The Magic Of The Introduction

We all know about a “setup,” but what if a setup was live in-person? Introductions used to be more common in the polite society of the past. It would be seen as rude when you were not introduced to a new person. I want to suggest the planned introduction, which can be used to your advantage to create your own “spontaneity.” It is in the same vein as “dropping the hanky” technique. How can you orchestrate an introduction?….

Be more social in general….

You need to get comfortable being social and work on small talk. You cannot expect other people to do the heavy lifting for you. Don’t discuss the tragedies in the world and stick to light topics. The introduction will be a lost cause if you lose the person after saying hello. 

Expand your social circle….

Your 2nd- and 3rd-tier friends are the key to expanding your network. Close friends are great, but it is more high risk for you and them. No one wants to cause a riff in their social circle.

An introduction should be fairly breezy and can only be executed once….

Getting introduced multiple times to the same person is madness. Only pull the trigger when you are truly ready. When you have your eye on someone and you know a mutual friend, then plan accordingly. 

To him it can be seen as spontaneous….

The introduction is great because it is not you doing the introduction. There is some innocence to it and it might seem like it came out of nowhere. In the show “How I Met Your Mother,” Barney would make casual introductions left and right to get the ball rolling. 

The introduction can be seen as a “meet cute”….

Any meeting other than a bar and an app is seen as romantic. An introduction, compared to a setup, takes three seconds in person, yet can make a huge impact if it goes well.

Bottom Line….

There is back-end planning for a solid introduction. It can be disappointing if you really took the time to orchestrate everything and it falls flat. It is better to have a policy with friends to introduce you to people at a house party or get- together. To them, it shouldn’t be seen as a big favor, compared to a full-blown setup. You need to do the pre-work of getting your surface level topics in check. The good news is right away you will know his interest level. His continuing the conversation and asking for your number is a great start.

Should You Give Feedback In Dating?

Our society loves a review. We will Yelp our favorite restaurant and give an Amazon item five stars. But is it the right thing to review a person? Dan Savage, the columnist and podcaster, goes by the “campground rule” for relationships, which is, “leave it better than you found it.” It could be interpreted as to correct them. I see it more as to not traumatize them or break their self-worth. When you are in a heated moment, you are tempted to spew out why you are breaking up and all their faults. Should we ever give feedback in dating?….


My biggest reason to not review a person is because of “overcorrection.” You might hate a behavior, however, the next person could be obsessed with it. For example, you could hate that he or she is overly communicative, but an average healthy person would expect that. You have to understand that you might be the toxic one and it is unfair to break a person down to meet your level.

Any criticism is remembered…..

As humans, we will only remember the negative. This is to protect us from further harm and it is our ego protecting us. When you absorb that feedback it will impact future relationships. We create limiting beliefs from outsiders’ opinions. This can be a problem when you want to wipe the slate clean and get back out there. 

What if he/she asks for it?….

This can be a trick and should be proceeded with caution. Some people do want to improve for the next relationship and probably deserve an explanation if they were blindsided. But beyond cheating or something very obvious, there might not be a reason. Some relationships simply don’t make the cut to the more serious level. This is nothing personal, it truly is a matter of not fitting. You can only really give the generic, “it’s not you, it’s me” breakup sometimes. It is better to say something if they cannot move on without an explanation. 

Adding insult to injury….

There might be “icks” that come up in relationships. You can be turned off by the tiniest thing and then see that person in a different light. For example, there could be the guy who clears his throat after every sentence, or the girl who eats all your fries when she said she wasn’t hungry. You have to think if they can change these things and how much they bother you. Remember everyone comes with quirks and most are already aware of them. It is difficult to rewire a brain to stop doing impulsive actions. 

Would you want someone to change you?….

“Love me at my worst” is a problematic saying. The sentiment is sort of true….we are not perfect. There will be days when you are not your best. And to be be judged like you are a contestant on a reality show is brutal. People who love to give feedback see themselves as superior. It is easier to correct others than to look inward. 

You don’t want to become their dating guru….

In general terms, when a man wants feedback after a breakup they might treat you like an unpaid dating coach. It is hard to open up the floodgates of giving someone a nugget of feedback when all of the sudden you become his “wing man.” Some people really want answers and it can become exhausting. It would seem annoying to mold a man into this great guy only to give him to the next girl.

