“You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” ~ Plato
It didn’t take me long to become discouraged, frustrated, even bored of the first-meet-date/interview with on-line suitors. The pattern was fairly similar each time. After e-mailing and perhaps exchanging phone numbers, he would ask about meeting in person and we would make plans for coffee or dinner. Conversation would flow, questions and comments about family, career, education, hobbies, etc. And since I do enjoy a good meaty conversation so much more than the small-talk niceties, I found these interviews moved towards a deeper, more serious tone rather quickly.
Which made me feel like we were moving further and further away from that fun, flirty feeling of the early dating stage…
…when what I wanted was to laugh and have some fun! It was the middle of summer. There were so many things to do and places to explore in and around this city that I was new to. There were laughs to be shared, jokes to be told, initial touches to enjoy, off-hand compliments and flirty banter to be flung. Where was the fun part of this on-line dating thing?
Unfortunately, my first attempt at suggesting something a little different resulted in being stood up.
Not to be discouraged, after receiving a weekend “good morning” text from a new on-line suitor, I spontaneously extended an invite to meet for breakfast. In 30min. Granted we were at first still sitting across a table from each other, talking. But then we walked down by the water, and listened to some live music. The pressure to “interview” didn’t seem so heavy. We even laughed and flirted a little!
So what made this first-meet-date different? How do you move from the on-line e-mailing to the fun and flirty?
I don’t really know. Except that the spontaneity of the plans left little time to analyze and anticipate possible conversation. The physical activity, walking side-by-side rather than sitting face to face, and the live music all removed some of the pressure to keep talking. Yet I learned so much through conversations inspired by the activity and changing scenery that I likely never would have learned sitting in a coffee shop. Enough to know I wanted a second date!
I sometimes think about those early dating TV shows (like Blind Date or elimiDATE) where the men and women were sent to fun, physical, romantic activities or settings for their initial meetings. How, though often ridiculously amusing, the individuals seemed to relax into themselves fairly quickly, and enjoyed the time together… some of the time.
I wish for a first-meet-date similar to that. A date that breaks free from the coffee/drinks/dinner mold and offers something a little different based on mutual interests discovered on a profile or over e-mail – a fun activity in a relaxed setting for the flirty banter and romance to flow. Where we can learn about each other while we play!
Beth Ann is an aspiring relationship counsellor and closet romantic. Broken, bruised, and blessed by love; continually seeking to re-discover hope for herself, her friends, and future clients!