For the past year, I’ve dated like I’ve never dated before. I’ve dated many different “types” of people from online sites. Here’s what I’ve learned:
1.) Expect to be disappointed—But move forward quickly.
If you are meeting people to date online, there is a strong chance that some of them are lying when they present themselves. Someone who you thought was 6’2” will occasionally turn out to be 5’9.” Sigh.
2.) Don’t give out your real phone number.
It is now easier than ever to create a Google Voice number that can link to your cell. Give out this number first. This way you can decide later if you really want them to have your real number.
3.) Create your own “creeper” test.
Do they make children cry? Scare animals? Yes, you say. My advice: Run. Fast. I once went on a date with a guy who tried to make a little kid at a near-by table laugh. The child burst into tears at the sight and sound of my date. Um, this is never a good sign.
4.) Be assertive and ask for what you want.
Know the “type” of person you want to date, be specific, upfront, and explicit. For example, I am childfree by choice, so my profile specifies that I am only looking to date other childfree individuals. I’ve had more than one guy tell me on a second date that, “Oh yeah, I have a kid…” If someone can’t be upfront about who they are, what else are they lying about? I don’t care to find out.
5.) Use the “delete” and “block” buttons regularly.
If people are bothering you, it is best to D&B—delete & block—immediately. Some men feel incredibly entitled to your attention—don’t give them the ability to contact you.
6.) Background check when possible
Start with the easy basics, such as Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, but if you have a lawyer friend who has access to LexisNexis, kindly ask them to verify anything from arrest records to marriage certificates. ☺
7.) Leave something to the imagination.
Yes, background checks are important. And, yes, some people will be deceptive, but with all that said, work to find a balance between learning everything about them before the date and going in “blind.”
8.) Dine and Dash.
No, not what you’re thinking. If you meet someone, and you’re really not interested, leave early. You are absolutely not obligated to stay. I’ve talked to many women who feel uncomfortable with this, and I’ll admit I’ve been one in the past. But, really, what’s more uncomfortable—being honest or enduring a second horrible hour with that person?
9.) Second chances?
Ah, the “second” chance. First date didn’t go so well? Thinking of trying it again? Think again. Nothing dramatic will have changed in that person in a matter of days. Move on.
10.) “Looking for a wife” and other red flags to look for in their post.
Ok, it may be true that someone is looking for a “partner in crime,” but be cautious with this type—you don’t want to become the fly stuck in the web of some giant, hairy, nasty spider who only wants a wife. Another way to think of this: Does this person want you or a wife? See the distinction.
11.) “I would be pro-choice but…”
Just stop. Yes, I have had someone say this to me on a date. No dice.
12.) Pay your own way! (or at least sincerely offer)
Part of being a feminist means taking responsibility for yourself and paying your own way is part of that. At the very least, never expect your date to pay.
13.) Beware the over-talking asshole.
You know the type–they won’t shut it…at all. If you ever feel like you have to raise you hand to participate in a conversation, leave—just leave.
14.) Expect to get hurt. At least once.
As you start meeting people, you will likely start to like some of them. Occasionally, you’ll get burned. Cry for about five minutes and go hit the town!
15.) Don’t take dating too seriously.
Overall, dating can be a fun experience. Laugh at the dates that go badly and learn from the dates that go well. Most of all—enjoy!