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    Dating and Such

    (inspired by the Ask A Woman post today)

    As someone who is recently out of a near decade long relationship and has spent the last 6 months learning how to be single and date and stuff basically for the first time in my adult life, I wanted to start a thread to cover more "meta-dating" topics like the one Beth was discussing rather than the typical stuff of what to do/not do on a date. So to kick off:

    1) Asking someone out: The idea of passing someone a note - whether they are working or otherwise - is pretty strange to me. I'd think as a guy you want to project a bit of confidence, and that means actually asking the person out even if the situation is not ideal. It's tough, and I've been in a situation where I wanted to ask a girl out while she was working. There was another customer hovering around and I didn't want to put her on the spot, so I ended up getting her business card and giving her a call right after. It worked but even that felt a bit awkward. For the coffee shop scenario I'd think if you have enough time to chit chat a bit without being rude to a customer in line behind you, you can throw something in quickly like "Hey what are you doing later?" or even "So I think you're really cute. If you'd like to grab a drink or something sometime here's my card." The fact that it's within earshot of others makes it that much more confident.

    Anyone here ask out perfect strangers? Girls at the grocery store, in your yoga class, or whatever? Any advice or interesting stories?

    2) Friends: I'd never ask a girl on a first date that involves a group of my friends. I think it puts the girl in a weird position of getting to know your friends before she even knows if she likes you, and puts your friends in the weird position of having to welcome someone into the group without any context. It could also create some ambiguity as to your intentions, present a risk of getting friend-zoned or whatever. I'd be interested to hear thoughts on when friends get brought into the picture and how.

    3) Breaking things off: Unfortunately something I've done a few times in the last few months. How many dates in do you feel the need to formally break things off? Have/do you ever just stop pursuing dates without saying anything? Up to now I've done 3, all of which have been in person, and it strikes me as a bit tedious and in each instance has basically taken up/wasted an entire evening for the both of us.

    #2
    Cool topic.

    1. Agreed. While I like the idea of passing a note in theory, I don't think it looks good in practice. The whole 'project confidence' thing always rings true for me. I did like the idea of going in when it is slow and asking her out though. That takes the pressure off you, since there is no one around to listen to you sweat it out. Plus it takes the pressure off her to say whatever just to get you to move the line along. Trouble is, is there ever a slow time at the coffee shop? And if you see her on your way to/from work in the morning, do you really have the time to wait until a slow period pops up?

    2. Agreed. I try to avoid group activities with friends. I'll suggest something where we are not alone (walk along the ocean, bike ride, patio for drinks) but would not bring her around to a big group of friends on the first date.

    3. After the initial date, and maybe the second one there after I have just stopped calling and/or following up. Usually if I hit the third date I feel obliged to let them know that "It's not you, it's me".

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by southy View Post
      (inspired by the Ask A Woman post today)

      As someone who is recently out of a near decade long relationship and has spent the last 6 months learning how to be single and date and stuff basically for the first time in my adult life, I wanted to start a thread to cover more "meta-dating" topics like the one Beth was discussing rather than the typical stuff of what to do/not do on a date. So to kick off:

      1) Asking someone out: The idea of passing someone a note - whether they are working or otherwise - is pretty strange to me. I'd think as a guy you want to project a bit of confidence, and that means actually asking the person out even if the situation is not ideal. It's tough, and I've been in a situation where I wanted to ask a girl out while she was working. There was another customer hovering around and I didn't want to put her on the spot, so I ended up getting her business card and giving her a call right after. It worked but even that felt a bit awkward. For the coffee shop scenario I'd think if you have enough time to chit chat a bit without being rude to a customer in line behind you, you can throw something in quickly like "Hey what are you doing later?" or even "So I think you're really cute. If you'd like to grab a drink or something sometime here's my card." The fact that it's within earshot of others makes it that much more confident.

      Anyone here ask out perfect strangers? Girls at the grocery store, in your yoga class, or whatever? Any advice or interesting stories?

