The Discussion Forum feature on TruConnection launched last week, and so far there have been some interesting and thought-provoking discussions posted. This is a great way for singles to interact and casually communicate with one another, and, just like on the main section of the site, they are sharing only their photo and their writing for others to see.
One of the threads turned into a discussion about appropriate first date conversations (What topics are taboo? What shouldn’t be asked on a first date?). As I read it, I thought about the dynamic of first date conversations in general — the anxiety, the awkwardness, the self-conscious nature of the conversation.
It seems the only cure is to make light of the awkwardness (“this is the part when you’re supposed to ask me about MY job, haha”). But that only works if your date has a sense of humor.
Mainstream dating sites attempt to alleviate this awkwardness by providing as much data about your date as possible prior to meeting, and thus giving you plenty of discussion topics — you will likely already know your date’s education, social habits, income range, what they like to do on weekends, and more. You can pepper them with questions about these things, and prepare to answer the same question in return. Before you know it, the entree has arrived.
There is nothing really wrong with the superficial nature of first date conversations…but it’s not exactly ideal, either. What if you didn’t have a list of of characteristics about your date that you could discuss? What if the only thing you knew about them was how they expressed themselves in words?
If I were on a first date, I would be curious to know more about her job. I would be interested to know about her education, her family, her friends. And I’m sure she would be curious to know the same about me.
But these are not the things I would REALLY care about. I want to know about HER…not just the things about her that are easy to talk about and socially acceptable. And I don’t think it’s asking too much, even on a first date.
What if, prior to meeting her, I read some of her posts and comments on the Discussion Forum and learned a bit about how she thinks? What if I read some funny things she wrote on the site, and got a feel for her sense of humor? What if she read mine?
When we sit down together on our first date, wouldn’t our conversation be a little less awkward?
TruConnection launched in Feb, and currently has just under 500 members in Boston, NYC, and Portland OR.