Dating Tip #15 Limit the texting

In this day and age you maybe wondering why I would recommend limiting text messages during the early stages of dating someone. To give you some context, in my professional life I have a significant amount of experience providing psychotherapy to patients and many of whom were having relational or dating difficulties as one of the main reasons they were seeing me. I cannot count how many times I would hear from patients about arguments or assumptions being made causing friction in relationships due to texting. In my own personal life, I’ve also experienced this dynamic when I’ve dated people and wondered why they didn’t get back to me regarding a text I sent for several hours or get stressed out because I misinterpreted something that they wrote to me and it was simply not helpful. There is definitely a time and a place for texting however I will go over a few reasons why it would be wise to use texting in a more effective manner when dating.

1. Texting leaves a lot of room for assumptions. Imagine going on a first date with the woman that you’re quickly developing a strong crush on. You go ahead and text her a flirty text message and telling her you want to see her again and you don’t hear from her the rest of the day. Now, imagine what starts going through your head. Your thoughts may range from ,”why isn’t she texting me?,” or,”she must not be interested in me.” Now depending on what direction your thought process goes you can end up being sad, angry, or disappointed but what do you actually know at this point? All you really know is that you sent this person a text and you have absolutely no idea why that other person is not responding. I’ve seen this happen so many times, and in a lapse of anger or insecurity you may end up sending a rude follow-up text that really isn’t helpful. All the while, this other person may simply be busy at work, out with friends, or not big on texting and it has nothing to do with you unless you’re able to get more information. I used to recommend to patients to try to catch themselves when they’re making assumptions versus going off of what they actually know. Unfortunately, in my opinion texting as a form of communication leaves the most room for misinterpretation and assumptions.

2. To follow up on misinterpretations, ever have somebody respond to a joke you made poorly? This simply didn’t get it or they didn’t know you meant it to be funny and got offended? Well, texting because there is no face-to-face or voice involved, leaves a greater chance for something that you text to be misinterpreted and that is the last thing you want to happen during the beginning phase of dating.

3. In my opinion the best form of communication is face-to-face because you can read body language, you can talk things out and there is less room for misinterpretation or assumptions. Talking on the phone is better than texting and not as good as face-to-face due to not being able to read another person’s body language. However, for a more serious conversation I would definitely recommend face-to-face or phone versus having a lengthy text message conversation about something of significance.

4. There is a time and place for texting in dating life. If you meet somebody off of a dating site/app of course you will be texting and screening each other out before agreeing to a date. I would recommend going through the general screening out questions then get to the point and set up an in-person date quickly and from that point just wait until you two meet in person. Also, texting simple things like wishing someone a good day or telling them that you’re thinking about them without expecting an immediate response and confirming times to meet or a place to meet are pretty simple things where texting is very convenient and useful.

I would strongly recommend not getting into serious discussions over texting especially in the early stages of dating. Once you two are in a committed relationship it’s really up to you and your significant other on how you want to use texting. Just remember, I used to have plenty of people end up in my office for psychotherapy due to relational issues that were intensified due to arguments that started off as text conversations which would’ve been much more easily handled if they simply talked about more significant things in person instead of through text. So take that for what it’s worth. Until next time, Best of luck.

Dating tip #14 Setting up the second date

So imagine you’re out with an engaging woman that you find very attractive and know that you want to ask this person out again for a second date. However, you find yourself struggling with when you should ask this person out again or whether you should wait until after the first date so you don’t look desperate and by the end of the first date you end up feeling nervous and not sure of what to do next. Here are some simple pointers to help set up the second date.

On the first date, while you’re asking about what she’s into pay close attention to hobbies and interests that may also interest you. For example, she may mention she likes to go hiking or is really into some other activity that you have at least a minimal interest in. Try to find two or three to keep in the back of your mind and you can use this information in two ways. During the first date you can feel things out casually by saying something to the effect of, “there’s this really good hiking spot I go to every now and then with friends and we should go sometime.” If this is done casually and you get a positive response then follow-up a few days later after your first date and ask her out to the activity you have already mentioned. Another way to go about this is a few days after your first date to send your date a message or phone call and tell her that you remembered that she mentioned she was really into “whatever hobby/Interest,” and ask her if she would like to join you doing one of these activities for a second date.

