Chemistry with another person has to do with you. The degree to which you feel a connection with Mr. or Ms. Right has a lot to do with how comfortable you are displaying the real you at the time. Ever notice that how you feel about yourself changes in relation to whom you happen to be communicating with? Even if you’re talking to their phones!
I can make two consecutive calls to two different people who aren’t home, each of whom has the same voicemail secretary. During my first message, I’m a more stilted Andy – a Stepford friend. The disconnect I imagine with the person I called, however subtle, is the same disconnect I’m feeling with myself as I leave a message. It’s a natural outgrowth of the chemistry of our relationship.
But during the second message, I’m looser. It’s the same voicemail secretary, save for a different set of numbers she’s parroting back. (This woman gets around.) But, I’m more comfortable with the sound of my voice, because it’s closer to the real me. I like the real me more, because I suspect the other person has come to accept and like the real me! Okay, maybe not the 100% real me. If I let him out, nobody would ever return my calls. Just kidding, cyber universe that may include Ms. Right out there! And if you are out there, the unstilted Andy looks forward to calling you sometime.
Hi, I was wondering if you could let me know the best way to let someone I went out on a date with know that I am not interested in seeing them again after they contact me. I’m still fairly new on here and have been on a couple dates with guys that were nice but there was no attraction on my end. Both guys texted or called me after our date. So what do you think is the best and most polite way to handle this situation? I am 26 and a lot of people I know just ignore the person they do not want to see again. Some of my friends say that is less hurtful than telling somebody you just didn’t feel a connection or just see them as a friend. What do you think? Please help! Thanks!
Dear Reject with Respect,
If you went on a JDate and liked the person but it wasn’t mutual you would appreciate being told wouldn’t you? So I agree you should show the dates you don’t like the same respect. Your friends who don’t do it are cowards, because it’s really not that difficult and karma is much worse. There are a few ways you can go about this: Phone, text, email and JDate. Rejecting on the phone is by far the hardest way. You can answer your dates calls or return theirs and simply say “thank you so much, I had a really nice time but to be honest I just didn’t feel like it was a match.” Usually the written word is easier. Text isn’t great but it will do: “Thx 4 the call. Unfortunately it’s not going 2 work out. GL.” (GL=Good Luck) As you can see it’s a bit harsh. Rather, an email via personal email or your JDate account would be better. Let your date know you had a nice time and (insert compliment here) but that you don’t think it’s a match and you hope he meets his Beshert soon. It’s in the best interest of your dating life to be as polite as possible.
So I have been debating with 2 other friends who also have profiles about the best way to approach a girl on JDate. My guy friend and I feel that a 2-3 sentence email asking the girl about something in their profile (EX: she likes books, what’s your favorite book, but not that boring, I promise!) is the best way to approach a girl. However, our friend that’s a girl says an IM is the best way to approach a girl on JDate. Thoughts?
Dear The Approach,
I would agree with you guys (surprised I didn’t side with the girls?). Back in the day when I was on JDate, an email that showed some thought and effort was put into it always impressed me more than random Instant Messages. That said, I liked I.M.’s because we got to jump right into a conversation and could see if something flowed (while, of course, I quickly scanned their profile to see if we were a match). The best thing would be an I.M. after the exchange of 2 e-mails where a phone number is asked for and given and then the relationship moves off the computer and to the phone.
Whenever women complain about a guy not calling within the two day range, my best friend always tells the story of how she and her hubby met ten years ago. They were at a mutual family friend’s Shiva on a Thursday night and he asked for her number and said he would call her after the weekend since he was going to Las Vegas for a bachelor party. Two weeks later the phone rang and he wanted to know if she was still interested. Luckily, she was in the middle of finals so the long wait didn’t bother her. She accepted the date and they had an amazing night filled with conversation, laughter and flirting. Yet again, he didn’t call for another three weeks!
Once again, my BFF accepted the date and made a conscious decision not to make a big deal out of the time lapse between phone calls. After the second date they were inseparable and two years later they were married in an elaborate Jewish wedding. Now that their third baby has arrived, I asked BFF-in-law if he remembers why he made his wife jump through hoops. He says the waiting game was a test and that he wanted to call her really badly but wanted to make sure she wasn’t a “Rules Girl” first (or following some equally obnoxious dating theory). Since she didn’t hem-and-haw over the time in between phone calls and subsequent dates, she passed his own set of (equally obnoxious) rules.
