"No Stupid Questions" - Q&A session
Updated: Jun 8
Here's a fun tidbit for all of you to enjoy: I was supposed to be in a podcast with one of my good friends who specialized in sex therapy, at the time. Both of us wanted to hit the ground running with a bunch of questions polled from our social media outlets. Instead of leaving the questions in the limbo that is my cloud storage, I wanted to bring this out for everyone.
Let's be real for a second. Hong Kong is one of the more materialistic places on Earth. With that also, it can be hard to ask real questions when you're lost or just curious because everyone is busy keeping up appearances to compete against every other person. It can be a claustrophobic and anxiety-inducing nightmare. This is where this Q&A comes in.
No question is too serious, too hard, too stupid, too out there, too specific.
This is an open platform to answer any and all your questions with anonymity and shame. However, I may throw some shade in there for the questions that are deserving of eye-rolling. All names shown below are made up to keep everything anonymous. If there is a name you recognize, good for you for having friends who share the same name. These are not those people.
Stephanie: "How do you feel about dating your friends' exes or past lovers?"
As we get older, it becomes an inevitability that someone you met will someone who will turn out to be a friend of a friend. This is much more magnified in Hong Kong as the ability to casually switch partners is greater due to the greater population density. The most obvious answer to this prompt would be to talk to your your friend first to check with them to see if they are alright with it especially if the past relationship was of substantial length. The last thing you want is piss off close friends just to go out on a date with someone. Don't be 'that' guy/girl.
Shaniqua: "Would you ask someone to officially be in a relationship?"
Of course! I give tons of people shit about defining the relationship. If you were able to get into a relationship without having this moment, good on you. However, most people aren't the most well versed in reading into signs nor do many people share the same love languages to affirm their desire to make things exclusive and so forth. For those, that fit into this category, defining the relationship is a good step to let your partner know that you want to take things to the next step. This establishes that both of you are on the same page and despite how awkward it may be to bring it up, I guarantee that you'll thank yourself in the long run for doing so.
Arnold: "When do I bring up the fact that I have an over-sized pecker?"
Two answers: First answer, you shouldn't. Second answer, when you are deciding what car to buy.
Jason: "How much eye contact is too much?"
Alright. Here's a little tip I've picked up from a great book called "Men are Waffles and Women are Spaghetti". They mention a small sociology test that was performed and found out that men and women (in a purely general context) prefer different amounts of eye contact. Traditionally, men do not engage in long periods of direct eye contact as much as women do and often find it comfortable to stare off gaze. However, for women, it is important to maintain a more engaged level of eye contact especially if you want to look like you're listening. However, since I realized that and put it into practice, keeping a steady eye contact especially during more serious conversation topics is key and, when the conversation changes to a lighter topic, occasionally dropping eye contact is perfectly fine. Just don't stare into their soul during the entire time. No one needs that.
Raymond: "Is it fair to split the bill or should the guy always pay?"
This is always a dicey question. As a classical feminist, I advocate for either going dutch (50/50 split) or tit-for-tat (someone gets one meal and the other gets the next). However, for a first date, there is a general rule of thumb, guys should expect to pay for the first date and should show initiative to do so. However, this doesn't mean ladies should just sit and watch. They should be ready to initiate in the time old tradition of wallet dancing. The greatest tip I learnt from a girl friend of mine is to sneakily take your wallet out of your bag and place it under your hands on the table when getting the bill. In this case, you should not be making any sort of mention or showing signs that you have done so. Just continue through your conversation. Guys are not idiots (at least a good number aren't). They will notice it and it will most likely give guys better reason to cover the bill with no hesitation.
Adelaide: "Would you kiss on the first date?"
Would I? Yes. However, before the score of "hoe" chants begin, you have understand that it is based on a date by date scenario. I've been on dates that felt like I met someone who felt like the other half of my jigsaw puzzle and others who made me want to gouge my eyes out with a spoon and clean my ears with sandpaper. For me, if the date is going well and hits all the checks in terms of the different levels of attraction and with some form of consent from my date, a kiss would be an appropriate gesture. If the date is so bad that I wish I could Total Recall myself to forget about the entire date, they would get an special invitation to the nearest taxi stand.
Bob: "What are your thoughts on gifting on the first date?"
General rule of thumb is don't be a act like an unnecessary white knight trying to win the heart and affection of a local princess. Don't give needless grand gestures on first dates without giving some sort of notice to the other party because it can make for an uneasy first meeting. The amount of times that it is okay to gift on a first date are few and far between. For example, I was engaged in conversation with someone I had met via Tinder and we had discussed our mutual love of McDonald's Singapore's Garlic Chilli Sauce. I just so happened to have some extra packets at home and brought them out for our first date. She was appreciative of the gesture. The item in question was not sexual or romantic in nature and was not a grand gesture but a mutual inside joke that we both shared.
Hopefully, this Question and Answer session helps provide some insight into the weird world of dating and gives everyone a nice chuckle for the weekend to come. If this style of Q&A helps, I will most likely take in another bunch of questions from everyone and write another article.
The Love Consultant