He asks you to go to Singapore. Or, Palm Beach, or Palm Desert or the beach or the desert or to coffee.

The point is, he is asking you if you want to do something, in the future, with him and perhaps with other people. In an abundance of caution, many men will structure ‘dates’ as group activities with other people. This can be church, choir, coffee groups, and movies, whatever. It’s okay. It takes off some of the pressure of too much togetherness, too soon. After all, what do the two of you have to talk about…yet? Group hikes and walks are wonderful ways to get to know other people. The atmosphere is relaxed, you’re outside, and the sun is on your face. A wonderful way for you and him to let your guard down and to be yourself.

There are numerous dating sites online that are good and have pretty good advice. On YouTube, I like Matthew Hussey Dating Advice, which is good listening for young women. For older women, I like Engage at Any Age – Jaki Sabourin.

Matthew is sincere, has been doing this for a while and is a very straight shooter. For older women, who face different challenges with men, it is a good site to review to realize other people are having similar problems and to not get completely discouraged.

Back to, he asks if you will be on the hike (board game, choir meeting, church service, etc.) next Sunday. You say yes and go.

Then what? Is this a DATE or a date? It is a date (small letters). This is a getting to know you date which is way different from a we-have-been-dating-six-months-and-it’s Valentine’s Day date.

This is a getting-to-know-you date. Let’s not overwhelm everyone with expectations and demands. If you go on the hike and get along, don’t turn into: let’s have coffee, let’s go to dinner, come over to my place, boom!

Don’t do it. Allow the date and the man, to process his thinking and feelings about you. Also, likewise, allow yourself some time to process your feelings. Are you interested? A little, some, a lot? None? Again, let’s stop thinking desperation, I have to grab the first guy I can get! If we think in desperation terms, everything is black or white, the end result will be a sure reflection of that thinking. Desperate!

So, if he is talking about coffee, say yes. You can casually ask some other people to go along, if you like. The presence of others softens the occasion so it doesn’t run the risk of becoming Too Important!!!!

You ask him

You ask him to go to a group breakfast, lunch (not dinner – too formal), a group hike, walk, volunteer event. You are in your natural element, you are with friends, and you are relaxed. The very best setting to be in. You are your best self. This is the perfect backdrop for conversation. It’s not too formal, not too dressed up and not too ‘special’. Unlikely that your parents or other relatives will be there looking over your shoulder and asking pointed questions like “Who is that guy?” Which then leads to more awkward questions and answers like “Just a guy,” “A friend.” At which point, someone (your mother) begins to roll Jher eyes and sigh. Jeese, who needs that pressure?

As a matter of fact, while we are on that point, keep most of your dates away from your parents unless you want your mother to run out and start buying all the latest issues of Bride magazine. Give everyone, including yourself, a break.

Moving Apart

Is there such thing as love at first sight? Well, maybe. Personally, I think it is more like attraction at first sight and that can certainly happen. Love…hmm.

Men need to process.

I compare this to making coffee in a drip pot. You put in to ground beans, you pour in the cold water and then…you wait and let it drip. After waiting the appropriate amount of time, viola! You have coffee.

Compare this process of making coffee to the brains of really, a lot of men. You pour the information in, you let it sink in and then….they process and you….wait.

How can I miss you if you never go away? To quote that old song. How can he either miss you, think about you, consider the relationship, make decisions about the relationship if you never leave him alone to think? Again, don’t overwhelm the guy at any time. Allow him to process his feelings, about you, about himself.

It may mean that after two (little) dates he decides he is not interested. It may be after knowing you in the hiking group, the choir, the church group, the class, the whatever, he decides that he likes you but not enough. Not enough to take the thing to the next level, to continue seeing you, to make it more serious.

Wow! That hurts doesn’t it? It’s called rejection and that is why it is so difficult for guys at a dance to ask a girl to dance (unless they have been drinking). They are terrified of rejection.

However; let us think about this rejection thing. Does it hurt? Yes. Were we interested, yes? What has it really done to us other than make us feel badly (for a while) and get our feelings hurt (some?) If the ultimate goal is long term relationship, engagement, marriage…do we really want to throw ourselves (physically) into a relation where, ultimately, we get dumped? Is that not harder on us, more socially embarrassing, more difficult on family and friends who were thinking… Maybe she found someone this time? Does it not really take less of a toll on our emotions and physic?

There are all kinds of movies and books that catalogue the lover who can’t take no for an answer (Fatal Attraction – Mike Douglas). Books and movies too numerous to count. Don’t be one of those very sad people. Learn to take and accept reject as just part of the dating game. Also remember, that probably more than once you have dished it out too. So, adopt a philosophy about it, such as, Not Meant to Be or your own version. We don’t always see the total global plan and something better just might be around the corner.

The Bootie Call

And I’d really like to see you tonight – England Dan and John Ford Coley

Look it up girls, it’s on YouTube. It’s a very famous and very romantic song about having a relationship with no ties and no real future, but, he would really like to see her tonight. Of course.

Is it a booty call? If you are asking yourself that question, it probably is. Now, if you are really in the need of a bootie call, you know the guy, you have taken proper precautions (you know what they are, you learned this in junior high,) then enjoy the time together. You might feel really good and energized for days after.

Still, girls, do not engage in endless romantic fantasies about this guy and what it really means. Do not start shopping for rings and white dress fabric. This is the time to confide in your best friend. Ask her questions. “Do you think this is just a physical thing?” Your best friend (not your mother) is probably the one who will be straight with you. She is the one who is mostly likely to say “Yes, sweetheart, that is exactly what this is.” Ouch. Once again, slightly hurt feelings.

Let’s go back to the idea of, is he really interested? Ask yourself: does he talk about the future, does that future include you, you and him together, does he make plans that include you? Are you meeting his friends, his co-workers, his family? Do you only see him at night, at his convenience and mostly, at your place? Do you ever go out to eat, go to the movies, walk in the park, etc., normal things that normal people do? Do these get togethers almost always exclusively revolve around sex and perhaps, a fair amount of alcohol?

Okay, girl. Put on a few Band-Aids. You have had some fun. Don’t confuse this ‘relationship’ for a real relationship and don’t spend a lot of time with this guy. Be prepared to move on at a moment’s notice. You are after all looking for Mr. Right and not Mr. Right now. If he keeps calling you, ignore the calls. He will get the message. After all, he wants what he wants and if not you, then, he will find someone else.

If he is particularly persistent, you might have to change your phone. Sigh. Ah me. Keeps life interesting.