The Dating Diet
Are You Over-Thinking Your Relationship? Struggling to Know if This is "It"? Try These Tips to Achieve Clarity
Sometimes, a man or woman who is in the midst of a dating relationship struggles to figure out if the other person really is the right one for him or her to marry. One way for him or her to achieve the clarity s/he seeks is through a technique called “The Dating Diet”.
The diet can be helpful to someone who believes their relationship has potential, but hasn’t been able to work out any number of issues that have surfaced during the course of dating. It can also help when one of the daters has decided they’re ready to become engaged during their courtship, and the other isn’t yet at that point.
Sara and Benni had been going out for five months. After they’d been dating for three months, Benni had been so sure that Sara was “the One” that he brought up the subject of marriage. When Sara told Benni she wasn’t at the same point as him and wanted to get to know him better, he agreed to give the relationship more time. Two months later, Sara told Benni that she’d “caught up” to him and was ready to become engaged, but he now had questions.
Benni wondered why Sara had taken so long to reach this point and if she cared about him as much as he cared about her. Even though his dating mentor explained that it’s not uncommon for one dater to feel the other person is right for them weeks or months before their partner feels the same, he still had doubts. His mentor suggested a “Dating Diet,” a structured way of dating that would help Benni and Sara gain the clarity to decide if they really were right for each other.
For the next four weeks, Benni and Sara dated only twice a week, and limited their telephone calls to a few times a week for no more than 10 minutes. We encouraged them to focus on each other and the activities of their dates, and not to try to analyze their feelings or the relationship. At the end of the four-week period, each of them could examine if and how their feelings and thoughts about the relationship had changed. They’d then have to come to a decision about becoming engaged or breaking off their courtship.
This approach “forces” each person to stay “in the moment” and focus on the experience of being together. Four weeks without analyzing, worrying, and thinking about the relationship actually helps the daters have more clarity once it’s time for them to make a decision. After four weeks, some couples will realize they are really not right for each other, saving themselves months of unproductive dating, while others will realize they have finally met the right person.
Benni and Sara also benefited from the fact that the Dating Diet put boundaries on their courtship. In the last two months they had been going out, they saw each other several times a week sometimes talked on the telephone until past midnight. On the diet, they actually saw that they missed each other when they were not together. Each realized how much they wanted to be together, and that that the other person was really the right one for them. Benni came to understand that Sara cared for him deeply, but that it had simply taken her longer to reach this point than it had taken him.