You’ve Got Her Number, Now What?

“When is he going to ask me out?”

is the top question I get from women about men’s texting. These women are frustrated.  They are confused. They are wondering why you asked for their number if you only wanted to know what they had for lunch. So stop vague-texting, and do this instead.

  1. Call her

I cannot overstate this: Texting is a trap.

When people are texting, they make mistakes that are then used to judge the entire person, ending relationships before they’ve even begun.  Yes, truly.  Tone of voice and the relating of a conversation smooths over such mistakes. Plus, calling is now so retro—especially for the under-30 crowd—that dialing a number is the equivalent of highlighting your interest.

And to win a woman, you have to show open, obvious, clear interest.

If calling feels like overstepping, text to request a call: “I would rather call than text, if you’re okay with that.  Is there a good time?”  You can always revert to texting if she says she’d rather do it that way.

  1. Ask specifically

If you’ve asked, “So, wanna hang out sometime?” you may be hoping she will finish the job and ask you out.  But as recently as 2012, 88% of women still weren’t initiating dates.

Women have always valued men’s confidence and responded to cues that make us feel secure; it’s an evolutionary thing.  Technology has not changed our wiring.  Your hesitation could be because asking makes you feel vulnerable, but that is the point: in asking, you are giving a powerful cue and an enormous compliment by risking yourself for her.  It’s heroic.

So ask her out to a specific event, at a specific time and place.  It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, just clear and definite (and ideally, also fun): “I’d love to take you roller skating next Friday at three at [location]; does that work for you?”

  1. Ask ahead

Spontaneity is cool—in a long-established relationship. But a woman you don’t know isn’t your fallback plan.  Show respect by asking ahead, and by not keeping her living on the edge hoping for an ask.

When you ask at least two days ahead, it sets you apart from the crowd—and there’s a crowd!  If you like her, so do other guys.  You want to be the one giving her all the good feels, not one of the pack taking her for granted before the relationship has even begun.

  1. Confirm plans

Confirm your meeting the day before.  Otherwise, you’re getting associated with feeling insecure—a risky move if you like this girl.

What if you’ve changed your mind?  Say so, at least two days ahead.  “I’m very sorry, but I’ve decided to make different plans for Saturday.  I wanted to give you time to make another plan of your own.”  She won’t like it, but she’ll like it more than being stood up.

Upshot?  Repeat after me: confidence and security are woman-bait.  Ask with clarity and confidence, which will help her feel secure.  And prevent my in-box being clogged with questions about your vague texting!

Together Or Separate? How To Respond To This First Date Question!

First, second, and even third dates can be made awkward for a variety of different reasons but lately the question of “who pays the bill?” has been the topic of conversation among my single friends, men and women alike.

I caught up with a friend over coffee and she confessed she was back in the singles pool and actively dating again.

Exciting? Very. Awkward? Extremely.

Gabbing about our latest dating experiences, my witty, outgoing, gorgeous friend surprised me when she admitted she was at a loss for words on her last date. She said,

“The date was going great, both of us in the groove, conversation flowing, but then my anxiety crept up at the very end when the waiter looked down at the two of us and asked, “will this be together or separate?” I froze instantly. So many thoughts whirling in my mind…Do I grab my wallet? What if he puts his card down first, do I put mine on top? Do I argue with him? When do I stop arguing with him? Do I offer to pay half? Do I sit and say nothing? I got so awkward! I didn’t want him to think I was expecting him to pay the full bill!”

My friend went on to tell me she has gone as far as buying gift cards to restaurants for dates, telling her date it was a present from a friend, just to avoid the awkward method of payment at the end. This way they were “both” getting treated…

I realized quickly this was a problem for my friend and most likely other singles attempting to navigate the uncharted realms of the dating world.

Expectations can vary among daters, but I have always stuck to a couple guidelines before heading on a date to keep me in check.

Never assume the bill will be covered

The majority of first dates I have been on, my date has covered the bill but this isn’t always the case. Whether it be drinks, dinner or a movie, I have never expected my date to pay the full bill. When the check is placed on the table, pull out your wallet. If your date says they’ve got this one, thank them politely, put your wallet away and say you’ve got the next one, if you want a second date that is.

Always carry cash

Take money out prior to a date just in case you two decide to split the bill. If your date only has card, let them know you have cash and have no problem going halfsies! Cash in your wallet is also helpful at old school restaurants that refuse to take card! I have definitely found myself in that awkward situation before.

