First Date Fridays - Part 3 - The Conversation
You mean, we have to talk?
I am one of those people that can talk, a lot. I have been told more than once that it is easy to have a conversation with me. That makes me smile. The danger in talking too much though is revealing things about yourself sooner than you should. Or the flip side to that is learning things about your date that forever stay stuck in your head. Like the guy who talked about government listening devices in our light bulbs and believing in aliens. Hey, if you don’t look like Tommy Lee Jones, don’t talk Men In Black stuff to me. Ok?
I guess there is a fine line between talking too much about random stuff and making at least the first few conversations count in regards to the exchange of information.
Here are some tips for the first date conversations.
Start simple. Some of this information you may already know from emailing or talking before the date, but find out basic information. What kind of job do they have? Do they enjoy it? If they hate their job, will they complain and be miserable every work day? What is their living arrangement? With today’s economic environment, living accommodations are more creative. Roommates; living with family; sometimes even still living with an ex. It may not be a requirement that they live alone, but it should be a requirement that their ex has a different address.
It is ok to ask about their family. You don’t need a genealogy report, but it is quite helpful to understand their family dynamic. Are the close (emotionally and literally). Most people don’t mind talking about their family. If your date hasn’t spoken with their mom for years or is estranged for all their kids that might be a sign you need to move forward slowly to eliminate any red flag concerns.
Have some fun! You absolutely should talk about what the two of you enjoy doing. If one of you enjoys hiking in the mountains and the other is afraid of heights that might be an issue. If one of you is an avid gardener and eats only organic food, and the other has Dominoes on speed dial, your lifestyle heath choices will not line up. Don’t get me wrong; you don’t have to be twins. Some variety and being open to new experiences is a good thing. Just make sure your differences are not at opposite ends of the continuum.
Finally, what are your relationship goals? Now this is a sensitive question, and I would never recommend asking if they are looking for someone to marry at this point, but, it is a good idea to know what their end game is. Do they just want to date casually? Are they interested, if they meet the right person, in being in a committed relationship? If they are divorced, do they ever see themselves married again in the future? One of the worse mistakes people make is assuming they know what the other wants out of the dating process. So many individuals, especially women, stay with someone hoping the ‘dating’ will turn into a ‘relationship’, when the guy never wanted that from the beginning. There is no wrong answer; everyone has the right to their own path. But you deserve to know the truth about their expectations.
Now these are just suggestions and are not meant to be printed and checked off one by one. They are in no certain order and please do not write down any answers. And for every question you ask, you should be willing to answer back in kind, plus any more they may ask of you. No one person should dominate the conversation. The idea is for information to flow evenly. Be respectful in your responses and be respectful in your reactions to their responses. One word of caution, be careful if the conversation starts heading in a sexual direction. I am not here to judge, and what two consenting adults choose to do is on them, but it is my opinion and advice that introducing this topic at this stage is asking for things to unravel quickly. I have an entire chapter waiting down the road to discuss how sex plays into our SIM lives, and there is definitely a place for it, but not on the first date. Ladies, if you open that door, most men will walk through it. I know it is fun to flirt and if there is chemistry, it may seem all in good fun, but I still believe it is a bad idea. Guys, don’t go there. One of two things will happen. Either the girl will believe that sex is the only reason you asked her out or she will call your bluff leaving you decide what kind of girl/date you really want to have.
How Did It Go?
There are dates where both parties click and know immediately there is mutual attraction. Those dates often end with the planning of the second date. If that were the norm however, there would be no need for this book! Most of the time each one is trying to decipher what the other is thinking and trying to determine themselves what they want. Body language is a big key here. Did they look you in the eyes when you were talking? Were they hunched over/turned away, or fully open and engaged, facing you? While walking, did they touch your shoulder or back, or walk a few steps ahead or behind. I met a guy once to walk through downtown and grab a bite to eat. I was anticipating a leisurely stroll taking in the sights and sounds of my beautiful city. He proceeded to do a power walk down the sidewalk, weaving in and around people like he was heading to a finish line. Maybe he was just hungry and we should have eaten first, but after chasing him around town I got the vibe he just wanted it to be over; so it was.
Saying good-byes at the end of the first date ranks pretty high in stressful, awkward moments. Each person is calculating their interest level while simultaneously trying to get a feel for what the other person is feeling. There is the “It was great meeting you” closing sentence that oftentimes can seem obligatory whether you mean it or not. Then there is that split second when a decision has to be made on whether to end with a handshake (ugh), lean in sideways for a half-hug, or go for that mystical first date/first kiss. I have no rules here as each scenario is unique. If you decide to go the cautious route and wait on that first kiss, that’s perfectly fine, but if the chemistry if sparking on both sides and it feels like the right thing to do, go for it! I will only caution you to be respectful of each other and not let things get too heated or carried away. Having a little mystery at the end of this first date is a good thing.
First Dates are a combination of nerves, excitement and caution. I hope I have provided some guidelines and hints to make sure the nerves are at a minimum and the excitement is at a maximum. I am always happy to talk to people who are out there braving these waters and learn of their experiences and successes. Keep Trying! Stay Positive!
Hope With Abandon