I’ve found, especially in the summer time, that my schedule looks like a gigantic grocery list of things I have to do and plans that I scheduled three months prior. So, whenever someone “new” that I’m starting to date enters my life and wants to put their mark on my schedule, I find myself in cahoots with how to make time to see them and still maintain a balance of making plans with my friends and getting all that I need to do, done.
- Do: Block out at least one evening or weekend afternoon for this person a week. That should be a minimum for someone you’ve first started to date. That way you are seeing them a balanced amount in comparison to the many other things or plans you may already have. Try to make plans with them in advance and not wait for the last minute. That’s when you’ll find yourself stressed out, feeling like you’re balancing the social calendar of a Kardashian.
- Don’t: Feel like you have to invite your new “person” out with you because you are busy with too many plans. In the early stages, having them tag along to events or friends’ gatherings may be a bit weird and it’s truthfully not a very ideal place to get to know them. Instead of overwhelming them with how busy your calendar looks, give them some open windows you have for the week and see if they can make some time to see you then.
When I first meet a guy that really gives my heart the flutters, I always enjoy trying out fun new things and places with him. But recently, when a nice guy asked me on a second date the location he picked was his apartment and the activity was watching a movie. While that’s a lovely thing to do and can be a lot of fun, it was not a comfortable setting or something that exemplified that he wanted to get to know me.
Do: Take her around town. I’m not saying shower her with expensive dinners you can’t afford—there’s plenty of free activities you can do that are fun and also have a “get to know you” element attached to them. Hanging out in a neutral setting puts each of you at a more equal comfort level. That’s important, especially early on.
Don’t: Invite her over to your apartment to “hang out” on dates 1—a long time. Asking her to come over and play Xbox makes it feel like she’s just one of your buds and she may feel as though you’re not putting in a lot of effort to win her over or charm her. Dating is supposed to make someone feel special and having her sit on your fast food covered couch, may send the very wrong signals.
under Date Night
I’ve admitted this before; I’m terrible at responding to messages that float into my inbox on JDate. Sometimes I don’t respond because of lack of interest and sometimes because I simply just forget. That’s why I’m a fan of the second round of messages.
- Do: Feel free to send a second follow up email to a person you didn’t hear back from after a week or so. It happens that someone could be interested, but just forgot to respond. Or perhaps they thought they sent you something in return, but never did. Consider sending something friendly and leave out the “how come you didn’t write me back” attack mode. Remember: they don’t have to write you back… ever. It’s your job to make them want to respond.
- Don’t: Send a hundred messages. Know when enough is enough—kind of like how your stomach starts to punch you when you’ve eaten too many Oreo cookies. If you send two messages to a person and still receive no response, consider being done with them. Three is not the charm in this case, it’s simply just a bit creepy. If they don’t respond the second time, I fear they never will.
I woke up this morning with absolutely no voice. As if I had been yelling or screaming or singing karaoke for hours on end last night. Well, part of that happened. The screaming part. On a first date, in a crowded bar, I found myself having to practically resort to sign language to answer my date’s questions. The music was loud and the people trying to have conversations around us, were even louder. It was hard to hear each other and when the date ended, I found myself only being able to understand and hear 1/3 of our total conversations. Isn’t that a shame?
Do: Meet for a first date in an environment that welcomes conversation. A place where you can sit at an appropriate distance from one another and be able to converse, and not scream, or result to playing what looks like from a far—a game of charades.
Don’t: Avoid going to places that are infamous for their noise or an environment that’s not well suited for conversation. First dates are about getting to know someone and if you can’t speak to each other and have to yell sentences straight into their ear, all you’ll get to know is the smell of their hair. If you’d like to go to a movie or a concert, consider that as an option for the second half of the date and start off somewhere more low key and quiet.
Letting go is often as daunting of a task as making the first move, in the first place. You may start to lose sleep over someone you really enjoy the company of not making a move to see or speak to you. Instead of figuring out what may have gone wrong, figure out how to make one last effort.
Do: Make an effort with someone who interests you. Instead of waiting around for them to ask you out or to speak with you, reach out to them. Often times, we get bogged down wondering why someone is not texting us or begging to see us again. It’s okay for us to contact that person and say hello: as a friend would do to another friend.
Don’t: Keep trying with someone whose monotone and continuous silence scratch your heart like a broken record. If you keep on trying to no avail, cut your losses and move on. Refrain from harping on someone who won’t give you the time of day or is putting in the amount of effort that you deserve: which is a lot. Please don’t forget that.
For more Jen Glantz: www.thethingsilearnedfrom.com
Most of your problems can be solved when they are finally spoken out loud; when your closest friends pathetically judge them as you sit on top of your comfortable couch and blab about why something is not working out for you and how you desperately wish things would be a certain way.
Stop complaining, they will start off by saying until finally, after going back and forth for a little while, they will let you know that maybe if you want to change the way things are YOU need to do something about it.
