I loathe small talk. I hate entering an Uber and having the driver proceed to talk about the most mundane subjects just to keep away from radio silence. I just want to sit in peace with my phone. Is that too much to ask? There are days I will go out of my way and avoid conversing with people at work, whether that means taking the long route into the building where I don’t see as many people or cutting through the hallway to avoid passing people… I have being anti-social down to a science. But small is great for passing by, then why do we use it when we go on dates?
After listening to an episode of Modern Love, where actor Paul Rust read 'The End of Small Talk,' an article to discussing the writer's journey of asking people big questions to begin a personal dialogue. It got me thinking, when it comes to dating we are setting ourselves up for failure with small talk? When we present ourselves on dates, we find ourselves discussing blasé topics such as, what we do for work, our favorite movies, what kind of music we listen to. Yes, in some way it connects us but overall it doesn’t really bring anything depth to the surface.
As a single girl, I go on my fair share of dates, but one thing I hate is the small talk that is inevitable for the first date. I mean, I dread it! I mean, dating can be fun but if it’s the usual dinner and drinks, it can feel like groundhog day. The idea we are trying to get to know one another by sharing basic resume format with one another is sufficient enough for one another to gauge if we are compatible.
A few years back I went on a second date with a guy and we decided to share all of our baggage with one another. That might be an early dating no-no to some, but it was great to get beyond the façade of who we really are and what we have been through. We were upfront with what we were both still dealing with when it comes to previous events that had hurt us. Out of all the crazy dating experiences, I found that one to be my most profound because we were both willing to share intimate details about a stranger to truly know each other. At first I thought it was just a funny antidote about our date but looking back, we were really brave to share what we had been through to one another and accept each other for it.
Going forward, I want to go on dates that are worthwhile, ones that really takes us out of our comfort zones, whether it being an activity or sharing intimate details about ourselves. But for sure, I’m no longer dealing with small talk because who has time for that in your 30’s? No wonder so many of us are having trouble dating, we can’t truly know one another. I want to know my date’s biggest fears. I want to know my date’s happiest moment in their previous relationship. I want to know what they have learned about themselves in the last 5 years. What’s holding them back from finding a new relationship? It might feel like an interview, but it sure beats that, “oh, I really love drinking whiskey. You too!” Because time is ticking and life is too short to experience another somewhat good date where we find out our favorite movie is The Royal Tenebaums.
Anyone else want to take the pledge with me?