By Kenneth Justice
~I couldn’t help but snap a quick photo with my camera phone of this couple sitting across from me at coffee last night….they were on a first date.
Because I spend so much time at coffee shops I’ve been witness to so many first dates I’ve lost count…..cafe’s and coffee shops seem to be a good neutral site to get to know someone in a first date scenario….of course adding a couple glasses of alcohol can help loosen people up as well.
What always strikes me about first dates is the number of people who spend all their time on the date talking about themselves….but perhaps this isn’t merely restrictive to first dates; maybe we who live in Western culture simply love talking about ourselves?
Isn’t this the charm of social media; Twitter and Facebook posts are a way we can deceive ourselves into thinking; our friends and acquaintances really care about what I’m doing….my Facebook updates matter…they are relevant; people care about what’s going on in my life and what I’m thinking about….
However….in a culture of self-absorbed individuals….how many people truly care about what we have to say?
I wrote an article about loneliness and was mildly surprised at the wealth of responses I got; I’m slowly becoming aware of the simple fact that despite the connectedness which social media offers us, more and more people are feeling isolated from each other.
But… let’s get back to first dates…..
What should you talk about if not yourself?
Doesn’t your date want to know who you are?
And, isn’t talking about yourself the best way of letting your date know who you are?
A remark made by one guy I observed on a first date was,
“I don’t like talking philosophy….I did all my thinking about important things when I’m younger so now all I care about is living my life…”
While I can understand the apprehension toward getting into philosophical arguments on a first date which may lead to hurt feelings… yet, isn’t talking about things that matter good first-date material?
I mean….what’s wrong with saying, “I love how the Midwest seems to breed friendliness in people but I hate the fact that we seem to be so obsessed with our career’s in the Midwest….”
That’s a highly philosophical statement…but it tells you a lot about the person who said it;
It tells us that they value friendliness and that they don’t want to be a workaholic….
Thus, by sharing a philosophical statement… we’ve actually shared something about who we are without; talking about ourselves!
And isn’t that what we want on a first date…to get to know each other?
I heard a story recently about a first date via a young woman who met the guy at the bar…..they texted for a few days and then set up a first date in which they would begin by meeting at the guy’s house, a central location…
The young woman arrived to the guy’s house to find him lounging in the living room watching The Simpson’s
“Come on in” he said, and he led her to the sofa…..
She sat down and he silently went back to watching The Simpsons…..
Turns out; the guy had expected their first date to entirely consist of sitting on his sofa, watching television, and then hooking up in his bedroom later that evening….hows that for a first date! The young woman ended up excusing herself 10 minutes into the date and took off.
Is it just me or are some people getting a little bit too lazy in their first date preparations!
If I were on a first date I’d order a cup of coffee…..just like I’m about to do right now….