When is it too soon ask for a second date? This dilemma reminds me of a time when before cell phones were super common in the 1990’s when the general rule of thumb was to wait at least three days before calling a girl after getting her phone number to not look too desperate. This requires some good intuition and not everybody is the same. For example, I had gone on a few dates with one woman and she seemed to prefer daily texting back and forth after our first couple of dates. With a different woman I dated after her, I made the mistake of assuming she would want the same level of attention and she basically called me annoying for texting her too much after a couple dates. Best thing to do would be to ask during your first date if she is a type of person that likes texting often or talking on the phone or neither. If you don’t have this information I would recommend playing it cool and text or call her 3 to 4 days later and mention that you had a really good time on the first date and ask her out for the second date.

Asking a woman out for a second date in my opinion is usually easier than asking for a first date in most cases. So if you’ve gotten this far then you have done the hard part and hope you get the second date. Best of luck.

Dating tip #13 Chivalry is not dead

One major factor in having a successful date is making your date feel as comfortable as possible. It may feel a little old-fashioned, but in my experience doing a few things to show that you’re a gentleman will go a long way in making yourself stick out from the crowd. Several platonic girlfriends have lamented to me about wishing their dates would have better manners and be more chivalrous. You don’t need to go over the top but a few pointers can help make your date feel respected and help you in your dating life.

Tip 1

Make it a practice of opening doors for your date. This sounds simple enough, but a lot of guys don’t do it. If you don’t do this already, be conscious of this and open doors for not only your dates but other women in your life. Also, make sure you let your date sit before you do when she’s joining you for a meal if you don’t want to pull out a chair for her if that feels too formal for you. These two things are easy to do and your date will likely notice.

Tip 2

Walk outside of her so that you are closest to the street when you’re walking together. This is another simple practice of having good manners and helps to let your date feel more protected and safe. If you’re not used to doing this just practice doing it in your daily life so that it will become a habit.

Tip 3

Don’t be afraid to give flowers to your date. I recommend doing this around the third or fourth date at the earliest. If you have significant interest you can surprise her by having them delivered to her or bring them in person. I don’t recommend doing this too early on because it can come across as desperate and inappropriate.

Sometime during the first or second date ask her what her favorite color is and you can incorporate her favorite color into the type of flowers you choose or as part of the flower wrap. If you choose to go with roses, I recommend going with pink because each rose shade has a meaning and pink comes across as less serious then red and usually goes over well early in a dating relationship. Here is a link to a guide on rose flower shades from passiongrowers.com.

These three simple tips will be a good start. If you don’t do them already, I would recommend incorporating these simple tips as part of your dating etiquette. Best of luck.

Dating tip #12 I get the Asian Glow/Flush and it’s really embarrassing

Unfortunately a large number of people of East Asian descent including myself, experience the Asian Glow/Flush when drinking alcohol. This can be embarrassing in social settings and often very physically uncomfortable. If you’re not familiar with the Asian Flush, imagine your face turning beat red and even your neck and feeling a very uncomfortable burning sensation. There are a few ways I’ve seen people deal with this, one is to not care, DIY solutions that you can find on the Internet or even products which I have no idea whether or not they work or not, or decide not to drink alcohol. For myself through different seasons of my life I’ve either been a social drinker or chosen not to drink alcohol which is my current lifestyle choice.

I’m not going to promote any DIY solutions or products primarily because of studies like this. This link to an article from the National Institute of health include statements like, “It is very important for clinicians who treat patients of East Asian descent to be aware of the risk of esophageal cancer from alcohol consumption in their patients who exhibit the alcohol flushing response, so they can counsel them about limiting their drinking,” says NIAAA Acting Director Kenneth R. Warren, Ph.D.” For myself, I decided that it wasn’t worth the risk to continue drinking alcohol to possibly increase my chance of getting esophageal cancer.

The Asian flush can feel very embarrassing and make people feel self-conscious especially in social and dating settings. You may feel left out if you choose not to drink alcohol and out of place in social settings like happy hour, dates, or simply just about any activity that includes alcohol. There is not one single way to handle this, I have friends who have no problem going out to happy hour or a winery and abstaining from drinking alcohol. On the other hand, I often have felt uncomfortable being sober at a drinking outing if I chose not to drink because I would get bored while sober. Everyone responds differently in situations like this.

