I am a 65-year-old widower and recently had instant chemistry with a woman. Within days we felt like our relationship was a comfortable old shoe. The relationship grew quickly — she told me to slow down — I didn’t. After a few weeks and a few warnings, she terminated the relationship by email. She refuses to talk or give it another try. How can I woo her back?
I suggest contacting her the same way she broke off the relationship — via email. But first, make sure you truly comprehend what happened to bring an end to the relationship and take ownership of it. It seems from your letter like you understand that she asked you to slow down a number of times and that you didn’t listen, but don’t make excuses to her as to why you didn’t listen.
This letter needs to be about all the amazing things you like about her and how she makes you feel and how you hope to make her feel. Don’t make it all about you; if you want her back then it has to be about her — you already made it about you when you ignored her warnings and kept moving quickly when she wanted to slow down. You need to show her that you now understand where she’s coming from and offer to date her rather than jump back into a serious relationship. She may not want to though and you will have to accept that, but it’s worth a try!
under Date Night
Nowadays, no one has the patience to wait for much at all: Everything is fast paced. Long gone are the days of flipping through a little black book to find a date for next weekend. Welcome to the days of swiping right and securing a date for that same night within two minutes. We eat fast food (or fast casual), we go to Quik Trip, we speed date, we make 30-minute meals, and we work out at 20 Minutes to Fitness. But… we are also told that you can’t hurry love.
So how does this all affect your dating life? More specifically, should the world’s fast pace inform your response time to JDate messages?
I’ve definitely asked myself this question before — when you feel the excitement from seeing a new message in your inbox — do you open it, read it, and respond right away? Do you play it cool and wait to open it so the sender can’t tell that you read it immediately? (Because, you know, you are way too busy doing important things and can’t be bothered to check your messages regularly.) Do you read it right away, but wait a while to respond? Do you Google the person’s username, try to figure out their actual name, and head straight to your online county court’s records to investigate? Does anyone else even think about these things?
After considering the pros and cons of each scenario, I realized that so many people walk around with their phones glued to their hand that it’s safe to assume most people are receiving messages instantaneously. So there’s no shame in reading right away! And while you’re on the message page, you may as well respond, too — the speed of your reply builds momentum and sets the pace for subsequent replies. After all, the sooner you read and reply, the sooner you can hopefully meet in person, which is usually the point of online dating. My conclusion: no sense in waiting to reply. Speed skating, anyone?
under Date Night
After a first date what is the appropriate follow-up?
- If the date went well and the man paid, then the woman should call the next day to thank him for a nice evening. Don’t linger on the phone though, steer the conversation towards when you will speak again or when you will see each other again. A text can sometimes be okay here if you know he has a busy morning; just make sure that it has a flirty tone so he knows that you aren’t blowing him off.
- If the date did not go well and the man paid then the woman should text the man a thank you. Keep it simple and short. Make sure it’s not flirty so that you don’t lead him on.
- If the date did not go well and you split the check, then you don’t necessarily owe your date a thank you… but it’s good karma to say thank you and wish the other luck.
- If your date did go well and you split the check, then you should absolutely follow-up the next day with a call to let your date know you want another date
- If the date went well and you are the man who paid, but you didn’t hear from the woman, then don’t write her off just yet. Don’t assume it means she wasn’t grateful or doesn’t want to see you again. Call her and see where that leads.
All in all, if you want another date with this person, then how can it hurt to call — or even text — the next day? Do it. Pick up the phone and call.
under Date Night
Seriously, sometimes you need to just stop talking. It’s easy to get on to topics that are not really first date material — you’re vibe-ing and finding commonalities and having nice rapport, and it’s awkward to stop a conversation that’s flowing even when you know it’s not appropriate. So try and avoid the following topics and prevent the conversation from going there, before it gets to that point. This is a brief list:
- Exes: husbands, wives, fiances, boyfriends, girlfriends (stating when your last relationship ended/how long it lasted, how long you were married/when you got divorced is fine, just no details as to why it ended)
- Death: you just lost your grandmother, and that is awful, but it makes you sad… so perhaps don’t mention it. If you must, just don’t expand upon it
- Drama: with your job, family, friends — Do. Not. Go. There.
- Talking sh*t: whether your date knows who you’re talking about or not
- Finances: ’nuff said
Of course there are other topics that are personal to you and your story that you may not want to share. Joke about topics that are off-limits and say that you’d love to talk more about a topic if and when you’re on a future date. There are so many more positive and engaging topics you can talk about without bringing up too much about your past, or bringing in too much negativity.
