People get a lot of advice before heading off on a date. Siblings, parents, mashpias-they're all ready to offer their own "Ten Topics To Discuss" and "What Grandma Told Me That Worked For All Of Her Children, A Secret You Can Never Repeat, Especially Not To Your Cousin Until He Apologizes For Scraping The Car" etc
What they fail to mention, is that the deep discussions you have are, quite honestly, the biggest waste of three hours (or however many hours you marathon for) you'll ever come across. Oho! Wait! Before flinging your stacks of books, notes and other dating-advice paraphernalia (not your mashpia, though), let me illustrate my point with the following third date deep discussion scenario.
G: (in one swift breath) If we go out again and then decide to get married and then do get married and then have kids and then need to discipline them, (pause) how would you do it?
g: Well, (leans back, takes a swig of iced something) [insert random discipline philosophy]
Please note: In general, it's best to be on your best Public Relations mode when on a date. In other words, even if you firmly believe that every child's backside needs a firm swat, you won't say that, because your date will swiftly conclude that a)If this is your best PR mode b)and you're talking about physical discipline c)that discipline may be directed towards others, such as neighbors, pets and perhaps even themselves d)…where's my pepper spray.
But…fast-forward a bit…long after the ice has melted and the hotel staff has changed the cheap wallpaper design…It's three in the morning and you're trying to finish an assignment before that blasted sun rises again. Suddenly, your tuba toting toddler decides that three in the morning is a GREAT time to practice his new musical composition (titled "Cat Falling Down The Stairs").
I can't tell you exactly what will happen, but I can guarantee that what follows will in no way at all resemble that eloquent discipline philosophy you had spouted earlier.
This is true for nearly all topics. All. You can't really know how you'll spend money, or where you'll live, or who will be the one to go and rob the banks, etc. until you're actually there. So what is the point of dating, you sigh. What should we talk about besides for sports and the weather and past summer experiences? Ahh, now if people would only listen to me, life would be a lot simpler….
Your purpose is simple. You are there to answer three questions. This doesn't mean that you'll marry your date, but at least you'll know whether it's a great catch or merely a phish.
Question 1: Can you live with this person?
Oh, sure they talk to you about the spiritual connection that you have. And they'll go on and on about how you need to look past the outer layer and discover the inner gem. But honestly, let's not forget that you'll have to actually live with the outer part of the person too.
Periodically throughout the date, you should do the following exercise: Close your eyes. Imagine that you have been up all night, working on a paper that your computer has just regurgitated. You're holding a cup of water, trying vainly to pretend that it's coffee, even though you know that you finished the last coffee in the house (including those little candies) at three in the morning. You stumble bleary eyed into the kitchen and nearly break your neck as you trip over an itsy bitsy piece of lego. Somehow, the puny ounce of water manages to reduce you to a soaking, sodden mess.
Now, quick, open your eyes. Is that really the face that you want to be greeting you in the kitchen?
You should do this at random times throughout the date. Don't worry. Your date has probably read this post too. And if they haven't, then at least you've answered question number two for them.
Question 2: Is this person normal.
While normal is a relative term (for example, your relatives are always/never normal), there are some basic baselines. And if you need those spelled out, then my friend, you need a lot more help than what's to be found here.
(If they do a lot of blinking during the date, they're probably testing out Question 1. And if they haven't thrown up, then you're probably doing pretty well)
This is where I get lazy and the post gets personal. Everyone has their own specific criteria. You fill it in here. Don't forget to devise a test for that criteria. For example, some people are concerned about consideration. A good way to judge consideration is by the person's actions. If your date suggests a bank heist, but neglects your mask, they are probably not considerate.
In any case, don't forget to drop me a line if things work out despite my advice. My party favors are ready and loaded.