What if a pattern is forming….

If you are receiving the same generic feedback and everyone breaks up with you, then you are the problem. Notice actions and patterns over words. It is best to go inward and really examine what you could be doing wrong. If you are still having issues pinning it down, go to an unbiased friend who can be straight with you. Friends do recognize what you are doing wrong, yet are afraid to voice opinions to avoid conflict. 

Bottom Line…..

We are used to giving feedback and touting our two cents with product reviews or giving friends advice. It feels natural to mold a person into the perfect partner. Sure, you could do the “compliment sandwich” if it’s a tiny thing you want to change. It is hard to erase a behavior that is ingrained. You can’t change how a person sneezes or laughs. You probably wouldn’t want someone to come in and “strip you for parts” either. Most relationships run out of gas and have no definitive reason why they don’t work. Mostly, it is because they do not fit right with goals or family/friends, etc. Most importantly, it is crucial for you to recognize patterns of the rejections. If you can’t figure it out, a close friend will know. Finally, keep the rule of thumb to “leave them better than you found them.” 

How To Navigate The Break Up As The Dumper

Whether the break up was serious or from a situationship, it can still be awkward. Long-term, it is better to be classy and be respectful of who you dumped. Even if he cheated or was awful, it is better to take the high road. It is sort of like being asked in an interview about why you left. It would be silly to drag down the former boss or employees. It only makes you look bad. I give the “lay low” advice a lot in situations, and this is another time where you should be discreet. Here’s how….

Never post on socials…..

Back in the olden times you would be “Facebook official” and then… (dramatic music)… you would be single! It was very juicy for others. Nowadays, most couples aren’t too entangled through social media. However, if you are dumping him out of anger, it is tempting to air your dirty laundry online. Resist that urge! 

Make sure the door is closed….

This could be a situation where he is blindsided. He might be shocked you want to end it. You have to be gentle, yet firm and not give false hope. He needs to understand this is a break up, not you being wishy-washy. Of course, do this where he has proven that he can not change, etc. 

 Don’t send an “I miss you” text….

In fact, you should delete his number. Maybe keep some line of communication open, like muting on Instagram just in case something dramatic happens. Having access to a phone number can be tempting after a lonely night with some wine. It will only confuse him, and you only felt it for a second that you missed having a boyfriend, not him. 

Keep everything discreet and private….

Any new dates, or you having fun, should be under the radar.  Try your best to be kind and avoid your former date spots with him. Give him the space to go there. It is best not to run into him, especially with a new date. 

Try not to spread rumors….

It is tempting to complain to your bar friends about your ex. As long as they have no idea who he is, then it can be ok. Either way, it is best to not talk sh*t about him around town. It could get back to him, or make you look like you aren’t over it.

Have a time limit to talk about him with others…..

You can process the breakup in different ways. It is best to not involve your friends or therapist too much. You will become a broken record and start to annoy people. If you need to get it out of your system, try to journal about it. This will be easier if he is out of sight, out of mind.

If you see him, act accordingly…..

A dirty rotten cheater should be treated slightly different than a mutual breakup. The bad guy should be ignored and brushed aside. He needs to know that what he did was wrong. A guy who was nice, but not the right fit, can be treated more humanely. It is fine to wave hello and smile, but try to avoid being cornered and feeling awkward. 

Bottom Line….

Whether he was an awful person, or he just wasn’t the right fit, you should handle it basically the same. Overall, it is best to be discreet and classy. No need to slash tires or leave a psychotic note on his car. It is best long-term to take the high road. Make sure to set yourself up for success. It is better to mute him on Instagram and delete his number. Eliminate temptation in weak moments when you miss having a boyfriend, not him. Make sure there are no loose ends or the door cracked for him to come back if you are firm in your decision. There should be no confusion on how you feel and it is cruel to mess with his emotions. 

Don’t Bring Sand To The Beach: Why You Need To Be Single For Freshmen Year

“Bringing sand to the beach” is a saying I go to for this scenario. There were two camps of people I met freshmen year of college: The ones who recently became single and the, “hold on… going to step out for a call” people. In my experience, the orientation is crucial in making your friends for the rest of the year. Nothing can replace that tight bond you form the first week. Why is it a good idea to end things with your high school boyfriend before you start your next chapter?…

The first semester freshmen year will set the tone….