In this case, they were both worth the wait and it ended in the ultimate success, but the type of test my BFF’s hubby used will often lead to failure. Most women nowadays will not accept even a phone call – not to mention a date – after a few days. But it really depends on you and your overall dating attitude. If you’re busy dating and working and exercising and socializing then waiting a few extra days for a phone call isn’t a big deal because you wouldn’t have time to schedule a date right now anyways. However, if you’re desperate for a date two days already feels like an eternity. The thing is, you don’t know if the other person is still healing from a bad break-up or purposefully doesn’t call because it is expected. There are always exceptions to the rules.
Next Up: How to apply these rules to JDate.
You made a few mentions of when it’s OK to break “The Rules” and give someone “a pass.” Here’s my problem. I’m 66 and was married for 43 of those years. My wife died a year ago. I haven’t dated since we got engaged, a year before we were married. Frankly, I’m not even sure I was aware of all “the rules” even back then, and I’m positive that I don’t know what they are now. So where can I find a brief summary of “the rules”?
Dear Rules Shmules,
I’m sorry for your loss and I do hope you find someone special to spend the rest of your life with; I’m happy you’re on JDate looking. But, I’m glad you don’t know what “the rules” are! “The Rules” was a bestselling book telling women how to date in order to get married. It told women not to accept a phone call after 2 days, not to accept a date for the weekend after Wednesday, and so forth. I met my husband at a bar and moved halfway around the world to be with him a week later, so obviously I didn’t follow ”the rules”, nor do I recommend that women (or men) should. That said, the idea behind them isn’t bad. For the most part, the book told women to hold tight to their standards, but most men find a strict rules Woman to be obnoxious. Count yourself to be among the lucky ones that your dating demographic doesn’t know about, or follow, the rules. If you like a woman, call her. And if you want to see a woman, ask her out immediately. If a woman is following the rules by the book, you probably don’t want to date her anyways. Good luck!
My friend Miriam* called me for advice the other day. She met a guy JDate but things haven’t exactly gone smoothly. He sent her the initial email on JDate which was good and after exchanging a few e-mails he asked her, still via JDate e-mail, to meet him for a glass of wine. She responded with her phone number. His response: his phone number. Obviously, they didn’t meet because someone had to make the first phone call, right? After a few more e-mails throughout the weekend he again asked her to meet, this time for gelato. She responded with her phone number. His response: a text. The non-existent relationship went from confusing to annoying.
She told him she wasn’t a text person, but he told her he wasn’t a phone person. It was enough to make a girl give up and Miriam was just about to throw in the towel. I advised her to stop playing his game and not respond to his texts. It worked. He finally called the next day to ask her out. Finally, they met but all that effort was wasted as it wasn’t meant to be. I doubt this guy is going to find his Beshert if he continues to be difficult and communicate with women in this bizarre way.
*all names have been changed
under Date Night
I met a new guy on Tuesday night and we liked one another…he asked me out for the following night, but I was busy so we scheduled a date for Saturday night. It’s Friday now and I haven’t heard from him. He had said we were getting together for sure on Saturday night so my question is, since he hasn’t called yet to make firm plans, should I call him or wait till he calls me? Thanks in advance.
Dear Second Date Dilemma,
As women we’re taught to believe that if we call a guy he’ll think we’re overly-aggressive and will scare him off. But, I say you have nothing to lose except plans with someone else on Saturday night. Go ahead and call him. Be upbeat and cheerful and simply ask him casually if you are still on for tomorrow — but don’t turn it into a long conversation and don’t tell him you were nervous he was going to stand you up. If he doesn’t answer leave a message with the same question using a positive tone of voice. Chances are (I hope) that he felt the plans were concrete so he was going to wait until Saturday to discuss where to meet, etc. Guys can be a little dense like that and sometimes fail to realize that we ladies like to primp and prep, especially for a Saturday night — prime night — date. If he says no or doesn’t answer and doesn’t call you back, well that sucks, plain and simple. Hopefully he’ll call to apologize at which point you can decide if you want to give him a second chance, or he’s just a dud and you’ll remember that one awesome date, but I bet he just hadn’t gotten around to calling yet and that you will have an awesome date tomorrow! Good luck!
under Date Night
I am completely baffled. I have had a series of dates recently, which I have considered successful. Good conversations and nice dinners lasting more than two hours. I am always taken to very nice restaurants and the men seem thoroughly engaged. I get thanked for actually looking like my photo and receive compliments during the meal. Sometimes there is even a substantial kiss goodnight…then I hear nothing further. The process is becoming very tiresome because I can’t figure out where I go wrong.
