A final note about the Mini Date experiment: I found it useful to occasionally break my own rules and learn what happens. After all, these are organic people, not robots! I took time to have a little fun with it, ok?! For me, too much seriousness takes the joy out of life.
I don’t think Mini Dates are *the* way to date or find the perfect partner. In part, Mini Dates worked for me because I live in a town with a lot of people actively seeking dates online. Mini Dates were a useful way to meet a lot of people online and then have the next set of “great learnings” that come with other relationship phases: second dates and third dates, longer-term relationships, and with being happily single without attempting to date.
Looking back, the Mini Dates were a weird little experiment. It’s difficult to tell who a person really is in such a short period of time. And a few people were so nervous, I really couldn’t tell who they were at all until later.
But the mini-dates were GREAT at sussing out people that definitely weren’t matches for me and for helping me hone my dating intuition.
It took several meetings to make a decent hypothesis about whether I wanted to really start dating the person seriously or not. How is he with his pet? What’s his life schedule like and does it have room for a girlfriend or eventually partner? What’s he like in traffic or when he gets frustrated? Does he want to travel as much as I do? Can he roll with my spontaneous, crazy plans? Does he have some spontaneous, crazy plans of his own that I like? These questions could only be answered by experience.
Some finer points took much longer to suss out: When he really understands (which can take a while!) that I have a food addiction, is that OK with him? Can we patch our schedules together and come up with a rhythm of life that works together? Does he like Costco and thrifting enough to do them regularly (surprisingly important to my life!)? Can he talk through disagreements? Does he think my job is cool and not hoaky? Can he get along with the many people in my extroverted sphere of fun – including trainers, students, clients, my friends, family, etc? What could we make together to make the world a better place? These are more questions that are only answerable in relationship.
I don’t know when I’ll use my online dating findings again because I am finding myself in a committed relationship with someone special. On our first date, he answered my bonus points question, “What’s the most useful question you’ve ever been asked?” with a fantastic question!
Of course, fantastic questions always catch my attention.
What a great idea: an article on different types of helpful questions!
And that’s a story for another day.
Read more in this series:
- Introduction: What I Learned About Online Dating
- Why I Embarked On a Dating Adventure
- What is a Mini Date?
- Mini Date Lesson #1: Invite Adventurously
- Mini Date Lesson #2: Keep It Short
- Mini Date Lesson #3: Choose Your Conversation Topics Wisely
- Mini Date Lesson #4: Meet In A Public Place to Talk (And Listen)
- Mini Date Lesson #5: The Sense of Abundance and Dating
- Wrap Up