under Date Night
Last night I was at a bar with my sister and brother-in-law and I had forgotten to put my ring and other jewelry on after a day at the beach. So there I was, a third wheel, being hit on! Obviously it was good for the ego, but it was also good for the blog.
My first observation was how many more men were likely hitting on me because I wasn’t putting off an “available” vibe and wasn’t at the bar to meet men. So go out and have fun with your friends, and don’t worry about who’s around and who’s available. Sure you might be there to meet prospects, but you’re also likely at a bar with friends, maybe celebrating something, or just going out to have fun — and you should be doing that rather than focusing on who else is there.
My second observation had to do with one guy in particular, let’s call him Rider, who was honest to the point of awkward. After introducing himself, my brother-in-law began chatting with Rider about his career as an X-Games athlete. That’s when Rider told us that he is a former heroin and cocaine addict. Um… whoa! That’s a lot of information to absorb about someone we had just met 30 seconds earlier. I congratulated him on his recovery and quickly excused myself to find the waitress.
It got me thinking about what is appropriate to divulge when you first meet someone, or even later on a date. There’s nothing that Rider had to be ashamed about, but I’m not sure I needed to know that information quite yet. Even when you’re not dating but simply meeting someone, you don’t need to bare your soul. I’ve always recommended being upfront about your history without going into too much detail until you’re further along in a relationship, be it friendship or romantic.
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Once you’ve met on JDate (or any other way) and decide to make plans there will be a certain amount of communication that will be necessary. The trick is to know when to stop that communication.
I recommend just a 10 minute phone call to plan a first date followed by another 10 minute phone call the night before the date to confirm the plans. Why? Because you don’t want to spend too much time on the phone getting to know each other anymore than you actually do already, prior to your first date. Spending hours talking on the phone is exhilarating and exciting but it creates an expectation of someone you haven’t yet met. You’re putting unneeded pressure on yourselves.
You already know so much about each other when you’ve met on JDate — and then you exchange a few emails, and finally you trade phone numbers with the intent on making plans to meet. If you then spend time on the phone getting to know each other even further, you’re in effect turning the first date into a third date due to how much you already know about the other… except you’ve never met.
And what happens if you don’t end up liking each other? Now you’ve not only spent your time on the phone, but you’ve confided things to someone who you may not care to ever see again. You opened up to someone you now don’t even want a second date with. Instead, spend just a few minutes asking how their day/week is going, making plans, and exchanging pleasantries. Tell them how much you are looking forward to the date and how you can’t wait to get to know them better. And then get off the phone. Let the excitement gather along with the suspense of wondering whether or not you will hit it off once you meet face-to-face.
Slow it down. Enjoy the process. And don’t text.
“Getting To Know You” is not just a catchy Rodgers and Hammerstein song from “The King and I,” it’s also what people do on first dates. But I’m here to tell you NOT to do that. I mean, of course, get to know your date, but don’t try to get to know ALL about them on the first date. Leave something for date two, and three, and date sixteen. And once you’ve been on a great date, don’t try to research every possible detail you can. When a date is going well it’s exciting to both want to continue talking all night until the sun comes up, but try to refrain. This is what happens: you go on a date, drink a little, hit if off, drink some more, keep talking and flirting, drink a little more, start yawning but keep talking, start sharing things you may not have shared on a first date had you not been drinking, yawning and letting down your guard, finally go home and sleep a few hours before waking up to realize that you shared things that now make you feel totally vulnerable and you can’t take it back. So when your date (hopefully) calls you’re not sure whether to feel embarrassed or not or if the intent behind the call is still one looking for a relationship with you or not. Confusing right? Well, these are the things that go through our minds after we’ve shared too much too soon. So reel it in and keep the mystery alive.
I met a girl last night who told me she was uneasy about joining JDate because she’s “never dated someone she didn’t know before.” Every one of her past boyfriends had been friends before it turned romantic. I explained to her that JDate is not like picking someone up at a bar. In fact, JDate asks SO MANY FREAKING QUESTIONS that it’s as if you are already on your 2nd or even 3rd date before you’ve even met! You may be annoyed while filling out your profile, but JDate does it for a reason – they want you to know that you’re not dealing with some random person, they want you to feel comfortable and know what commonalities you have, and they want you to feel as if you are already friends, or friends of friends at the very least. So don’t be afraid. We’re all members of the tribe and I’m sure if you spent five minutes playing Jewish Geography you would find at least one person in common… which means you’re no longer strangers.