Monday, August 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Dating Deciphered with Erika—Part 2

For this week’s article, I thought it would again be useful to share some real questions from some of my clients and, of course, my responses.  

Q: So I've been texting back and forth with this girl for a while now (kept having conflicting schedules), and we're finally getting to meet this Thursday. Can you give me some first date advice for meeting someone online?  In the past first dates I've had, we talked about our experiences with OkCupid and Match. (Like, how many people we've met, bad/good experiences, etc.) Do you think that's something that shouldn't be brought up?  Is there a certain length I should keep the date to, or it just depends on how well the date is going?  Any first date advice is much appreciated!

~H.L., 28, New York, NY

A: That is very exciting!  If you're meeting someone for the first time from an online dating site, it should always just be for drinks or coffee, not dinner.  (This is to protect you in case it’s very clear that it’s not a match.)  As for the length, it's usually about an hour or so.  If you're having a good time, though, obviously you'll want to stay longer and perhaps order some food.  

In terms of what to talk about, I wouldn't lead with the question of how online dating is going, unless it's under the guise of how well this date is going compared to others, accompanied by a funny story.  Just be yourself and be natural, and the conversation should flow.  It's most important to talk about your hobbies and things you like to do to see if you have some common interests.  People also generally like when you ask them questions - what he/she likes to do, etc.  You'll know when you talk if you're clicking or not just based on how the conversation is going.  

The first date is kind of like a screener to see if you want to take her out again, so keep the conversation light and fun (and a little flirtatious if you like).  If, at the end, you do like her, it's best to tell her that you'd like to see her again, so there's no question.  Then you can either line up the next date just then or follow up afterwards.  (No three-day rule!)  If not, a simple, "nice meeting you" will do the trick.  And please pay, no matter how it goes.  It's the gentlemanly thing to do. :) 

Q: I met Jenn yesterday. We spent about an hour and a half together, even though we only met for drinks. We both agreed to go out again.  My question to you is whether I should text or call her, and when?  I was thinking that a phone call is more personal.  My plan was to text her tonight telling her that I had a good time, and I would call her tomorrow to set up another date.  Another scenario is that I just call her tomorrow and tell her I had a good time and make plans for another date, all in one phone call.  I could also just call her tonight and accomplish the same thing instead of waiting a day.  What do you think is best, or do you have a better suggestion?

~ J.D., 37, Alexandria, VA 

A: I'm glad the date went so well!  I like your first plan the best - text her today (you don't need to wait until tonight - she'll appreciate it anytime today) telling her you had a good time and that you'll call tomorrow to set up date #2.  Then, when you do call, she'll see that you're a man of your word!  It'll work well. 

What are your burning dating questions?  Feel free to leave them in the comments for me to address in a future post.

More coverage
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  • Does your significant other pass 'the bar test'?
  • When dating online, don't lie about your age
  • Erika Ettin
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