We all have them and some of us truly live for these conversations. These are the conversations that reveal so much about the person on the other side and sometimes, we even get the bonus of learning a few things about ourselves. Most people throw these conversations in a generic box labeled “getting to know someone.” I like to refer to them more precisely as conversations of discovery. They serve as the foundation to deciding how (or whether) we will continue to deal with folks we’ve just met.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I love to meet new people. In the past year, my circle has grown tremendously. There are new people touching various corners of my world on a daily basis, so I have become quite familiar with these conversations of discovery.
For the most part, they go pretty well. I tend to be a lay-my-cards-out-on-the table-and-see-who-wants-to-play-the-hand kind of guy, but I haven't always been that way. In the past, I have had relationships where I have shut people out and (out of fear) didn't reveal my authentic self. My fear was based on the belief that this other person wouldn’t bother sitting down at my table if they could actually see my cards: the real me. So yeah…I was careful to stack the deck in my favor, revealing only the hearts and diamonds while being low-key about the clubs and spades.
So there we’d sit: At a table, on a couch, in a car, or wherever. By this point, both of us have decided that the other is interesting enough to continue the discovery. Curiosity is a natural response to interest, so instinctively, the wondering begins. Stuff like…What makes her tick? What does he like to do with his free time? Would she use my toothbrush if I left her alone in my apartment? Does he have family? How do they look and act? These wonderings could last for days, ‘cause there’s a multitude of relatively mundane things you could ask and learn about a person in discovery. Based on how well that other person’s best self (what my friend Shakti Sankofa calls a “representative”) responds, the two of you likely move forward.
You kind of think you know when it’s a match. Like when you get lost for hours in these conversations of discovery and you experience the whole “No…you hang up first” phenomena. In fact, these moments can be so powerful, that you begin to feel like you have discovered all you need to understand. The energy at that instant is so vibrant that you might ask: Am I falling? But wait…we just met, right?
Careful now! You are definitely feeling something, but you have to know--it could be all in your head, your heart, your pants or…an omnipresent, kind of tricky combination!
See, the thing about these conversations of discovery is that they can be revealing and misleading at the same time. Remember that most of us try (whether consciously or not) to present our best selves during the early stages of a relationship. So at first, things seem to line up in a way that has you on cloud 9…straight trippin'!
This other person seems to be exactly what you are looking for but in most cases, you have to know: Red flags are on the way! During this discovery period though, we tend to see that the red flags as heart-shaped bubbles that play lovely, symphonic tunes as they disappear into thin air. We are just too smitten to recognize the signs that this person may not be who they say they are.
Newness can be an intoxicating experience. Enjoy it! Be in it! But please try not to forget to bring your rational self along for the ride. Take a moment to reflect on your conversations of discovery. Tune in to what is being said without tuning out on what goes unspoken. Within those moments, you may realize how much of a person’s true self is actually coming through. It is then that you can make a more honest call as to whether you will continue to…
Love them as they are, have amazing sex and communicate with intention.