Why You Should Double Book

I am all about a time-saving hack, so it seems logical to get more bang for your buck with dates. Except…..that it is frowned upon when you do back-to-back dates. (Usually only the men are frowning though). I watched the episode of “Sex and the City” where Charlotte double books and horror ensues. It is a tricky social loop-de-loop with some dos and don’ts. How can you maximize your evening without being rude and blowing it with both men?

Don’t do a dinner or big time commitment……

Charlotte’s huge mistake was accepting a dinner date. Any date where you are stuck for hours is a no-go. You never know, the kitchen could be backed up or the head chef could get stabbed in the hand with a butcher knife. Stick to simple drinks or coffee and give yourself an hour or so with date number one.

Explain to date number one you have plans after…..

It’s kinder to give a date a head’s up so he doesn’t think you are dedicating your whole evening to him. Explain you will be meeting with a friend later on, but can still hang for a bit. It might be to your benefit to have a shorter date and seem busy.

The second date needs to be further away…..

The worst thing you can do is invite date number two to the same bar! At least go around the corner to a new bar or location. Your first date might circle back in or not leave. Wear an outfit that’s neutral so you don’t stand out; avoid loud patterns or colors. You want to blend in just in case he walks by.

Treat date number one as a warm-up……

Date number one should be the guy that is pretty low stakes. It’s more so a warm-up that leads you to being more relaxed with date number two. It can feel jarring to meet a stranger and you need time to get your nerves ironed out.

Bottom Line……

Think how much energy you will save by splitting your typical four-hour date in half. Speed- dating is nothing new and not a dating crime. Men don’t like it because you are beating the system. There is no reason to gloat and brag that you have to get to another date. Always say “friend” and try your best to go to a different location. Pace yourself with drinks and gracefully check your phone or set an alarm. Communicate before you meet that you have limited time, but don’t mind meeting up for a bit. Give yourself a grace period to get to the second location. When you end up on date number two you will be relaxed and not in robot interview mode.

Passing Ships In The Night

Sometimes in casual dating it can get a little…..too casual. The “I’ll see ya, when I see ya” attitude can be light and fun, until it isn’t. It could be a chronic re-scheduler or someone you have never met. Should you keep giving it a shot, or not entertain such dynamics?……

Why is there no actual plan?……

Ask yourself this first. It isn’t hard to pick a time and place. Yet, the “meet up with you later” guy doesn’t seem to have a calendar.

Is there a deeper meaning?…..

It has an air-of-fate and meant-to-be, bringing out your romantic side. Never meeting means the fantasy lives on with no crash of reality. It is easier pushing it off until next time.

Why does he hit me up and never follow through?…..

The most likely case is that he is dating multiple people (or worse case…cheating) and picked someone else over you. Men typically like the idea of options, like a squirrel storing nuts for the winter.

Should you text him while you are out?…..

This is totally up to you. The downside could be just wasted time where you are staring at your phone all night and not being present. He probably will run out the clock and the cycle starts again next weekend.

Does the clock start at meeting?….

There is a school of thought that nothing matters until you actually meet in person. In reality, you can be rejected before a first date. Thinking someone is a catch starts with the first impression. Yes, things change once you see each other in person. However, it’s the same as an audition. A casting director might not even choose you for an audition because you didn’t make the cut.

Do you block, ignore, have a talk?…..

After a certain point, it does get frustrating. I would say, match his energy and pace. Store those nuts for the winter for yourself. Casual dating can move at warp speed at times. Circumstances do change when people break up, or have more free time. However, it’s nothing to hang your hat on. It’s best to be far removed from the emotion of it all. Go with your gut feeling and acknowledge how much you are agonizing.

Bottom Line……

On the scale of casual, this type of “dating” falls under waving at a co-worker in the hall. You have built him up in your mind and have adopted a someday mindset. When you look at any gray area dating as abundance and options, then great! There is the old chestnut of “if he wanted to, he would have.” Tangible dating should be more of a priority and a time waster should be put on the back burner. Decide if keeping his phone number is worth doing or a big distraction.