Unless you are going to college in your hometown, it’s very overwhelming to get adjusted. First night there you will realize that you don’t have to text your mom and can stay out until 4am. Your newfound freedom will be dampened by your high school boyfriend sending “concerned” and passive-aggressive text messages telling you to “stay safe.”

“So, I should transfer to his college, right?”….

Please don’t. Not only will he grow tired of you always being in his dorm, it will hold you back from your education. Your education is not only your classes, it’s learning to deal with your bitchy roommate who leaves her shoes by the door for you to trip on, or that finicky coffee maker you bought second hand. With a safely-net boyfriend you fail to learn fundamental “adult” skills.

Friends will stop including you if you flake all the time….

Don’t be the “you guys go ahead, I’m going to hang back” girl. You only get these wild experiences for one time period in your life. They call college “glory days” for a reason. You can’t exactly steal a traffic sign and nail it to your wall in your 30s. Nor can you sleep on a rock hard futon with a full face of makeup as an adult without needing a chiropractor.

Everyone is newly single….

Eventually, the high school sweethearts will break up. This will open up the campus to “single and ready to mingle” wide-eyed people. Not saying you should be the dorm whore, but opportunities will be open to meet your future college sweetheart.

If your high school boyfriend wants it to work he will try….

You being practical and saying you should end things might light a fire under his ass. There is no losing when you end things with him. Either it will save you from heartbreak where you see him in a Snapchat story with another girl or that awkward moment when you meet his new friends on his campus and try to figure out what girl he made out with the first night. It’s a big headache that isn’t worth dealing with. Fate will work things out if you and your high school boyfriends are meant to marry.

Never make long-term decisions based on a man….

This lesson carries for the rest of your life. No, you shouldn’t move for your weird situationship when he decides to try van life in Denver. Never move for a man unless there is a wedding date and you can’t get a deposit back on a venue. A man would never zig and zag for you if his education or job was at stake. He will probably say point blank: “don’t move for me.” Make decisions for you and you only!

Bottom Line…..

Seizing opportunities means you need to be a free agent. The worry and drama of what your high school boyfriend is up to will drive you crazy. You need to open yourself up to meet new amazing people. These new people will become your college besties who may join you in adulthood. Don’t waste the bonding time by looking backwards. Never make long-term decisions based on a man’s life. Make a man inconvenienced to show he isn’t dating out of convenience. Most importantly, choose your education and future before anyone else.

Less Money, More Problems: How Does Money Affect Relationships?

In an ideal world, money and relationships would not matter. There are always issues of power if the woman makes more money, or if both partners have no money. Personally, I have always struggled with money. I have worked in restaurants and have lived that bohemian life. Mainly, I have gotten into relationships with men who are restaurant workers while playing in a band. This has been restrictive to what sort of dates we could go on. It’s not practical to take a weekend off and fly to Hawaii or go to a fancy restaurant.

Being poor does not mean he is lazy…..

He might be trying to get a PhD or has a ton of student loan debt. It’s pretty common for young people to not be doing as well as their parents. He might have to live with roommates in a high rent situation. Nowadays, living in a city costs way more and is at the point of being not affordable.

What can you do if money is holding you back?….

It’s frustrating that you cannot go on nice dates. So getting to know a new guy results in maybe a cheap lunch and hanging at his apartment. This doesn’t really last long and it ends up resulting in a friends-with-benefits or casual relationship.
To avoid this, here are a few ideas of what you can do that are free or very cheap….



Go to the beach or lake- If you are lucky enough to live near a body of water, take advantage. It’s fun to spend the day enjoying the sun and relaxing.

Go on a hike- This isn’t for everyone, but it’s always nice to get fresh air.

Get a slice of pizza- Usually the slices are massive and you can get cheap beer with it.

Go to day festivals or a local fair- There will music, people watching, and a fun atmosphere.

Play hide and seek in a mall- It feels silly and brings out childlike energy and competition.

Play patio games- Some restaurants have corn hole or ring toss games.

See free or cheap entertainment- Some local theaters shows are around $10. Open mics can be free or a small fee.

Take advantage of happy hour or food specials- Going out on a Saturday will be crowded and you will be paying more. Restaurants and bars give out deals during the week.

Go to the dollar theater- Not every city has this, but you could go to a matinee and sneak in snacks.

