Once chance in a lifetime allowed one man in a million to find the courage to speak to his dream girl.
I’d lost count of how many dating opportunities I’d missed because I overanalyzed in my head of what to say, and ended up doing nothing.
Then I saw her.
There was a girl I was interested in that was living in my apartment building at the time. I always had an excuse to not talk to her before until I saw her outside of a bar one night.
I had no reason not to say something.
“Hey my name is Mark, and I’ve really been wanting to meet you.”
I did it.
I somehow bypassed my analytical brain and said how I felt. I didn’t even care what she said next. I felt like I had just shattered the sound barrier.
We ended up dating for a month or two before she moved back home to Africa.
The whole experience was a breath fresh air.
I couldn’t help but wonder — what took so long? Why did it take me years of spending hours thinking of what to say each time I went out, only to lead up to me saying hello to someone?
“One chance in a lifetime.”
In Japan they have a saying, 一期一会. “Ichi-go ichi-e” which translates to “one chance in a lifetime.”
The phrase describes a cultural concept of treasuring meetings with people.
The term reminds people to cherish any gathering that they may take part in, citing the fact that many meetings in life are not repeated.
“Even when the same group of people can get together again, a particular gathering will never be replicated and thus, each moment is always once-in-a-lifetime. ~ Wikipedia“Don’t like ads? Become a supporter and enjoy The Good Men Project ad free
Reading this as it relates to meeting women probably does one of two things for you:
- Provides a sense of empowerment knowing that you only get one chance to meet her, so you may as well try.
- Makes you depressed because you only have one chance to meet her and you can’t fuck it up.
If this saying bothers you, it could be due to the Kool-Aid you’ve been drinking from conventional dating advice.
Would you like some anxiety with your self-development?
Western dating advice positions meeting women as something that must be conquered.
- Say all the right things so you can get her into bed!
- Convey how much of a badass you are by making jokes about her.
- Improve this, improve that — and you will be swimming in women
- It’s all on YOU. You make her feel attracted to you — or not! Be a man!!
All of this advice is a great recipe for creating anxiety, lack of self worth and depression for guys who are struggling with women.
The thing is, a lot of this advice works. Improving yourself, developing confidence, and doing more will get you results.
But at the cost of what? Feeling terrible and forcing yourself to go out and meet women because you’re “supposed to”?
Where this dating advice goes completely wrong is that it implies men are totally responsible for 100% of their interactions with women. We are taught we make her feel attracted, make her laugh, eat and sleep all because of us.
Give me a break.
This mentality creates problems for analytical introverts who love to obsess over every single detail dozens of times over. How are we ever supposed to meet ANYONE if we have to process 458 possible conversation outcomes?
Less is more
Throw out all of your worries and concerns about dating. Throw out your concerns about what to say next, how to be more interesting, how to make her laugh.
It doesn’t matter right now.
What experience do you want to have?
Picture it. Make it real.
I like to picture meeting a beautiful woman at an event where I’m dressed really nicely. When I first see her I get nervous and excited. She sees me and smiles. I don’t think about what to say. All I think about is her smiling and having a good time.
For me, that’s once in a lifetime.
This exact event happened last weekend.
I sat down and got to know her. I wasn’t worried about the next line or the next joke. I had one goal:
- Find out who she is as a person and let her shine.
I can feel your analytical brain waves coming through my screen with questions.
Wait Mark! That doesn’t help me! I can’t do that because I don’t know what to say. What if she’s in a group with friends? What if our conversation is boring and it fizzles? What if it’s Tuesday and I have to be at work on Wednesday at 7am!?
I want you to try the mentality. Strip away everything and try one thing.
Seriously, find out who she is. Don’t worry about building attraction, being interesting, or the next line.
一期一会 is what allowed me to have a great conversation with the girl I met over the weekend. And when I texted her the next day she didn’t reply.
One chance in a lifetime.
Photo credit: Getty Images