Tis’ The Season Of Cancellations

Besides the holidays, winter time is extremely difficult to plan dates. It’s the time of year when you will be cancelled on and stood up. (Who wouldn’t want to be in bed with fuzzy socks and a heater?) Cuffing season is made for times like this. People no longer have the patience to brave the cold to meet a stranger. What about the casual dater who doesn’t want to be cuffed?…..

Don’t accept Netflix and Chill dates?…..

It’s very tempting to head over to his place and then….”cuddle.” On his end, it shows that he is just being lazy and it won’t be a lasting arrangement (he is also a complete stranger). Keep a standard of actually going on dates even if it is cold outside. Men love an easy option; don’t be that. Once you do the home date, I guarantee there will be no special dates to impress you. Even if you want a FWB, there needs to be some courting, meaning public dates.

Dress for the weather…..

Yes, you can go outside if you dress for the weather. I like to keep an extra coat in my car in case the weather shifts. Go with a coat that goes with everything, same thing for hat and scarves. Stay away from the sporty look for dates such as puffy jackets or windbreakers. Elevate your look by wearing long pea coats, a trench, or a chic leather jacket.

Be open to a friends events….

A second- or third-tier friend may invite you to a party. This is the time of year when people are on winter break and have time to hang out. When work or school starts up again there will be fewer opportunities to meet friends in the outer circle.

Plan ahead…..

When I am already out and about it’s hard for me to go all the way home, then out again. I see my warm bed and it’s over. Be prepared to go on a date after you do errands and last minute shopping. Dress for the date ahead of time and wear makeup. However, still have a little pre-date with yourself to get out of the busy energy. Keep in mind that most bars close for the week of Christmas or have limited hours. Check websites or Instagram to figure out what places are open.

Pick a cozy date location…..

It’s more enticing if there are hot toddys and a crackling fire. Energy levels this time of year are low. This can be to your advantage because you will be less tempted to hang out for hours on a first date. It’s best to practice a solid 1-1/2 hour date to encourage a second date. Leave your date with a warm and fuzzy feeling. Don’t be a Scrooge.

Dates will be cancelled…..

Be prepared for some cancellations. Some people choose to delete the apps until the new year. Hometown friends take priority over a stranger on an app. See if he confirms at a reasonable time. As a last resort text him before you start getting ready. Worst case, if he cancels while you are driving to the location, then just go anyway. Don’t waste makeup on a cancellation. You can text a friend or see what the vibe is once you get there.

Spend more time with your FWB….

This is what he is here for. Hang out with him more and don’t stress about the perfect outfit and contour. Show up in comfy clothes and enjoy your time together. Give your fingers a break from swiping, especially if you are not getting asked out.

Bottom Line….

Winter is the slow season for dates. Most guys will be out of town or spending time with hometown friends. New dates take a back seat. Embrace the cozy vibes and spend time with your friends and family. Try to not blow up about the cancellations; it’s not worth the fuss. Get your face out there if you can. Once school and work starts for people you won’t be able to spend quality time together. Try to not look sloppy even while doing errands or shopping. You might be able to squeeze in an early evening date that can bring a mysterious and busy vibe.

How To Get A Comedian Or Performer To Notice You

I am sure you have at least thought about what it would be like to date a performer. He could be a stand-up comedian, or in an improv troupe. You see him on stage, hear him being vulnerable, open, and most importantly, funny. You feel like you are sitting across from him on a date. Subconsciously, women like men who are perceived as popular since we want to pick the most valuable mate. Seeing people praising him and showering him with love makes us want to be a part of it. So, how do you crack the code to get this guy to notice you?…..

Balance is key…..

Being a fan girl puts him on a pedestal and shows your cards immediately, but trolling may be worse. No one wants to deal with the sarcastic girl. In your head you might think you sound smart and snarky, it comes across as try-hard.

