Archive for the ‘Single Life’ Category
Second dates are still not the right time for going to see a movie, live theatre, comedy show, or concert. You should pick another location where you can get comfortable and have a conversation. Find a locale that is both unique (to show you made a bit of an effort to choose something because you’re excited about the date) and informal — because you want to create a relaxed atmosphere to begin getting to know each other better.
It doesn’t have to be super expensive, but it shouldn’t be such a loud place that you can’t hear each other. And ideally this date occurs within a week from of the first date!
“JDate? Yeah, no one’s on that.” “I’ve tried it, but there’s no one on there.”
Have you ever heard someone say this before? I know I have. Heck, I’ve probably even said it before. But you know what? Unless you live in Antarctica, there ARE people on there. In fact, in preparation for this article, I searched in several different cities to find one with “literally no one on there,” and it was tough. Shout out to the JDaters in Anchorage, Alaska; Cheyenne, Wyoming; and Bozeman, Montana!
I admit that for folks in these kinds of cities, local dating may present some challenges. And as someone even in a mid-sized Midwestern city, I can attest that sometimes the options feel… limited. But, there usually aren’t zero options. It can be quite discouraging to scroll through the “same old faces” and not see anyone who interests you. I get it. And I totally understand why you might ignore the outdated profiles that have been cycling through your matches since the Bush administration. If you’ve used JDate for a little while, unfortunately it’s not hard for other “long termers” to become invisible! But I encourage you to take a second look. It’s possible that someone’s cover photo is unflattering, yet their essay reveals a more telling portrait of who he really is. Or maybe you exchanged a few messages with someone a couple years back, but now you’re curious if she still might be interested. Regardless of why you may have skipped over or subconsciously ignored certain profiles, remember – we are all on the same site presumably looking for the same thing. Give people a chance – there is no obligation to buy!
Conversely, if you haven’t updated your photos or essays in a long time, or if you’ve changed something about yourself, it’s time to update your profile. I know my eye goes straight to those little “updated” tags – it’s like a new and improved symbol. A couple times I’ve even wondered who a new cute guy is only to realize that he’s the same person I had previously overlooked – just with an updated photo.
Your online presence is like your house or car – it requires a little bit of regular maintenance to keep it working effectively. So unless you live in the Arctic Circle or a similarly populated place, it’s unlikely that there’s no one on JDate – just maybe no one who takes the time to regularly update and enhance their profile! So mark your calendars: change your oil every 3,000 miles and update your profile and/or photo to keep everything in good working order.
While you’re on a second date, your conversation should start getting deeper and deeper (as well as on your third and fourth dates). This is not just superficial conversation; you should be asking questions and discussing more in-depth topics. To find out if you enjoy the same topics, you can mention them and see what reaction you get: A blank stare? An eye-roll? A passionate debate?
If you like world events, mention the Iran Deal, Greek’s economic collapse, or ISIS. If you enjoy science, then mention global warning or stem cells. If you love entertainment, then bring up the recent Emmy nominations, Amy Schumer, and anything else trending. If you’re passionate about politics, then broach the topic of Donald Trump and then the dozen other Republican candidates. If current events get you going, then bring up the topic of racism and if police are using unnecessary force. And of course, there’s sports… but that’s an easy one.
You may find that you cannot see yourself with someone who doesn’t read the newspaper, or someone who only gets their updates from TMZ, or someone who’s politics differ too much to understand, or whose schedule revolves around SportsCenter. Differences are good, but you need to have respect at the core in order to have a healthy debate. If you do decide to enter into a debate during a date — which is fine — be respectful and don’t hurl personal insults or allow it to upset you. If that happens, then you likely have your answer about the fate of the date. Remember that looks fade, but the ability to have enticing conversation can last forever.
I don’t know about you, but I easily went on 100 first dates and only a handful of second dates. That meant that I was excited and nervous prior to a second date, because they happened so seldom! As I approached my date, I wondered… what is the appropriate greeting here? Just smile? Hug? Kiss? Luckily, there is a pretty simple answer.
As you walk up to your date you should do whatever it is you did to end your first date, plus a little extra. What does that mean?
- If you left by standing and smiling and waving, then keep that smile going but add in a little hug
- If you left with a hug, then hug again but add a kiss on the cheek or hug a bit longer and include a squeeze
- If you left with a kiss, then kiss again and allow the kiss to linger just a bit longer
- If you left with MORE than a kiss, then definitely kiss again to start this date
You both know that it wasn’t easy getting to a second date with someone — you liked the first date, you’re interested in learning more, and there’s attraction — so you want the other person to know that you’re excited without coming on too strong. You also still don’t really know this person and are understandably anxious for it to go well, by being prepared with how you’re going to greet each other then you will be able to get past the first hurdle quickly and move on the date with ease.
I’m pretty sure I covered every aspect of a first date with my First Date Tips series (click on these links if you need to catch up: Go Together or Meet There, Patterns, Confirming Plans, Don’t Talk About That, Ease On In, Conversation Starters, Paying the Bill, Saying Goodbye, Post Date Follow-Up, Don’t Analyze Everything, No Expectations). But… what about the second date? Just because you chose to see each other again doesn’t mean you’re not nervous!