Play a drinking game- Most drinking games are “getting to know you” games. For non-drinkers you can just play the games without drinking



Can you get serious with a guy with no money?….

There are types of people who can be very wealthy… yet cheap. He might be a penny-pincher and see no need to spend his paycheck on you. Not saying he has to buy you a diamond necklace or be your sugar daddy. For example, does he buy you cough medicine and soup when you are sick? He needs to show you he is a provider no matter what his budget is.

Don’t let him guilt you into treating him on the date….

Sure…there might be situations where you split something. However, he should never pressure you into paying for both of you on a date. It just shows he is taking advantage and isn’t trying to impress you. All dates should be within his budget instead of picking a fancy place where you are forced to go dutch. (Keep in mind this is date night! You could just stay home when money is tight). Another reason to never pay for both of you is that you will expect him to grovel at your feet. When he gives you a mild “thanks” you will resent it.

Keep living arrangements separate…..

Especially when there is a gap in your finances. There will always be a fight about who pays for what. The problem lies when men are making less. He will usually not be inclined to pitch in with keeping up with cleaning or grocery runs. Resentment will be at an all time high and you will slip into parenting mode, rather than partners.

If a man strikes it rich, he might feel the need to upgrade…..

This can happen with men who reach a level of fame or prestige. You have to keep in mind that you might be with him while he is poor, then suddenly he makes it big and leaves you. This isn’t always the case, but it can certainly happen. So, don’t think that you found a wounded bird to bring back to life. He will more than likely leave you behind, and you will feel dumb about trying to help him with his finances. Be with him in the present, not his potential.

Bottom Line…..

Money always causes the most fights in a relationship. The important thing is seeing if he is wanting to be a provider, regardless of his paycheck. You can’t expect a guy on a limited budget to take you on a week-long vacation in Cancun. Sometimes, if there is too much of a gap in money, it does not work long term since one person is used to a certain lifestyle. In modern society, a woman still wants to feel taken care of even if she makes more money than him. Remember that liking a man for his potential is a bad idea. Sure, he might get that raise or win the lottery, you just can’t count on it. Plus he might want to upgrade and leave his past life behind, which includes you.

How Can An Average Joe Be “Camp Hot”?

I frequently chat with my guy friends about dating. All have sighed and said they get zero matches on the apps and are getting discouraged. First, I try to fix up the profile, switch out the photos, then see if there is any traction. However, the apps are not set up to favor the men. Women get constantly swiped on and only really have to get their photos out there. If a guy thinks she is his physical type — swipe right. With women… it’s a little more complex: personality, humor, and occupation go a long way. A simple 2D profile cannot capture the essence of a human. This brings me to “camp hot” and how an average Joe can capitalize on the concept….

What is “camp hot”?…..

It is a biological concept where if men are scarce, then women will find the men more enticing. It goes back to a “stranded on a desert island” or in a potato famine situation. Women, to be able to breed, had to perceive the dwindling men as attractive. It is the opposite of the “cheerleader effect,“ coined by Barney Stinson in the show “How I Met Your Mother.” The effect is where women in groups will all look the same. When one woman is gorgeous, the men will perceive all the females in the group to be hot.

What should a guy not do?….

Key mistakes are to go against the theory. Any place where he blends in or where there are too many options, he should steer away from. Dating apps are the worst idea. Even decently attractive men will be swiped aside to favor the most attractive out there. Yes, women might take a beat and read a profile more. However, a few prompts, even if interesting, can’t trump model looks.

Be a leader….

Women need a story about a guy. She is more likely to be asked what a guy does versus what he looks like. When he is in charge of hosting an event, the lead singer of a band, or runs an indie film fest, she can share that with her friend. It creates an identity with that guy as well.

Pick a class or club that caters to women….

There are certain classes that are geared more to women. A pottery class or a “wine and sip” club, for example, are great ones. Just like in the classroom days, the girls will scope out the room for the cute guys. The fewer single guys, the more leverage.

Go out with your “wing men” sparingly….

Hanging with the bros seems like a natural way to go to bars. However, when it’s a big group of men, the women zero in on who’s the most charismatic and talks the most. An average guy is usually introverted and isn’t good at hitting on women. When going out, pick a mixed group of females and males. With a mixture of mostly women, but a handful of men, it helps you stand out since there are fewer choices to go through. When there isn’t a group to go with, be okay with a solo happy hour. Suit up, show up, and try to strike up conversations. Going earlier is a better strategy than last call.

