Evie is a 53 year old self-employed professional woman whom I recruited to meet a very special 60 year old client named Jason.
They met and had a very good first date. He described her as “much more attractive than her photo”, intelligent and articulate, although somewhat reserved. He expressed an interest in seeing her again. Her feedback to me was similar. She thought he was attractive, accomplished, had good values and a great sense of humor.
When I asked her if she was open to seeing him again, she hesitated and stated that although she had a really nice time with him, she wasn’t sure, since she couldn’t say that this was the man she’d like to marry.
“Marry?” I exclaimed. “The question is simply whether you’d enjoy a second date with Jason, not whether you’d be inclined to marry him!” and that I thought she was ‘putting the cart before the horse’ in this scenario.
Relationships are a continuum which begins with dating and then hopefully progresses to a serious, committed relationship over time.
Having just skimmed the surface of everything she would want and need to know about him before deciding to even date him exclusively, it doesn’t serve Evie to try and figure out if this man is “marriage material” based on only one meeting.
This type of logic is what gets people into trouble. How many of us have known couples or even ourselves experienced how differently people look to us or one another after spending consistent time with them over a long period of time?
This applies to friendships, business relationships and even family relationships over the years. Dating is even more fraught with the potential to project and fantasize how we’d like someone to show up for us, before even understanding how someone thinks or how they’d function in a dating relationship.
Potential clients regularly share their visions of the potential mother/father of their children or their notions of a life partner in theory when I first meet them for a consultation.
Articulating their ‘perfect scenario’ is fine when speaking in hypotheticals, but such fantasies can often interfere with people’s ability to properly evaluate the actual person who’s in front of them.
Rather than jumping the gun to decide if the person will be ‘the one’, it’s much more useful to pay attention to how their date presents themselves, expresses themselves and acts during the first few dates.
People reveal themselves by not only what they say, but by how they conduct themselves, treat their dates and demonstrate whether or not they have manners and class. These character traits become evident, if people are paying attention to the person in front of them, rather than what they’re projecting onto that person, based on their own agenda.
Evie decided to keep an open mind and see Jason again. I explained to Jason that Evie’s reserved nature was due to shyness, rather than a lack of interest in him, which gave him the confidence to pursue a second date with her.
These are the building blocks of good relationships: embracing one stage at a time and moving towards the next phase with a realistic and deeper understanding of one another.
This kind of understanding forms a foundation of trust. Trust leads to a level of comfort that is a much more reliable measure of whether two people are compatible.
Attraction can often emerge later than the first few meetings in a way that’s unique to each couple, where the conventional rules simply don’t and shouldn’t apply.
Staying in the present at each stage of dating is much more helpful and fun than stressing oneself with having to decide issues that are best left to time and fate.
Stay tuned to see what happens between Evie and Jason!