"If you have an apple, and I have an apple and we exchange apples then we both still have one apple. If you have an idea, and I have an idea and we exchange ideas then we both have two ideas." George Bernard Shaw

Saturday, January 25, 2014

First Dates

     The first date.  For some it's simple and easy.  For others it can be one of the most nerve wracking experiences known to man.  And why shouldn't it be? You face an entire evening (or monring or whatever time of day you choose) with a person that you hardly know.  You probably think they are good looking and could be a fun person, or maybe a deep thinker, or the sporty type.  It's a mystery just begging to be solved.  And so we go on a date and see what happens.
     The funny thing is, after that first date you still know nothing about the person!  Sure you can spout off a few random facts about them, but that doesn't tell you anything, and no one really remembers any of that stuff.
     It takes time to really get to know someone.  On a first date no one is really themself.  You have to learn how they really are when they are comfortable enough to be themself.  You have to learn what's really important to them.
     You can't learn enough about a person to decide if you want to be in a relationship with them or not on a first date.  And yet we try to do it all the time.  We try to learn all the superficial stuff at first and then decide if we like that person.
     All that stuff should really come later.  Or rather it will come later.  As a relationship build you will eventually learn all the little details, like their favorite movie, their favorite memory from childhood, who their first grade teacher was.  You'll never stop learning the little things about a person.
     But how can we do it differently?  How can you open up to a person when you first meet them to let them get to know you?  Maybe you can't.  What you can do is this: give it time.  Don't jump to conclusions about people until you get to know them.  Give them a chance to be with you without having any expectations, just go on dates to have fun and see where things go.
     You can certainly build a friendship without having romantic interest.  On the other hand you can't really build a lasting relationship without a foundational friendship.  Frienship is a much more durable commodity than romance.  And when the going gets tough what you really need is a friend, not someone to cuddle, though hugs are certainly helpful after a rough day.
     So go on dates and be friends.  Don't make it more complicated than it really is.  Maybe it won't lead to marriage, but if you can gain a friend, then it is worth it.