Thursday, I met up with JP, a Twitter follower of mine and Alabama-based thirtysomething married dad of three. JP had read about my Dating Blitz across the US this spring and offered to share his take on finding love.
Over drinks at MoMa, JP admitted he was a moderate serial monogamist before settling down at the age of 28. Once he felt ready for marriage, he was single minded about it.
“I wouldn’t go out with someone because I was looking for the right person and decided they couldn’t be the one,” he said.
If he could go back and talk to his single self, JP says he would tell him to give people a chance and not rush into labeling someone as not a match. He also recommends doing activities without the intent of making a connection — but being always remaining open to it happening.
We talked a lot about first dates. I mentioned my disdain for “what do you do?” being the default go-to question. JP suggests asking something unexpected instead. For example–
“If you could do anything you want for a living that’s the complete opposite of what you do now, what would it be?”
Now 36, JP has learned how important communication and true partnership are to making a marriage work. As a lawyer, he says it would be easy for him to go into cross-examination mode during an argument — but he doesn’t because a committed relationship deserves better than that. It also requires being giving up a certain amount of independence for the sake of building something together.
Along with sharing his insights about love, JP told me that most of his friends are married — happily so. I couldn’t help thinking about something which came up time and again on my Dating Blitz journey, that people outside of New York are generally wired to leave singlehood behind much sooner than they do here. Which is one big reason why 2011 could be the year I leave Gotham behind for somewhere else.