dating!

I’m lost in a sea of questions! I’m very out of the dating loop (haven’t been on a date in years and my last one was hardly a real date). But anyway, I have one Thursday and being that I over-analyze things like crazy and don’t know what I’m doing to begin with, I have lots of questions.

Some of them are: what do I do if the conversation just isn’t happening? What about if the date is a dud and I am dropping her off, what do I say? If we want a second date, how long is appropriate before the next one - is a week too long or just right or what?

Other not as important questions but things I’ve just been curious about: how many dates before kissing, holding hands, etc.? Is this something I just need to gauge based on our interest in each other? I was thinking it might not be right for several dates, but I don’t know what the general view from a Catholic perspective is.

Any other advice and tips?

Thanks!

Oh boy, you have been out of the dating game for a while, haven’t you? Just kidding. Anyway, the best advice I can give you is to simply be yourself and do whatever feels right. First dates are about getting to know the other person and whether you enjoy spending time together, so focus on that. Don’t worry about the other stuff yet, and when it comes to that, just do whatever feels natural. Just relax and have a good time!

Best of luck to you!

*Hi buck!!! I’m so happy that you have a date this week! YAY! :slight_smile:

My advice is simple…be yourself. Be at ease, and be yourself…if someone doesn’t like you for you–then, she’s not ‘the one.’ I went through many ‘not the ones’ until I came across my husband, who loved me and still does love me…for me. Oddly enough! :smiley:

Hope it goes well for you. *

The “rules” about waiting X number of days before calling or whatever are only in the movies. Be natural. Call or ask for another date when you want to.

Kissing and stuff, well, anything that you would not do in front of her dad and your priest waits for marriage. A little peck or holding hands, that should happen after you know them well enough to know that you want to be “serious”.

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Well, I will give you my extremely limited female perspective, considering that I have gone on two first dates since my divorce/annulment.

The first guy I went out with did it all wrong in my opinion. Not even halfway through the first date he asked me if I would go out with him again. That sort of really puts you on the spot, especially when asked in a general way like that, where you can’t just turn down a particular event. I think I felt stressed out for the rest of the date, after saying yes just because I felt like I had to. Then he tried to kiss me at the end of the date, which I had to dodge. In my opinion, no matter how well it went, do not kiss on the first date. If you have later dates, it will have been so much better to let it build to that point than to just go for it right off the bat.

The second guy that I went out with was much more tentative and cautious. We did have long lulls in the conversation, and I think both of us left that date unsure about how we felt about each other. We continued to talk afterwards, a little awkwardly at first, but then one day on the phone, all of that awkwardness seemed to vanish and we couldn’t stop talking to each other. So, our second date was about 5 days after our first and we knew each other so much better. There was a ton of chemistry and we seemed to really know each other by then. We’ve been going out every week since then…this summer it will be a year.

So, my advice is to not worry about being awkward, just be yourself, and don’t be in a rush. Don’t do any analyzing or worrying on your date. Whatever will happen will happen.

If the conversation isn’t happening, try asking a genuine question about something you know that she is interested in. It shouldn’t be a yes or no question. If the date is a dud, shake her hand at the end and tell her it was nice meeting her. That was the I’m-not-into- you signal when I was younger and I think it still is today. If you like her, give her a hug and ask if you can see her next weekend. I wouldn’t kiss her unless I felt like I wanted to start a relationship with her. IMO you really need to go out for a little bit to make a decision like that. More than anything else, just relax and have a good time.:wink:

Fantastic! Let’s get to it. :thumbsup:

what do I do if the conversation just isn’t happening?

Ideally, this should never happen because you are an observant human being capable of making conversation out of just about anything or any situation. Right? Well, if that’s not the case, then you can fall back with asking questions about her. After all, the object of a first date is to get to know another person. Alternatively, you can have a set of prefabricated lines designed to stir conversation, sort of like a modified pickup line. I prefer being more spontaneous, so I don’t have any to share with you. But there are plenty of resources out there on this sort of thing.

What about if the date is a dud and I am dropping her off, what do I say?

I hate it when that happens. :frowning: I’m a fan of movie quotes in this instance. “Good night, and good luck” is a favorite line for me. It’s simultaneously straight forward and bizarre in the context of ending a date. It has well-wishes for her future and renders the relationship doubtful enough that a woman can ponder it for as much or little as she wants. It’s my favorite bad date breakup line!

If we want a second date, how long is appropriate before the next one - is a week too long or just right or what?

No no no, absolutely not! Have a second date planned before you end your first one. You can put the date forward a week or so, because a cooling-off period is both safe and rational. But why would you want to leave your newly formed relationship hanging in limbo for that long? It only instills doubt into your lovely lady. Early on, doubt will torpedo a relationship before you ever realize it. So head it off by striking while the iron is hot – score your second date ASAP. kage_ar is absolutely right about “waiting for two days” being a bunch of Hollywood garbage, crafted by people whose dates are more fond of their money than their sparkling personalities.

Other not as important questions but things I’ve just been curious about: how many dates before kissing, holding hands, etc.? Is this something I just need to gauge based on our interest in each other?

Absolutely. There’s nothing worse than making an escalation gesture prematurely. Remember when you were in high school and you awkwardly asked The Relationship Question for the first time? “So, uh, do you wanna be my girlfriend?” It was pretty terrifying wasn’t it? When it comes to dating, if you have to ask if you’re ready for something, then you’re probably not. Be charming, be a good guy, be bold, but above all make her comfortable with being around you. When the time is right, you’ll know – and the transition be smooth as silk.

