I’m home this evening reflecting on the boring date I had after work. It’s always disappointing for me to work a full day, scurry over to a coffee shop and end up on the opposite end of a disconnected date. But I understand, this is part of the process. We can’t hold chemistry with everyone.
So as I was sitting there across from a very handsome man off of Tinder, I’m wondering, “Why do I feel so awkward?” This is not usual for me on dates. I usually feel embodied, present and confident. But the conversation was choppy, predictable:
- Where did you grow up?
- How long have you been here?
- Where do you work?
- Have you met many guys off Tinder?
Blah blah blah. There is an art to conversation that is important and, just like kissing, it takes two to get the sparks going! I did try. I really did!
He had gone to Burning Man last year for the first time. I said, “Tell me about one of your wild adventures…” He stumbled, had a hard time pulling forth a memory. When he said he worked for Kaiser, I asked, “What’s it like there for you?” He was short, to the point.
And then when I told him I had moved here from NYC, he said, “Yeah, I’ve been here all my life. different wavelengths over here.” I thought, this will be interesting to hear: “What do you think are some of the West Coast wavelengths?” I inquired, but I got a pretty vanilla response for someone who’s lived in the Bay for 39 years.
So what...What was it? Why was I crawling out of my skin to leave? It was that I was so disengaged and bored and uninspired! And that’s where the DYNAMITE QUESTION comes in! Yes, that question that blows shit up, that disrupts, gets a laugh, gets you thinking, gets you turned on, gets you feeling anything together, because that’s what a fantastic date is all about.
And he just didn’t have that capacity. I mean, I’m a therapist for crying out loud. That’s a pretty interesting job (yes biased and subjective here). But it IS! I craved for him to check in with “What drew you to that field? Why are you passionate about couples therapy? What do you do in a day?” Everyone likes talking about themselves and everyone loves feeling someone’s deep curiosity for who we are and what drives us to do what we do. And that’s the heart of therapy and it feeds connection.
And with the Dynamite Question there is a Part 2: a JUICY RESPONSE. Yes, when a dynamite question is asked, you have full permission to be playful, flirty, silly, enthusiastic, energetic, ________, ________ , you fill in the blanks. This gets the energy going, flame fuels flame. Be vulnerable, see what happens.
So next time you are on a first date, a date with your honey, a date with your partner – or with a great friend… remember the dynamite questions and co-create a conversation that titillates.