Talk about it

I would reserve this conversation for the fourth, fifth or sixth date when you have established some sort of exclusivity. I think it is really important to understand each other’s expectations and dating style early on. The rule that has worked best for me in the past is going date for date. For example, if I treat my boyfriend to a date night on Friday, he will get the next one the following weekend, so it becomes an equal playing field.

I want to know how you choose to pay the bill?! Together or separate?

 

Tips And Tricks for Singles This Halloween

With Halloween fast approaching, many singles are still scrambling to score a date and last minute costume inspiration. As a resident dating expert at PlentyOfFish, I have the scoop on the spooktacular tips and tricks that are necessary for all singles before this year’s anticipated fright night!

Horror Movie Marathon

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Get into the mood with a horror movie marathon! Fortunately this year, Halloween falls on a Saturday, which means you can actually check this one off your list! Not sure what to watch? The movie Halloween has been produced 10 times, so invite a couple friends and pass around the candy corn! Watch the evolution of Mike Myers starting from 1978 to his final resurrection in 2009.

Creative costumes are a conversation starter!

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Don’t settle on the “sexy” cop costume that is guaranteed to make an appearance at least 8 times at the party. This is the perfect opportunity for you to standout! Rather than boosting up the ladies with a push up, try to be original, funny or creative! A costume that doesn’t expose your assets, highlights your confidence and will inevitably spark up conversation. Even if no one knows who you are dressed as, it gives them all the more reason to approach you and ask.

Get out there or don’t…

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Halloween is the one holiday that caters to all ages! If you are looking to hit the town, you are in for a treat! Almost every club or pub will have live music, dj or dress up contest. Pub crawls are the best option for singles because the opportunity to meet a much larger pool of people is possible. If the first bar doesn’t deliver, move onto the next! “Halloween is a great excuse for a night out or to host a party of your own!” states our very own PlentyOfFish user. For the quieter type, there is no harm in staying in and handing out candy to trick or treaters, because you may just open your door to a hot “single” mom or dad that you can playfully flirt with.

Say hello to the man/woman behind the mask

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Don’t be turned off by those hiding behind a mask or bulky costume. A little mystery can be intriguing! Take the time to approach these people. This is a great way to get to know someone’s personality before anything else. Once you’ve broken the ice, the mask may come off and reveal a pleasant surprise.

Don’t drink the whole punch bowl

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If you are looking to make a great first impression with a group of fellow singles, it is very important that you pace yourself when it comes to the witches brew! I recommend starting the evening off with a beer, cider or glass of wine. Try choosing a drink with a lower alcohol percentage and stick to it for through the course of the evening. Everyone is different in terms of how much they can consume before the tipping point, so make sure you know your own tolerance before saying yes to the hard bar. If someone offers to buy you drinks, which in many cases they will, make sure you keep track of what you are consuming and stick to the same alcohol you started the evening with. This will eliminate poor judgement and a nasty hangover the following morning.

5 Signs You’re Terrible At Online Dating (And How To Change That)

Online dating can seem a lot like online shopping, (So much selection! So much fun to scroll through shoes, er.. men!), but the similarities end there. If you’re treating finding a relationship like a casual browse for sale items, it’s time to shape up! Take a look at these signs that you’re headed for trouble with your online dating profile and what you can do to fix it.

Problem: You have a strict list of criteria that you’re not willing to budge on

We hear from our girlfriends all the time that we shouldn’t compromise on what we want in a partner. But who’s perfect? I certainly wouldn’t want to be held up against that standard. Be realistic with your “dealbreakers.” Does he really have to be at least 6 feet tall? Will that matter when you’re 70? Having a strict list of criteria that you’re unwilling to compromise on, (“I would never date someone who drives a jeep,” or “He’s just a carpenter.”), means that you’re discounting a huge number of people right out of the gate that could be great for you. Having hard and fast rules about who you are willing to date will only hurt you in the long run.

Exercise: Try going on a date with someone that your friends pick for you. No arguments!

Problem: You focus on the negative

Your profile reads like a laundry list of everything you don’t want in a partner, relationship, or on your pizza. While you might think you’re being specific, all that negativity is off-putting to any potential partner. Online dating is all about being positive. You should always be honest, but no one wants to date a complainer. This goes for messages too. Stay away from negativity in your first interactions and instead focus on what you like to do and who you want to date.

Exercise: Start a new conversation where you don’t make any negative comments in your chats.

Problem: You go online exclusively for validation or positive reinforcement

Swipe, swipe, swipe, get match, experience surge of endorphins, repeat.

