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?
So many JDates begin on the phone and can last hours as you get to know each other. Those early phone conversations are so exciting, you’re more than willing to lose sleep to stay up talking and you can’t wait to meet. But often the time between those calls and meeting can lag… so how do you keep up momentum? Sometimes the first date is great and you can’t seem to sync up your schedules for a second date. Again, how do you keep the excitement going?
For instance, my friend Jack met a new JDate at a bar where they talked until the place shut down. They really liked each other and couldn’t wait to make plans to meet again. But she was going out of town the next week and he was traveling out of the country for two weeks after that.
It was so great to finally hear Jack say that he really liked a girl, that she was really cool and that he was really excited to see her again. So I was bummed to hear that it would be nearly a month before they could continue to develop their romance. So many things had to happen and, inversely, not happen to aide them during the hiatus. First, and most importantly, neither of them could meet anyone else who tickled their fancy during that time. Second, and just as important, they had to keep in touch to a point: talk on the phone before he leaves for his trip and exchange a few emails when he is able to check into an internet café. But, thirdly, they shouldn’t build up too much of a rapport while separated because then they run the risk of building up unreachable expectations. There’s a fine line between keeping in touch, keeping the flame alive and keeping the momentum going and actually starting a serious relationship via the phone and internet before spending enough time together in person.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it also can shine an amber light on someone’s faults you may normally hate. Having a month of phone calls and emails after meeting each other only once means that you will only get the person on his or her best behavior. You also won’t get to see facial expressions on the phone or hear vocal inflections in an email. That means when you see each other again in person you may not know each other as well as you think you do. It’s hard not to build someone up in your mind after a romantic night together but as long as Jack and his new crush go into this month apart and into their reunion with realistic expectations then I think they will do just fine picking up where they left off. By giving yourself a reality check and reminding yourself that you will eventually see the cracks in the foundation that we all have, you can go into a date being able to see the forest for the trees.
Up until recently, I was on a dating roll. I was actively trying to talk to a lot of different people, having good conversations and going out on first dates almost every week; however, since my schedule has gotten busy, due to the start of the season, I have lost much of my momentum.
While some people are naturally confident when it comes to meeting people and dating, I am someone who needs to build up my dating self-esteem over time before I’m feeling truly confident about that aspect of my personal life. That is why it is so important that I’m riding a wave of positive momentum, otherwise I am liable to make excuses or take a break from dating when there’s really no reason to.
I’ve been through these cycles before and know that the dating game has its ups and downs. But the important thing that I’ve learned from previously losing my dating momentum is that I need to fight through it. I know that I can’t sit back and wait for a situation to fall into my lap that picks up my confidence, and instead need to try to remain active and build myself back up.
Even though this is certainly easier said than done it is important that I take control of my personal life and do whatever is necessary to keep myself in a confident mindset. Since a portion of my self-esteem is dependent on how I feel about my personal life I know that it’s important I don’t give up on it just because I have hit a plateau; I know that if I stay active and keep trying to improve my situation that I’ll regain my momentum soon.