Don’t be funny……

He doesn’t think you are being cute, stop trying to outwit him. It’s perfectly fine to be a normal human. Most famous comedians have very normal partners. They have to deal with the pressure of being funny all night; just be nice.

Don’t ask him to tell you a joke…..

It’s the only profession where people want proof on the spot that the person is funny. No one questions a dentist and demands an oral exam. He isn’t your little circus monkey for your entertainment; just ask when he is performing next.

He can use your words against you….

“Everything is copy” as Nora Ephron says. He can use your words and twist them into his tight five. If you say something weird or piss him off, he can put you on blast at his next open mic.

Comedians and performers respond to praise…..

All he wants is for people to like him. It’s very difficult to put yourself out there every night not knowing if people will boo you or be dead silent. Say he is funny and that you enjoyed the show, see if he wants to continue chatting. Have a quick exit strategy so you aren’t lingering. This tactic however, is your Hail Mary last resort. It is better for him to approach you or get introduced. If you decide to be brave, you are allowed to do this once; do not corner him after every show.

Look hot…..

Never show up wearing a gray tracksuit with no makeup. Look good, but not gaudy or showy. Wear a casual thing that doesn’t draw too much unwanted attention, but is still flattering. You don’t want to be a target for jokes.

Never sit in the front row…..

Comedy rookies will sit at the lip of the stage to watch the show. And then….crowd work happens and they get made fun of, then the heckling starts. Do yourself a favor and sit in the back or at the bar. Try your best not to move and walk out or anything during a set, you could be called out.

Resist showing too much support…..

There is a fine line in supporting the local arts to planting yourself at every show. Same thing for liking a bartender or barista; it seems weird and that you don’t have a life if you are always there. If you are invited (especially by him) then go of course, just be choosy on what shows you go to and how often.

Bottom Line……

The most common trait a women wants is a funny man. She will bypass attractiveness for a great personality; men not so much. For a comedian, he has no trouble meeting women in the real world; he might not even need to use the apps. If he is attractive and funny, then he is a double threat. Women probably throw themselves left and right at him on a nightly basis. Stop leading with masculine energy, even though it feels like the right setting. He does not want another funny buddy and to be challenged to a joke-off. The best case is he will approach you on his own or you will get introduced. You are allowed to start the conversation once and see if he wants to keep chatting. Be normal, look hot, and see if he takes the bait.

The Hometown Guy

Men are masters of compartmentalizing. Like Hugh Hefner, if he has the means, a man would have a girlfriend for any occasion. A “hometown girl” fits into that. In your head, you think he secretly loves you and will one day see you in a new light. Maybe if you wear the right outfit or lose those pesky ten pounds. The reality is he lives in the moment and is happy he has a girl to text while seeing his family. Should you indulge him?……

Get your agenda ironed out…..

It can be fun to have your hometown hook-up guy. You might not have friends around anymore and it’s better than sitting at home. Go with this plan, but don’t make him the main priority. Is he making the plans and texting without you reminding him you exist? With the apps, you can be in travel mode and meet some other guy to take you out.

Pick your friends and family over him…..

There are certain friends and family you only see once a year. Don’t waste your quality time on a guy who just wants to hook up

Put your phone away…..

On special occasions with family, enable your notifications on apps. You can put your phone on DND or airplane mode. Be present and in the moment with the people you are spending time with; actually talk to your niece or grandma. You waiting on a text and drinking your sorrows will be a wasted memory.

He will drop the ball…..

You are his last priority to hang out with. Don’t be shocked if he brushes you off with zero apology. You might have shifted your schedule around and gotten ready for him only to have him cancel or stand you up

If this has been a decade-long saga….

This could be your ex-boyfriend, or a guy who never took you on a real date. How long are you going to drag this out? He isn’t going to magically fall in love with you. Accept the fact he is using you out of boredom. Decide if blocking him is the better way to move on with your life. Again, if you view it as just a hook up, how easy breezy is it if you are analyzing texts and spending an hour straightening your hair?

An ex turned friend….

