- Origin: Tinder
- Backdrop: Little Jack Horner cafe in Coogee including rainbow and sunset views
- Emotional state: content with the weekend
She was there a few minutes before me and secured the best spot in the bar. Our actual date preceded with a pre-date phone call, just like a job interview sometimes precedes with a phone call first to weed out obvious misfits.
At this stage I knew at least that we were not a misfit. On the phone and in real-life she was friendly, open and interested in a wide array of things. For me it is not a necessity for the girl and I to have the same interests, however it makes a girl more interesting if she has some sort of passion for one thing or the other. I also have a personal theory that girls with a passion for something are also more passionate in bed – and I was hoping to test that hypothesis with some solid empirical evidence.
She also had depth and that’s definitely a bonus. No wonder her profession was clinical psychologist. It was too tempting not to ask what drives her in her job – though I knew she would have received that question by about anyone she met, date or non-date.
‘To learn what’s going on deeper in the mind and to help people leading more fulfilling lives’ she answered.
Though it was the ‘Mother Teresa answer’, no doubt that it is true.
It was also too tempting not to ask whether she can read minds – as the stereotype goes with psychologists. ‘Of course I can!’ we laughed.
‘Well, tell me what I am thinking right now’
‘Hmmmm your mind says you’re ready for some more wine’ she said playfully.
We chatted and ordered and enjoyed. Oh was it beautiful to sit at the Little Jack Horner Café, with the large windows wide open, a refreshing breeze coming though from the beach on the sultry evening, seeing a rainbow appear just before sunset. The musical duo played homemade songs, complementing the wine and homemade bites.
The lightly seared prawns in herby salsa served in a lettuce leaf matched perfectly, but were an obstacle to eat. So far I learned to never order spaghetti on a date to avoid spills and stains, but I was less prepared on this order. We both knew the juicy tomato inside would drip once you bite the leaf.
‘We can eat it with our hands, can we?’ she addressed the issue as a professional therapist.
‘Yes that is completely fine with me.’
‘I mean, would you judge me if I do make a stain?’
‘No of course not, I have the same issue at hand – literally’
She assured me we wouldn’t cross more lines from the unwritten date rulebook, apart from eating with our hands, like touching on politics or religion on a first date, and then we laughed again on how well-mannered we were.
‘A date is to feel comfortable, not to show off.’
A magical moment of silence and enjoyment passed. After writing this all down it looks like a negligible small detail reading back my own blog post, but at the time the dropping our dating conventions felt great, like we stepped into a new level of intimacy.
‘So just in case you actually can’t read minds, what else would you like to know?’ I asked her next, with a bit of a schmuck on my face.
It’s one of my favourite lines (and one of the riskier too) to ask directly what she’d like to know about me, it opens up to go beyond the ‘what do you do for work’ kind of standard questions, and gives insight in what she selects on, too.
‘How were your previous relationships?’
Ouch. I took a risk and got the other no-no thing to discuss on a first date. Now that we crossed the ‘read my mind’ and ‘eating dripping food’ line playfully, it apparently flagged we could also cross the ‘asking about previous relationships’ line. I guess I totally sent the wrong message there and I immediately felt stupid for my self-proclaimed ‘great line on a date’.
I wasn’t sure what to respond. A few mini-seconds of despair went by, I felt the date was on a tipping point in the wrong direction. I discussed my options internally: giving full answers would be way too early, ignoring or refusing the question would be a hiccup too. Finally I did answer, though only on the surface.
‘…and yours?’ I ended. Not that I was even the slightest interested in her previous relationships, I just grasped back to the polite reciprocity, and moreover to see if she asked me first so that she can then elaborate on hers later. and last but not least, I wanted to find out if I was her ‘rebound date’ to make up for some nasty players she may have had. If that was the case, I better find out now.
She had quite a few, some more lengthy, some more difficult, and though she didn’t say it out loud, it became apparent that she was looking for that one, long, amazing relationship. The conversation continued talking about how people match and what is important in a relationship. Possibly this gave her the comfort zone of her day job, but at the same time I felt she was testing how open and genuine my heart was. Though the conversation was not uninteresting, it felt more like a chat with friends rather than a promising first date. I realized I was unable to steer the conversation back to the casual yet romantic get to know each other that was so enjoyable at the start.
She walked me to the busstop, in her charm and cheerfulness that she was naturally gifted with. I thought I lost this one as our conversation got too theoretical on how romance could be, like a job interview comparing the resume with the needs in our hearts. As the bus arrived and it was time to say goodbye, surprisingly she kissed me, long enough for the busdriver to take note I was not going to board and left.
I didn’t see the kiss coming (I can’t read minds like her profession) and I was slightly surprised that the clumsy wait-to-the-last-moment-to-kiss just happened right there, as if I didn’t have any past experience to plan that out a bit better, though it did made me feel like a schoolboy again, elated and proud.
We walked to the beach for a few more kisses in a more private setting. She did kiss passionately, my theory that girls with a passion in life have that on the physical level too gained further proof. She then had to go home as it was a Sunday night. I didn’t mind waiting for the next bus, there are worse reasons for missing one.
I was probably a bit too worried about the talking about previous relationships on a first date, the ending proved it was not a turn-off on her end at all. But I did have my doubts whether we would actually fit. I sent her the ‘it was nice to see you’ text to leave the options open for a second date. Her reply was most perfectly manicured that I am going to copy it here in full (without names):
“Hey [my name], I had a really nice date with you too. I have to be honest with you though, while I think you’re very intelligent, very handsome and funny, I just don’t think we had any chemistry that’s needed for a relationship. I really enjoyed your company though and getting to know you. I appreciate your answers to my tough questions and also the kisses. Take care, [her name]”
A very thoughtful, suitable message for someone looking after psychological wellbeing: keeping the ‘chemistry that’s needed for a relationship’ as an external factor to not get into personal disappointment, and also addressing the ‘tough questions’ and our way to ‘say goodbye’. I think she was lovely, though I do agree with her we were not the fit that’s needed for a relationship. Oh well, I guess emotionally balanced psychologists who can read minds also have their romantic and physical cravings like anyone else. It was a good night, but I guess time to start swyping again.