First date: Free Speech or Diplomacy?
First dates are always tricky. One of everybody’s main concerns is: should I talk freely about anything or should I put a veto on some subjects?
For example, let’s say you are dining with your new date and everything seems to be perfect.
Suddenly, she comes out with the story of that friend who’s having a no-strings-attached relationship with a guy. What’s your reaction?
A disgusted face and a curt remark “I’d never do that”, or a beaming smile and an enthusiastic “That’s a great idea, what about doing the same?”.
Switching to a completely different subject, what if, for whatever reason, the conversation lands on the slippery issue of the war in Iraq.
Let’s say you think the war was a blessing, while she considers it as a new holocaust. Will you take the risk of telling her your opinion or will you just nod putting on an air of deep concern?
Or let’s picture another possible scenario; you go to see a movie where one of the characters has his/her first-time sex. Outside the cinema, you start talking about your first-time: will you stick to the truth and say that you desperately tried every way to lose your virginity and you finally made it by getting a girl drunk who you couldn’t care less about, or will you depict a romantic encounter between two soul mates destined to meet?
The point is that either choice you make, the freedom of speech one or the diplomatic one, you will end up facing consequences. If you decide to stand up for your right to air your personal opinions on any subject which might pop up in the conversation, you are likely to clash with her/his different point of view. And having an argument on the first date is not exactly going to help your chances to get a second one.
On the contrary, if you keep a low-profile attitude towards controversial topics, your date is more likely to go smoothly but, what you avoid today can boomerang back to you tomorrow. You might find out that you have perfectly incompatible personalities and regret that you haven’t been more straightforward in the first place.
If it is true that diversity holds an attraction for some people, it’s also true that all the surveys on couple affinity say that the more things two people have in common, the longer their relationship is bound to last.
So, all in all, is it better to go for the “be yourself” route or carefully weigh up your words? To answer this question, you have to ask yourself another question first: “What do I want from this person?” If your goal is an NSA relationship, be diplomatic; there’s no point in having arguments with someone with whom you’ll share … little more than your bed. If, though, you feel you want to build a long-term relationship, then take risks and speak up, let her/him know where you stand on some crucial issues of modern 21st-century society.
If you have to row about something, it’s better now than later, because, you can bet it, people don’t change.