I’ve noticed a mildly disturbing trend in my dating experiences of late. As soon as the man in question finds out what I do for a living, he seems to think this gives him licence to reveal every bit of depth and darkness he holds, in the 30 to 60 minute time frame allotted for the first coffee meet up.
If I were a proctologist, would he bend over deftly dropping his pants whilst I snapped on a glove? I certainly hope not. Yet when I reveal that I am a therapist, I am bombarded with every childhood trauma and intricate detail of the breakdown of his marriage and other relationships, including that stuck up but beautiful girl in high school who snorted and walked away when he asked her to the formal, and I’m left bored to the back teeth yet again.
When this happens, it essentially means I am at work on a date, which believe me, is an entirely different profession all together.
By all means, lets get to know each other. But I don’t want to sit through an hour of you talking exclusively about yourself then expecting me to affirm your choices. It gets even worse when the talk turns to the ex-wife and how she “done him wrong”. I am an ex-wife, who do you think I’m going to align more strongly with when I’ve only just met you and you’ve already told me things that perhaps you should never tell anyone?
Just as I don’t want to let you into the darkest, most secret corner of my heart as soon as your latte has been popped down in front of you, I don’t want to be let into yours.
Dating is hard. Just have a read back through this blog and you’ll see how hard it is. But the beauty of that first spark of a connection is that you can fan it, like a small ember and watch it grow. It’s fun to make small discoveries about each other and enjoy the newness of the other person. When you regurgitate every horror you have experienced the moment you meet someone, it kind of takes the mystery out of it and leaves a person feeling a bit shaky and nauseated.
Whilst there is a comfort in familiarity, in really knowing a person’s secret fears and being able to walk alongside them anyway, this familiarity takes years to build up and even the most lengthy of partnerships should still contain the element of surprise, a little something to spark the interest of the other even after decades together.
So my new dating philosophy is to say what I do for a living and follow it up with a list of my fees and charges. Then I’ll ask for the receipt and claim the date back on tax. How’s that for romance?