Second dates (and third and fourth dates) should be treated a lot like first dates in regards to having some level of formality… and with a certain amount of hesitancy. You still don’t know this person very well, you still shouldn’t be texting, and you still shouldn’t be engaging in any other social media (no Facebook friending yet!). You should still be making the effort to plan dates, and putting extra effort into getting ready, and be practicing the same conversational tips as your first date.
I’ll be going more into detail about what this all means in the coming weeks!
We all have mental checklists of expectations for new prospects, which can sabotage a date when they aren’t met. Some of these expectations include:
- Calling to confirm the day of or day before
- Making reservations/being easy-going about planning options
- Arriving on time
- Looking as though you put effort into your appearance
- Asking questions/listening to answers/participating in conversation
- Showing consideration while ordering
- And so on…
As the lead-in to the date and actual date progress we tend to tally when a prospect does or does not achieve these benchmarks, and then begin judging the prospects based on these expectations… effectually taking us out of the date. When you do this, you’re not present in the date or giving a prospect a fair chance.
Try to appreciate each date for what it is and enjoy your time. It’s also difficult not to compare one date to another, especially when you’ve been on some amazing dates that may have set a high benchmark, but each date needs to be treated as a unique entity. After all, there’s a reason you’re still dating and not in a relationship with the prospects that set those benchmarks!
I’m turning 28 this year and have never been in a serious relationship… in fact, I don’t have any dating experience at all. I’ve always had my nose in books to be honest, and didn’t really have high self-esteem growing up. Now I feel like I’ve come into my own. After being in school for the past 25 years and collecting some really impressive degrees — and now gaining some pretty substantial success in life — I am ready to put myself out there. The problem is, I don’t know how to present the fact that I’m the real-life version of “Never Been Kissed.” Help!
Dear “Never Been Kissed,”
Congratulations on all your successes, and especially on gaining self esteem! That’s awesome! You do not need to talk about your lack of experience in your JDate profile, nor do you need to discuss it with dating prospects. You can simply state that you haven’t been in a serious relationship because you haven’t found anyone worthy while you were busy working hard to achieve your dreams.
Meanwhile, I suggest you accept every date invitation you receive in order to get some practice. Once you get more serious with a specific suitor then you can perhaps let him know more about your lack of experience. Any man that really likes you won’t care… and if he does, then good riddance!
It’s natural; in fact, it seems to be in our DNA as Jews to overanalyze everything. It’s not one of our better stereotypes, and when you add dating into the equation, it can create problems. It’s a twofold issue:
- You’re reading too much into everything your date says (and does and more), and likely blowing things out of proportion.
- Meanwhile you aren’t tuned in or present because you’re spending too much time analyzing everything.
It’s understandable to be cautious, or to have a hard time trusting immediately. However, it’s unnecessary to doubt everything your date tells you. Relax and enjoy yourself. If you continue to date someone for a while, then many questions will likely organically be answered over time. You can also simply ask for answers to any questions you may have when the time presents itself.
There comes a pivotal moment while waiting for a date to arrive at which point you have to make the official call: you’ve been stood up. This moment differs from person to person – some people might give up after waiting fifteen minutes, others thirty, or even an hour for some. Or you may be in the George Costanza camp and wait about five minutes, after which you eagerly go home, change clothes, order food, and bask in the glory of eating dinner in front of the TV in your underwear. (Wasn’t it George who said something like, “I never met an obligation I was upset to get out of!”?)
No matter your personal tolerance for tardiness, being stood up is no fun. But, how do you determine if someone is just really late, or if there is a legitimate emergency, or if they just aren’t coming at all? If you’re the one running late, how far in advance do you inform your date? If one party is running really late, at what point do you decide to just cancel or reschedule? If someone has a good excuse for being late or not showing up, do you give him/her another chance? As usual, I offer more questions than answers. However, here are some general guidelines:
- I generally give people a ten-minute leeway without question, but I tend to run on the late side myself, so your tolerance may vary.
- If you are going to be more than a few minutes late, inform the person who is waiting for you and apologize when you arrive.
- If you’re waiting on someone who is 5-10 minutes late, try not to make a big fuss about his/her unpunctuality on the first date. Stuff happens – be forgiving. But if it happens continuously and it bothers you, speak up!
- If you are going to be 20 or more minutes late, you better have a decent excuse (or make one up). Call your date, explain, and offer to reschedule if he or she prefers.
- If you’re waiting on someone who is significantly late, call and/or text to make sure you correctly communicated the same date, time, and location. It’s definitely possible that one of you showed up at a different location of the same place, for example.
- Waiting on someone longer than 20 minutes consistently? Possible grounds for dismissal.
- In the event that you get a better offer on the day of the date (or on the way to) and you decide to ditch your plans altogether, please inform your date. Say something came up. I suspect that this happened to me once – I was waiting for a guy to pick me up, and he never showed. After texting and giving him a ring, I got no response and never heard from him again! But don’t worry about his well-being – I could see that he was regularly logging in online and even updated his profile photos not long after that night. Harrumph.
Anyway, the point is: be considerate of people’s time. If someone isn’t considerate of yours, proceed with caution. And if you’re completely stood up? At least you can always spend the evening with an awesome, good-looking person, i.e., yourself.