under Date Night
The longer you have dated a person, the longer you are willing to wait for them to finish anything. When you pick up a girl from her house the first time, she answers the door and leaves with you almost immediately. She is either really excited about going out with you or is so self-conscious about her home that she will not give you the pleasure of seeing the inside of her front door.
The next time you pick her up, it’s a good minute before she answers the door. She lets you inside, but only to wait in the front room. She apologizes for her huge, intrusive dog while simultaneously yelling at it. As she shoves the dog away, she tells you to make yourself at home as she runs upstairs to get her purse. Just as you are beginning to get comfortable and start to make the place like your home, she is ready to go.
Once you arrive for the third time to pick her up, she doesn’t care anymore. It might take two minutes for her to answer the door, and she will not care if her giant ogre dog tackles you to the ground. As you lie on the floor crying, she’s already upstairs yelling on the phone to her mother. From here, it could take anywhere from five minutes to a day before she comes down again. By this time, you have developed a complex relationship with her dog. You are entirely comfortable and have finally made yourself at home on her couch. You are on your third hour of MSNBC’s Lock Up and know exactly what it’s like to live in a high-security prison. You have forgotten where you are as you and Buster stare aimlessly towards the television. (You have named the dog Buster because you couldn’t understand whatever name your date was yelling at it.) Now, you are in a relationship.
I can’t understand why I cannot meet anyone. Most of the time, people don’t even respond.
Dear I Don’t Understand,
Dating is nothing more than a waiting game. You have to wait to meet someone, wait to go on a first and then a second date, wait for them to answer an email/ the phone/ a text, wait to see if this is “it” and so on. Therefore, the cliche “patience is a virtue” applies to dating more than to anything else. You have to keep pushing forward, sending out Flirts, Click!s, emails, instant messages and so forth until something happens. One of the great things about JDate is that no one except you knows that no one is responding — in other words, to be blunt, no one is witnessing you being rejected. So keep trying because it only takes one person to respond to make it all worth it.
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.
My friend Jonah called me the other day asking me for advice. He was meeting a JDate at a bar and she was late… really, really late. Jonah arrived at the dive promptly at 9pm and almost immediately his cell phone rang. It was his JDate calling to say she was running really late –she was coming from dinner at her parent’s and not only underestimated how long it would take to drive across town but had also ran into traffic. She was apologetic and called twice more to update him as to her whereabouts and ETA. However, after more than 30 minutes of waiting, Jonah left. He didn’t call her to say he was leaving; he simply got up and walked out.
As harsh as it sounds that he left the bar when she was obviously hastily trying to get there, I actually agreed with his actions. Thirty minutes of waiting is enough at this point – even though she was calling – because it was rude and a waste of his time to be sitting there watching the door, getting really frustrated. I told him though that if she were to call and continue to be apologetic and wanting of another date, he should accept and mercilessly tease her about taking advantage of Jewish Standard Time (JST) when they finally met. Since she did, in fact, call a few times to let him know she was running late and sounded genuinely sorry, he should without a doubt give her a second chance. I told Jonah that it wouldn’t have been the end of the world had he shelved his pride and impatience and waited 15 more minutes since she was updating him, but I also understood why he left when he left in the way he left.
If your date doesn’t call to let you know he or she is running late until much later that night or the next day, then I wouldn’t give him or her a second chance. That’s simply inconsiderate and a huge clue as to why the person is still single. We all have cell phones nowadays so there’s no excuse not to call. Letting people (dates, family, friends) know you’re running late is a sign of respect.
I am a 49-year-old single mom and I look much younger than my 49 years. I find myself attracted to men who are a few years younger than me (forget the 30-year-olds, tear…) but I want a solid lifelong partner now. I have an 11-year-old too…which brings me to two dilemmas. There’s no dad in the picture and I want to find a father figure. Also I still believe in “waiting” to have sex…and though I’m not religious, I want to make sure a man will cherish me (and my child) in a committed way before we have sex. In other words, I would feel very used if he didn’t show a commitment, but is it realistic to wait until marriage? Or wait ‘til at least we’re engaged? I am perfectly capable of losing myself in a sexual relationship, but this is something I do not want to give a man until he commits to me. Are there men out there who appreciate and can accept this fully and wholeheartedly?
I cannot speak for men, but I have known a few who have waited. From my own experience with men my best guess is there are few out there, but remember, sex is an important component to a relationship. I completely understand your desire for a man to be fully committed to not just you, but your child before you engage in a sexual relationship.
My best suggestion would be to make this aspect of yourself very clear in your JDate profile. This way, you will attract men who know exactly what it is you are looking for and you will not have to weed out those who will push a sexual relationship with you before you are ready.
Be aware that there are no guarantees in life and although a sexual relationship can wait, it is not an absolute that waiting will ensure a relationship will either succeed or fail.
Gems from Jen