Saturday, July 11, 2009
We have heard many Christian men say that a first date feels like a job interview - ouch! Others have been asked intrusive questions about their past, their divorce, their relationship with their mothers ... geez! And we are hearing that women are taking offense to questions that are basically conversation starters. Let's try to establish some ground rules.
First, both parties need to enter into the first meeting with low expectations, with the thought in mind of perhaps making a new friend. Try to set aside your lifelong dreams of Prince Charming, personal issues, past hurts, biological timeclock, etc. and just relax. No one but Jesus will EVER be able to be your all-in-all answer to all of life's gaps and woes, as well as your heart's desire.
So, here are some DO NOT ASK questions:
a. What is the reason for your divorce? Why 2 divorces?
b. Were you unfaithful to your spouse?
c. How much money do you make?
d. Why haven't you ever married?
e. Why don't you get a makeover/hair cut?
f. You're not bipolar or an alcoholic are you?
g. Why so many questions, are you a cop/reporter/attorney? (No, he or she wants to get to know you, or... you're stonewalling so much they are valiantly trying to keep things from getting MORE uncomfortable.)
h. Do you believe in love at first sight?
Next, establish a friendly atmosphere. Even if you are quite certain that this person is not going to be a part of your future, manners still apply. You are free to cut the date short, but rudeness is never acceptable. What is acceptable are the following types of questions:
a. How was your drive here?
b. What church do you attend?
c. When did you first come to know the Lord? Do you want to share your story with me?
d. Tell me about your family (or line of work)
e. What was the last movie you saw or book you read?
f. What is one of the most memorable compliments you ever received?
g. What are 5 things you love (hate) to do?
h. Why were you drawn to Cache Connections instead of other sites?
i. What's your favorite, sunsets or sunrises?
j. When was a time you felt God holding you in his care?
I've heard that the most important part of carrying a conversation is surprisingly not to be interesting, but to BE INTERESTED. The person who is free to talk about himself or herself will walk away and say that you are the most interesting person they talked to at the whole party. Of course, we've all spent time with the guy/gal who rambles on and on about his or her childhood, education, relatives, coworkers, garden, dental history, most recent grocery shopping experience ... (Think Toby Keith, "I Wanna Talk About Me" - see link). At this point, you need to pull out your body language arsenal. Look around, check your watch, your phone, your makeup (or regrowth). Do not ask questions, unless it is for the check.
On the topic of who pays the bill, gals can offer to split the check, but should not insist. It's a sign you are dealing with a cheapskate if the man doesn't readily pick up the bill.
To kiss or not to kiss? Um, no. Not on the first date. If things went well, perhaps a quick hug is in order, with a plan for the next contact. Or, a handshake is always acceptable (guys please don't squeeze our hands!). And don't forget, some Christians are used to greeting with hugs and holding hands over grace. If offered from a kind lady or mannered gentleman, accept it without making more (or less) of a friendly gesture of fellowship. If this match is a no-go, kindly express your question or feelings as to whether you are a good match and wish them well. You have just met a brother or sister in Christ!