|I love this list. I know it's a bit small,|
but hopefully you can click it and zoom in?!
Every so often I get to iron my best shirt, have a second shower of the day, put on some cologne, do my hair (or what’s left of it), and take some
poor, unsuspecting lucky girl out for dinner.
I reckon I’m pretty good at the whole ‘first date’ thing. The logistics are simple enough: book a nice (non-chain, naturally) restaurant, make sure you have enough cash to pay the bill, show up on time, etc.
And then comes the date itself: assuming we’re not hermits, by the time we reach adulthood we have plenty of life-history to talk through – how could we possibly struggle to find things to say? There are family holidays, or maybe time spent studying, or career choices, or future hopes and dreams – plenty of questions to ask and topics to bring up. I’m not saying sit there like some quiz show host, firing off questions, but pick some that will start a conversation. Generally, I believe people will like someone who lets them talk about themselves.
But, alas, in spite of all my confidence at the first date stage, my relationships have, thus far, not lasted. And that’s because life is not one continual first date.
A date takes considerable effort and energy, and I tend to fall in to the trap of trying to keep up that level of intensity for weeks...months...even years. Inevitably, it’s going to fail. I’m going to get tired and the ‘perfection’ will crash and burn.
I think this links with being uncomfortable about showing someone our real selves. On a first date, we want to make a good/perfect impression; we want them to think we’re amazing. And that’s achievable – for one night. However, we can’t be ‘perfect’ forever; the real ‘us’ needs to be good enough too.
And in order for it to be good enough for someone else, it has to be good enough for ourselves. Otherwise we’ll never be willing to show it, and never get out of the cycle of trying to be perfect.
Someone suggested once I may even sabotage my relationships myself from the inside. I don’t know whether it’s true but, if it is, it could be because I can’t deal with the prospect of not being ‘perfect’. As I say, I don’t know.
Accepting who we are and that we do have some very good traits, worth putting up with the not-so-great ones for, is a really healthy state of mind, I think. Let’s try and work towards it.