It’s perfectly acceptable to briefly mention when your last break-up occurred, or what your political affiliation is, or to play Jewish Geography for a minute, even if you find you have people in common you don’t like (see “talking shit” above). Make sure you are listening to the answers after you ask a question because that should organically keep the conversation going and not turn it into a job interview.
under Date Night
Are you a good conversationalist? Are you sure? A simple conversation can reveal how you communicate with another person — and communication is such an important part of dating that it warrants a two-part series! When you talk to someone on a date, are you open? Passive? Direct? Brief? Today we’re starting with a pop quiz to identify your conversational type, since conversations can really make or break a first date. And, in next week’s second installment, we will score the quiz and learn what your conversation style says about you.
Disclaimer for the legal types out there: This has no valid psychological basis – it’s intended for entertainment purposes only! So without further ado, grab your pencils and keep your eyes on your own paper (screen?).
What’s Your Conversation Style?
Choose the response that most closely matches your likely response in each of the following scenarios:
1. You have just met someone in person for the first time, and after saying hello, you:
- A) Ask where she works, where she lives, and where she went to school, all in a row
- B) Wait for your date to say something
- C) Tell him all about your work drama that just happened that day
- D) Ask if he/she had any trouble finding your meeting spot and then add you like his/her shirt
2. You’re on a first date and there is a lull in conversation. You:
- A) Ask where your date sees him/herself in 5 years
- B) Do nothing and look down
- C) Fill the silence by talking about what you had for lunch, including condiments and drink
- D) Make some comment on the décor of wherever you are
3. It’s the end of a second date, and you wonder if you will have a third, but you’re nervous to bring it up. You:
- A) Ask your date if he or she sees a future with you
- B) Say goodnight
- C) Retell the story of something funny that happened on the date
- D) Say you had a good time
4. You’ve had several pretty good dates with someone, but you can see that he/she has been regularly logging in to JDate. You:
- A) Confront your date and ask where the relationship is going
- B) Do nothing
- C) Say your friend saw someone she was dating on another dating site… and then proceed to tell about what happened to your “friend”
- D) Instant Message your date when he/she goes on JDate
5. You’re talking with your date and discover that he/she strongly favors a rival sports team. You:
- A) Demand to know why he likes that team
- B) Nod and don’t mention your team
- C) Tell him or her the details of the first game you ever attended
- D) Poke fun at the rivalry whenever there’s a future lull in conversation
Ok, time’s up, pencils down. You can grade your quiz here!
under Date Night
Before a first date you should call to confirm plans. Why? Well, it’s good practice to make sure you are both on the same page regarding when and where… and it also makes a good impression and shows your date that you’re thoughtful. But, it’s not the time to begin chatting and getting to know each other! Save that for the date itself.
Call your date, let them know where you made reservations or where you’re going, agree on a time to pick them up or meet, and end by saying you hope they’re having a good day. Oh — and don’t forget to say you’re looking forward to seeing them! Make this call either the night before or the day of, about 8 hours prior to the date.
If your date has an issue with the place or time, play it cool and be flexible — you never know what someone’s day has been like (hopefully you had the discussions about food aversions/allergies/preferences and what time was best for you both when you made plans originally, but things can change). If anything, your phone call will help turn their day around as they start thinking about your date!
under Date Night
We all have dating patterns — some good and some bad. Identifying which is which is difficult. Take a look at your last bunch of first dates, and at your last few relationships. What was similar? What was different? Not just their looks, or education level, or religious level, or jobs, or even their personality… but how you felt.
For instance, when you got those butterflies in your stomach on certain dates, did those translate into serious relationships or did the excitement crash and burn after a few weeks? Many people are searching for a “feeling” on a first date, and when they don’t get that feeling they write off the person before giving them a chance. If that is your pattern, then I suggest giving some of the dates more time: if the first date was pretty good and all you’re really missing is that “feeling” then go on a second date and see if the comfort level of another meeting will help the connection.
This is an intangible feeling, but we tend to put a strong weight behind having it or not. Remember though — more couples tend to be successful when their relationship is built on commonalities rather than lust; and butterflies tend to be an indication of lust.
under Date Night
I have a first date coming up with a JDater I really like. Should I offer to pick her up to show her how much effort I’m putting into this, and how chivalrous I am? Or will she be put off by the idea because we haven’t met before?
-First Date Driver
Dear First Date Driver,
I think you answered your own question! Do both! Tell your date you would like to pick her up if she is comfortable with that idea, but that you understand if she would rather meet at the venue. Then just make sure to tell her that you look forward to meeting her at the restaurant.