Tips on how to handle this in a dating situation

  1. If you don’t drink just be upfront with your date. In my experience, most women will respect this and the ones that don’t are pretty far and few between.
  2. At a social outing you don’t have to be embarrassed because you don’t drink alcohol. One of the most confident things you can say is,” I don’t drink because I’m allergic.” Sounds simple enough but I’ve only seen very few people handle it that way.
  3. If you do choose to drink alcohol and feel self-conscious about this, telling your date beforehand will more than likely decrease your anxiety about it.
  4. If you choose not to drink alcohol, experiment going out with your friends and see if you have a good time or if you feel uncomfortable in settings abstaining from alcohol. Everyone is different regarding this and the only way to find out is to try for yourself.

What I don’t recommend doing is allowing yourself to be very self-conscious about this and be the guy constantly asking a friend or whoever you’re with if you’re turning red or not. It is a natural response to do this, I’ve done it myself in the past but learning to be comfortable in your own skin is very important not only in dating but in most aspects of your life. So if you do experience the Asian flush, it doesn’t have to severely affect your dating life. You just have to make a decision about how you’re going to handle and communicate about it whether that includes drinking alcohol or choosing to abstain. Best of luck.

Dating tip #11 Using dating apps part 2

A lot of dating apps use the swipe to match method. One of the most well-known of these apps is Tinder. However if Tinder doesn’t work well for you then there are other options. One option is Coffee meets Bagel which gives you a match once a day and an opportunity for both people to decide whether or not they want to proceed into a chat. I’ll go over both of these Apps and there are a large number of other dating apps some which are similar to the swipe to message method and others that come with a twist. Here is a link to an article from the HuffingtonPost that will give you a few more dating app options. I’ll go over the pros and cons of swipe to match apps from my point of view.

Tinder is basically a dating app where you can swipe to reject or to match with another person if they also swipe to match.

Pros

Tinder has a very large user base so there is an opportunity to possibly match with a large number of people. It is also very good at finding people near your current location. This type of app gives you the opportunity to possibly match with a very large number of people in your area.

Cons

If you don’t set good time limits it can get very time-consuming in spending time swiping several people to possibly get a match. Very dependent on photos, so if you are an average looking guy it may be more difficult to get a good number of matches.

The dating app Coffee meets Bagel which the basic premise is you’ll receive one match a day and if other person decides to match with you then you can enter a chat together.

Pros

Much less time-consuming than other dating apps. This can be a good app to use if you are experiencing dating burnout but still want to be open to meeting new people. Gives you a set time in the chat room which is conducive to setting up a date efficiently. Since you only have to check it once a day, it is very low maintenance.

Cons

Since the general concept of this dating app is to have a match a day you can it can feel much more limiting than other dating apps in regards to the number of people you can message. It can take some patience especially during lulls when other people are not swiping the match with you. Overall, I like this app because it is very time efficient.

So for these type of swipe to a message dating apps they also offer a wide range from Apps like Tinder where are you can swipe away with many possible matches to very low maintenance dating apps like Coffee meets Bagel. My recommendation is to find two or three dating apps that work for you and to experiment a little bit to find which ones you like the most and stick with those two or three apps whether they be swipe to message apps or direct message dating apps. Best of luck.

Dating Tip #10 Dating apps, tips on how to use them part 1

Presently, there are so many different dating apps to choose from that I will describe them by types. There are pros and cons to each type and with newer apps some come with different twists but the concepts are generally pretty similar. The types I’m more familiar with are the swipe to match type of apps or the direct message type of dating apps like OkCupid or Plenty of Fish. There really isn’t a,”best,” dating app to use as they all have their pros and cons so lets go over apps like OkCupid and Plenty of Fish that offer a direct message route.

Pros

You can message a lot of people depending on how much time and effort you want to invest. They are also both good for locating people within your vicinity. The pool of users is pretty big so there is the opportunity to meet a lot of different types of people. There is generally a wide variety of people looking for different things ranging from casual dating to serious relationships depending on what you are looking for.

Cons

The sheer number of people on these dating apps can feel overwhelming. It can get frustrating messaging several women in order to get a response, and sometimes no response at all despite messaging several different people. Remember, women generally get a lot more messages on these types of apps than men so don’t take it personally if you don’t get many responses. These types of dating apps can get very time consuming due to messaging several different people to get a response.

