First Date Tips: Post Date Follow-up

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

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.

 

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First Date Tips: Saying Good-Bye

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Online Dating,Single Life

As your date comes to an end and you’re saying goodbye you may start getting nervous about what to do… handshake, hug, kiss, full-on make-out session? What should you do (or not do) to make sure you’re sending the right message?

Let’s operate on the assumption that the date went well — you’ve enjoyed each other’s company, so before bidding adieu: discuss plans to see each other again, thank each other for a nice time, and express how nice the date was. Then… go in for a hug while being open for a kiss without seeming to eager. That means having open body language and leaning towards your date with a smile and making eye contact. If your date returns those same signals then a short, closed-mouth kiss held for a few seconds is likely welcomed and will be reciprocated.

And if your date didn’t go so hot, well, there are even a few different scenarios within that area. If there wasn’t chemistry, but you still had fun, then give the hips-out hug. If it was just not-so-great, then a handshake will do. And, if it was awful, then a wave while saying thank you will suffice.

(And of course, I must address the dates where there’s lots of chemistry, but you don’t see a future… in that case, go in for the full-on make-out session and have fun!)

 

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First Date Tips: Paying the Bill

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Online Dating,Single Life

You’ve made it! Another first date is coming to an end and yet the most uncomfortable part of the date has yet to occur: paying the bill. There are two scenarios depending upon how the date went:

Scenario 1
The date sucked. You know you don’t want a second date. The end of the date couldn’t come soon enough (even if things are “nice” you don’t want to waste anymore time) and finally the waiter brings the bill. You both reach for it. Your date is shocked that you’re reaching for it too. You offer to split. Your date is stunned. What do you say? Simply say: “I just think it’s right, but thank you for a nice evening.”

Scenario 2
The date went awesome! There was comfort, conversation, and chemistry! Neither of you wanted the night to end, but the restaurant was closing down and the night was late. The waiter brings you the bill, lays it on the table, and leaves. You both look at it because you don’t want this situation to become awkward when things have been going so great. Ideally, the man should take the bill and say, “It’s my pleasure to treat tonight and I hope there are more opportunities in the future for us to both treat each other.”

A couple extra tips:

  • Pick a restaurant where you know you’ll be able to cover the bill.
  • If you really want to impress your date, pull out all the stops and arrange to have the bill paid for before the check even arrives. Slip your credit card to the hostess or server whenever you get the chance.
  • If your date does pay, then you must make sure you express gratitude and don’t take it for granted.
  • If you’re going to make the motion to pay or split, then you better be able to follow through; don’t pretend to offer if you can’t back it up.

 

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First Date Tips: Conversation Starters

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Online Dating,Single Life

After playing the JDate game (viewing, favorite-ing, messaging, etc), exchanging a few emails and a couple quick phone calls (to make and confirm plans), you will no doubt find yourself battling nerves before a first date no matter how confident of a person you are. Once you’ve greeted each other, sat down at the bar or table, ordered drinks and discussed the menu, there is a time when the conversation may lull — and it’s nerve-wracking!

Don’t let that moment set the tone for the date. Be prepared with topics to bring up that will be a catalyst for ongoing conversation. Of course there will be the typical biographical questions (what you do for a living, your hobbies, where you grew up, your family, etc.) but most of that was likely covered in your initial emails and phone calls, and now you need to see if you can actually carry a conversation and jive with the other person.

Think of some thought-provoking questions like:

  • What do you hope your life looks like in 5/10/20 years?
  • Are you where you wanted to be in life 5/10/20 years ago?
  • If you could have a superpower what would it be and why?
  • What is your best memory from your childhood?
  • Who are 5 people, alive or dead, that you would love to talk to?

The key is to not make it sound like a rehearsed question or an interview, but rather work it in somehow… “Hey that Caitlyn Jenner interview has really made me think…” or “My 96-year-old Great Uncle just passed away and I’ve been doing some soul searching…” and so on. Current events are a great tool: “Remember that Malaysia Air plane that disappeared in the ocean? It really got me wondering about the supernatural. Do you believe in…?”

Finally, listen to your date’s answer rather than being ready to pounce with your answer or another question. A lot of conversation will likely naturally occur, but if you are mentally preparing for what you’re going to say next then you will miss out. If you are a shy person then ask a friend or relative to practice with you.

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First Date Tips: Ease On In

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,Online Dating,Single Life

When you’re planning a first date the biggest question is whether or not to commit to a meal versus just meeting for drinks. Well, I have the perfect solution! Make plans to meet at a restaurant that has a bar… and make reservations for dinner at that restaurant about an hour after you are to meet. If there is chemistry and conversation during the drink portion and you’re interested in getting to know your date more, then go ahead and follow the hostess to your table. If you don’t want to continue the date, then thank your date for his or her time and leave.

That said: you must check-in with the hostess ahead of time and let the restaurant know that the reservation is contingent upon the date going well and that you may end up canceling. Arrange a gesture or look that you will give the hostess if you want them to come and get you when it’s time, or not. (Or you can also walk-in without a reservation and if you are enjoying your time at the bar then go over to the hostess stand to ask for a table. If the wait is too long and you still want to stay, then order food to the bar.)

It may sound like a big hassle, but it solves a lot of issues about how to plan a date when you aren’t sure if you’re going to like the other person. You want options and you want to eliminate awkwardness. If you’re unsure when the time comes to go to your table, then take the plunge and sit down for dinner — sometimes people have nerves and the transition to the next stage of the date should help.

 

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First Date Tips: Don’t Talk About That!

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Single Life

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.

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First Date Tips: Confirming Plans

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Single Life

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!

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First Date Tips: Patterns

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

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.

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First Date Tips: Go Together or Meet There?

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Online Dating,Single Life

Dear Tamar,

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!

Good luck!

 

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Setting a Standard

by Tamar Caspi under Date Night,JDate,Single Life

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.

 

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