some reason we never make it ( we both have kids, and both busy). Later, I felt he was not initiate very much, I didn’t want to him to feel I was chasing him, I didn’t contact him either. About
    one week later,when I text him, he told me that he will move to another state ( before we were apart about one hour drive, now about thousands miles). After he moved we text each other more frequently, I feel we are even getting closer. And we talked a lot about our future. But recently, he told me a friend will visit him for a week. I know he met a lady once before he went to the new place. Now This lady is visiting him. I don’t know what I suppose to do. Would you please give me some advises? I need your help! Thanks!

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Kate! This is a very in-depth question, perfect for the private consultation service available in the new members area. It’s a bit too long for me to address as a blog comment. I love your involvement with the material I post here, but to get a guaranteed response to your personal questions, please use the private consultation service. It’s better for these kinds of questions that do not directly relate to my blog post.

  7. Sal said:

    Wow I love reading the comments people post and your reply to them James. It’s show your authenticity in your work. You do a great job by helping woman reach their goals in their relationships! I’d just like to thank you as reading your articles helps me develop a greater understanding on how to behave with men. I have had two unsuccessful marriages. I would like to start courting again!, so I’m just trying to prepare myself mentally.

    • James Bauer said:

      I appreciate that!

  8. Anita said:

    James , recently met a man who seemed keen via txt , we met had a nice time and met a fortnight later , have only seen him 4 times in the 12 weeks I’ve know him , he asked me to be patient as a big project on , find myself wondering as I waited 4 years in a LDR only to be dumped with never a reason why other than he had ‘Met someone ” so now , is this coloring my view of this new man , he only lives 25miles away and yet wants me to keep waiting ???? do I , or , I hate the ultimatimum thing but dont wanna wait for someone who may only be game playing . By the way I am 59 , not a teeny chicky 🙂

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Anita. If you really like him, don’t dump him or make an all-or-nothing ultimatum…but instead make a compromised ultimatum. By that I mean you let him know that you like him enough to date him exclusively, but you lament the fact that he is not currently open for an exclusive relationship with the limited time he has available for you…so you are going to see other men while hoping to see him when he has time. This fits with my general advice against putting all your eggs in one basket early on in relationships. It also gives him options while also steering his behavior with some real motivating factors.

  9. Dee said:

    I agree with Victoria…… you offer real advice. I have gotten so that I just delete anyone else. I started out with Mike Fiore but found most of what he offers revolves around having sex. (He just says the same thing over and over, but in different ways.) And Michael xxxxx (whatever his last name) isn’t very helpful to me.
    You take the time to really respond in a personal way and offer real solutions. I am a Sr Citizens and a lot of what other dating advisors have to say does not apply, but almost all you offer DOES. Thank you. Although sex is important, when one is mature in age companionship and interaction is just as important, and in some cases where sex is not possible, it is most important! I will continue to read and listen to what you have and enrich my relationships.

    • James Bauer said:

      Thanks for that feedback, Dee. It’s helpful to get supportive comments like these. I appreciate it.


  10. Victoria said:

    You are one of the few who actually gives real advice. Most tell you what you should do but not HOW to do it. They trick you into thinking the answer is coming up – but then WHAM – you have to buy their ebook to find out. Thank you for actually giving great, useable advice!

    • James Bauer said:

      Glad to be of service. 🙂

    • nat said:

      True! He is the most genuine advicer 🙂 the others only about selling

  11. how do you handle a relationship that bounces in between friends and lovers? sometimes the commitment is there sometimes it isn’t. he uses work as an excuse for being too busy for a relationship. we typically see each other three times a week. and we have been doing this for the last 2 years we have known each other fourteen years. sometimes he talks about the future and sharing his life and other times he will say let’s just be friends but he still wants the benefits of a relationship. we know that we both love each other and we are definitely friends but how do we take it to the next level? he was burned in a 10 year relationship and I don’t know that he has gotten over that. plus he has children and I have children. he seems to be stuck in the mindset that regardless of the situation both parents should raise the children together, even if that means being roommates,lol. Ouch. how do I handle discussions about the relationship?

    • James Bauer said:

      Hi Layna. When you say he thinks both parents should raise the children, even if only as roommates, do you mean he is still living with his wife/ex/partner?

      • No not living together with ex girlfriend and it sounded like his idea and not one that she is on board with. They previously lived together for a couple of years before the break up. It’s been about 3 years since the break up.

      • James Bauer said:

        In that case, I really think it is up to you whether you are willing to wait for a man who is on the fence about really embracing a new relationship. In some ways I feel like you deserve better than a relationship with a man who is so non-committal. On the other hand, I understand the heart does not always do what we want it to, so if you want to wait for him, that is up to you. However, my gut tells me he is going to continue in this sort-of relationship with you as long as his kids are in the home. You have the right to tell him that your standard is that you will not allow yourself to date someone who does not express and interest in moving toward a true and lasting commitment. If you do, it is then up to him to decide if his relationship with you is worth stretching for. If you take that route, he may set you free to pursue a better match, or he may recognize the value of what he has with you.

      • Wow! Thank you! You have given me something to think about and take action. Why are men like this?! Ugh, drives me nuts!

  12. Jessica said:

    I’m talking with this man for the past year in fact I feel like I’m in love with him we have shared pictures with each other but what he dont know is that I fix all my pictures with beauty cam I am chubby so I also take high pictures so he don’t see how I really look I’m so afraid to lose him how can I fix this what can I do I want to see him face to face already

    • James Bauer said:

      Hey Jessica. You have two options for dealing with this situation, but before I get to those, I want to remind you of something. Your value is not dependent on your looks. Your relationship so far has been good, and it had nothing to do with your looks (since neither of you saw each other in person).

      With that said, here are two options:
      1. You decide life is full of risk, and you don’t want to hide from it. You know some guys are superficial and reject a person based on looks, but you like this guy enough to take the chance, and hope he is not like that. You send him a full-body, standing picture and see if that changes anything. If you want, you could also take some of your motivation to please this guy and channel it toward the difficult process of improving your physical fitness. This is only if that is something you personally want.
      2. You decide to hide from reality and keep him at arms length. You fear losing him so you never take things farther. You always wonder what would have happened.

      Of course, you could come up with other options, but I create this false dichotomy as a way of highlighting the “real” decision as I see it.

      Wishing you the very best!


      • Jessica said:

        Thankyou so much for your words

  13. BeginAgain said:

    Your insights into small details like this is really helpful. Thanks James! I’ve read several relationship blogs and yours seems to give the best useful advice.

      • Michele said:

        I agree James Bauer is the best!

      • James Bauer said:

        Aww…you guys are very kind. Thank you.

      • I completely concur and had meant to write something previously. I have purchased several different programs from both men and women I believe its 5 total. Well they all have some good stuff. It’s hit and miss really, except for ‘be irresistible.’ James, truly you have a gift for painting a picture. You are able to pull the reader in to the scenario. Much easier to put that into practice when one can feel that they’ve been there. Thank you so much for your life’s work.

      • James Bauer said:

        Thanks, Joyce. I really appreciate the compliment.


  14. doreen summers said:

    Hello James
    yes I agree with what you have written here, but somehow with Leon , I lost his respect, and understand a lot more now. Thankyou,,,but i still would like to know how to rekindle that love and respect again.

  15. Lorna (LaLa) said:

    I love your insight into how people tick – very interesting and useful in all sorts of situations. Makes us think. Thank you. Lorna

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