Tip 1

Sending messages to a mass amount of strangers can feel very repetitive with very little return on your time and effort and you may feel the temptation to simply cut-and-paste your intro message instead of sending a detailed message to each person. This is pretty common, I suggest if you do use a cut and paste intro message to glance over the other person’s profile and after your cut and pasted intro message to mention something that you saw in the other person’s profile that caught your interest. This will show that you at least to took the time to look over their profile.

Tip 2

Set a time limit for yourself. It’s very easy to experience burn out and get discouraged using apps like this if you don’t prioritize your time. I recommend that you set aside a period of time ranging from a half hour to one hour each day to message people. This will help you to not disregard your other responsibilities while searching for dating prospects. If you do get discouraged, remember that this is a numbers game with these apps and some days you’ll match with somebody very quickly and other times you might go through a dry spell. Setting a time limit should help limit this feeling of discouragement during the dry spells.

Tip 3

Keep in mind when you do enter a text conversation what the dating prospect that they most likely are getting messages from several other men. So it’s very important that after a few feeling out questions that you get to the point and ask the person out on a date. Remember, you’re not looking for a chat buddy and beyond a few screening questions you can save your questions for when you’re out on a date.

Tip 4

Fill out as many questions as you can on the app to help improve your matches. Often the sheer amount of questions apps like this will ask about you may feel overwhelming. If you find this to be the case, then fill out a few questions a day and this should help improve your chances to match with someone with similar interests. Also, if a woman is seriously considering going out on a date with you then the questions that you have answered may help the other person to feel that the two of you may have some things in common.

These apps in particular do require a solid amount of time and effort. I do believe they are worth a try and just keep in mind when you get discouraged that at least you could do this from the comfort of your own home in your pajamas instead of going out to ask out a bunch of women. With some time and effort you may meet some interesting people. I personally have friends who have had long-term relationships with people they have met on these types of dating apps and I know one couple that got married after meeting on one of these sites. I’ve personally gone on several dates using these types of dating apps so I do feel they have some use. Best of luck.

Dating Tip #9 Be honest with yourself about your intentions

One key to being a good date but also a good partner in a serious relationship is having good insight about yourself and your expectations in a relationship. This will help you to be able to communicate clearly with whoever you choose to date and to your future long-term partner. You can start the process even before you meet that special someone. If you don’t know what you’re looking for then who does?

If you can be brutally honest with yourself about where you’re at in life and what you’re looking for in dating, this may will help clarify to yourself and to others what your intentions are. This is important to help yourself set good boundaries and limits with others and also to own your choices to avoid playing a victim card. One example of this would be if you’re in a place where you know that all you’re looking for is casual dating and hookups then you can weigh the risks versus rewards to that type of approach. If all you’re looking for is a hook up it would be wise to weigh the risks that you might catch an STD or have some other unwanted drama in your life and then you may be able to better weigh the pros and cons of your approach.

Likewise, if you know you’re looking for a serious relationship or possibly someone to marry then the lens that you see through on whom you choose to date will be much different than if you were just looking for casual dating and hookups. If you don’t take the time to assess what your goals are in dating then you may just float around aimlessly without filtering out dating prospects that don’t fit what you’re looking for.

Let’s do an exercise together.

Imagine you have 3 cups and you only have enough liquid to fill one cup to its maximum another cup half way and very little liquid left to fill the third cup and the criteria of this exercise is that you have to choose one to fill to its maximum and one to fill halfway and one to have a few droplets left. Now, one cup is labeled,” physical beauty,” and the second cup is,” personality,” and the third cup is labeled, “character.” Now I want you to go ahead and fill your imaginary cups.

So if you immediately filled the physical beauty cup to its maximum and the character cup comes in third then you may be more suited for casual dating at this point in my opinion. If over time character and personality become more important to you then you may be developing more towards wanting a committed long term relationship as your focus. I’m not saying physical attraction is not important because it is, however if that is your end goal it’s not sustainable because we all age and after the initial rush of dating someone for a few months or longer then reality eventually sets in. From personal experience, I’ve dated women that I have found beautiful at the beginning of a relationship and by the end I found them quite unattractive mainly due to character and personality. On the other hand, I’ve met women that my attraction grew over time due to character and personality.

This is a pretty simple exercise but I would do it every few months in your dating life to help provide some clarity and framework for what you’re looking for. This can change back-and-forth depending on what’s going on in your own life but it’s important to assess yourself from time to time so that you can own your decisions and be able to filter out what you are not looking for. Best of luck.