Will he hang out with you if he has a girlfriend or vice versa? A true friend likes hanging out with you, even if there is no gain for them

Bottom Line….

Stop jumping though hoops for your hometown crush. In general, you should never prioritize a guy over friends and family, mainly because he would never do that for you. It’s a very Hallmark Channel plot that we are fed over and over, yet more than likely, he just wants an option when he wants to hook up. A decade-long saga could be the reason you are single. Stop holding on to a guy who dumped you or never saw your value to take you on a real date. Be grateful for the people who actually love being a part of your life.

New Couples Over The Holidays

I have spoken before about being single over the holidays, but what if you just became official? If you happened to start dating in October or November and the holidays are approaching, is it a good plan to meet family or attend a Friendsgiving? How soon is too soon to start acting like a real exclusive couple?……

Are you actually for real together?…..

You don’t always have to have a “define the relationship” summit. Yet, certain guys take advantage of vagueness and like to bamboozle you when pressed about the status of the relationship. Hopefully, he brought up the talk, or had a clarifying conversation. Assumptions don’t really fly in our casual dating landscape. If you are confused, it’s better to know than play it cool. Take him at his word. If he says he just wants a casual thing over the holidays, then that’s what he wants.

Follow the leader…..

Has he brought up the holidays? In all likelihood he might not have told his family about you just yet. Give him a chance to bring up what his plans are. Assume he is not going to include you this year and will probably be out of town. Remind yourself that you just started dating and you need to slow it down. Calmly talk about separate plans without clenching your jaw.

Make your own solo plans…..

If you always fly to Chicago to see your folks, then book that flight. Keep things pretty standard without the fuss of worrying about another person. It’s too soon to have family meet him. He needs to earn a spot at the dining table with your family.

He still has responsibilities….

He isn’t off the hook just because family is not involved. On Thanksgiving, he should be calling you and saying he misses you. Christmas he will be getting you gifts and spending quality time with you.

Should you invite him to Friendsgiving?…..

If your Thanksgiving is just doing a casual potluck with close friends, then invite him. Feel out the vibe and ask what his holiday plans are first. He could be stranded, away from his own family, and would love to come. However, if he hesitates when you invite him, he probably is not ready to meet all your friends just yet. Take note of his nervousness around integrating your lives together. The role of the boyfriend is to meet friends, family, and go to events he would normally not attend if it wasn’t because of you. However, it’s understandable to not want to dive headfirst if you just started dating a day before Thanksgiving.

Don’t get frustrated just yet….

It’s exciting to have a new boyfriend, especially if you have been single for a long time. But…. you need to pump the brakes on involving everyone in your life in your budding relationship. You would not be doing this if you started dating in April. The pressure of the holidays and people questioning why he didn’t join you can poke holes in your relationship. It’s best to keep quiet for a few months and let the progression build at its own pace. It does get annoying when you have a boyfriend and yet you need to spend another holiday as if you were single. Trust that being patient is a better route long-term.

Bottom Line…..

Holiday stress is real. We all want to represent ourselves as having it all together and keeping up with everyone around us. Rushing can backfire and cause unnecessary stress on a new relationship. However, pay attention to his attitude and vibe about integrating your lives eventually. If he is horrified at the thought at ever meeting your friends and family, he views it as a casual situationship. Let him off the hook if you literally started dating two weeks before Thanksgiving. A new relationship needs to get its feet wet first before diving in.

Halloween Part 2: The Couples Costume

You might find yourself booed up for Spooky Season. It could be your first Halloween together and you want it to go well. The holiday can be celebrated in many ways: staying home watching thrillers, taking your niece trick-or-treating, a masquerade dance, or all of the above. What happens if you found out you are dating the “no costume guy”?….Will your relationship last when you both don’t align on activities and fun?……

You live for Halloween, he could care less…..

