The Worst Advice I’ve Ever Gotten: Are you making the same small mistake that has huge repercussions

Photo on 8-23-17 at 2.39 PMIt 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.

To contact me today email coach@jessmccann.com or check out my contact page here. Continue reading

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Dating Unplugged: Drastic approach or game changing trend?

“He’s been texting me for the last three days, but he still hasn’t asked me out for another date! What is going on?”

I get asked some form of this question at least twice a day. Frustrated single women scratching their heads over why the man they are seeing, (or maybe more accurately, not seeing) is dragging his feet on setting up a date. The romantic tales of today are sounding more and more like this; boy meets girl. boy gets her number. boy texts girl. boy texts girl some more. girl gets frustrated that boy is not making any real moves. Sometimes there is a date or two wedged into all that texting, but not always. Quite often the relationship fizzles out leaving girl to wonder, “where did we go wrong?”

The reason these potential relationships fail to take flight can vary. Some men just prefer the comfort of a virtual relationship, others start interested but that interest quickly wanes with one text too many, but most are doing what women wish they wouldn’t do. They are texting with multiple girls at once and just don’t have the time to date all of them.

Tired of constantly losing at the dating game, my client, who we will call Grace, decided that she spent too much time during our sessions asking me when and what to text boys. Exhausted at the minutia, she decided to do the unthinkable. She disabled her text messaging. She decided she would date plugged for the next year and hope for better results.

When Grace handed out her number, she made a point to tell the guy she couldn’t receive texts. Some looked confused but others just accepted the information. Some wouldn’t call even after taking her number, but the ones who did, set up dates. Not only that, but they set up the next date before that date ended. The biggest difference came with online dating though. Since Grace was a big internet dater (and I recommended not giving that one up) she emailed with men but again told them she didn’t have text capability. The results? There were no more long drawn out texts convos with men she hadn’t met, no more waiting “day-of” to get a text about where and when they would meet (or if they were even still meeting!), best of all, she wasn’t worried that she was wasting time constantly communicating with someone she wasn’t going to see again. Grace’s story changed to boy meets girl. boy gets girls number. boy calls girl and asks her out properly.

Grace’s resounding success caused a wave among her friends. Soon they were all dating unplugged. I began telling my clients to stop giving out there cell phone numbers and go back to using their home phone. Funny, not all were up for the challenge and when pressed, admitted that they were afraid of letting go of their virtual relationships, even at the prospect of more quickly developing a real one. Most that tried did try it though, were pleased at the turn around. They felt no more angst and anxiety in between dates. They felt more confident while on them, too, because they were only going out with men who picked up the phone and asked them out, which takes more thought and courage than typing a quick “how r u?”. And while you would think that communicating less with someone would slow the relationship, in many ways it had the opposite effect. More people were going on more dates, more often, and building something real rather than aimlessly surface chatting for weeks about their daily grind, or plans for the weekend.

If you have had your fill of flirty texting that lead only to confusion, anxiety, and more texting, take the uplugged dating challenge and keep us posted on your results!

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I RUINED MY CHANCES WITH A GREAT GUY! CAN I WIN HIM BACK?

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