If she accepts your offer, do not call or text from outside, but rather get out of the car and ring her doorbell and escort her to your car where you will both open and close her door (if you live in a city where taking public transportation is the norm then do not meet her at the nearest subway stop… but go to her home and then escort her to the subway where you can swipe your card for the both of you).
If she rejects the offer, don’t take it personally. Get to the restaurant five minutes early, check in with the hostess, and then wait for your date outside. That way you can alleviate the initial nervousness of not knowing where your date will be waiting and if you’re going to recognize her from her photos!
under Date Night
Did you know that you are the CEO of your own love life? This means you get to make decisions, choose how and when to take action, and hire and fire people as you see fit. This also means that sometimes, if sales are low, it might be time to generate new business. So in the business of love, how do you go about finding new clients to interview? Or if you’ve been in business a long time, what’s the best way to keep your brand relevant? Ok, enough with the metaphor – what do you do if you’re in a rut and feel like you have already gone out with (or are related to) everyone on JDate?
Do not give up hope! It’s just time to employ some new marketing techniques. Read on for ideas.
- Direct Mail — Or, as I call it, Flirt Bombing. This technique uses very low effort, but has a potentially high reach. What’s involved? It’s easy — see who is online or who has logged on recently and check out profiles that catch your eye. Then send a quick Flirt to let them know you are interested! While I ordinarily recommend sending tailored messages to more targeted profiles, Flirt Bombing is one way to reinvigorate your JDate action.
- Change Your Profile — Update your pictures or add something new to the “About Me” section – anything to earn the little “updated” button. People like new things — this is why stores and restaurants feature new or seasonal products. That “updated” button is like bait — it attracts attention, so remember to update your info from time to time.
- Change Your Search Parameters — Do what you need to do to reach your target audience. Just like it’s probably not a smart business decision for the advertisers of the Jitterbug cell phone to buy commercial air time during the MTV music awards, it’s probably not the best decision for a 55-year-old guy to be advertising to the under-30 circuit. At the same time, you don’t want to narrow your parameters so that your results decrease. My point is that it might help to tinker with all search options — age, distance, religiosity, etc. — so they yield new matches who are best for you.
- View Lots of Profiles — This is another passive form of bait. If I see that someone viewed me, there is a good chance that I will click on his profile. So generate more traffic by viewing more profiles. You should at least get some new visitors to stop by your profile.
And one marketing technique not to use: As much as I love a good coupon, I do not recommend using it as a strategy to drum up JDate business. A 2-for-1 is great for dinner, but terrible if you advertise this as your reasoning for asking someone out on a date. Similarly, advertising that your first date is free doesn’t really come across very well either. You might pick up some thrifty folks, but this may not necessarily be your target audience.
Anyway, try some of the aforementioned tips and you’ll be back in business in no time. And if not, well, maybe your bankruptcy attorney is cute and single!
under Date Night
When you go on a first date with a JDater that you are super-excited about (as in, more than normal), it’s typical to pull out all the stops and do things a little more special than other first dates. Men could have flowers delivered to your date’s house earlier in the day, you could pick your date up in a chauffeured car when you normally would’ve met your date at the venue, you could make reservations at a highly sought-after restaurant rather than just grabbing drinks somewhere convenient, you could slip the waitress your credit card while on a trip to the bathroom, you could arrange for champagne to be waiting for you at the private booth in the back with rose petals strewn about, and you could leave your phone on silent and not check it all night. Women could arrange to get their hair done, have a facial, get waxed, nails manicured and pedicured, makeup professionally applied, wearing a new dress with height-appropriate heels, and act as though they are as easy-going and flexible as possible even though they are jumping out of their skin with excitement and anxiety.
Any or all of these things are bound to impress your date and leave them feeling incredibly special. Granted, you still need to fill the date with chemistry and conversation, but the wooing is well on its way. The problem? Unless you plan on repeating, matching, and upping your romantic gestures on every date, then you’ve set a precedent that will be difficult to match. And even if you do continue to roll out the red carpet then eventually real-life sets in and you will see each other without the shiny bells and whistles.
So here’s the conundrum: do you or do you not make that extra effort because you won’t be able to keep it going (no one can!)? You should make that effort, let the person know you think they are worth it! And once you’re sitting down and having flirty conversation you should simply come clean — “I was really excited about tonight so I took the time to primp/plan/etc., and I’m so happy it’s going well… just don’t expect me to look like I have it all together all the time!” Of course, that doesn’t mean you should show up to a date in your sweats after being snobby about the location.
If you like someone you should make some effort every time to show them that they are worth the effort. It takes five minutes to make a reservation so you don’t have to pick up your date and ask “So where should we go?” And it takes five minutes to apply a fresh face of makeup. These small acts let your date know they are special.