You’re on JDate looking for a relationship and meanwhile you’re probably looking at other couples and thinking: “when I fall in love I’m not going to gain weight like everyone else does!” Well, that’s easier said than done. Once you start dating someone seriously a few things tend to happen — you go out to eat more often, you choose to hang out with your new beau rather than hit the gym, and you sacrifice sleep for the sake of staying up late at night to talk. Those three things are the perfect storm to gaining love weight in the beginning of a relationship. It’s not impossible to avoid, but be prepared for it to happen. Chances are, both of you are gaining said weight so both of you can work together to lose the respective pounds too, but in the meantime you can try to order healthy without coming across as an anorexic, you can fit in even 30 minutes on the treadmill or on a run, and you can choose to put your zzzzz’s before your xxxxx’s and oooo’s. In fact, this way you will draw out the lovely honeymoon stage by making yourself ever so slightly unavailable for the sake of your health. No prospect will fault you for that and in fact, it will only be respected. If you still end up gaining the love weight, have fun doing so together and then bond over shedding it together as well.
I have had two dates with someone I met on JDate and the third is coming up. I really like this person and he seems to like me. Any advice for the third date?
-Third Dates the Charm?
Dear Third Dates The Charm,
Exciting! The third date can be a major turning point. No, you don’t have to have sex. Still, you’ve gotten past the first and second dates which means you are now officially “dating.”
Now that you are over the 2nd date hump, you can take some pressure off wondering if he likes you because — guess what? He does! It doesn’t mean you have to give it up, or that you should start passing gas at the dinner table, but you can relax your shoulders and stop doubting yourself. You can also start accepting dates with him at the last minute and you need to require him to take you to a formal dinner.
At the end of the third date you can invite your date to your house for a home-cooked meal. On the third date you still want to be your best self, but you can also open up a little bit more and show your date that you’re not perfect, you have faults and you’re normal. You can share embarrassing stories, failures and your odd (but fun) quirks. You get to be real. But you get to do so knowing that you’re in a new relationship that has already passed the first two tests, and now you’re building a foundation to move forward. Good luck and let me know how it progresses!
After you’ve been in a relationship for many years and find yourself single again you will also find yourself having memories of places you’ve gone, outfits you’ve worn, and stories and jokes you’ve told. It will be weird at first, but there are some ways to make the transition easier. When you are starting over it’s nice to also start fresh. I’ve written about buying new sheets and towels after living with someone, but buying new clothes is also something that will help you begin anew. Sell and/or donate your old clothes so that you can both make some money and give back. When it comes to places to go on your dates, this is the perfect time to try all those places you never went because they were too expensive or too far away or too exotic. Try new things and make new experiences on your dates. Finally, you are going to find yourself telling stories that include your former partner because he or she was recently a part of your life for a lengthy period of time. That’s normal. But concentrate on the story and not the person in it. Eventually you will get further and further away from the relationship and the constant reminders. Hold on to the good memories though, they don’t deserve to be trashed.
What NOT to do after you’ve met someone you really like:
1. Add them on Facebook and proceed to read every single post and dissect every single photo and read through the names of every single friend and then refer to things in the profile that you only know because of Facebook (most people do this, admit it)!
2. Send spies to their workplace (more people than one would think actually do this, especially when the person works in the service industry).
3. Sneak into their apartment and makeover the entire bedroom and bathroom in your favorite colors (true story).
4. Reroute your entire daily commute in order to possibly run into him or her (another one you can all admit to doing).
5. Hang out at their favorite coffee shop all day waiting for them to come in for their daily latte (just ‘fess up here people!).
So here’s my take: When you get excited about someone new, it’s normal to want to intersect your lives. And, doing one of the above is not such a huge thing, but doing all of them is definitely an indication that you have entered stalker-dom. If you have to call your new beau’s roommate to gain access to the apartment — and if you find yourself filling up on gas more than usual because of all the out-of-the-way-driving you’re doing — and if you are hiding some of your friends because they pretended to be “customers,” then you are officially a stalker and need to reassess your dating style.
Also, if someone is doing more than one of the above actions to you, then run (and run fast) in the opposite direction! Go on now.
I was attending a fundraiser the other night when a girl introduced a guy as her husband. Except she’s not married and they’re only dating. Uh-oh. Major faux pas. She was so embarrassed. She immediately started back pedaling and said “no, I mean my boyfriend, he’s my boyfriend, not my husband.” Then she turned to him and said “I know you’re just my boyfriend, I don’t know why I said that, I don’t think we’re married, I know we’re not married.” And then back to the people she was speaking to “this is my boyfriend, my boyfriend.” The girl was beyond flustered and appalled at her slip of tongue. I turned red in embarrassment for her. Awkward. Obviously she had been thinking about her boyfriend as husband-material, but what was also obvious is that they hadn’t begun discussing the future in that way quite yet.