We all know that little twinge of excitement you get when you get a message, match with someone, or when you get likes on a photo; it can be a little addictive. Some argue that there are online daters out there who aren’t even interested in a relationship, but only in making themselves feel good with a bit of attention. While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying the little ego boost when you get a new message notification, if you’re barely serious about finding someone, you’re just wasting everyone’s time. Channel that positive feeling you get from online interactions into meeting someone new; it might be just the thing you need to approach dating with fresh energy!

Exercise: Actually go on a date. Just one 🙂

Problem: You stop responding just because it feels like too much work

We’re all busy, and it can be hard to feel motivated to continue that conversation. I’ll be real with you: online dating can be a lot of work. This might mean you have to have a few boring conversations or go on a couple of bad dates before you find one that makes it worth it, but bottom line: you have to put in the effort if you expect anyone else to. If you stop responding to messages or go AWOL on someone, you’ve stalled before you even get rolling. As challenging as it may be, if you want to be successful, you have to keep your energy up, keep responding, and keep going on dates. It WILL pay off in the long run.

Exercise: Don’t let 24 hours go by without sending a reply.

Problem: You stand people up

This is just bad manners. If you’ve committed to making plans with someone else, show up. If you really can’t make it anymore (and I mean really, not just that you decided to stay home and watch Netflix instead), then give them as much heads up as possible. Think about how much energy and preparation goes into a first date, and be respectful of other people’s time. Nothing leads to Online Dating Burnout and feeling discouraged faster than feeling like you’re wasting your time.

Exercise: Don’t back out of any dates for a whole month.

The 5 Online Daters You Should Avoid

With both personal and professional involvement in online dating, I have come to realize that while it can be highly rewarding, it can also be highly frustrating. The most common feedback from successful PlentyOfFish couples (as well as my own observations) is that when it comes to online dating, you get what you give.

That said, there’s a shortcut to navigating the time wasters from those who are actually worth your valuable time and effort. It all comes down to some very simple, very common traits that we see online everyday! To save yourself from endless profiles to pick through each day, here are the top 5 online daters you should avoid:

1) The Negative Nancy

Modus operandi: The person who has all the negative things to say in their profile. They have a laundry list of things wrong with online dating or the idea of how online dating should work. They have a wishlist of their perfect match and will always list it in point form on their profile. They will always state in their profiles “I’m not here for hook ups”, “Don’t message me if”… No matter all your redeeming qualities if you’re a tad on the flirty side and you’re not out to get married tomorrow, don’t have a beard, tattoos and a motorcycle you’re OUT. No if’s, ands or buts.

Why you should avoid them: They will bring you down. Online dating is hard enough as it is without having a pessimist in your midst. Trying to live up to their 500 deal breakers / makers listed in their profile is frustrating at best. While I strongly agree that intentions should be clear, a profile is supposed to put your best (positive) foot forward. Decision making to carry on a conversation or to perhaps meet should come at a later time.

2) Spammy Steven

Modus operandi: The person you know has sent you the same thing he’s sent to about 500 other people..and you know it. The classic spammy message that is obviously just bait.

Why you should avoid them: I always say “Quality over quantity”. A spammy steven has definitely not read your profile and is just pulling generics out of the air. This is not only annoying, it’s discouraging as well. Throwing out lines in hopes to catch something is like picking low hanging fruit and it shows they aren’t necessarily trying to put in any effort. What does that say if you’re trying to find prince charming? Creativity in a first message is the make or break, your first impression! Make it count.

3) Persistent Pablo

Modus operandi: Messages you over and over and over again, most of the time it’s with the same line they used 2 weeks ago (do they not realize you can see the conversation thread?). You’ve ignored them or declined their invitation to chat once and here they are again. Often linked with a spammy steven, they have definitely not read your profile.

Why you should avoid them: Hello, future restraining order. If you have politely declined them, then that should be enough.

4) Boring Beth

Modus operandi: The person who has nothing interesting to say but keeps responding to your messages with one or two words max. Riveting stuff.

Why you should avoid them: You can’t be the only person initiating conversation, if they have nothing to bring to the table, they can eat alone. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are boring but it definitely doesn’t make them interesting, either. If they aren’t asking about your interests or have nothing to contribute to the conversation other than your regular “YES, NO” they probably aren’t that interested and you should probably move onto the next.

5) Phone Number Phil

Modus operandi: The person who gives you theirs or asks for your phone number on the first message without really conversing with you first. “I’m not on here much, call me at….”

Why you should avoid them: They are probably nuts or have a serious inappropriate picture collection / porn site subscription they wish to share with you. People often forget about the safety tips that should go along when online dating including not sending out your phone number to EVERY person you think is attractive. Consider using alternative options like a voice chat feature if you’re really interested in hearing their voice.