Name: Gina Kerrigan
Location: Washington, DC
I once met the CEO of a very well known tech company through a dating site. His request was unusual. He wanted to meet up in the Human Sexuality section of the local Barnes and Noble—and asked that I wear a pencil skirt, silk blouse, pearls, and half-glasses on a chain.
Best Date You’ve Been On?
A New Year’s Eve stroll through a graveyard. Well, it really just began as a simple hike. “Paul” and I had been trying for over a month to schedule in a second date, but the hectic holiday season intervened. December 31 dawned bright and mild, so I emailed Paul to ask whether he might just want to join me on my favorite walking trail through a historic Quaker village. He said he’d love to, and we had a great, brisk hike through the hilly countryside. At the end of the trail are the original Quaker meetinghouse and 300-year-old cemetery. We meandered through the peaceful, well-tended graveyard reading headstones, coming up with storylines for some of the prominent families, wondering about the guy who survived four wives, and trading lines from J. Alfred Prufrock. It was a perfect—if somewhat perverse—way to prepare for a new year. And it turned out to be the beginning of a beautiful romance.
What’s your most embarrassing dating story?
One first date brought his morose married buddy along. (Seems the guy had just had a fight with his wife, and my very considerate date thought that joining in some first-date fun would be just the thing to cheer his pal up.) When I walked into the restaurant and greeted my date, he poked his friend in the ribs and said, “See? I toldja she looks like June Cleaver.”
What do you think a relationship is about?
Oscar Wilde wrote, “Between men and women there is no friendship possible. There is passion, enmity, worship, love, but no friendship.” I disagree. A truly great relationship is, I believe, that miraculous place where deep friendship somehow takes root–even while being flooded by adrenaline, dopamine, and tears.
What golden bit of online dating advice would you give?
Treat dating as a quest for priceless self-knowledge, not as a coupling mission. If you’re too lonely to go about it with a sense of fun and discovery, then wait. Your desperation will waft out upon the breezes and attract all of the personality-disordered cretins within a 100-mile radius.