Ok, let’s talk about the “no costume guy.” I had a boyfriend who was this person. I took the time to paint on my David Bowie lightning makeup and cut my orange wig into a mullet. He….showed up in a gray hoodie. Is this a reflection on his personality, or is it nothing deep? To me, it says a lot about a person who doesn’t enjoy fun and camp. He might have an overall, “too cool for school” attitude and scoffs at anyone being a “sheeple.” It could be an indication he is self-conscious and fears judgment. Either way, I find it a red flag since it shows he lacks creativity, spontaneity, and well… fun.

What if he is pushy with his vision?…..

On the opposite end, you might be dating the Halloween fanatic. He could have a vision of you both doing an elaborate costume of you two as a socket and a plug who cannot walk apart. Always have counter ideas to bounce off of. Don’t let him bully you into a costume you don’t even like. Show him Pinterest boards and try your best to compromise. Bring up cost and ease of wear. You both want to feel free to move and not spend a fortune. Even if a compromise cannot be made, try your best to be in a similar theme so you look like you go together.

He wants to watch scary movies and give out candy, but won’t party…..

My younger self would have thrown on the most scandalous costume and kissed him on the cheek goodbye. (Side note, if he is triggered by a salacious costume, it can be a red flag. Yes, you should tone it down a bit if you have a boyfriend, but a sliver of skin should not make his blood boil). Anyway, there needs to be an understanding that you are going to enjoy yourself. It is alarming if he would rather sit on a couch than spend time with you. Talk it out fully and get to the bottom of why. Still plan to go out no matter what. Don’t let him suck you into his lazy vortex.

Long-lasting couples like the same activities….

I just watched Youtuber Shallon Lester’s video about soul mates (“Kourtney and Travis Engaged! Six Signs He is Your Soulmate”). She talks about mutually enjoyable activities (dancing, skiing, cheering on a favorite team) being the glue that holds a long-lasting couple together. Halloween is no exception. It represents how you enjoy your life. Are you “sit on the beach” people, or “renting a surfboard” couple? Attraction can only take you so far; you have to enjoy your time outside of the bedroom. In the case of Halloween, if he chose to stay home while you are out dancing, does this sound right to you?

What if he is the party boy and you could care less?….

Again, it is an alignment issue. Ask yourself why you don’t want to go out. Are you ashamed to be seen with him? Or are you a homebody who wouldn’t go out for anyone? In either scenario, it is not fair for the introvert to prevent the extrovert from having fun. You can muster up an easy costume and show up for a bit. Men should be doing this too, yet tend to be more stubborn. Do you want him to meet single girls or have his friends confused as to why you decided to stay in? You are showing the world there are cracks in your relationship that other people might take advantage of.

Bottom Line…..

Halloween can be a great test for new couples. It is a time to compromise, to see how controlling he is, or to discover if he has a stubborn nature. All this is great information to gather. Down the road, he might refuse to spend the holidays with your family, only his. His behavior bleeds out in other aspects of his life. Ask yourself if you can handle your boyfriend preferring the La-Z-Boy recliner to spending time with you. You could discover he does not want to be seen with you, or he is just boring. Do not let him off the hook for not making an effort to spend time with you. The homebodies need to let the party people have fun. Compromise and communication need to happen. Question your relationship if nothing resolved and you are constantly misaligned with how you want to spend your time outside the bedroom.

Bumble Part 2: Don’t Bee A Busy Bee

When using Bumble, the main pitfall is being only in masculine energy. It can be a snowball effect where you say hi, ask him out, become the social dictator, then get dumped for the mysterious girl. There have been changes to the app to help conversations from running dry. “The question game” helps with writers block and gets the wheels turning. How can we get dates from Bumble and stop ourselves from doing the heavy lifting?……

Sorting matches…..

There is a pre-step to the first message and it’s the second glance. The nice thing about Bumble is if you swipe too fast, you get a second peak. Make sure they actually live in your city (not just travel mode). Read though the profile twice and see if there are any red flags you missed.

The first message….

