Everyone knows when spouses get into trouble, it’s wise to go and see a specialist to help sort out communication and major issues before a divorce ensues. Next came Pre-Marital therapy which started with a member of the clergy (but eventually any psychology specialist went into the business) meeting with the engaged couple to talk about commitment and honoring their vows and getting the soon to be newlyweds off to a healthy start emotionally. After that there was the Invention of Couple’s Counseling which sounds like what it is — a couple has been dating exclusively but maybe there are some problems they’d like to nip in the bud before they become more destructive.
But why stop there? I think I’m on to something by introducing 1st Date Dilemma Dissection. In fact, I will volunteer to try it below with a reputable trained therapist….listen in!
Therapist: Okay, so you met on Match dot com and you both felt you had something in common worth pursuing after the initial coffee meeting.
Him: Well weirdly she doesn’t like coffee, but I love it.
Me: He didn’t say “weirdly” back then. He said he found me an original.
Him: An original with freakishly white teeth.
Therapist: Be that as it may — after your first meet-up, the two of you agreed to go to dinner and a movie.
Him: Even though you can’t really talk in a movie. But if that’s what the lady wanted….
Me: The Oscars are coming and I’ve only seen 8 out of the 10 contenders.
Therapist: Seems pretty OCD. So at the restaurant, Stephanie turned to you and said? Stephanie?
Me: I’ll have the cobb salad, without bacon, substitute feta for the crumbled bleu cheese, and dressing on the side.
Therapist: And how did that make you feel, Him?
Him: Kinda like a waiter.
Me: That’s simply not true. I never ….
Therapist: (raises a finger) Bup, bup, bup….his perception is his reality, dear.
Him: To be fair, I had asked her what she felt like eating.
Therapist: Be that as it may, you were starting to sense perhaps a power struggle or control issues.
Me: Well I had given him a head’s up that I am kind of a picky eater so it didn’t come as a surprise.
Him: No biggie. And after we ordered I noticed she was shivering so I put my jacket over her shoulders.
Therapist: And how did that make you feel? Like she was needy? Codependent?
Him: I hadn’t thought of that.
Therapist: And how did that jacket make you feel, Stephanie? Like he was a rescuer?
Me: Well honestly, he misconstrued my body language. I wasn’t cold. I was trembling because someone walked by the window with a python and I have a snake phobia. And also his jacket smelled of cigars which I find disgusting.
Him: Uh, I didn’t know that. I raise snakes. But I’m trying to quit cigars.
Therapist: Cold turkey?
Me: Yes his turkey arrived cold and I encouraged him to speak up to our server and send it back and …
Therapist: Bup, bup, bup. We’re getting ahead of ourselves here. It’s not time to discuss assertiveness. I’d like to focus on his lack of disclosure about his smoking habit.
Him: I give you my word, Stephanie. I’ve just had my last cigar. You’re worth it.
Me: Awww, I totally trust you.
Therapist: Snakes AND Cigars?? You do know what those things symbolize in Freudian psychology, right?
Him: Done! Why don’t we plan a second date and go to Disneyland and I’ll pack us a pic…
Therapist: Bup, bup, bup. Be that as it may, I’d like you to turn to Stephanie and look her in the eyes and tell her what bothers you right now.
Him: (looks deeply into my pupils) I can’t stand this shrink saying “bup bup bup” every two seconds.
Me: Right? And what’s up with “Be that as it may??”
Him: What are the odds we’d both feel the same way at the exact same moment? That’s some hot chemistry we have going on.
Me: Smoking hot!
Him: Please don’t mention smoking.
Me: Sorry. But seriously, who talks like that?
Therapist: Well I do. I do? I do! Oh, that’s right. We should discuss both of your feelings about marriage.
Him: Wanna lose this chick and grab a drink and then go dancing?
Me: Oh what do you drink? And what’s your last name again so I can put you in my contacts?
Therapist: That’s all the time we have this week. We’ll have to discuss his last name and his drinking problem when we reconvene.
Tada! That’s how you get a first date off on the right foot….pick a really crummy therapist to dislike equally and bond over.