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The miracle question to ask on the first date

“We seem normal only to those who don’t know us very well. In a wiser, more self-aware society than our own, a standard question on any early dinner date would be: “And how are you crazy?” — Alain de Botton.

I meet someone, and then I start to feel the boiling water in my body. My mind begins to tick off the imaginary checklist, and suddenly I find myself on the hype train going 200 km/hr.

And then I hear a voice within that says, 'Oh my god, she is perfect,' 'Just the person I was looking for,' 'Could she be the one?'

Oh, how many times I've fallen off that hype train, and it hurt so badly...

Even though we may not admit it, when we go on dates, we often carry with us an idea of the person we hope to meet. This idea typically contains the qualities we like to see in a partner, leading to a perfect image in our minds. But why do we do this? British/Swiss philosopher Alain de Botton places the blame on the concept of romanticism. He argues that the idea of romanticism is doomed. Because we always see the other person as perfect, but when we inevitably realize that they are not perfect and are, in fact, human, we feel disappointed. So he argues that in a more wise, ideal society than our own, an early dinner date question would be “ So in what ways are you crazy?”

This question not only cultivates vulnerability, which is vital for forming deep connections with people, but it also shatters the illusion of perfection in the other person. Moreover, it may help slow things down, so that your decisions aren't solely driven by lust or intense emotions.

So maybe next time you find yourself on the hype train, consider asking yourself, 'How slow can I go?' It's possible that the desire to rush into things might be one of the aspects that make you feel a bit 'crazy'.

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