Don’t spend your whole evening in a coffee shop crafting the perfect message. If you connect with something in the profile or the prompts, then jackpot! If you do not connect on anything, then send him a GIF. Don’t go vulgar, but don’t go too friendly either. We all have gotten the cat-waving GIF. Search for a GIF with a feminine character you like and see if there is a waving one. Keep the reference current, unless it’s a well known classic character. If he thinks you are cute and wanting to chat anyway, he will pick up the conversation.

Wait….

See if he responds. Usually he will send a GIF back or a waving emoji. Treat it like a real life situation at a party. Go off his energy and let him lead. Sometimes a guy just wants to say hello back and that is all.

What should the conversation be about?…..Clever banter is the goal, but as long as there are questions and story- telling, then you are on the right track. Feel out the vibe and see if he wants to get to know you. Beware of sexual comments, or asking to exchange pics on Snapchat.

The question game….

The pre-made questions used to be only for the opening line. Now, at any point you can play “the question game.” The best part is that any party can initiate the game. It is nice to spice up a stale conversation or to jump topics. It is an extra tool in your belt in case you have brain freeze mid-conversation.

The 48-hour rule….

This is my rule with any app. In 48 hours he should at least suggest a date or work up to asking. Sure, some guys will take a week to get there, but they are not seeing your value. Not being concerned if someone else asked you out for the weekend, or if you will randomly unmatch him is a problem. There is a misconception that girls ask the guys out since it’s Bumble….No. Sure, you say hello, but beyond that you should not be doing all the work.

Bottom Line….

Still put your best foot forward with Bumble. Make sure your photos are classy and the prompts are normal. The big thing is to not to create a dynamic where he is the one receiving rather than pursuing when it should be the other way around. You should only be saying hi or ideally, asking a leading question. Make sure your profile helps men out with your prompts and photos. Have information he can grab onto and ask about. Stick to the 48-hour rule; it can save you some time. He needs to be thinking in a sales-minded, “this offer ends soon! Act now!” Don’t bee a busy bee, bee the queen bee!

Friends Feedback

Good friends stand the test of time and let us be our complete selves. Since we are so close to our friends we love talking about our dating lives. Being the only single one in a group of coupled up girls makes you feel like the hired entertainment. They love hearing about the apps and the f*ckboys….but how much of their opinions should we take to heart?…..

First off…have they experienced the apps?….

It’s hard for coupled-up folks who met their partner ten years ago to chime in about modern dating. They may have some good insights on certain things, but overall they haven’t been in the trenches.

Keep complaining to a minimum….

If you are crying to them every time you have a bad date, they will be thinking of ways to cut you out of the friend group. Spare your friend group the nitty-gritty of dating unless the story is entertaining. If you have a major issue, tell a therapist or a very close single girlfriend. It’s tempting to snowball into asking advice for literally everything. You ask for outfit advice, then what to say on the date, then ask why he didn’t text back. Some friends live for talking about boys. However, as you get older most of your friends are coupled up, have kids, and demanding jobs. Keep dating to yourself; casual dating is a lonely road.

If you are in an exclusive relationship, keep fights private…..

Stop telling every detail of your relationship to your BFF. Sometimes, things need to be just between you and your boyfriend. Spreading around your private business does not help build trust. If you need an outside option, pick wisely who to tell. Most of the “advice” is to dump him. More than likely your friend just doesn’t like your boyfriend’s personality and wants you to meet someone else.

Speaking of the “dump him” advice…..

Try to make sure you are not doing that to your girlfriends. You are not allowed to tell a girlfriend to dump her boyfriend just because he wears cargo shorts all year. Unless he is beating her, mentally abusing her, or stealing, then keep your mouth shut.

Remember to spend solo times with friends….

Just because you become a “we” doesn’t mean he should be at every brunch and girl’s night. Trust me, no one likes your boyfriend that much (sorry). Yes, your friends should meet him if you become exclusive, but save it for a special event or very sparingly. Same thing with you becoming buddies with his friends. He probably doesn’t appreciate you at every college football game at his friends house.

Pace yourself from friends introductions….

