Job interviews and dating have a lot in common. They both involve a great deal of verbal and physical posturing, specific outfits and, at least one party wondering how truthful the other was… and if it was a one time encounter. Of course, a job interview is typically focused entirely on trying to land a position, while dating is a series of lengthy dinners and various recreational activities with the rather ambiguous goal of “getting to know each other.”
First dates, at least in my experience, typically cover the basics. Profession, state or town of origin, and a lengthy list of the most interesting hobbies that each participant can rattle off. A recent first date of mine resembled a geography bee as my date angled to impress me with the various places to which he had traveled.
No one wants to appear to be unattractive, either physically or otherwise, while on a date. So, hewing to advice long ingrained in us by our parents and teachers we stay away from topics like religion, doctors and politics. I may know whether the man sitting across from me is the “nice Jewish boy” of my (and my mother’s) dreams based upon stories of a childhood at Camp Ramah or be able to guess based upon a last name ending in “stein” or “witz,” but unless I ask, how will I know how he feels about abortion?
Straddling religion and politics, the A-word, as I privately call it, is at once both intensely personal and wildly inflammatory given the current political environment. There is no easy way to slip it into conversation on a first date. On a second or third date, when we have moved on to feigning enthusiasm for activities like bowling, salsa dancing and traipsing through numerous local tourist attractions, it seems even harder to ask the question. After all, the goal while dating is to show off the most fun, worldly yet not crazy version of ourselves, and while abortion is implicitly linked to sex, there is nothing sexy about it.
Still, I cannot imagine ever hopping into bed with someone without knowing now he feels about abortion and the current laws restricting it.
I’m curious, am I the only one who struggles with how to best ferret out is nugget of information? Would you stop dating an otherwise seemingly normal person if you found out that they were anti-choice?