I know the answer is to keep dating and the right one will come along, but I don’t understand the lack of real interest among these guys. It seems like a sport that men just like to take women out. Personally, I don’t get it. These meals are $100+ because most seem to order a bottle of wine. Why blow that much money? It just doesn’t make sense.
Ugh, I totally remember being in your shoes and it was beyond frustrating! I can totally empathize. Unfortunately, as you said, the obvious answer is to keep dating and wait until your beshert comes along. But there are some other things you can do in the meantime… try to use this opportunity for some introspection. Look at yourself from an outsider’s perspective: What kind of vibes are you giving off? How much information are you sharing about yourself? Do you really see yourself with the men you’re on dates with? By answering those questions (and any others you think of) I believe you will find yourself having more productive and successful dates. Don’t give up. Oh, and if the guys want to drop that kind of cash on you and then not call you — it’s their loss, literally! Good luck!
In this day and age it’s hard not to make a phone call. I accidentally call people all the time when I forget to lock the keypad on my cell phone. Still, I get more e-mails from women asking why men don’t call than any other type of question or complaint. It’s one of the oldest unanswered mysteries of our time: why do guys ask for our phone numbers and then never call? If you’re on JDate then you’re there to meet someone, right? I remember playing the JDate game perfectly — viewing, flirting, IMing, emailing, giving out my number and then… nothing.
Was his conquest complete after getting the digits? Did he suddenly suffer a case of amnesia? Is it possible he dropped his phone into a cup of water while he was hugging someone and lost all his numbers? (This is an actual excuse I got once.) Who really knows? Women are left to ponder the possibilities for endless eternity. Even worse, you went on a great date, had a really nice kiss at the end of the night, he told you he’d call you… and then… silence. Really? Come on guys, call if you say you’re going to call, otherwise don’t say you’re going to call. It’s simple.
One excuse I hear from men is that women like to talk a lot and they don’t want to get stuck talking on the phone forever. Instead, they’d rather text (groan). If you really want to see someone, then take the time and make the effort to place a phone call. It doesn’t have to be a long one. You can even start off the conversation by saying you’re busy but want to make plans to get together. But no, men would rather text “what r u up 2?” Seriously? You’re going to ask someone out via text message? (Again, this happened to me and more often than you’d think.)
A text does not take the place of a phone call. Period. Just pick up the phone and dial!
I know women aren’t innocent here (not even close), but I’ll get into that next week.
under Date Night
Going on JDates can be fun and entertaining (or dull and torturous, but this column is dedicated to the former!), so how do you turn a JDate into something more?
After the first date, a man who is interested should call the woman within two days, if not the next day. You can even send a text later that night or the next morning saying how good of a time you had – but don’t get in the habit of texting at this stage! (My anti-texting rampage is yet to come.)
When you call after the first date, make immediate plans for a second date, preferably within the next week. You don’t want to lose momentum. You’re getting to know each other, enjoying each other’s company and building on the chemistry. If you know you have a business trip, try to squeeze another date in before you leave or make plans in advance for when you return. Whomever is out of town should try to call once or twice while away but otherwise, you shouldn’t be spending too much time on the phone at this point, just let the other person know you are definitely interested and not blowing him or her off.
When you plan the second, third and fourth dates they should continue to be casual, comfortable and full of quality-time. That means no friends, not too much alcohol and no weddings of your third-cousin-twice-removed. Get to know each other sober and alone before introducing each other to your crazy fraternity brother or even crazier Great Aunt. Daytime dates are also a good option. Go for a walk in a park with a picnic basket to eat while you watch the sunset. Go to the zoo, the fair or an amusement park, or even miniature golfing or go-cart racing. Find a fun activity that will allow your inner child to come out, where you can laugh, and engage in some physical contact that’s not overtly sexual.