So if you’ve read my earlier post “How to date (and dance) in 2010”, you might be wondering HOW it works….
Here’s the game plan for women – “By the 3rd Date”
(guys listen up – because this is what the women will be doing and why)
Step 1: Wait for a man to ask you out on a date. Right now you might be saying, “Ugh! If I wait for a guy to ask me out, I’ll be 80, knitting a sweater, and living in an apartment with 8 cats before I have a date.”
I know it might FEEL that way, but believe me, it won’t take that long.
Here’s why: There is nothing inherently WRONG or sinful in asking a man out on a date. BUT if you do ask him out, you rob him of the chance to ask you out. It’s very simple. In fact, You TEACH him how to NOT be a leader.
By rushing in and asking him out on the date, you teach him that he doesn’t have to pursue you. In short, if you ask him out for the first date, you will probably have to do the asking out for the second date too, and so on and so on.
ALLOWING the man to ask you out on the date, gives him an opportunity to improve his manliness. It gives him the chance to be a man who knows what he wants and then takes action. He becomes courageous and daring, all for the simple reason that he wants to spend time with you. (*Swoon*)
It also trains him to ASK for what he wants. So if you feel called to the vocation of marriage and hope that someday the right man will ASK you “the BIG” question, then make sure you aren’t teaching him to do the opposite. You want to find a man who already has the skill-set of “knowing what he wants and ASKing for it”.
***Just some clarification: It’s O.K. to drop signals that you are open to going out on the date. Don’t stonewall yourself into your room and expect a man to knock down the wall to ask you out. That being said, be sure you aren’t overstepping your acquaintance/friendship boundaries either. Be on the lookout for a future post on boundaries…
Step 2: Be receptive to what God is bringing into your life -most likely there is a lesson in it.
Things in life happen for a reason. God puts people into our lives for a reason, so be open to what it is He is trying to do. There might be a lesson for us, or their might be a lesson for the man, or both.
Step 3: Say, “Yes.” ***Even if – especially if– he isn’t really your type. NEVER say yes if you get a predatory or creepy vibe from him. Always listen to your safety instincts (because it may be your guardian angel warning you.)
Step 4: Allow the man to plan the date. ***It’s best to start with a coffee/tea date. Dinner takes too long and going out for drinks just makes you friendlier and more flirty than you normally would be. Coffee or tea or a walk in the park is a nice short chance to get the first date jitters out of your system. So while it’s good to allow the man to plan the date, it’s ok to head him in this direction, should he suggest a 3 hour trip to the Met and dinner. (Another disaster dating story of mine.) So just say, “Wow dinner is very generous of you, but would you mind if we start with coffee? or tea?
Step 5: Allow the man to pay for the date. I don’t care if it’s a slice of pizza, coffee, tea, or a steak dinner: LET THE MAN PAY. Gone are the days when we women have to prove that we are strong women by paying for all of our dates……
I use the term “Let” the man pay, because for women this will be a struggle. She will wonder if she should at least gesture to grab for the wallet. She will wonder if he wont call her again because she wouldn’t pay for her $2.50 slice of pizza. She will think, “Oh I want him to know I have a good job and that I can take care of myself.” She will not want him to have any power over her… i.e. he paid for my steak dinner so he’s going to demand a make-out session from me.
So, women: don’t pay for dates! (Not just first dates – all dates!)
Here’s why: The dreaded, “going dutch” absolutely kills any chemistry and any romance. It’s the “safe” way to date – which turns out to actually be a disaster. It’s like the Titanic. Big unsinkable ship. Sounds good, but it ends up sinking. Again – not inherently wrong or sinful, it just doesn’t seem to work in the natural order of how a man and a woman were designed to relate to each other.
It will be a bit scary at first, but look at it like it’s an extreme sport like cliff diving or jumping out of an airplane.
Step 6: When it’s time to say good bye: Say, “thank you”. DO NOT: kiss him … or anything beyond that. DO NOT say, “Thanks so much – I had a great time – we should do this again sometime.”….
