art of the followup question in relationships, the

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“What are you into?”

Some folk get mad at the question. They say the question is trite, boring.  ‘What was the best part about your day?,” your mother would ask you at dinner, after you got home from school.  And secretly, you hated that question. “What are you into?” starts to feel like the grown up equivalent.

Nobody likes this question, but it’s okay.

It’s not about THIS question.

It’s about the follow up questions.

Ever watch the news? The reporter asks Man #1 a question.  Man #1 glibly spouts off his talking point.  You can TELL it’s a talking point, because you’ve heard the same phrase from a dozen others.  The reporter then moves on to the next question— and you’re left with, “Um, what?  They didn’t answer the question, they just handed you a talking point!”  All you have to do is ask one single stupid follow up question and most talking points will break down.  Because they aren’t expecting ANOTHER question. 

There’s precious little follow up in journalism, which is a pity. 

It’s the same in relationships.  

Someone who is “good” at relationships asks these follow-ups.  Not all at once– you’re dating someone, not interrogating them.  Slowly, over time, more and more comes out.  You’re into rope?  Cool.  Now I know that you’re “98% rope bunny” mention on your profile is real.  Or, real-ish.  You recite a list of basic interests that more or less match up with your profile, too.  Great.  At least you just didn’t blow off the questions or forget to update your profile in ten years— and actually none of your fetishes, interests, hard limits, etc are accurate.  

I’m just happy when people are brave enough to approach me at all. 

People are scared, nervous.  Why shoot them down for asking a simple question?  Obviously there is much, much more to you than a simple listing of interests.  But I am into my things, as you are into yours. 

Besides, it doesn’t hurt to clear those answers up. When was the last time YOU updated your profile?  Is it accurate?  As I write this, I honestly don’t even know what I said I’m into.  It’s probably right.  It might not be.  What does it hurt to ask?

So please ask me what I’m into.  It’s as good a starting point as any.

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