Last week I went on a first date. I had spoken with the man once on the phone before meeting. My motto, why waste/invest time getting to know someone if there isn't any chemistry or connection? I don't know about you, but I just don't have the time, energy or motivation (and as I used to hear as a child, to meet "every Tom, Dick and Harry"). In my case, I'm really OK if I don't meet Tom, Dick or Harry. Besides, it seems far too often, that the people that can communicate by email, hide behind the anonymity of a computer.
The date in retrospect was bizarre. I actually did some research on autism and Aspergers because some of his personal communication was so odd, I needed to compare his characteristics and traits.
Several things that stood out from any other first meeting: He asked me, "Do other people interrupt you a lot? I just don't know when it's my turn to talk and I feel like I'm interrupting." Granted, I can talk. A LOT. However, I usually do so if I'm nervous or excited, which I wasn't either. Other times, I will do so to fill the void or when I'm telling a story. When I explained that I felt communication was a two-way street, he didn't seem to understand. He also seemed to be very focused on the time and verbalization of money.
One other bizarre thing was that while we were walking on a trail in the woods, we came to a clearing. He said, "Would you walk 20 feet in front of me (giving me the hand signal to go ahead of him)." My first thought was that he wanted to check out my butt and I was offended. I inquired as to why and he just said "Never mind, I'll tell you about it at a later date." Immediately the next thought I had, "OMG, this guy has to F-A-R-T!".
One of the things from our "One and Only" (besides the fact that I tried to kill him by wanting to rollerblade 10+ miles) was he asked, "Besides honesty, what is the ONE thing you are looking for in a guy/relationship."
One thing? Just one thing? Of course I couldn't stop at one thing. Obviously there is respect, communication, chemistry...so in trying to joke I said, "the package, but not THE PACKAGE, but the whole package".
I can't let things go. I continued to think about the question as we rollerbladed on and he struggled to make excuses for his old blades, the fact he was at the gym in the morning, the fact his calves were killing, the fact that he was becoming short of breath...and I wondered if this man was going to make it.
What I came up with...A CHALLENGE.
The one thing I seek for and want to find in a successful relationship is a challenge. I want to find someone that challenges me more than I challenge myself. Someone that challenges me to be a better person - emotionally, physically, maybe even spiritually.
His response, "I can't challenge you emotionally or physically, but I can challenge you financially."
This was the fourth time in less than 24 hours of our first phone call that he had thrown out financial. He boasted about paying down $20,000 worth of debt in one-year; however, he had a live-in evening job caretaking for a paraplegic that paid his rent and bills and gave him $100 month income. His only bills were his cell phone, his car payment and dating. His reported his daytime income was $50-60k. He hadn't been able to save over the past year with his living situation but felt that with his reduced debt, he would soon begin. He felt that if he didn't date, he would be financially further, but he choose to live.
I asked him How. How would he challenge me financially? What advice could he offer? What did he suggest? Is Dave Ramsey his new best friend?
He couldn't answer any of the questions, other than he just did it. At this point, I may have actually offered some of my own insight (because arrogance without cause is just unattractive and I knew this date was likely the last), as I choose not to discuss my financial situation with others, especially early on. I looked at him as we continued to skate, he was gasping for breath, and I said, "I'm a few points shy of an 800 credit score. So how exactly can you challenge me financially?"
It was the first time he was speechless. He stopped gasping for breath but fortunately for me, he didn't turn blue. Ah, first dates...
What is the one thing that you look for/require in a partner, significant other, relationship?