Recently a friend introduced me to a really wonderful man. Now this in and of itself is a novel thing…to be introduced to someone instead of swimming in the pool of online dating. After the introduction, the two of us began communicating via LinkedIn mail seeing each other’s professional history and that ever-important photo! After perusing his profile and work history, I felt something was missing. It was a bit unnerving and for awhile I couldn’t understand craving yet more information before we were to meet. Then, it hit me! When we use an online dating site, we have personal information that somehow gives us the sense that we know this person before we meet them. Of course, if you have ever done the “coffee date” where you get to see just how old that photo is, you quickly realize that sometimes very little of what they write about themselves feels true. “Loves dogs and kittens, favorite movie, “When Harry Met Sally”, all about world peace”..and then he appears and rages at the barista while screeching about the guy who cut him off in the parking lot.
So, why do we Google them, read each sentence of the profile and want information about their past? Perhaps for a good reason…is this a safe person I am meeting (for women)? But most often, it gives us fodder for a script that we begin to write from the moment we read, text or Google. The sorting, eliminating, wondering, assuming and preconceptions begin…and we haven’t even met them.
How important is someone’s past experience in relationships with former spouses or partners? If we postpone talking about that when we first meet someone, what could we learn about them that might allow us to stay open? Open to the possibilities that people learn, grow and DO change over their lives. And, look out for the ones that haven’t.
So, the next time you meet someone, try something different. Get to know them in the present and bring your new sweet self, the one that has a ton of life experience to share and ask yourself, “What is important NOW?”. You have grown and changed, and you know…he probably has too.