Bottom Line….

With modern dating, the attractive Alpha males know how to be in the spotlight. They have no issue with the apps and thrive while going out with the boys at the bars. The sensitive, average, or introverted men get swiped aside. It is a shame since most of the nice guys make wonderful boyfriends. An average guy can stand out and shine when there are fewer shiny objects eclipsing him. I have fallen for many guys who are in charge of something. Many times to girlfriends, I would exclaim I am seeing “Brad the DJ” or “Peter the guy who runs the bad movie night on Thursdays.” Let’s face it, the apps are starting to be on the decline. Everything old is new again, with dating mixers and friends more willing to do a set up. Soon, the average guy will become the exceptional guy once meeting in person becomes the norm again.

Questions To Dodge On A First Date

A first date is a time to get to know a person. Some men take it a step further and treat it like an interrogation. What needs to be happening on a first date ( or in the early chatting period) is talking about surface-level topics ( movies, music, funny stories) and feeling out the vibe. Sometimes, a question is asked that completely derails the rest of the date. Keep in mind you do not have to answer a question just because he asked. Worse case is it opens you up to blab and complain the whole time….

“How many guys have you slept with?”…..

Whew! What a question. You never look good even if the number is pretty low. He is probably asking to see if you are easy and how hard he has to work. Never give out an actual number. You can just say: “When I am committed, then I will sleep with someone.” This tells him you aren’t interested in being a hook-up.

“Why did you and your ex break up?”…..

You might go on and on and start venting about how terrible he was. Or the opposite, where you miss him so much and was devastated when he dumped you. Be vague and answer: “We just weren’t the right fit.”

“How long have you been single?”…..

If it’s too short, it’s bad; if it’s too long, it’s bad. Saying a year makes you sound like you are over the last relationship and ready to date again. That’s really all he is asking anyway. You can fib a little and take control of your own narrative.

“How’s the apps?”…..

Red flag! Some men are clueless and just bring it up for no reason. Others bring it up because he sees you as another swipe. Downplay how much you use it: “Oh, my friend set it up for me a month ago. I am just seeing what all the hype is about.” He will be relieved he isn’t competing with other guys (even though he is). Again… he is sniffing out the competition and how hard he has to work.

“What are you looking for?”….

He is looking for a casual hook-up. He wants you to say casual so you verbally agree this date will be meaningless. Play naive and say: “I am really new to this; I just want to meet new people and see where it goes.” See his reaction or what he says after. He saying he wants casual means he doesn’t want to be your boyfriend.

Bottom Line…..

Most questions are mining you for information and reading between the lines. There is a reason he is asking these particular questions. He wants to know: ( How much competition there is; is there an ex lingering around; do you want casual or a relationship). You might feel he is asking you to really open up. He isn’t. You can give a straight forward quick answer as long as your tone is pleasant. Move on from these questions as soon as possible. Get back on track to talking about surface-level topics. If he wants more information, then he can ask you out on other dates.

Are You A Drama Junkie?

If you have ever had a dramatic relationship, you know how exciting it can be to ride the rough seas. Some people are professional and stable at work, while at the same time slashing their ex-boyfriend’s tires. In matters of the heart, it’s easy to start fights, to be that psycho-ex, or to be crying to your friends about a bad date. In the eyes of men, they will view you as completely unstable and full of drama, all things that give them the upper hand and reason to dump you….

Why do you love drama?…..

A healthy relationship can seem boring – When you are used to fighting for a relationship it seems lackluster if there is no push pull.

You think passion equals love – Love portrayed in the movies teaches us that drama equals passion.

You love the chase – Winning is more appealing than a healthy relationship

Why are you the Drama Queen?…..

You live in fear –The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know. Fear of the unknown holds many people back.

You get attention – You always have a crazy story to tell friends.

You get to confirm that you don’t deserve love – your brain loves a confirmation bias. You want to be right more than to be happy.

You are acting before you think – It’s so much better to take a minute and wait before you react.

You are surrounded by drama queens – If your friends are breaking in car windows and causing trouble, this behavior may seem normal to you.

You aren’t aware of your triggers – Go to therapy and figure out your issues with anger. Really get to the bottom of why you feel the way you do in relationships. It could be childhood trauma or something you repressed.

