My Shortest Date
A little while ago I was having coffee with a lady, let’s call her Vicky. Having been divorced for a while, Vicky wanted to start dating. She asked if I dated and if I could give her some tips. ‘Sure’, I said.
As we peeled the layers, it evolved that this was deeper than just learning to download an app or swipe. This was about patterns, values and beliefs.
You see, Vicky was coming out of an abusive marriage and although she had mustered the courage to move on, she carried traditional beliefs. She hadn’t been on a date in years and thought that dating in today’s day and age meant that you were consenting to sex as well. Not surprisingly, that conflicted with her values. In addition to that, she struggled with body image issues. She didn’t have anyone to discuss this with and as a result, she had not met anyone for over a year. She also believed that somewhere out there was an angel who would come and rescue her from her current mess; as she put it.
I shared my view that she had over complicated the whole thing.
‘Going on a date does not mean that you have to have sex,’ I started. ‘A date is what you make of it – coffee, wine, food, sex, you get to decide.’
‘Really? What if I don’t like him when we meet? What will we talk about?’ she asked.
‘If it’s really impossible, then you could excuse yourself and leave. Normally, you try and be polite and at least finish the drink. Just take it easy and go with the flow. No two dates are the same and conversations are good even it they don’t result in a relationship.’ I said.
‘What was your shortest date?’ she asked.
‘Four minutes,’ I said. ‘It was very spontaneous and I was due to be in Westfield Shopping Mall. He said he was around and would drop by for coffee. We met at a coffee shop and I didn’t feel the right vibe from the start. Then as we started speaking and he asked what my plans for the day were. I said that I was going to shop at which point he offered to take me to Victoria’s Secret and get me something ‘nice’. I said that this wasn’t for me and that I needed to leave. And I left. Simple.’
I also explained that this is not the norm and that I only shared this to explain that it was okay to leave and suggested she only meet in a public place to begin with.
I also felt that we had to speak about the concept of an angel coming in to clean up some mess. True connections are those where we accept people for who they are – flaws included. By using terms such as angels and knights, we talk ourselves into creating personas that are larger than life, which not only puts undue pressure on the next person to deliver but also results in us getting disappointed because in reality we are all beautifully human. Also calling your situation ‘a mess’ and then waiting for someone else to fix it is just not on. I suggested some ideas to take accountability so that she could walk into a relationship from a position of high self-worth as opposed to one of weakness.
There is no such thing a perfect person yet when we begin to love their flaws, they become perfectly flawed.
We laughed about things and she knew I meant well. Gradually, she began to see an alternative, lighter mindset to being able to go out again if only to meet people and make new connections. There was no need to call it a date. I suggested she call it a coffee if it helped to ease the pressure. Labelling is totally overrated.
Labelling is overrated. Some of my most beautiful relationships remain unnamed.
I’ve never really written about dating but then I thought, ‘why not?’ Relationships are core to our very survival and have a potential to have a very deep impact on our wellbeing in totality. It’s okay to have problems and talking about them doesn’t make us small.
So on that note, here are my key messages:
There’s no room for status shaming Whether you are single, married, in a relationship, getting divorced, don’t for a moment let anyone make you feel that your status isn’t ‘right’. There is no such thing as a right status. I’m a very proud single mum and no one can convince me otherwise.
It’s okay to look for a date A little while back, I was chatting with a very senior single person who said, ‘gosh, imagine me on a dating site!’ Well why not? I’ve met all kinds from CEOs to saxophone players on sites of sorts. More people seek dates than we care to acknowledge and it’s totally ok to do so. Also, there exists a world beyond organisational hierarchies which is quite exemplary when we care to look beyond titles. It’s totally cool to let your hair down and lighten up a little.
So on that note, have a lovely week when it comes.
Remember to love yourself & own your status!
Vinita is a keynote speaker and a mindset coach. She is also a full time senior employee in financial services and continues to balance a day job while pursuing her passion such as speaking and coaching.
Her extensive multi-industry global corporate experience in blue chip firms combined with her passion for people and purpose gives Vinita the edge in bringing to you very deep perspective with practical tips that can help you fix problems.
Through her speeches and articles, she covers an extensive range of topics ranging from more technical subjects such as risk management, controls and automation to soft skills such as self-awareness, mindsets, leadership and culture. She believes firmly that true transformation requires a unique blend of a multitude of skills including technical and soft skills.
Vinita speaks at global events and has spoken at locations such as Sydney, Barcelona and Vienna covering a wide range of events such as the risk management, women’s leadership and mentoring talks for young adults.
In her career of over 20 years, she has spent time in 3 countries, 10 cities and 4 industries and has held a very diverse set of roles in prominent and FTSE100 firms including The Oberoi Hotels, BSkyB and a leading British bank.
In 2017, she published her book on fixing financial conduct the constructive way. Click here to get a copy of the book. Passionate about fitness and overall wellbeing, she is also a proud London Marathon Finisher & a member of the TEDx tribe.
Click here to see more about her previous workshops. Please scroll on the page to see testimonials.
Click here to read more about one-on-one coaching with Vinita. Please scroll on the page to see testimonials.