Which was the case when I told my friends how I don’t get messages on JDate by the guys that I think are attractive and interesting. Their prime and dandy solution was simple: reach out to them.
- Do: Go after what you want and who you are interested in. Figure out what makes this person stand out and then tell them. Stray away from shy feelings and pump up your confidence level by reminding yourself what’s the worst that can happen? They won’t respond—so what?
- Don’t: Look at something that you desire and say I hope it comes to me. If you take that approach, you’ll be sitting on your couch, stuffing down a bowl full of popcorn waiting and waiting and waiting for nothing grand to happen.
Read more Jen Glantz, here: www.thethingsilearnedfrom.com
Most conversations I have with my mother ultimately lead to her asking for a schedule of any future dates I’ve agreed to go on. Which most of the time, my answer to her is explicitly simple and can be summarized in one of my most infamous and favorite sayings: I don’t have time.
“What do you mean you don’t have time?” She’ll demand, as if having a full-time job, perpetual errands to run, and an overwhelming desire for more sleep isn’t a good enough reason to name drop a phrase like that. “You’re just making excuses…this is your future we are talking about!”
Maybe she is right. Maybe “I don’t have time” is just an excuse for “I really don’t want to do this.”
- Do: Block out one day a week, if possible, for a date. That way when someone asks you out at the start of the week, you’ll have an evening reserved to give them a chance. If your life is off-the-wall busy, block out a few days a month until things begin to slow down.
- Don’t: Put dating on the back burner when a great opportunity to go out with someone or meet someone new comes to the forefront. Give someone a chance and be open to meeting people in the most bizarre places and situations—I’m very much talking about through online dating. Trade “I don’t have time” in for “I’ll give you a chance.”
For more from Jen Glantz here!
under Date Night
The internet gives us the best of times and it also gives us the worst of times. We can find out just about anything about the average internet user—AKA our new potential date. But how much information is too much information? How much intel is better learned through hours of in-person conversations and how much do we NEED to know beforehand?
- Do: look up someone briefly—just to make sure they are who they say they are. Search around until you have enough information to feel safe going out to meet this new person offline. Good sites to use for your search include LinkedIn, Facebook and Google.
- Don’t: Try to be an investigator. Don’t stalk through 5,000 of their Facebook photos, click around to find out information about their Ex, or waste too much time trying to find out every single crumb that makes them who they are. That’s what in-person conversation is for. It’s always awkward sitting across from someone, nodding your head and acting surprised when they tell you about how they were the varsity champion of their middle school soccer team—but you already know, because that’s how intensely you stalked them (guilty)!
Read more Jen Glantz here.
When I find someone who makes my heart feel like it’s pumping out an endless fountain of chocolate fondue, the next thing I am eager to do is introduce that person to my friends—the people in my life who keep me afloat and whose opinions matter more to me sometimes than my own flesh and blood. But it can be overwhelming and even if you beg your friends to be on their best behavior, they will slip in a comment to a guy like “Just so you know, you break her heart, I’ll break your face.”
- Do: Ease them in slowly. Have the new man in your life meet your pals in small groups, for a small amount of time. Have them “stop by” or meet them for one drink. Something casual and that incorporates just a bit of small talk. You don’t want to bring him out with you to a girls’ dinner or a friend’s Sex and the City Birthday bash—at least not for the first time.
- Don’t: Bombard the new lad you’re dating with a situation where there’s a tremendous amount of your friends circling him spitting out a fireball round of questions or engaging in conversation and making him feel left out. Put yourself in his shoes and understand how scary it would be for you to be introduced to his “Bro” world if a bunch of guys were spilling beers on your toes and playing a game of 20-questions.
Like most awkward and uncomfortable situations in dating, it’s best to ease into having your new “boyfriend” become friends with your “girlfriends”.
Read more Jen Glantz here: www.thethingsilearnedfrom.com
under Date Night
There are people who “try” online dating for a month or two, and then call it quits. They will go back and forth through a series of messages, venturing out from behind the computer screen for a date or two (which inevitably won’t go exactly as planned), and then decide enough is enough. They then throw in the towel and resort to living a lonely life of sinking into the creases of their living room couch, playing unlimited games of Xbox, and ignoring calls from Mom — because all she will nag about is why her kid is wasting their lives holding hands with a remote control. Here’s when you should give up… and when you should keep on, keeping on:
- Do: Give the online dating scene a chance. If it doesn’t work out, maybe take a short break, and come back to it refreshed and open to trying it out again. Sometimes it helps to just revamp your profile, or spend some time rethinking what it is you are looking for in a person and how serious you want to take this experience.
- Don’t: Go on one or two online dates and call it quits. Most first dates will be a little overwhelming or awkward, but that’s why there is sometimes such a stigma around first dates. Either decide to go on a second date with someone who has potential, or keep searching and corresponding with more people until you find someone else who sparks an interest in your head.
There is someone out there for everyone — the number of different types of online dating sites just reinforces that! Give it a chance, or two.
Read more of Jen Glantz here.