Tuesday, July 2, 2013

First Date Etiquette

In the past 2 weeks I've gone on 7 first dates. Fortunately, no disasters to report. Most of the guys I don't plan to see a second time, but no weirdos. I'd like to think my filters are working, but more likely, I've just been very lucky.

Getting the date

If I've been messaging a guy back, he can safely assume I'm up for meeting him. But after 4-5 messages back and forth, I start to get a little bored unless the conversation is incredibly interesting. I have no faith in online banter being any sort of indicator of an in-person connection, and my profile says I don't want a pen pal.

When you ask me for a date:

  • Give me a couple options for days. I'll suggest a different day if I can't do any of the ones you suggested
  • Pick the place and the activity
  • Don't repeatedly ask for my phone number or email
I've met too many guys in SF who seem to think phone numbers are collectors' items. They ask for numbers when they have no intention of calling the girls. While this situation is different, I prefer not to give out my number until I know I want to see the guy more than once. Seems a little safer that way. Plus, I assume most guys in this city have a smart phone, which also means they've downloaded the mobile app and thus can get messages from me or to me.

BONUS POINTS: 1) Pick a place in my neighborhood. 2) Suggest an activity that's not coffee or a drink and isn't creepy (should be in a public place). There are always a ton of things going on around the city. Pick one!

The date

First, be on time or send a message if you'll be more than 5 minutes late. An introductory hug is acceptable, but it shouldn't linger too long. A long hug when you're first meeting a guy is just super awkward and a bad first impression. Pay for the first date. I'm not taking advantage of the guys and ordering a lobster dinner. He can pay for one drink. If I insist on paying for something, it's a good indicator that I'm not interested in a second date.

During the date, don't dominate the conversation. Ask some questions, share a bit about yourself, but give me the opportunity to talk for longer than 30 seconds before interrupting. You've got to be very interesting for me to still be paying attention 10 minutes into your monologue. Go easy on the touching. Once or twice the shoulder or knee can be acceptable, but if I start inching away, no more touching. Anything other than shoulder or knee is generally not going to go over so well.

At the end of the date, don't ask me out on a second date. It's incredibly uncomfortable to say no or make up an excuse. It's better for everyone if you don't put me on the spot. A hug goodbye is fine, but again no lingering. And definitely no kiss. A peck on the cheek is even a little questionable.

BONUS POINTS: Make it clear during the date that you'd like to see me again. When we're talking about an activity we both like, say something along the lines of, "Oh you haven't been climbing at Castle Rock before? We should go sometime." You're not putting me on the spot to say yes or no, but I get the hint.

After the date

Regardless of whether you want to see me again or not, send me a message after the date saying it was nice to meet me. San Francisco is a small city. It's very likely we will run into each other at some point. Or even more likely, you'll message one of my friends who is also doing online dating. You will want me to give you a good recommendation. (I've already had a guy messaging me who my friend recognized after a 10 second description.)

BONUS POINTS: Send me a message the same day as the date saying you would like to see me again. The 3 day rule doesn't apply to online dating (though 3 days is the upper limit of the amount of time you've got to send a message). Plus I'll think you don't play games if I hear from you quickly. It's still a little awkward to say no to a message for a second date, but it's much easier for everyone that way.

Sadly, a guy could do all of these things right and there's still no chemistry. But if there is chemistry, he might just get a second date.

1 comment:

  1. Very entertaining and useful information.