For the first time in a long time, I am actually looking forward to going on a “first date”, and it is not because we are going to a great restaurant to meet either. It is because it is another opportunity to find a new friend…and can you ever have too many real good friends???
We put so much pressure on a first date. It is like we are meeting our spouse for the first time. Well, ok, maybe we are, but most of the time we are not. And because we are so busy looking to meet our new significant other we forget that we are really missing out on a great opportunity to meet….hold on…I see you thinking…yep…the opportunity of a life time…the opportunity to meet a new friend….
Yep, that’s it…that’s all…just a new friend.
We all say that we want marry someone that is our best friend. We want our spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, or boo to like some of the same things we like. To like the same food. To get along with our friends. Go to the movies with, drink a glass of wine with, watch football with, cook dinner with. Someone to read the New York Times with on Sunday mornings in bed when it is raining outside. Play pool and go bowling with. Have deep and important conversations about saving the world with. Someone that know how important it is that I never have less than a half a tank of gas…oops…got a bit too personal there. But you get the idea.
We forget that what we are really looking for is a friend. We always want to skip the important part of building a friendship, and go immediately to the “Boo” part. I have been found guilty of doing the same thing.
There is something that a majority of women do when they first meet a man. We find out his name, and somewhere in the back of our mind we do the Name Test. You know the Name Test. Your take his name and your name and you say “Mrs. (fill in your name) Smith”. We write it on a piece of paper. We say it in our heads and our hearts. We imagine how it will sound when others say it….”Mr. and Mrs. Smith, your table is ready”. We envision how the initials will look on the hand towels in the guest bathroom. I can admit to doing that, and I can admit to being grown and doing it too.
When I am looking for a friend, however, that puts that first date in a different perspective. It takes the pressure off. You can be you and be relaxed. Then you can see if this person sitting across the table from you can be your friend. The first date then becomes a question of can I hang out with this person. Is this someone that I can be at my ugliest with and they still want to be with me. Will I be able I talk to them about any and everything? Will I ever feel comfortable enough with them in uncomfortable situations? Can they laugh with me and not at me or laugh at me and still love me? Can we be honest and transparent with each other? This is my friend, one day can I say – “hey, I am having one hell of a cramp today” and because he is my friend he knows that a grape Faygo and some Lays Bar-B-Que chips will do the trick.
Think about your best friend. How long had you known them before you called them your best friend? How many months did it take for you to be able to open up to them about your secrets? How long did it take for you to be able to be vulnerable with them and you trusted that they would not take advantage of you? The first time that you made an absolute ass of yourself in front of them, did they run or did they stay. The relationship that you have with your “bestie” took some time to develop. Shouldn’t the relationship that you are trying to create with someone you may want to be your spouse take just as much time, if not more?
It saddens me to see young ladies falling in and out of love so fast. They meet someone, go out on a date or two, have some mind blowing sex (or in some cases, just average sex), and they think they have found the one that is The One for them. Trust me…I did the same thing. I even went as far as to marry him. That was a mistake because I did not marry my friend. I did not get to know him, and he did not get to know me…we just had met, fell in love with each other’s representatives. Marriage is entirely too hard make work without really knowing the person that you are married too. Do I trust you? Can you trust me? How do you handle your money? What are your spiritual beliefs? Do you want children? These are not questions that you ask on the honeymoon…you need to know this before…way before.
So instead of looking for the next Mr. Boo Thang, let’s look for our new friend. This is more objective, because can determine if this person could be our friend without the emotional poo poo that we can get into. So when he eats with his fingers and belches at the table, you can let it go. When he says that church is a crutch for weak minded people, you already know what you need to do. When his idea of a good time is sitting on the couch looking at the sci-fi channel all day, you can quietly slip out the door. If he starts talking about the NASA conspiracy of hiding the aliens that are coming back to earth…oops…once again spoke too much…well, you know how to run to the hills from which cometh your help. We can be honest and say, this guy/girl can’t even be my friend, let alone something more.
Stop looking for Mr/Ms Right and start looking for your friend. You will be so glad you did, and your many, many first dates will be some of the most enjoyable dates you will ever have.