James, who I mentioned briefly in my last post, was my good-natured North Dakota date. Since it was a rush job coupled with absolute blind-date madness, we agreed to meet at a local bar and just drink water. Forty minutes after our phone call, we were sitting across an out-of-service poker table, red velvet walls behind each of us, making me feel like we were in a wild-wild-west saloon. James seemed unfazed but to be fair, his roommate was the bartender.
As James had zero background or context on me and the fifty dates in fifty states project, he was genuinely curious about what Megan and I were up to. His questions organically led to a conversation about dating in general. Granted, he also said the date felt a bit like therapy…I think that’s a good thing? Better than a date with me being compared to slamming your finger in a tripod, though not as good as being compared to dancing on bubble wrap.
At twenty-six, he had lived both in North Dakota and Wisconsin, and said dating in ND is considerably harder (like me, he’d found the sheer lack of population made things a bit sticky). Thus whenever he did find someone worth hanging out with more than once or twice, and who wasn’t just another pretty face, it was a lot like discovering a diamond in the rough.
After the mushy talk, we wound up swapping breakup stories. A lot of guys want to know about the breakup referenced on the Kickstarter page, so I have the odd job of discussing it every few days – and I’ve decided if I’m telling the tale, my date has to pony up* a story of his own. His worst breakup? A girl he’d broken up with invited herself to his house and showed up dressed to the nines. Realizing that she was making another attempt at winning his heart, he had to turn her down all over again.
My heart broke for her, understanding her attempt (the Alicia of age twenty-five definitely pulled that one on a boy) but also knowing that’s the absolute wrong way to get your boyfriend back. Truth be told, you’re not going to get the guy back. He’s either coming back of his own volition, or he’s not. Your actions will likely only hurt your cause, not help it. (This works in reverse, too, dudes.) And I felt badly for James, too. Having to turn down someone who obviously misses you is not a position you’d ever want to have to be in.
But of course, whether you’re in a relationship or in a fresh breakup, the best thing you can do is be open and honest. You’ve got to say what’s on your mind and not be afraid of what’s on the other side. And when you’re on a first date? Well, in some ways, you get a no-holds-barred to ask anything that crosses your mind — and you get to find out how your date reacts. Which could be rather telling. James and I learned we are both wildly empathetic, easy to talk to and impossible to faze. Not too shabby.
*reference fully intended