Here’s why: it is the man’s job to pursue you. The man gets to lead at this point. If he had a great time, then he can express that. You allow him to make his statement first – then you can respond nicely – IF YOU TRULY HAD A GREAT TIME. DO NOT SAY WHAT YOU DO NOT MEAN. If you feel a moment of awkwardness, say, “thank you for taking me out on a date. It was very generous of you.”
Step 7: You wait for a man to ask you out on the 2nd date. This means you don’t send him emails, text messages or phone messages “just to let him know that you had a really great time.” What you want to know is: Is this guy interested in ME enough to ask me out on the 2nd date.
The 2nd date can be longer than the first date – but it doesn’t have to be. Really the 2nd date is to get a better grasp on IF there is chemistry and IF this is the type of person that you would like to hang out with. Ask yourself, “Are they a good influence on me?” Do I admire them?
Step 8: Say Yes to 2nd date – even if you didn’t see romance sparks flying on the 1st date. As I stated earlier – 1st dates are notoriously horrendous. So – don’t judge the whole man on how the first date went… unless of course he was a complete jerk. I once had a guy yell at me at the end of the first date because even though he had paid for a fancy dinner I wasn’t interested in a smooch-fest with him. Needless to say I did not have to “wait” for the 2nd date to say, “no thank you.” So unless the first date was a complete disaster due to rudeness or inappropriateness, you say “yes” to the 2nd date.
There’s a reason behind this too. Saying yes twice will help affirm men that we appreciate their efforts to woo a woman. I’ll have to ask my guy friends, but I think that, most likely, guys feel as if the first date was out of sheer luck – or perhaps a flippant answer because the woman was caught off guard and didn’t know how to respond. So it’s important that, as women, we affirm men when they are doing manly things. (This is why if there is rude non-gentlemanly behavior on the first date, you can skip to the no-thank you part. We don’t reward someone for acting like an ass… and by that I mean a donkey.)
It’s also important that as women, we give ourselves some time to relax into the situation. So often we rush ourselves. During the date -or heck, even before a guy asks us out, we are so busy trying to determine if the man could be “the one,” that we completely miss out on the pleasure of enjoying their company. So – take your time to relax into the date so you don’t miss it.
Step 9: Say good bye and thank you. See step 6
Step 10: Reflect on the experience – take action. Give yourself some time to reflect on the dates. Was he courteous? Was he kind to others? Is he generous? How does he like to spend his time?
If by this time you have zero chemistry with the man and zero inclination to get to know him any further, then you must take action and let him know BEFORE the third date. “BY THE THIRD DATE” you should have a pretty good idea if you are a good fit for each other. If you need a third date, then repeat the steps relating to the 2nd date.
You MUST take action quickly. Within 24 hours of the 2nd date (or 3rd if you needed more time), you need to contact the man. Preferably over the phone – though if you have primarily been communicating via email that is O.K. too. TEXTING IS NOT APPROPRIATE. It’s cowardly and too brief. Contact them and say, “Thank you very much for your generosity in asking me on those dates. I wanted to let you know that I’m not interested in going on further dates. Thank you so much”
He may respond with, “Oh, ok – thank you. Good bye.”
He may also respond with “why?”
Your answer should be: because it’s just not the right match. Or there isn’t any chemistry. We as women want to soften the blow by giving a very long list about WHY we gave our answers. OR by delivering the dreaded “Well, I just don’t see you that way – I only see you as a friend.” or “You’re a great person, but….” It is unnecessary and inadvisable to do this sort of thing. Any sort of list would only belittle the person you are speaking to. It is almost as if we deny the person’s worth: You aren’t good enough for me – or you aren’t the “perfection” that I’m searching for.
BUT there IS validity in the fact that some persons are well suited, and I dare to say, designed for each other…. to be complimentary. It’s O.K. to notice that the fit doesn’t work well. It’s like a puzzle piece that looks like it should fit with the rest, but it doesn’t. If you jam it in there, it will just warp the piece… there’s a place for it – it just isn’t right there. (But don’t USE the puzzle piece metaphor when giving him the answer…. he’s a person, not a puzzle piece.) Tricky, I know.
So – follow these steps, and others that I will illustrate in future posts….
and you may just find yourself happily married to a man who’s much more well suited for you than you could have ever imagined.