      2) Friends: I'd never ask a girl on a first date that involves a group of my friends. I think it puts the girl in a weird position of getting to know your friends before she even knows if she likes you, and puts your friends in the weird position of having to welcome someone into the group without any context. It could also create some ambiguity as to your intentions, present a risk of getting friend-zoned or whatever. I'd be interested to hear thoughts on when friends get brought into the picture and how.

      3) Breaking things off: Unfortunately something I've done a few times in the last few months. How many dates in do you feel the need to formally break things off? Have/do you ever just stop pursuing dates without saying anything? Up to now I've done 3, all of which have been in person, and it strikes me as a bit tedious and in each instance has basically taken up/wasted an entire evening for the both of us.
      My two cents (take it or leave it, opinions will differ):

      1. Passing a note is perfectly fine, especially when someone is working. Give the girl an easy out. Pass a note that says, "I know you're working so I didn't want to interrupt too much, but I'd like to take you to [dinner, lunch, coffee, whatever] sometime. Here's my number if you'd like to call me when you're off work." I've never been a fan of putting girls on the spot, and I've always thought that giving them an easy out is the way to go. I don't want to go out on a date with a girl who isn't 100% stoked about going out on a date with me. Seems like a waste of effort.

      On a different note (and I'm sorry if this makes me sound like an ass), but you have to consider your dating pool. When I was younger, I dated girls who worked in retail/restaurants/etc. But at that time, I was working retail/restaurants/etc. If I'm in my late twenties/early thirties and working a full-time job with all the grown-up shit that comes with it, I'm not sure the 19 year old barista would be a good match for me. Different strokes for different folks, but I generally would look for someone at or near the same station of life as me.

      2. Friend dates can be okay, but I agree that it may not be ideal for a first date. The only caveat would be - "I'm doing X with some friends, and would love for you to come, but before we do X, I'd like to take you to Y." I think one-on-one time is pretty important.

      My second date with my fiance was a double date with her friend and some guy. She asked if I would mind doing the double date thing for our second date, and I told her "that's fine, but I'm nervous enough just for our date so if I'm going to be meeting more new people, you and I need to get to the bar early so we can pre-game a little bit together." That plan worked out well.

      3. As a general rule, I think it's just nice to acknowledge there will be no future dates (even if there was only one). After one date you know there won't be a second, send a text, "hey, I had fun, but I think we're both looking for something different." After 3-5 dates, a phone call should suffice. More than that, I'd say you may need to do it in person. Ghosting on a girl (although tempting and easy and I'm definitely guilty of it) just isn't polite.
      Last edited by C.Dubs; July 9, 2015, 01:04 PM. Reason: Terrible grammar.

      Comment


        #4
        1. I'm married, and it's been a while since I've dated, but in the past I've initiated dates with strangers or with women I knew only from a coffee shop or bar I'd frequent by using a business card (which had my cell number on it) instead of a note. I'd often write something on the back—something short like, "I'd love to hear from you"—and when I'd hand the card to her say something like, "No pressure but I just wanted to leave you my card because I'd love to take you out sometime." I'd do this right before I left so it wasn't awkward for her. The success rate was about equal to, if not slightly greater than, when I'd ask directly. I think with a stranger or with someone who's working, they're not expecting to be asked out, so asking directly can catch them off guard or seem inappropriate. By letting them know your intentions without putting them on the spot, I think it projects confidence and courtesy. They can decide on their time or ignore the invitation all together. Usually, if they're interested they'll at least send a text or an email within a day or two.

        2. Agreed. Group activities lead to ambiguity in your intentions leads to friend-zoning or misunderstanding.

        3. I only ever felt the need to officially "break things off" when we got to a point where a weekend date was assumed, usually after about a month, so somewhere after about 4 dates. Before that time, I never felt it necessary because the assumption was that we weren't going to see each other until the date was made.

