Last weekend, I spent an inordinate amount of time talking to my friends about just how hard it is to date online. (Or otherwise.) I heard some great horror stories from people about how, even in their mid-30s, some guys (and girls) don’t know how to put together a successful first date. After at least two decades of of practice… c’mon now people(!) Get your shite together. Dating shouldn’t be that hard.
Note: Of course, I’m just not finding anything worth pursuing online yet. (Yes, my sad, sad responses to my online profile have continued, so my a$$ has been home lately…) But once my various vacation(s) end, I’m prepared to be as disappointed as my friends…
These pointers are an amalgamation some of my (and my friends) experiences. Boys and girls: seriously, take heed in these words. (PS: If you have horrible online dating stories, please contact me, as this may become a series.)
1.) Let’s start from the beginning. In your online profile, be honest about yourself… ESPECIALLY with your picture. If you expect to charm people with your high school photo when you were 50 lbs thinner… AND your personality… well, you’re just fooling yourself. We’re not just being superficial here – you’re LYING to us. And the “royal” we do not appreciate you wasting our time. Look, I’ve also gained some weight in the past few years, but that doesn’t stop me from posting a real pic taken at least three months ago in my profile. I want my future partner to be attracted to ME today, not the ‘me’ when I was 18 years old.
Lying is not a good way to start any relationship, which is (generally) based on trust and understanding.
2.) Don’t use your online presence on dating sites as a ‘shopping cart.’ Realize that there is another person behind the profile you are pursuing… who just doesn’t like you as much as you like yourself. Don’t take it personally. Above all, don’t email said person incessantly conveying your interest in them. Stalking scares away girls. FYI.
3.) If all you want is to get laid, perhaps dating websites are not the greatest places to pursue your goals. For me, being asked what I think about “sexual compatibility” in an email before I’ve met said perv (or yikes! On the first date!) is a major turn off. Most women are not interested in doing the nasty with someone who’s a virtual stranger at this point.
May I recommend Craigslist or Adult Friend Finder, where plenty of game women are waiting for you, without all that peskiness of, you know, taking a shower, dressing up and taking said girl out?
Okay, so now you found someone that you’re willing to spend some time with. What should you do on your first date to make sure there may be a second one?????
4.) Discuss in advance the issue of going ‘dutch,’ if that’s important to you. For me (and my girlfriends), we do like to be treated on the first date. It feels like a sign of chivalry and respect. We know you were raised right, etc. But if you don’t make enough money, or don’t like the idea of paying for the entire evening, say so in advance. Most women actually don’t mind going dutch… we just need to have enough cash on hand.
One of my friends just got back from a date where a guy’s credit card did not go through, and he expected her to pay for the date. She, being a smart girl refused, said that she only had enough money to pay for her own meal (which was true), and asked the waiter to run the card number (with the entire total) one more time. It went through, thankfully this time. It didn’t stop said jerk for asking for cash to pay the toll fees on the way back to her abode. Long story short, she will not be seeing this guy again.
Passive aggressiveness is not cute.
5.) On the same note, I once had a friend/acquaintance who would set up as many dates as possible during the week so that she could score as much free meals as possible. She had no intention of seeing said guys again. Ladies, don’t take advantage of the guys, who mostly, want the same things we do: companionship and finding the ‘one’ (well, as long as it lasts…) You’re making it harder for the rest of us!
6.) Keep the first date simple. I’m a huge advocate of setting up coffee dates when you first meet someone. An hour is plenty of time to assess compatibility. If nothing’s there, both of you can say goodbye and leave separately. However, if you want to continue to get to know your date-ee, you can then move on to dinner… and a real date.
7.) This should be intuitive, guys, but shower and dress well for your first date. I can’t tell you how many times my friends told me that often, guys show up straight from the gym and stink up the joint. Or they show up in sweats and a T-shirt. Or even worse, mismatched. The purpose of a first date is to make a wonderful first impression. If you can’t even bother to look nice for me when I’ve dolled myself up for you…. I guarantee you, I’ll look elsewhere. (PS: I like a man that wears a suit/blazer well. It is a Washington, DC thing. Take note.)
8.) Also, be safe. Ladies, take your own ride to the venue of your choice. Just based on my experience, I’ve met too many Creepy McKreeps that I would never get into a car with. Just because it’s a date doesn’t mean that he has to know where you live yet. In the case of my friend’s date above, he actually crossed state lines with her in the car… luckily she felt safe enough with him to let him do so… and the date turned out crappy anyway.
9.) Put your damn cellphone away! You’re there to get to know me… not to text your mom/ex/bro/work partner/current girlfriend. Your messages can wait. Even my Dad, a cancer doctor, turns off his cell at dinner. So can you, Mr. Important. If you can’t divorce yourself from technology for one lousy date, it will be the last time you’ll see me one-on-one. Trust.
10.) And my favorite, courtesy of one of my friends. Don’t order one than one entrée… ever. As far as first impressions go, getting four large plates of meal while the girl eats a salad is definitely a turn off. I don’t care if you’re training for a marathon. P.I.G.: if you really are THAT hungry, eat beforehand. Have some manners, decorum… and some self-respect!
I will be traveling on Tuesday, so don’t expect another blog post ‘til Wed. Happy Mon/Tues!!!!