Dating

How to find a soulmate

One man makes a case for going on a first date every week

The tetrodotoxin contained in one piece of delicious fugu fish nigiri is capable of rapidly shutting down the respiratory system, causing a slow and violent asphyxiation, but most fugu fish nigiri is fine to eat—not to mention very delicious. The inverse is true of dating: Odds are high that most dates will be ordinary, somewhat awkward, and otherwise unremarkable. But then one of them will stop you in your tracks, and immediately shut down all your organs.

Except.... your heart!

Finding a partner, let alone someone you are comfortable inviting into your home, is not easy. And even though dating can often feel like firing jagged puzzle pieces out of cannons at one another from point blank, eventually, there is a fit. And what do you do if you would like to expedite the process a little bit, and you don’t possess the raw chaotic energy or $10,000 veneers necessary to appear on The Bachelorette? You ratchet that cannon up to the speed of a hummingbird’s heartbeat. You hold soulmate auditions.

Here is what you do: You download an app for finding singles in your area. You set a healthy but realistic goal for how many first dates you can go on in one week without completely exhausting your body and mind. And then you do it until you find somebody who is wonderful.

I heard about this technique from a group of very intelligent, attractive women I used to work with at a little-known beauty startup that rhymes with dossier. All of them wore expensive tonal workout wear sets to their weekly Pilates classes, had implemented austere personal care regimens that gave them Grecian abs-to-ass ratios, and frequently invoked the business term “ROI” in meetings. Given their results-driven lifestyles, none of them were about to leave love to chance.

“One first date, every week,” one of them said to me, her abs hardening underneath her Reformation Nikita dress.

Until when? I asked.

“Until you meet them,” she replied, vanishing into a fine hyaluronic acid mist. In her place was a slate carved with the following rules:

Soulmate auditions terms and conditions

  1. 1

    ONE first date every week, with a person (the “datée”) you (the “dater”) meet either online or in the wild.
  2. 2

    If you meet the person online, via a dating app or website or some such, you are limited to FIVE messages before requesting an in-person meeting (the “date”).
  3. 3

    Datées can include people the dater has met in the past, but cannot include people the dater has dated in the past
  4. 4

    Dated, in this case, meaning: Has gone on more than three dates with.
  5. 5

    Obviously you can do whatever you want and nobody will care, but the point is that you date as much as possible.

Who knows what will happen? That is a rhetorical question—I know what will happen: You will have many, possibly hundreds of weird dates, and odds are that some of them will be halfway decent, and a very small handful will be really good.

You will date a man who convinces you to take a long, winding walk through a large park instead of sit-down drinks, all the while pointing out the various pockets and glens he has engaged in sexual congress. You will date a man who, it seems, obviously detests you, but buys you ice cream in a confusing gesture. You will date a man who will help you choose a gym to join, thanks to his impressive amount of opinions on the topic. You will date a man who insists on following up dinner with a walk around a different large park and who stops to point out a small cavern of trees where he—you know where this is going—once engaged in sexual congress.

I hate to rely on that old saying that every tryst is either a good date or a good story, but it’s true, and before long you will develop a repository of stories that would dwarf seasons 1-6 of Sex and the City, and then at some point you will meet a dude who is as tall as a redwood and as wisened as an oak, who watches you knock over several glasses of water seconds after entering the bar and still asks for a second date. Two plus years later, he will make a pizza in your kitchen from scratch and then serve it to you for dinner.

Of course, eventually, we will all die, either in some climate-related disaster or from an adventurous menu order of fugu fish nigiri. And perhaps, while you struggle to remember how to breathe, you will look at your lover and think, “Wow, I’m glad you’re here.” Or maybe you will instead reflect on your life, and all of the terrible but deeply amusing dates you had, all of the gyms you learned have discounted rates on or around Memorial Day, all of the caves where Sean fucked a tourist.

Now read:

How to fix a sexless relationship

How to be a perfect plus-one

The definitive guide to how to kiss well

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