If you are still in the first few months, wait until he introduces you to his friends first. When you finally introduce him try not to immediately say, “so… what do you think?” It puts your friends in a judgmental mode for your entire relationship. Same thing for only talking about your boyfriend when you had a fight. You are only showing your friends the worst side of him and that’s all they know.

Pick your friends over a date…..

If you have plans with friends then a guy swoops in and asks you out, always pick friends. I know you want to go on a date, but your friends will be pissed that you threw girl’s night out the window for a random guy. It comes across desperate to your friends and the guy. It’s sexier to be busy, have plans, and a community of friends. On top of that, he would never do that for you. He probably has the mantra… “weekends are for the boys!”

Bottom Line…..

It is hard to weave our friendships and our dating life together. There needs to be more separation between dating and friendship. If you are in a casual phase, keep it under wraps. Pick and choose who is your boy-talk girls and who isn’t. Even still, don’t bombard them with all your dating woes. Cherish your friendships, as Charlotte from “Sex And The City” says to the girls, “Maybe we should be each other’s soulmates.” Why are friends just for fun, maybe it should be the other way around.

Cuffing Season

Cuffing season is upon us….Limited options, difficult weather, and a craving to stay home factor into it. The holidays add a layer of pressure to men and women to bring someone home for dinner. Many Rom Coms have made the trope of buying a boyfriend for a day just to ease the mind of Great Aunt Mildred. On the positive side, this is the time that exclusive relationships can form. How do we know we are being cuffed, or used as another FWB?…..

What is “cuffing season”?…..

Cuffing season comes from being stuck together over the holiday season where there are limited options. It is easier to stick with one person and pursue a monogamous relationship.

Northern cities result in more cuffing…..

Snow equals no-go. Weather conditions factor into the practicality of relationships. It’s difficult to meet a stranger on an app when there is black ice on the road, or you are stuck in your blanket cocoon on the couch.

How can we start the cuffing process?…..

Start looking for eligible men (are employed, live alone, have transportation). You might have a summer lens on guys where you are looking for excitement or if he has access to a boat. Think stable guys with nice living arrangements.

Are they willing to be photographed?……

Making someone Instagram official comes from…well, photographs. Could be a fun Instagram reel of you at a pumpkin patch with your infinity scarf to a fall harvest market. Does he wince when there is a camera near him or does he post an Instagram story and tag you?

Public dates…..

Yes, once the harsh weather hits there will be more indoor dates. At this point the more public the better. He should want to be seen with you and get mistaken for a couple. See how he responds if asked by a stranger if you are together. Does he downplay it, or ham it up for the audience?

Cool your jets….

Pacing is important in forming a real relationship. If he insists on rushing you to his place, see how he reacts if you decline.

Does he talk about other women?….

Anyone from exes to other dates is none of your business. If he insists you know about it, then it shows he sees you as just another date.

Beware the “we should” guy….

Some men know how to play the game. You might come across the “we should” guy from time to time. He tries to build trust by saying things like, “we should visit my mom in Denver this Christmas.” It can be a sign of strategic love-bombing or simple manipulation. Let him put his money where his mouth is.

Keep options open….

I always say it, but again, don’t cut off your resources. Until he brings up deleting the apps and being boyfriend / girlfriend, then keep going on dates with other men.

Hold out for the Netflix and Chill…..

Most men are simple creatures who just want someone around them. The thing I hear the most from guys is just wanting a cuddle buddy while they watch “The Great British Bake Off.” Let that be special and do not spoil him with doing that every date or too early on. You will never see the light of day or a restaurant if done too soon.

Bottom Line…..

Intention can mean everything in dating. A cuffed mindset can help you snag a boyfriend, rather than being another hookup. If you are sure what type of guy you are looking for and you come across him, then be strategic and keep your eyes and ears open. Check the “looking for” tab on the apps and see what it says. Dismiss any guy that says or mentions casual (or the guys asking, “what are you looking for?”) He needs to have a relationship mindset himself before anything can be a done deal. Be in public for as much as the weather will allow. See how he refers to you to strangers and Instagram.