How to avoid dating drama…..

Find out if he is in a transition period – Did he just get evicted or have a messy breakup?

If he is telling a sob story on the first date, walk away – Users and people who want you on the hook play the sympathy card off the bat to draw you in.

Is he saying his ex girlfriend is a psycho? – He is more likely to be a crazy-maker than her just being crazy.

Is he over-stepping boundaries? – Have you set a boundary that he ignored?

Is he disrespecting your time and schedule?- texting you at 4am is rude, or blowing up your phone when you don’t answer a text.

Does he withhold affection or his time? – Everything is on his schedule and he withholds sex or affection.

What can you change?……

Take a intense exercise class – Maybe yoga doesn’t help…try kickboxing. Speaking of that, a gym membership that is open 24 hours is a great investment.

Are you on the wrong birth control? – Make sure you aren’t acting irrationally just because of hormones.

Talk to an understanding relative – They will always be on your side. Sometimes it’s nice to hear a voice that supports you.

Have your own apartment – Stay at your place for a few days and tell him you need your space.

If it’s still an issue, schedule a time to talk it out- It will always come off as more emotionally mature. Sometimes if you give it time, it’s not even an issue you care about anymore

Bottom Line….

The chase and drama is a thrill, until it becomes toxic. I do believe that there should be a little bit of a “does he like me or not” at the beginning. A smooth courtship from the start is not exciting. A dash of drama in healthy doses can spark more of an attraction. However, everyone can take this slight “will they are won’t they” situation into a full blown episode of “Cops.” If it’s keeping you from work or school, then it’s a problem. Like any addiction, when it takes over your life and you become obsessed, it’s a horrible sign. Go to therapy, join a gym, and get on the right birth control. Most importantly, try not to be so reactive in the moment and take space when needed. When he is clearly being the abuser or “crazy maker,” walk away and block him immediately.

The Dangerous Exception: The Rules Do Apply

Dating rules – such as letting him court you, not hooking up on the first date, and not being too available are to keep you safe and still keep your dignity if things go south. However….Don’t we all wish we were the exception? To be the girl who messes up, is too clingy, makes a terrible impression, and is still seen as endearing? In the movies, the exception is complicated and complex and the male protagonist eats out of her hand. Even in the movie, “He’s Just Not That Into You,” the lesson that you shouldn’t be the exception was flipped and the whole lesson was crumbled in the garbage…. because we want to be the exception… we crave it.…

Are you thinking movies are real?…..

The manic pixie girl breaks the rules. She will sleep with a guy, tell him about how her mom committed suicide, and the male protagonist is blown away. The reality is that not many people love drama. Hints of instability will make him run. Normal dates, compared to a Hollywood blockbuster, will seem boring. You don’t have to prove you are a “free spirit” and “not like other girls.”

“I can be a rule breaker”….

Rules are meant to protect you and not waste your time; they aren’t meant to suppress you. No one wants to be told to hold back and sit on their hands. Everyone wants a shoot-your-shot mindset because it does feel like freedom. The problem is the results and outcome usually end up being disappointing. However, yes, if you are seeking only hookups go for it. Be bold, be sultry. Getting into a committed relationship isn’t that straightforward.

We all want to feel special….

There is a sense of pride when a girl gets a guy in her own way. Behind the scenes we don’t really know what she had to go through. On top of that, the most likely thing is that he was ready to settle down regardless, or worse, she used heavy threats and ultimatums. But people love saying they broke the rules and it resulted in what they wanted. You feel like you are giving the middle finger to everyone. Being the chaser can get addictive. It ends up not being about liking the guy, but more about winning.

“Rules don’t apply to me because I am hot”…..

This is true at least at first. To be blunt, if you are attractive, things will be easier. At least in the first impression. You will be approached more, get away with an outburst here and there. But…. there will eventually be a drop-off point. Even supermodels get dumped here and there.

Giving everything up front is not fun for either parties…..

It’s not fun for you or him. Courtship and the “will-they-won’t-they” builds attraction. Anyone can hook up, and sadly – most men don’t really care with whom. The best part of a relationship is the build up and seeing if he actually cares. You find out very quickly who has your best interests. Yet, when you hook up after knowing a guy for two hours you don’t really know his motives anymore. He might claim all day he likes you, but only if sex is involved.

