Angela Philipps, Contributor
Is this 'just lunch' or a sure way of learning if someone truly touches your heart? Contributed
It's casual and it's short. It's just lunch! You meet at one and by two you are safely back in the office. You have had a chance to talk in the light of day, without the influence of alcohol, so you can make an informed decision as to whether you would like to see this person again. If the answer is no, then you have only wasted an hour of your life. If the answer is yes, arrange another lunch. It's a great way to avoid the nocturnal temptation of going home for a 'one-night stand'.
They do it in America - it's actually called 'It's Just Lunch'. It's an online dating service that matches professionals who do not have time to go out to bars at night because they are too busy in their professional lives. The service arranges lunch or after-work drinks between clients whose interests seem to match. To find out more about this and how successful it is, go to www.its justlunch.com.
A while ago I re-met a guy I've known for years - meaning, I knew him on the social scene, but never really spent any quality time getting to know him. In fact, I always thought he was a little too smooth and supercilious for me. However, after a night of dancing and chatting until the wee hours of the morning, I realised that he was not a bad cat after all. We started meeting for lunch about once a month, and we just talked. Well, he'd joke and say I talked and he listened! The funny thing is, I still was not romantically interested in him in the slightest, but we had a connection you might find on the first day of school with a person who becomes your best friend.
The question is, is this a sure way of learning if someone truly touches your heart? It could be. For starters, at lunchtime your conversation is more 'sober' and serious, your mood might be less flirtatious and your agenda on the 'pulling' front is somehow very different to what it is at night. You have a chance to show the real you, and in turn they are doing the same. Plus, it's a great excuse to try out all those restaurants you've been meaning to go to!
The truth is you can learn so much about a person in this environment, without the complications that romance can bring. You get to know them as a friend, so you might feel compelled to be more open and honest with them. Somehow we do feel comfortable being this way with a friend rather than with a lover. So what happens if the integrity within this new-found friendship grows into love? And what kind of love is it? Is it just platonic? Or is it the purest form of love known to man - unselfish and without expectation?
As the passion dies within a relationship, the only thing that is left to hold two people together is their friendship. If this has not been established over all these lunches, then chances are you will become strangers again. It's the friendship that matters - it's long-lasting and genuine. And I am here to tell you, my friends, that I have experienced this first-hand and highly recommend that you at least give this lunch thing a go.
So here's what happened - our lunches and friendship led to flirtation, which led to a lovely little bit of lust, which led us right back to a friendship that is so strong it could fight a Spanish bull. What does this mean? What was the reason? It doesn't really matter. At least I know that, because of those lunches, my heart has been truly touched.