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I matched with three guys I wanted to meet, but none of them have started a conversation!
I spend so much time on these apps and nothing ever comes from it!
Any of these thoughts sound familiar? If you have frequented any of the dating apps on the market today, it’s likely you can relate to all three of these statements. It’s almost proven that the overabundant online selection and quick-to-judge vetting process is more curse than blessing to females looking for something serious. Weeks, months, or years spent sorting, swiping, matching, and messaging often result in nothing but extreme dating fatigue, landing most women right back where they started when their membership expires.
Most clients who seek my help have nearly given up hope of making something online happen offline. It’s one of the main reasons I decided to change my coaching structure two years ago from single sessions to a six month program. As fast and easy as app dating may be, the process is anything but that. To play the new dating game, you not only have to understand the other team, but you have to really know the playing field, and it has become challenging, confusing, and all too time consuming.
I’ve been dating for over twenty years (ten years for myself, ten by proxy) and can confidently say I know the app game pretty well. There are ways to work the new system of dating so that the system doesn’t work you. I teach my clients how to do just that, and at times, I even do it for them by logging into their profiles. Today, I’m going to share a few of my app dating techniques right here so that you, too, can up your odds of making love happen.
As much as we’d like to use Tinder and the like to “cherry pick” our Prince Charming, doing so is a recipe for sitting home every night. If you want to find the right person for you, you have to ditch your list of physical must-haves and swipe right on almost anyone who fits your age range and location. Before you start posting the backlash comments to this, let me clarify that I’m not telling you to go out with everyone you swipe right on. I’m saying that in order to have enough of a dating pool to fish from you need to swipe right A LOT. From the guys who “SR” back on you and result in a match, you can then decide who you want to message and possibly meet. If you hate this idea, you will likely need to read my upcoming book, “Cursed: Why you are smart and savvy but bad at love and the 5 cures that can save you from heartbreak” because your problem likely runs deeper than your “swipe psychology”. (Sorry!)
I am a big fan of old school rules like never texting a man first, and not asking him on a date. However, those principles don’t apply before you meet! Pre-first date, throw all the rules out the window because they will only have you scratching your head asking yourself why you aren’t meeting anyone. It’s not only fine to start messaging a guy first, it is necessary at times. Remember that most men have a substantial online funnel going, too, and if you don’t initiate a icebreaker you could get pushed down the line by the five other aggressive females clamoring to have coffee with him. And speaking of coffee, I also encourage you to throw out the suggestion of grabbing a cup because some guys are slower to pull the trigger and ask than others. Again, you don’t want Aggressive Abby and Brave Betty to beat you to the punch… or to the latte.
<b>If He Bites, Reel Him In</b>
This might be the most important part of my app dating strategy and it’s one that I don’t see many people use. Listen carefully because this is the golden nugget! If you get a guy chatting through one of the apps, do not leave the conversation. Do not play hard-to-get by hopping offline for an hour or a day, and then come back and try to resume your chat. It won’t work. If someone starts messaging you, stop what you are doing and build a relationship with him right then and there! Spend the next 15-20 minutes getting to know that person and creating a connection. After you feel you’ve done a good job building a little rapport, close him for a coffee date like this, “Hey, it’s been great chatting with you but I have a pilates class at 7:30. Maybe we should grab coffee this weekend? Let me know and I’ll check back with you tomorrow.” By closing him but also leaving him at the height of impulse, you create what I call the “laid back close.” This strategy makes you seem somewhat indifferent (not overeager), but still allows you to take control and get yourself the date!
If you are having troubling with the last piece of advice and can’t figure out how to quickly and effectively build a relationship with a stranger, don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s actually hard to generate a good, meaningful conversation over “text” with someone you have never met. If you need help, you might want to reach out to me and find out more about my coaching program. Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
It was my freshman year at college. My first day on campus, as I wandered around aimlessly with my roommate looking for the dining hall, I walked by a guy who completely took my breath away. It was the first time I had been struck with the “love at first sight” feeling. He nodded his head in acknowledgement and barely cocked a smile, but my heart raced. I had to know who he was. Was he a freshman, too? Where was he living? I had to meet him somehow….
As the months passed I learned the answers to all my questions. No, he wasn’t a freshman. He was a Sophmore, and living quite close to my dorm. We would cross paths on Thursdays while I was on my way to Spanish. Sometimes I mustered a hello, sometimes just a smile. I knew he was in a Fraternity, and at any chance I got, I attended their parties but only to swoon from afar. I just never got up the courage to introduce myself.