        Comment


          #5
          I have sooooo many good friends that have no idea how to actually ask a woman out.. one guy I blame technology ruining his ability to communicate with anyone normally and the other is because he grew up in such an awkward family. His gist of going out is what he remembers from high school. Which means "will you go out with me?" automatically means you are my girlfriend. He has asked a couple girls to lunch without indicating that they were date lunches... then one day he is with a girl and they see a mutual friend.. when asked how they know each other he said we're kind of seeing each other... and she right then says "no we're not".
          For number one, you better be confident and you better communicate well. notes are cute if you can't hear in loud bar environment and about the only time I would ever use one.
          Number two, group activities are a def no, with the exception of a double date if there needs to be a comfort cushion. aka you are a creepy looking dude.
          Number three, anything more than 3 dates someone deserves a phone call at the least.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by C.Dubs View Post
            On a different note (and I'm sorry if this makes me sound like an ass), but you have to consider your dating pool. When I was younger, I dated girls who worked in retail/restaurants/etc. But at that time, I was working retail/restaurants/etc. If I'm in my late twenties/early thirties and working a full-time job with all the grown-up shit that comes with it, I'm not sure the 19 year old barista would be a good match for me. Different strokes for different folks, but I generally would look for someone at or near the same station of life as me.
            This doesn't make you sound like an ass, but it's important to point out that nowadays—meaning in the last 4-5 years—in this economy, more service and retail jobs are being staffed by older people. Instead of the traditional idea of a waitress or barista being a high school or college student, it's becoming more and more likely that those same jobs are held by people in their mid to late 20s. In fact, I think the average age of workers in service jobs is something like 28 years old. To this point, I think all of the baristas in the coffee shop I regularly attend are at least 24, with maybe one or two exceptions. They have college degrees but can't find "grown up" jobs. They do, however, have grownup responsibilities. The same is true of the bartenders at the bars my wife and I visit. It'll certainly depend on where you live, though, so discretion is always advised.

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by ForeverGuest View Post
              This doesn't make you sound like an ass, but it's important to point out that nowadays—meaning in the last 4-5 years—in this economy, more service and retail jobs are being staffed by older people. Instead of the traditional idea of a waitress or barista being a high school or college student, it's becoming more and more likely that those same jobs are held by people in their mid to late 20s. In fact, I think the average age of workers in service jobs is something like 28 years old. To this point, I think all of the baristas in the coffee shop I regularly attend are at least 24, with maybe one or two exceptions. They have college degrees but can't find "grown up" jobs. They do, however, have grownup responsibilities. The same is true of the bartenders at the bars my wife and I visit. It'll certainly depend on where you live, though, so discretion is always advised.
              Very true and well stated.

              Comment


                #8
                Not necessarily advice, but I recently read Mark Manson's book Models: Attract Women Through Honesty. I stumbled upon his website and I really liked some of his blog pieces so I decided to pick his book up. It was good and I would definitely recommend it for guys looking for dating advice. I'm pretty much dating ambivalent myself, at the moment. I have too much on my plate to even think about pursuing another relationship at the moment.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Nashville is the city of professional single women and apparently no guys worthy of their time according to my wife's girlfriends. Hell even I know a few who have great careers but the prospect of guys is struggling musician or still figuring themselves out.

                  Dating seems hard these days and I am glad I am married. Good luck folks!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by JBarwick View Post
                    Nashville is the city of professional single women and apparently no guys worthy of their time according to my wife's girlfriends. Hell even I know a few who have great careers but the prospect of guys is struggling musician or still figuring themselves out.

                    Dating seems hard these days and I am glad I am married. Good luck folks!
                    Damn, I've been with someone almost my whole time here. Sounds like I'm missing out

                    Comment


                      #11
                      1. Go to backpage.com
                      2. Get "escort".
                      3. Profit

                      Comment


                        #12
                        So I'm in my early twenties and dating is definitely harder with technology, and our profiles and pictures blasted on about five different sites. One thing that seems to occur to myself and many of my friends is the pre-dating stage called "Talking". I've chatted with many guys interested in girls and they are 'talking' now, maybe date soon.