Some may construe this as advice to take things slowly. While it’s generally very good advice, it’s not necessarily the case. There are a number of cues, verbal and non-verbal, which are difficult to concisely describe but simply come with practice and study. Your mileage may vary, and I do mean yours. In our culture, the task of driving relationships forward leans more heavily on men than women, so be aware of that. Your boldness and confidence will be the most determining factor on how quickly things escalate.

I was thinking it might not be right for several dates, but I don’t know what the general view from a Catholic perspective is.

Again, it has everything to do with you, her, and the mode with which you intend to pursue this relationship. You can make certain expectations based upon your mutual religious preferences, and these can (and should) be constructive rather than limiting. In other words, don’t try to think of Christianity as something that will keep you from doing certain things, but rather something that brings you together with a like-minded person. This is, after all, the crux of dating in any context.

Good luck! :smiley:

My sort of old flame, with whom we roamed parks in evenings when we were each 18 going on 19, and still walked the city hand in hand last March, announced her relationship to the broad public today. Sigh. Just why doesn’t it move me.

But anyway, I have one Thursday and being that I over-analyze things like crazy and don’t know what I’m doing to begin with, I have lots of questions.

Careful.

Some of them are: what do I do if the conversation just isn’t happening?

You can stay in silence or you can initiate a conversation. Either can backfire. With the right woman, this won’t be a problem. Do whichever feels right to you, don’t care for the consequences.

What about if the date is a dud and I am dropping her off, what do I say?

You thank her for her time all the same, but you do not “develop” your act toward a more romantic one. If she asks any questions, you give her the answer. Honestly but kindly. Basically the way you’d like to be told by a girl.

If we want a second date, how long is appropriate before the next one - is a week too long or just right or what?

From my experience, five minutes is a bit short and three years is a bit long. Seriously, though, the common rule of the thumb is three days between the date and the phone call to set up another one, but this shouldn’t prevent you from phoning earlier - or giving up if you for some reason miss your three day limit. You can phone the girl the same evening, or you can phone her the very next day, or you can cut one day off the limit, depending on the situation. Just be natural and phone her when you would like to phone her, but without being obsessive.

Like the one that’s got in a relationship, I had a weakness for her and I generally phoned her the same evening.

Other not as important questions but things I’ve just been curious about: how many dates before kissing, holding hands, etc.?

Between 0 and 100. Don’t play the bases game. Kissing is a display of affection and is not a right. Neither yours, neither hers. And it is not a goal to look to because that would make it a near-purely physical or emotional thing, which it should not be.

Don’t fall into the error of thinking that kissing or holding hands is something you have to do and the relationship won’t develop if you don’t. Therefore you need to hasten to assure it happens and you stress over when it doesn’t. Rubbish.

Is this something I just need to gauge based on our interest in each other?

Not you but she, or rather she and you. And not gauge. Just be natural.

I was thinking it might not be right for several dates, but I don’t know what the general view from a Catholic perspective is.

There’s no encyclical on when it’s “appropriate” to hold hands or phone to set up a new date and this is for a reason. :stuck_out_tongue:

Any other advice and tips?

Yes. Be natural.

Thanks!

Welcome.

I second that, although you can skip the handshake. Generally, a woman extends her hand first, whether it’s to be kissed or shaken. This is because she’s more important than the man, basically like the boss or someone a couple of years older. But you’re likely more modern than this.

Don’t be desperate - you know, giving off the vibe that this date has to work. Or worse, start thinking this is your soul mate and she thinks it’s been an okay evening.

If you enter into it thinking, “I’m going to get to hold a woman’s hand”, “I’m going to get to hold a woman’s hand” you need to calm down.

Guard your heart, and look to make a friend.

Playing chess is more fun than holding those hands idle anyway. :stuck_out_tongue:

But dating is like a chess game - one wrong move, and you’re dead in the water! OK, more like Russian roulette, but you get the idea.

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If you have already managed to talk her into a date, that means you have more than good rhetorical skills. You have nothing to worry about as long as you keep that in mind.

I was never good at the whole dating thing. Used to get too nervous now I think I’ve been on so many that’s I’ve gone numb to it all. That’s the advantage of having been out of the loop it’s likes it’s all new again. I can’t really offer any advice other then to pray before you go on a date and hope to meet someone nice. I wouldn’t expect anything else till later. :thumbsup:

Thank you everyone for replies!

Tonight is the big night and I’m getting nervous. I plan on just having fun though and trying to be myself and if it doesn’t work out, at least I will have had fun, right?

Good luck tonight!!!

Correct. Good luck to you! :thumbsup:

Best Wishes! We are pulling for you!

God Bless!

-Hope

Except in chess I can’t talk my way out of trouble. :stuck_out_tongue:

Sure you can, you just have to be quick about it!

:cool: “You really want to make that move?”
:confused: “Pretty sure I’ll have you checkmated if I keep this up.”
:cool: “I doubt that. See that bishop over there?”
:confused: “Yours or mine?”
:cool: “The one that you should move your rook toward.”
:confused: “What?”
:cool: “Exactly.”
:confused: slowly moves the piece back…

(You can do this dating too. Hope this helps!)

Where are you taking her? We expect a full report when you get back!

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