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The dating experiment

Others thought it refreshing, and I found it yielded surprising responses.Following one particular date with an awkward beginning, excellent middle and confusing end, I was certain I wouldn't receive so much as a response to my survey.

I had made a habit on previous dates of waiting to determine my own feelings only after I knew somebody else's - their admiration providing the validation to slip into a quasi-relationship. When you lose track of how you feel, you ignore that part of you that knew it wasn't right to begin with.If we can be sure of our own desires and wants first, others no longer have the same hold over us, or ability to disappoint.I don't have a checklist of attributes a prospective date must have, but I realised I do have a pretty rigid picture of what kind of options I have when it comes to who will date me.The idea that you only have seven seconds to make a strong first impression didn't hold up during the experiment.There were dates whose apparent charisma faded as I sipped the last mouthful of wine in my glass; others who I initially judged as shy and dull who had me in stitches by the end of the date.Over the span of three months, I had friends, friends-of-friends and colleagues-of-friends set me up on dates with complete strangers.

Armed with just a name and a phone number, I proceeded to go on more than a dozen dates in cafes, rooftop bars and pubs, the idea being if others chose for me, I'd be jolted out of the experience of dating the same type of man over and over.

A person is more than just an awkward greeting at the start of a date, or a profile on Tinder.

If we resist superimposing character traits onto someone based on a few seconds of interaction, we might have the chance to see who they really are.

It is often warped by our experiences, explains de Botton.

"We are not merely looking to find love, we are looking for familiarity."It seems so many of us can't be trusted with the matters of our own hearts.

Convinced I could read minds, I'd dutifully cut off a date or a conversation just in time to avoid being rebuffed.