Picture the scene. You got up the nerve to tell your best girlfriend “yes” – that you would gladly meet her second cousin, Max, the one from the engagement party six months ago who thought you were just adorable, but he was on the tail end of a nasty divorce… And now that Max is free, you surrendered your phone number and agreed to meet him for that incredible, but more often than not, awkward… first date.
After a few pleasantries over the phone, you agreed to meet Max at a local café the following evening. Donned in “black” (forever safe for a first date!), you follow the rules, arrive early, and wait at an empty table facing the entrance. Max appears in the distance, somewhat shorter and a somewhat balder than you care to remember. He approaches and gives you a welcoming hug and a smothering kiss on the cheek. The conversation is polite. You ask the proverbial “Twenty Questions” and learn that Max is currently unemployed, living with his mother, still not quite divorced, and as he readily admits, has been banned from leaving the country, the result of overdue child support. And all this in the first fifteen minutes!
The time passes ever so slowly, when in fact you realize that you’re not the least bit attracted to Max. When he caresses your shoulder, you shudder. When he tells you have nice teeth, you wonder if you put enough money in the parking meter. And when asks that daunting question, “Can I see you again?” you quickly ask the waiter for the check!
Many people find it difficult to open up emotionally, especially on a first date. We tend to resort to “safe” dialog, the typical Q&A that revolves around work, education, hobbies, tales of the “x”, our children’s play dates, and if we’re lucky enough, the conversation will lead to something meaningful, like… favorite colors, favorite pets, and “So, who did you vote for?” But more often than not, we spend most of the first date… thinking about the prospects of a second date. Making the leap takes a combination of personal readiness, the right partner, and the right circumstances, but how do we know who is really “worthy” of that second date?
Does the old adage “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” speak volumes? If you have to debate that second date, don’t! Don’t plan that second outfit, don’t reserve that corner table, and don’t invest in that new pair of shoes! And try and remember what you felt when Max, or any of the countless other Maxes made their entrance. If you checked your lipstick only once and if your heart was not a flutter; if you dabbled in would-be conversation from across the table and from across the miles – then surely, you knew. Trust yourself… first – and rely on your basic instincts… second. And don’t debate… that second date.