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.
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.