After I ate dinner alone on our fist date, Mike suggested a movie. I was intrigued by this guy and wanted to get to know him a bit better. A dark, quiet movie theater with a big screen commanding all the attention wasn’t going to help me figure out this guy who wanted to take me out so badly that he forgot that our date was a dinner date and ate with his family as usual. I had to learn more, so I was game for anything except a movie.
That left Mike with no more ideas, so we drove up and down Beach Boulevard, back and forth from Long Beach to Pascagoula and back, and talked. We were cruising in the Thunderbird he borrowed from his brother in order to make a good first impression. I’m guessing he didn’t realize that eating dinner before our dinner date was pretty much going to blow his first impression. Can you see why this guy had me intrigued?
We somehow went from small talk and getting to know one another to me blabbing how I was agonizing over a doomed-from-the-start relationship I was allowing to die a torturously slow and cruel death thinking it was somehow more merciful. I told my future husband on our first date that I might not choose him, and he might as well know up front, because, after all, he came looking for me at a time when I had decided I was out of the business of looking for somebody. Remember? I was eighteen and fairly sure of who I was. (I’m rolling my own eyes at my eighteen-year-old self right now. Go ahead, you have my permission.)
Our future Best Man promptly advised him to dump me.
This legendary first date of ours had all the makings of a first-and-last date, but let me tell you what else it had. It had two people who were open and honest about their mistakes and were willing to work from where they were.
Communication is not only important, it’s vital. Be willing to be honest, even if the truth is messy, ugly, or it hurts. Even if the truth is a confession or an embarrassment. Even if the truth is a risk.
Take the chance. What have you got to lose? Other than the burden you work so hard to hide and the pretense you hide behind, other than those, I mean? Truth affords both parties a measure of dignity.
Mike and I began with honesty – for better or worse – and we’ve managed to keep it up. If you have it, guard it. If you have to work hard to get it back, do it. Whatever it takes, it’s worth the effort because if you don’t have the truth, what do you have, exactly?
Take Home: Are you a risk-taker or a play-it-safer and why?