I wanted to spend this blog asking a question… why do we ask questions? I mean, the obvious answer is to learn, and gather opinion and information, but we’re not all on the same page when it comes to what is an appropriate question, when to ask them, and how much detail is required from our reply. So, are you ready to jump in?
I went on a date recently with someone I met online. We’d done the whole ask questions back and forth over text before we met up, which were all very basic get to know you questions like ‘what’s your favourite colour’ or ‘do you have any pets’. One or two got a bit deeper, like ‘what would be the perfect day for you’, but none of the questions really demanded any soul-bearing information. Me describing how I’d like to wake up to fresh coffee and smashed avocado toast, then go into town to see an art exhibit, walk around trendy bookshops, do some painting in the backyard and have a glass of wine before a bowl of cheesy pasta does give some good information about a) how to impress me, and b) some of my likes, but I’m not offering any trust to the recipient by saying so. Side note, this isn’t a complaint! Just an observation. So we went out to dinner as our first date, and it was lovely. The thing about dinner, though, is that it’s a talk-heavy outing. What else is there to do? Our questions got more and more intense as we made it through each course, and then he asked me some really intense questions.
The first that caught me off guard was whether or not I thought I was capable of murder in any circumstance. Could I kill a stranger to protect a friend? Would I kill an abusive partner if I felt it was my only escape? Would I go full John Wick and go after the person who killed my dog? How would I feel about testifying against someone in court that would almost definitely get the death penalty as a result of my involvement? Honestly, my immediate reaction was to say of course I would to protect someone I loved, maybe not in vengeance, but it just felt like such a strange thing to say to someone I barely knew. ‘Yeah, I could probably commit murder’ doesn’t usually lend itself to a second date. But I indulged him, and he answered for himself so I wasn’t the only one playing along. The next question somehow shocked me more, how has your mental health been recently, and how do you keep yourself feeling and thinking healthily? I sat there, stuck as to whether I should let him know all about my therapy sessions, and the various traumatic events that led to it being a necessity. Because man, that it really opening yourself up. I was going to keep my various instabilities under wraps until there was a good chance of a serious relationship forming! He realised that I might not have a simple answer, and went first. I realised, as he was speaking, that he was telling me a lot of personal information. I was so worried about opening myself up to ridicule, as he was opening himself up to me! So I have mixed feelings about this Q+A session, but we’re going on a second date so it can’t be all bad.
I can’t leave without asking you a question, so do you have any questions that you’ve been asked that made you panic? Weird ones, intimate ones, or just came from out of the blue? And how did you respond? I would love to know!