All Articles Tagged "asking questions"
A man and woman are sitting to dinner on their first date. He’s chosen a gorgeous restaurant and has an amazing smile. She looks absolutely fly in her new little black dress and he’s told her so once or twice already. SCORE! Flirtatious small talk has ranged from his athleticism to her impossibly deep dimples. Surface stuff? Yes. But it’s setting a cool, comfortable atmosphere and both parties are feeling each other.
Then comes the “Kiss of Death” question which SHOULD allow both people to assess where the friendship/relationship has the potential to go (or not) but more often than not it leads to even thicker masks being painted on.
“So… what do you look for/like in a man/woman?”
Time after time this one seemingly harmless question changes a person’s demeanor and behavior unbeknownst to them.
He says he enjoys women who have a good head on their shoulders, give great conversation, have eclectic taste in music, work out and are into football. As he speaks she’s working her way down her self-check list, mentally checking things off with a smile until the “works out” and “is into football” leaves his lips.
What the what? She’s naturally petite, doesn’t do much more than Pilates and rarely watches football, aside from movies that have something to do with the sport. She hates football. But she doesn’t want to lose this awesome guy. Quick! What does she say?
“I’m really getting into football lately! Go Steelers!” Then she pulls any and every football tidbit she’s ever heard her brothers talk about and tries to arrange them all in a semi-literate way, praying he doesn’t ask too many questions until she can get home and Google everything she can on the sport.
Or the other way around, he asks what she looks for in a man and she gushes about men who enjoy traveling and know their way around the kitchen. He freaks. What can he cook? A bowl of cereal. But what does he say, mesmerized by the gorgeous smile of this woman sitting before him?
“Yeah, I enjoy watching the Food Network to get ideas for new recipes.”
“Oh, you cook?” She asks him with eyes bright.
“I’m somethin’ like a black Emeril Lagasse,” he brags, as he frantically makes a mental note to ask his sister for cooking advice.
We have all done it at some point. So focused on maintaining the interest of the person in front of us that we throw complete honesty out the window. We want to impress. We want to be wanted because, well, we want them; Feigning interest in things we could really care less about and pretending to be pros with things we are total failures at or have never even tried. Then, IF a relationship materializes, we wonder why things start to unravel sooner than later.
I don’t suggest baring your soul from the first conversation, but it is important to remember who you are and to be honest about it from the jump. We forget that some aspects of what we find attractive in others often morph and grow and change as we grow and experience life.
You would be surprised at how often my open disdain for things has created a larger air of interest on behalf of the guy. Instead of shying away because we didn’t share one or two of the same interests, it was now his opportunity to teach me something which could turn itself into a successful second or third date, and who knows after that?
Nowadays I try to avoid asking such a cornered question as “What do you like in a man/woman?” Instead, I just engage. I engage in conversation about any range of topics. I engage in small silly behaviors like singing off-key to a favorite song. I engage in being me in front of him and honestly, even if a relationship never materializes, more often than not, I’ve had some great dates and secured awesome friends. I would rather be my random self than to try to stuff myself into an uncomfortable mold. Because, let’s be honest, many men have no real clue what they “like” until they meet her. Forget what he “likes.” Be you. Whether a relationship materializes or not, he’ll respect it and you’ll know that you’re being appreciated for what YOU actually bring to the table.
La Truly is a late-blooming Aries whose writing is powered by a lifetime of anecdotal proof that awkward can transform to awesome and fear can cast its crown before courage. La seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change among young women. Her blog: www.hersoulinc.com and Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly.
The vast majority of my friends are in their mid twenties to early thirties and their lives are littered with questions. Questions of whether they are on the right path, whether they will ever find true love, whether the love they have found will last forever, whether it is possible to find both contentment and financial security in jobs that they have chosen, whether they will ever find the courage to leave jobs that they hate to pursue what they love, whether they will be good partners and good parents, whether they will have continued health so that they are able to raise their children, whether they are fulfilling their life’s purpose, and whether it is wise to wonder about anything that swirls around in their minds at all.
The questions we ask at 20 are much different than the questions we ask at 30, but we all seem to be consumed by questions about our lives and if we’re doing things right. The funny thing is if we just keep on living, life has a way of providing the answers to the questions that we all ask at one time or another. Zora Neale Hurston, who I have great respect and adoration for, eloquently pens in her 1937 Their Eyes Were Watching God that “there are years that ask questions and years that answer.” There is great profundity in her words.
The questions that individuals have about their lives, and life in general, in their twenties are often debilitating. You can get lost for hours in a tsunami of thought obsessing over life, and love, and spirituality, and purpose. Yet it seems that when you veer closer to 30 than to 20, that although the questions do not stop, they do become less frantic and frenzied. The decade of life that exists between one milestone of an age to another provides insight that was not foreseen in years past. The older we become, the more clarity we receive.
If I could give my younger self any advice, I would look her square in the eyes and submit the popular colloquialism “you gotta chill.” I submit that same advice to you. Whether you be 20, 30 or beyond, the years will answer the questions that burn in your heart. Don’t waste precious years that you can never retrieve stuck on questions about the past, present or future. Instead, get busy crafting and creating the reality you want for yourself today. If there is something that exists in your life that you are unhappy about or uncomfortable with, the power exists in you to change it. Do all of the things that you want to do. Live your life to fullest and without a single regret. Fill your existence with the experiences and discoveries that you’ve always wanted to have. This life of yours is the only one that you’ll have and you should live it in a fashion that when your sun sets people will say of you what Hurston said of her iconic character Janie, “She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see.”
Sheena Bryant is a writer and blogger in Chicago. Follow her on twitter at @song_of_herself.
We’ve all heard those old adages, for generations people have recognized the wisdom children inherently possess. There’s “you have to crawl before you walk,” and “from the mouth of babes.” While these are some of the more popular ones, there are plenty of lessons we can learn from the little ones. If you have children, watch your kids they’re trying to tell you something. If you don’t have children, think back to your younger days, when you weren’t so tainted.