Then, one day, one of my friends grew tired of hearing how much I like this guy and while we were out at a local dive bar, she grabbed his arm and pulled him over. “This is Jessica.” she said. “Jessica, this is hot-guy-you-have-been-pining-over-for-almost-a-year.” No, she didn’t really say that. She said his name, which I’ll keep confidential. Hot guy smiled at me, shook my hand, and said, “You wanna dance?”
The rest of the night was a happy blur of events. I was on cloud nine. Hot guy never left my side, ran to fill my beverage, sat with his arm around me, and then walked me to my car and asked to exchange numbers. I couldn’t believe it. I was officially going to date hot guy and this was the beginning of what would be a beautiful relationship….or so I thought.
A week passed after that night and nothing but crickets. I didn’t leave my dorm for fear I would miss his call and my answering machine would fail me (yes, cell phones were for rich people at this point in time.) On the way to Thursdays Spanish class I saw him standing outside Thompson Hall smoking a cigarette with some friends. He saw me and waved. That was it.
That night, I sat around with some girls that lived on my hall and retold the story of the wonderful night I had the weekend before and how crushed I was that I had not heard from hot guy. Then, one of their boyfriend’s who was sitting nearby eavesdropping came over and gave me what would become known as the worst piece of advice I’ve ever gotten. “Call him,” he said. “He’s probably scared to make a move.” Now, I had been told by my mother repeatedly not to chase boys, so this counsel was met with resistance at first, but the boyfriend continued making his case for why calling hot guy would be a good idea.
“He was drinking and he probably isn’t sure that you’re interested. If he was drunk, he probably lost your number. It’s 1996 and girls call guys now and we like it! It takes the pressure off. You’re in control.” And then he finally added, “It can’t hurt.” So, after 10 minutes of convincing, I picked up the phone and called hot guy.
It did not go well.
His roommate picked up the phone and told me to hold. “Hot guy!” he yelled. “Jessica is on the phone for you!” To which hot guy replied, “Who??” The next two minutes were cringe-worthy. Hot guy got on the phone and we struggled through 120 seconds of conversation. Then he told me his roommate needed to use the phone and he would call me back. He never did.
Even though I was crushed by this incident, and no relationship ever materialized between us, hot guy did me a favor that night by not calling me back. He wasn’t interested in me and although it took a while to get over that fact, at least he didn’t feign attraction or take advantage of my infatuation. My dorm-mates boyfriend convinced me that calling hot guy couldn’t hurt, but if he had taken my call, asked me to come over, hooked up with me and never talked to me again, that would have definitely caused me pain.
I might have been spared, but many single girls today fall into “go-nowhere” relationships with guys and the most of the time, it is due in large part to initiating contact first just as I did. They are under the impression that initiating a simple text to someone they like can’t hurt, but truly, it is this small misstep in the “hanging out” phase that can lead to a girl wasting her time with a guy who’s only moderately interested. It can segue into an unbalanced relationship, and the possibility of being used by someone for a mere steady hook-up.
Reaching out over the phone, email, text, instant messenger, or via some social media site when you are just starting to talk to a guy, not only sends the message that you are chasing him, it also robs you of the opportunity to assess if he is truly interested in pursing a relationship with you. I always tell my coaching clients that they need to read a guy’s buying signs, and those signs will tell you most everything you need to know about his interest. One of the biggest signs is, does he text you first after you’ve seen him? If he does, then he’s likely very interested. If he doesn’t, then he isn’t.
It’s easy to accidentally sabotage a potential relationship by doing something you normally would not do if not for cell phones or the Internet. After my epic fail with hot guy, I never called another boy again. And I’m happy to say, that strategy served me very well for all the years I dated. But most girls today don’t get the clear cut “not interested” sign like I did. Relationship have become more ambiguous and knowing when and what to text someone can be as complicated as a Game of Thrones plotline.
If you need help even on the smallest scale with someone you are hanging out with or dating, you don’t need to hire an expensive dating coach and spend an hour on the phone trying to decode a text and craft one back. I offer quick, inexpensive email advice for these small but critical situations. You can write me up to 800 words, allowing you to give me ample backstory, and within 24 hours, you’ll have a response from me about what you should or should not do. Best of all, you’ll have the peace of mind that you didn’t make an impulsive decision that cost you a chance with your own hot guy.