                        For me, usually we will text a bit for a few days if we can't meet face to face, and if the answers aren't short and to the point, I feel like I have interest and will eventually ask her out to coffee or ice cream (do people still do that? haha). Have any of you guys currently dating have found this to also be the case, and how do you handle it? If you're happily married/committed (super jealous), have you seen or heard of this lately and what do you think?

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by ndintel View Post
                          I feel like I have interest and will eventually ask her out to coffee or ice cream (do people still do that? haha).
                          I'm not sure if people still do that, but they should. If other women are anything like my wife, ice cream is surely the quickest root to their hearts.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by ndintel View Post
                            So I'm in my early twenties and dating is definitely harder with technology, and our profiles and pictures blasted on about five different sites. One thing that seems to occur to myself and many of my friends is the pre-dating stage called "Talking".
                            Ah yes, the "talking" phase. If we're talking about apps and sites and such, I see it as a way to establish that the other person is a functional human being and is capable of chatting and being friendly. My experience has been that sometimes they just aren't particularly friendly, or are incredibly flaky or not interested in conversing (something I find slightly bewildering considering the whole matching process) or are incapable of talking about anything but snowboarding (ok maybe just that one girl). The key for me has been to not draw that part out: you're not going to learn much about how a person is via text, so once I've established any sort of rapport I move directly to trying to set up a meet. Sometimes I think even a few days of very casual texting might be a bit much, and I should be more "businesslike" - like 5 minutes of chat and then try to meet up.

                            Regards to the above, what do you guys use as openers? I've tried here and there to start with something interesting/smooth but I get the impression that you're more liable to come off as creepy than anything, so I pretty much stick to the friendly/unthreatening/boring "Hey there, how's your week(end) going?"

                            In my limited experience, I would definitely say on the whole dating has been made a lot easier because of technology. Maybe this is simplistic but to me it comes down to some basic math: You walk into a bar that has 200 people in it, at least half are guys. Of the remaining 100 girls, maybe 60% are either there with someone or with a group of friends or otherwise socially not available to be spoken to. Down to 40. Now filter to within your eligible age range (20), attractive to you (6), find you attractive (3), someone you actually physically see at said location (2)... basically even using the most rudimentary criteria the odds are completely stacked against you before you even consider competition from other guys, your level of social awkwardness, and the fact that you know absolutely nothing about this person and are more likely than not to have very little in common. I'm not saying a bar is your only alternative (it's probably a very poor one even) but to some extent this is going to apply to any place where you might meet someone. I think there's a very strong case to be made that by introducing even very superficial elements of compatibility that the likes of a dating app/site provide, you're being orders of magnitude more responsible about finding a partner.

                            Originally posted by ndintel View Post
                            For me, usually we will text a bit for a few days if we can't meet face to face, and if the answers aren't short and to the point, I feel like I have interest and will eventually ask her out to coffee or ice cream (do people still do that? haha)
                            My standard is drinks on a weeknight, in part because I'm into cocktails and wine and stuff and it lets me gauge how adventurous my date is in terms of food/drink, but I've done coffee and ice cream, climbing gym dates, etc. I think ultimately the forum doesn't matter as long as it's relaxed and social and you're not committing to spending hours with the person in advance.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              I've found that dating apps, while having made meeting more girls a lot easier, have made actual dating harder. I'm already in NYC where it's a bit of a dating never-never-land, but with the idea that a new (better?!) mate is potentially a swipe away, the grass that may greener has become even more tempting.

                              I always go for drinks for a first date if I don't know the girl. If it's someone I've met a few times through friends I trust, I might do dinner on the first 'date', but that's because I've already gotten to know them on a base level enough to judge that an hour or two with them wouldn't be a waste.

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