Don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements transformed the way I live my life. If you can look past the spiritual undertones and occasional preaching, it contains powerful wisdom.
The overall theme is that four simple yet profound rules can have an enormous impact. Ever since reading the book, I’ve embraced the ideas fully and become a much happier person because of them.
These agreements not only apply to life in general but are absolutely critical in dating. Here’s how:
1. Be Impeccable with your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.
This is what I try to hammer in about honest intentions. Not only should you speak your mind, you should act according to your feelings. If you like a girl, no more pussyfooting around for weeks or months pretending to be “just friends” hoping she’ll come around. You flirt right away, you express your sexual side, you get physical, and you try to move things forward.
When you’re talking to women: don’t lie. Don’t change yourself to fit her ideal. Don’t bullshit about who you are and agree when you don’t actually agree. Don’t put yourself down in front of her. Most of all, don’t put yourself down in your own head — ever. It’s unproductive and seriously damaging.
Finally, drop the lines. Don’t pretend to be an attractive man, become one. I spent a year pretending to be someone I wasn’t and it left me feeling empty. Any connection I made with a woman was built on quicksand. She was attracted to some false image of Nick and not the real Nick. It’s not a way to live.
2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
This is huge when dealing with rejection. Once you accept that rejection isn’t personal, it starts to roll off your back. Maybe she had a bad day, maybe some other guy was an asshole, or maybe she’s just unhappy. There’s no value in stressing about something that’s out of your hands and not about you.
But, what about those times where it is because of something you did? Perhaps you said something that turned her off. Or you had nervous body language and she got creeped out. Or she just didn’t find you attractive and you weren’t her type. It still should not be taken personally.
Not every woman will like you and that’s okay, it’s part of the dating game. Also, she’s not rejecting you as a human being, she’s rejecting you as you were in that moment. If you approached her differently, the outcome may have changed. She can’t possibly know all the great things about who you are from a brief interaction.
That being said, you shouldn’t absolve yourself of all responsibility. Realize what you did incorrectly and work on it for next time. Everything is constructive feedback you can use to improve upon — it shouldn’t be a blow to your ego but rather a lesson learned.
3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
I used to see pretty girls all the time and make excuses of why I shouldn’t talk to them. “Oh she doesn’t want to be bothered.” “She doesn’t look like my type.” “She probably has a boyfriend.” “We wouldn’t have anything to talk about.” “She wouldn’t be interested in me.” Sound familiar?
It’s your mind feeding you bullshit. It’s your fears and anxieties preventing you from taking chances and being vulnerable. The only way you’re going to overcome those mental blocks is by taking action.
Let her tell you if she doesn’t want to be bothered. Find out if she’s your type or if she has a boyfriend. Discover if you have nothing to talk about. See if she really wouldn’t be interested. You’ll be surprised at how often you’re wrong and every time you disprove your mental bullshit, you’ll strip away those limiting beliefs.
Finally, ask questions you genuinely care about. Stop talking about stuff that you have no interest in. Too often men are afraid to push buttons and dig deep, but that’s where true connections are formed.
What do you value in a woman? What do you want to know? What would make you more attracted to her? And if sex is important to you (which it almost always is), you can’t be afraid to broach the subject and express yourself. Bury who you are or what you want and you’ll never get the relationships you desire.
4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.
Learning how to be more socially confident with women is an ongoing process. It takes time and coaches who sell you quick fixes are lying. You will hit roadblocks along the way and some nights will be shitty: accept it. Don’t beat yourself up because you didn’t get a number or chickened out from approaching.
Don’t forget that meeting people and dating should be fun. If you look at it as an objective that you must complete, you’ll never be happy. Enjoy the experience for all it’s ups and downs. As long as you truly pushed yourself and tried your best (without making excuses), that’s all that matters.
If you enjoyed this, I highly recommend you pick up The Four Agreements as well as Don Miguel’s other books, The Mastery of Love and Voice of Knowledge. They are about forming healthy relationships and defeating inner voices that cause suffering and anxiety, respectively. On Amazon, there is a boxed set deal of all three.
What books influenced you to make major changes in your life? Comment below!
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