Guys like to brag about numbers. For example, I use ALL 8 inches of my long handled torx screw driver to change the headlight in my car. Not all numbers are worth bragging about though – like how many “first dates” I’ve been on since I’ve started online dating. I’ll tell you, but only to make the point that I’ve had plenty of time to refine my process. Either that, or I really should just pack up my bags and leave this game to someone else.
I lost count a while back, but I know I’m well over 100 since I started the whole online thing back in July of 2012. Keep in mind that the majority of them were “coffee” dates. I even use the term “date” lightly. Many of them were 30 minutes or less, especially if the chemistry was off. Needless to say, when I get serious about something, I get real serious. No messing around. I. Get. Things. Done.
So what have I learned in my plethora of dates? A few things – lets get down to business:
- Don’t under-communicate. Or over-communicate. Or rather, communicate JUST enough. Actually, you’re on your own with this one. I’ve gotten in trouble for not texting enough. A short time later I was in the other boat – I was the classic over-texter. I didn’t chance ANYTHING between the two girls, they just each had different expectations. That means you’ve got to play it by ear each time. If they reply with lightning speed, then chances are you are safe to reply right away. If it takes them a day and a half, don’t just assume that they just aren’t that into you, some live and die by their phone while others have never moved past T9. Just take each connection at its own pace.
- Don’t get in too deep before you meet. The anonymity of online connections can lead you to let down your guard earlier than normal. For example, calling them “Babe”, “Beautiful” or “Cuddle Bear” could be something you regret. Plus, over commitment upfront can be a big red flag, tipping them off to your tendency to be a stage 5 clinger.
- Don’t talk about your past relationships. Some don’t mind it, but others do. Blabbing endlessly about your ex will make the point that you are not completely over her – major turn off. If the topic comes up, talk about it freely, but keep it brief and to the point. Then change the subject by saying something like “but enough about my past, tell me what you like to do on the weekends?”.
- Meet as soon as possible. Talking online is like trying to talk to someone through a garden hose. No matter how connected you might feel, you don’t know anything until you’ve looked them in the eyes and talked to them in real life.
- Keep the first meeting short, 30 minutes to an hour. Committing to a 3 hour dinner before you’ve heard her annoying laugh can make for a long night and a waste of a nice dinner. If you want, leave time to keep hanging out if you happen to hit it off. Often I’ll meet right at the end of the workday, then if Miss Dream Girl and I happen to hit it off, I’ll be free to invite her for dinner if signs look favourable. Now, some girls will insist in a “real date”, and may have their reasons. Don’t let this become a barrier, just know that I’m going to do the I told you so dance after.
- Don’t be chivalrous or be an extra-special gentleman unless that’s what you do anyway. The only thing girls hate more than a guy who doesn’t open doors, is a guy who only opened their door the first few times they met. The trick is to just be yourself. I’ve been scolded by some girls for opening their doors (“I’m and independent woman…” was their reasoning) so again, just be yourself. Honesty is the best policy.
- Set a fixed period of time for your search. I think the optimal time is about 2-3 weeks, but it has to be what is good for you. I do this for one reason – with a cornucopia of dates possible, I find most people have a tendency to pass up on a 9.7/10 because that new girl looks like she might be a 9.8. It can become a revolving door of dates if you don’t have some type of restriction. If you have a better solution to this, please let me know.
Although I make exceptions to these rules from time to time, they have saved me a lot of effort that would otherwise have been wasted. And while everyone I’ve met had a good measure of merit in their own right, none of them had the chemistry I was looking for.
Some I’ve never seen again, some I’ve remained friends with, and out of all the ones I’ve met online, I’ve seen about 6 or 7 more than once. Is there a better way to do this? I sure hope so, I’m getting tired of explaining why I suggested coffee when I don’t even drink it myself…