This can go 2 ways: either the boyfriend is cool and really likes the girl and won’t take the comment to heart and they will carry on as usual, or he will freak out and quickly and not so subtly distance himself from her until they break up. It’s almost like your crush catching you writing Mrs. His Name inside your notebook during science class. It causes you to begin mumbling and stumbling over your words as you try to find a way to make it seem less, well, crazy, then it seems. Hopefully the guy (although, let’s be honest, sometimes the roles are reversed) likes the girl enough to be flattered and not freaked out. Hopefully.
We all have habits that we don’t realize we do, but when you’re on a date or starting a relationship those bad habits are put under a microscope. Bite your nails down to the bloody nubs? No better time to quit than when you want to hold hands with your significant other. Twirl, chew or pick your split-end hair? Perfect time to keep your locks glossy by leaving them alone. Crack your knuckles? Snap your gum? Clear your throat incessantly? You most likely have a habit you do sub-consciously – you know you do it, but you aren’t aware how often you do it nor how annoying it is – but your new partner will begin to notice once you start spending a lot of time together. Don’t get defensive when your date asks you to stop or points out how often you do that something, and instead take the opportunity to break the bad habit once and for all.
When you enter into a new relationship and begin the honeymoon phase you will want to spend every minute becoming a “we” and an “us” as you build the foundation of being a couple. But you need to make sure you don’t lose sight of your individuality and your independence. There is no “U” in relationship, but there are 2 “I”‘s and that stands for you and your partner. You cannot forget who you were before the relationship and you need to make sure you have your “you” time, even if that means spending time with other people, such as your family and friends – but by yourself, not with your new significant other. Absence makes the heart grow fonder doesn’t mean you need to leave the country for 6 weeks, but simply do your own thing for 6 hours. Until the relationship moves to marriage, you should be your #1 priority. Don’t forget to do the things that you like to do even if your new partner doesn’t; it will fulfill you and make you a better teammate (there’s no I or U in team either, but there is ME!).
New relationships start off hot ‘n’ heavy… and then real life sets in. Stress, school, work, family, friends, sleep and so on get in the way of heavy petting. People who spend a lot of time together and are emotionally involved tend to argue and as much as people like to say that the best part of “breaking up” is the making up, most couples try to avoid breaking up as a means to getting busy in the sack. Still, your love life is going to stabilize whether you like it or not. Life is not the movies where people have sex and then roll over and go to sleep each night. Nor do people wake up and have sex every morning before even brushing their teeth! You will go to bed at different times, wake up at different times, and be in the mood at different times. You will go from getting down n dirty on a regular basis to finding yourselves going a week… or two… or more before you even realize you haven’t done the deed. Not to fret. This is normal. This does not necessarily mean it’s time to break up. You just need to give your relationship some much needed attention. You may have lost that lovin’ feeling, but you can find it. It’s not gone, it’s just waiting to be rediscovered.
I received another cluster of emails last week from both friends and strangers ranting about text messaging before they had even met their prospect. Texting to make plans, texting to say hi, texting to ask personal questions, texting to flirt — but they haven’t even met yet! I urge the couple to get off the computer, but when I say to take it to the phone I mean by talking not texting. Don’t get to know each other via email, texting or phone calls — just get together in person! You already know so much via the JDate profile questions and essays, so don’t add any more pressure to the equation. But that’s not the point here: texting is impersonal and impolite. Texting gives off the vibe of a booty call. DO NOT TEXT! Texting is what you do with people you already know, who understand your sarcasm, who you know can’t talk at that time. Texting is not how you ask someone out or how you come on to someone or what you build a relationship upon. Go from a few emails on JDate to the phone to in person and see how it is and how you are together before you even think about putting your thumbs to the touch screen.
What if you’re dating someone and see them on JDate and even updating their profile… what should you do??
Dear JDate and Your New Date,
If you’re dating someone and you see them on JDate, well, that means you’re on JDate too! But I know that’s beside the point. If you see your new date on JDate and you want to take the next step to get more serious then you need to just have that conversation with them. I wouldn’t tell them that you saw that they were recently active on JDate because then you will just be condemning yourself, but say that you have recently pulled your profile in the hopes of this relationship going somewhere. If you’ve seen that the person actually updated their profile then you may be getting a subliminal message. If you don’t want to take the hint, then just ask point blank — at this point you have nothing to lose. But make sure to maintain your composure and class, you don’t want anyone going around telling people that you’re some psycho stalker.