AKA I’mma Be a Single Harpy Forever
After being Surprise Dumped rather unceremoniously earlier this year by a person who had until that point pursued me hard & proffered, unsolicited, dreams upon dreams of our future together, I felt, well, pretty much like a greasy fast food bag, with a half-eaten chicken sandwich inside that the consumer had discovered to contain a lump of indistinguishable material, thus prompting them to discard the rest of the meal, squish the bag, & toss it out of their car window in the general direction of a trash can, with little regard as to where it landed. Run-on sentence aside, I felt & still feel like shit – replaceable, disposable, unnecessary, unwanted shit.
I’ve been exploring some of my patterns in relationships since then. Why do I sometimes date sociopathic liars, for one. Why do I often vacillate between dating people with whom there is clearly no future (they are not that into or open with me/I am not that open with them/we call it casual at the beginning & all throughout) OR dating people who swear up and down I am their everything until I inevitably find out they were lying to me all along about loving me/wanting a future with me/the fact that they are hiding significant relationships or keeping other fucked up secrets from me?* Run-on sentence number 2 aside, this post will answer exactly zero of these questions.
What it will do, instead, is show you how I’m safeguarding against ever dating anyone, whether charming sociopath or emotionally absent flesh-pillow, ever again.
I’ve compiled a list of First Date Questions to ask anyone with whom I might ever again find myself picking at tapas, complaining that the house white wine isn’t as dry as we had hoped it would be, & trying to hide our individual brands of crazy**. I figure, if I ask them these things, they will know to leave immediately & stay far, far away, ensuring that my stupid fragile heart will never be put through the BabyILoveYouWaitJustKidding blender ever again.
If somehow, the person manages to answer these questions or at least be amused by how my poor li’l brain is trying to take care of my poor li’l heart, then maybe we can go on a second date. Definitely not holding my breath for this latter scenario, though.
Without further ado:
First Date Questions
1. What is your relationship to trauma?
2. What are your preferred healing modalities?
3. Tell me about a time that you hurt someone. What did you learn? How have you done things differently since then?
4. Do you believe in god?
5. What do you think about climate change?
6. What are some solutions to our current social ills?
7. What kind of art do you like to make?
8. What is your biggest weakness?
9. What is your biggest fear?
10. What do you do when you receive difficult feedback?
11. What would your last ex tell me about you?
12. What would your first ex tell me about you?
13. What would your best friend tell me about you?
14. Name 2 or 3 friends who tell you when you’re fucking up. What about their approach lets you hear them?
15. Name a challenge in your family of origin & how it has affected you. What is your relationship like to your family now?
16. How do you prefer to handle conflict?
17. Tell me about a time you had to tell someone they did something to hurt you.
18. What are the core things you think people need to agree on to be able to have a healthy & sustainable romantic relationship?
19. Tell me how you feel about hierarchy.
20. What do you do when you notice your actions are out of alignment with who and how you want to be?
21. What is your greatest strength?
22. What’s one thing you want to be great at but aren’t there yet? How are you practicing getting better at it?
23. What is one way you incorporate joy into your every day?
24. Do you like children?
25. How do you feel about animals/pets?
*Shout out to the few people with whom I have had amazing, loving relationships that simply didn’t work out & eventually transformed. You know you don’t fall into either of these categories & you know who you are.
**I identify as mentally ill. I identify as crazy. I use this word because I am crazy. It is ableist behavior to use this word to mean something it does not (ie. “That song is crazy!”)