If everyone thinks they are the exception – then there is no exception….

This is how hook-up culture happened. It was people who wanted to break the rules and stick it to the system. Again….if the motive is to hook up, then do that. Anyone who has had a ho phase will tell you that it gets old. Women crave romance, a story to tell people, and effort.

Bottom Line…..

Keeping to a guideline can help you and preserve your dignity. Dating is unpredictable ; why are you trying to make it more complicated? There will be phases where you just want to break all the rules. If you just need to rebel for yourself, then do it. It should not be about proving to everyone that you are special and rules don’t apply to you. This is also where women get in competition with other women. It can result in just a competition against yourself to prove a point, not about finding a connection or getting to know a guy. It’s fine to play it safe and take calculated risks. Short-term gravitation usually results in spending hours analyzing a text message with the group chat. If you had just waited it out, it might have led to something, or you would have found out sooner that he wasn’t interested.

The Long Game Part 2

I have spoken briefly about the “long game.” This is how traditional pre-app dating was. You would go to a social event, see each other from across a crowded dance floor, then boom, you eventually started dating. Most importantly, there was a “courtship” phase. Most of us are used to swiping, meeting, maybe hooking up, and there might be a date here and there. There are key differences in the app- versus real-life style and it requires more strategy…..

You have seen him multiple times and he finally talked to you…..

This is step one. If he has not spoken to you and approached you, then either keep waiting for a bit, or throw in the towel. When a guy is interested and available, he will say hello in a bar, party, or cafe setting. You will not need to say hello and start a conversation to “help him out.” So, yes…. he finally talked to you. You should keep it light and don’t make assumptions. Act like you are on a first date. Stick to surface-level topics, be friendly, and get a overall vibe from him.

He has talked to you at least three separate times and includes you…..

Three times a charm. This is noteworthy because: once, could be him being bored and wanting to talk; two times, he recognized you; yet three…now you have something. Still keep things very light and open your ears and listen to what he is telling you. He might be talking about an ex, or that he is having a rough patch. He is interested, but probably needs a rebound or his ego stroked. Do not ignore this, and don’t think he will change his mind after he gets to know you.

Go dark for four days to one week…..

This is a crucial step. Pull back when there isn’t forward motion yet. Just don’t be gone for too long because that can backfire. Go on a date or two with other guys, but take your dates far away. After the week is up, return like nothing happened. Again too long = forgotten, the right amount = anticipation. This is the hardest step because you fear he will just forget you and move on. Is he excited once you come back around? Did he ask for your number or ask you on a date?

Be careful about Instagram…..

It’s tempting to just send that follow request on Instagram. You can keep up with him, watch his stories, and like his posts. You will send a message out of desperation once he isn’t giving you what you want. He will answer you and things might seem like they are going somewhere. There might be a night where you send a message and he leaves you on read. Don’t go down that road. Wait for him to ask for your number.

Does he bring you around his friend group?…..

Dating in the wild, you will meet friends sooner than online dating. With app dating you can hide your friends from your dates. In person, his friends are already there. How do his friends treat you? Are they excited to see you again and include you? Or do they ignore you? Sneaking off to a dark corner to avoid his friends glaring eyes is not a good sign.

If there has been no forward motion, let it go…..

This is not your invitation to low-key stalk him. He isn’t going to change his mind by you always being around. You might have to give up a fun regular hangout spot. Your night could be ruined by him giving you the cold shoulder, or worse, seeing him on another date.

Bottom Line…..

Listen, getting the stars to align at the right moment can take a long time. However, meeting in person will always be more memorable than swiping on an app. All my special relationships have not involved an app. There is something magical about two people having chemistry and doing the delicate courting dance. Yet… you shouldn’t be waiting literally forever. Once you reach the “going-dark stage” and then returning ,he needs to pull the trigger. If he doesn’t, he either found someone else, or wasn’t that interested in the first place. Also, I have said before that just because it’s a “meet-cute” situation doesn’t mean it’s fate and the universe owes you. He still needs to take forward actions to move things along: Asking for your number, asking for a date, texting etc. Do not linger around hoping he will talk to you. Yes, it sucks to give up that cool hang-out spot for a while, and I know you want to go there out of spite. Trust me, there are other bars, coffee shops, venues.