Elizabeth Taylor married Dick twice. Samantha Stevens had one Darrin, but Elizabeth Montgomery worked with the two Dicks that played him. Even the 2014 Stanley Cup Final had two opposing Forwards, both were Richards. Without trying, I too had a date with Dick… and a date with Dick.
Let’s start with the second Dick and work our way back to the first…
Dick was a very nice man I met online. We chatted for a couple days, and planned a date for the weekend. Seeing that Dick was New Jersey based, I suggested we grab a glass of wine at Ferraro’s in Westfield, which is a great Italian restaurant with really good food. Dick was adamantly against Ferraro’s and anything in Westfield.
“Can’t do Westfield- my Ex lives there, and I don’t want us running into him,” explained Dick, who seemed to be very nervous by what’s in my opinion the perfect East Coast town.
“Ok… we can meet somewhere else. Where would you like to meet?” I replied.
“There’s a diner in Plainfield that’s nice. We can get cake.” was his response.
Not exactly my idea of a hip and happening location for a first date, but the idea of cake seemed to put Dick at ease. I met him the following night for cake, coffee and a very interesting conversation.
To say Dick was timid would be an understatement. He was very soft spoken, almost borderline meek. It was difficult to get him talking. I got him talking about his dog, his house, and a little about his career. The conversation really got interesting was when I asked him if he likes sports, and if he follows college football.
“Oh no, I don’t like football. Too rough. I do play tennis. My Ex and I played tennis a lot.”
And so it starts… why do people talk about their Ex on a first date with someone new?
Dick continued, “My Ex is a really good player. He played in college and almost went pro.”
With that, my inner Hardy Boy took over and I started to connect the dots. “Your Ex is a tennis player that lives in Westfield?” I asked.
“Oh God, did you sleep with my Ex?”
“No, pretty sure I can say no to that. Is his name Dick too?’
“Oh God, you DID sleep with him!”
This brings us to the first Dick.
“No Dick, I didn’t sleep with Dick,” I said, which made me start to giggle. “I’m sorry, it’s just kind of funny to me that I went on a date with your Ex, who’s also a Dick.” It probably didn’t help matters that I was still giggling.
“Oh, he sure is a dick!” said Dick.
“I went on a date with him early in the summer. Totally not a love connection, but he seemed like a nice guy.” And then I had to ask the question that 99% of the time only affects gay couples. It’s the very reason why I don’t plan to ever get involved with a Craig.
“When you guys were together, how in the hell did you deal with being Dick and Dick?”
“He’s crazy!” said Dick. “It’s very hard for me to talk to him, which is why I didn’t want to meet in Westfield and risk seeing him. And this isn’t the first time this has happened- everyone has had a date with Dick.”
Of course, that comment made me laugh, and again, I was not helping matters. Even though I was giggling, I really thought that Dick was going to breakdown in tears over Dick. He was visibly upset, and it was obvious that he was nowhere close to being over his Ex.
“Why does the topic of the Ex always come up on a first date?” asked a rather shaken up Dick.
“It doesn’t, Dick,” I replied. “There are so many topics that are in bounds for a first date, but the history you shared with someone else shouldn’t be on the field.”
Dick continued to lament about his failed relationship with Dick, sharing more information than anyone needed to know. It was evident that there was one too many Dicks at this table. I finished the last few bites of my lemon cake (which was actually pretty good considering it came from a big rotating cake cooler; the ones that really should be the New Jersey state mascot) and waived at our very nice waitress to bring the check.
Needless to say, there will not be a second date with Dick… or with Dick.
The major lesson learned in this not-so-fine date is one that a lot of daters have not mastered. When you have someone new sharing time with you, they want to know about YOU. They want to see if there’s a connection; a commonality that could lead to something more. Daters are looking for attraction.
On a first date, what is more of connection buster and less attractive than a conversation about an Ex?
I believe the “Case of the Two Dicks” might just give the answer. When I went on the date with Dick #1, he never mentioned his past relationships. Not once. We talked about sports, shopping and the fashion and music of the 80’s. It was fun and easy, but in the end, I didn’t find him attractive and there was simply no spark. Obviously from knowledge gained from Dick #2, his Ex is an active dater. I can safely assume that Dick #1 has successfully moved past his last relationship and is ready to embark on the next.
As for Dick #2, he is nowhere near ready to board the USS Next Relationship. His refusal to meet for a drink in Westfield due to his fear of seeing his Ex was the first sign. Dick’s reaction when I mentioned someone that happened to be the Ex in question sealed the deal- Dick isn’t over his past relationship.
I’ve given a lot of thought to whether or not any of us are ever truly over someone from our pasts. I believe in many ways our Exs have left a mark on our hearts and our brains forever. There’s a very big difference between being aware of the influences past relationships have given us, and being held hostage by the ghost of a past spouse or partner. Those of us that trend toward the former have their past relationship in a perspective that allows them to move forward. Those of us that trend toward the latter are the ones that bring up an Ex on a first date. Those of us that trend toward the latter probably need to re-evaluate their entry into the dating scene. Perhaps what’s holding them back from 1FineD8 is going on a date too soon.
Bottom line- don’t discuss your Ex on a first date. If your date brings up the subject of past relationships, simply don’t take the bait. Change the subject, and if your date persists, tell them that Gangnam Style was so last year too, and you’re not discussing that either.