Over the years, we’re often asked why the first date didn’t work out? Why did she/he ghost me barely a week after when I thought the first date went well? Some say the answer is pretty straightforward for us since we hear both sides of the story. Indeed it may well be, but unless we’re there in person (sometimes we are) it could merely be hearsay…
Story 1 – Lenny and Emma: Lenny was single, and Emma was a working mum with kids with seriously no lack of suitors. Lenny is an ardent fan of our Dr Love sessions, and in the run up to the date he dutifully did his research as instructed on the restaurants we suggested, did a site recce and knew his way to and from the venue. But as fate would have it, Emma had to postpone the date the day before because she was unwell. We relayed the message and did the postponement.
On the day of the date, Lenny brought a rather nice looking coat for Emma since she had been unwell the week before. Her reaction in full view unfortunately, was less than positive – it seemed a little over the top for a first date in her opinion. The conversation veered towards her expectations in a husband, and in this respect he asked whether his academic qualifications would take priority over his financial achievements. Lenny was subsequently ghosted…
Story 2 – Donald and Mindy: Donald and Mindy are both in their late 20s, both swingingly single and both in the financial sector. Donald decided to share the tribulations in his life that brought him up to this moment in time, and this date in particular. He travelled extensively, and while witty, seemed to have nothing positive to say about his destinations, the restaurant he was in and ultimately Fabrique for arranging the date on a weekday instead of a weekend. Perhaps because his job was a real pressure cooker and his bosses were sharp tongued and dismissive. Mindy was keen to share her passions and travel experiences to engage her date. Snippets of the conversation were rather insightful:
Mindy: “I’m more a sea and beach person, so I took up scuba diving and have been around the region.”
Donald: “Do you see sharks? I hear sharks can smell blood, even from small cuts. Too dangerous, don’t you think?”
Mindy: “Oh well, I do rock climbing occasionally, there’s usually a belayer, so it’s pretty safe, especially if that person is heavy. Haha!”
Donald: “Heights are an issue (for me). Falling from such a height would be dangerous.”
Needless to say, we got an earful from Mindy, who kindly suggested we add more parameters to her already macro-laden spreadsheet for matching.
Mindset, Empathy and 用心. We should treat each First Date as your one and only chance – 宁可做错，也不错过. And if it doesn’t work out, well practice makes perfect and don’t give up, you’ll be better prepared for the next one. Head into any date or challenge with a positive mindset, and you’ll find the experience much more meaningful and pleasant. Also, self reflection and awareness are part and parcel of Empathy and thinking from another person’s Perspective (用心). Otherwise, life is destined to be lonely viewed only through our own eyes.
We think Lenny did great – just that for a first date, the coat was a bit heavy going and a simple gift box or rose would have sufficed. First dates are precisely just that – first chances, so there’s no need to bring to the very present all the future expectations or doubts you may have. However, in the case of Donald, the lack of empathy and self awareness led him to make the comments he did without realizing the impact it had on Mindy, and ultimately himself. If ever in doubt, please refer to our extract from Dr Love below.
“If you cannot be positive, then at least be quiet!” – Joel Osteen