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Zerimar's All Purpose Dating Advice Thread


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So I am just as tired of creating these threads as you undoubtedly are of seeing them pop up everywhere, so what I'm going to do is create this one thread and bump it every time I have a dating-related question. It might be interesting to see how long this can go on. I thank you in advance for enduring with this late bloomer figuring out in his late thirties what most people figured out in their teens and twenties.

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My current dilemma is a very minor one. This past Sunday, on Valentine's Day, I went to a COVID-compliant and completely safe speed dating event. (I figured I'd get that out of the way up front and kindly ask for that part not to be discussed.) There, I got to talking to this girl who it turns out I went to high school with. She graduated one year ahead of me, yet neither one of us remembered the other (I did look her up in my yearbook later that night and recalled seeing her back then). She was newly divorced as of two years ago and was mother to a ten-year-old and a four-year-old. We had a great time talking and I did break protocol and get her number.

Now, I'm a little old-school: I prefer to actually call girls rather than simply text. However, I do prefer to set up the call with a text first, usually by starting a text conversation in the morning and end by saying, "Hey, maybe I can call you tonight?" So I texted in the morning saying, "Hey, Jamie! It's John from last night. Doing okay today?" (I now realize that's a rather weak intro.) I got no reply in return. So I left it alone for the rest of the day, and in the evening decided to call. I normally don't like to just call without setting it up via text first, but I did anyway. So I called, got no answer (but was relieved from her outgoing message that it was her real number), and left a quick, upbeat message. Never got a reply.

Now, here's the thing: normal protocol for these events dictates that you "grade" each person and state whether you'd like to see them again or not, and then the host gets the mutual interests in contact with one another via email. After getting the email from the host the next day, she was listed as someone who was mutually interested in talking further. So there was interest on her part and she wasn't simply being nice by giving me her number without any interest. However, I did talk to her rather early on, and afterwards she was talking to a guy who made her laugh pretty hard, so I feel she may have liked him better.

In other words, I may not have been her top choice, which is fine. However, after sending my one text and leaving my one message within the same day, I have not made any further contact attempts since. It is now day six since I met her and, going from past experiences and what I've learned, I've resisted the urge to keep poking her. So after some time has passed, I would like some recommendations on what to send as another text message as a last-ditch attempt before moving on. I have studied (yes, I have to do that), and I know that I should not reference the first contact attempts at all but pretend they never happened. My text needs to grab her attention more than my first vanilla attempt. I had two ideas in mind, which you can tell me which is the better approach, or offer your own:

Option 1: "Hey, Jamie! Just wondering when The Jamie & Marie Show is premiering?" (This is a reference to what was said that night. She was there with her funny and eccentric best friend named Marie, whom she said deserves her own TV show. Later, she said we guys would all get front-row tickets to their show.)

Option 2: "Dear Past Jamie. You must to exactly as I say. DO NOT DRINK THE COFFEE! IT HAS BEEN POISONED! You'll thank me later. Yours Sincerely, Future Jamie."

I know I overthink things, and on the surface it probably looks like I'm obsessing about this. Compared to other girls I've dated, I'm really not obsessing this time around. I may be long-winded, but that's me: I like to type and be super descriptive. All I want is basically advice on how I might be able to squeeze this lemon before tossing it aside. I'd also like some advice on not only content, but timing. I figured that, if she is indeed talking to another guy from the event, and if they've set up a date for this weekend, maybe waiting until after that date has occurred might be easier to get my foot in the door. Tomorrow will be one week since the fact. Is that a good time to send it? Should I wait another week? I have no idea about these things.

Thanks! I'll be in touch with more questions in the future, undoubtedly.

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7 minutes ago, Zerimar Nyliram said:

My current dilemma is a very minor one. This past Sunday, on Valentine's Day, I went to a COVID-compliant and completely safe speed dating event. (I figured I'd get that out of the way up front and kindly ask for that part not to be discussed.) There, I got to talking to this girl who it turns out I went to high school with. She graduated one year ahead of me, yet neither one of us remembered the other (I did look her up in my yearbook later that night and recalled seeing her back then). She was newly divorced as of two years ago and was mother to a ten-year-old and a four-year-old. We had a great time talking and I did break protocol and get her number.

Now, I'm a little old-school: I prefer to actually call girls rather than simply text. However, I do prefer to set up the call with a text first, usually by starting a text conversation in the morning and end by saying, "Hey, maybe I can call you tonight?" So I texted in the morning saying, "Hey, Jamie! It's John from last night. Doing okay today?" (I now realize that's a rather weak intro.) I got no reply in return. So I left it alone for the rest of the day, and in the evening decided to call. I normally don't like to just call without setting it up via text first, but I did anyway. So I called, got no answer (but was relieved from her outgoing message that it was her real number), and left a quick, upbeat message. Never got a reply.

Now, here's the thing: normal protocol for these events dictates that you "grade" each person and state whether you'd like to see them again or not, and then the host gets the mutual interests in contact with one another via email. After getting the email from the host the next day, she was listed as someone who was mutually interested in talking further. So there was interest on her part and she wasn't simply being nice by giving me her number without any interest. However, I did talk to her rather early on, and afterwards she was talking to a guy who made her laugh pretty hard, so I feel she may have liked him better.

In other words, I may not have been her top choice, which is fine. However, after sending my one text and leaving my one message within the same day, I have not made any further contact attempts since. It is now day six since I met her and, going from past experiences and what I've learned, I've resisted the urge to keep poking her. So after some time has passed, I would like some recommendations on what to send as another text message as a last-ditch attempt before moving on. I have studied (yes, I have to do that), and I know that I should not reference the first contact attempts at all but pretend they never happened. My text needs to grab her attention more than my first vanilla attempt. I had two ideas in mind, which you can tell me which is the better approach, or offer your own:

Option 1: "Hey, Jamie! Just wondering when The Jamie & Marie Show is premiering?" (This is a reference to what was said that night. She was there with her funny and eccentric best friend named Marie, whom she said deserves her own TV show. Later, she said we guys would all get front-row tickets to their show.)

Option 2: "Dear Past Jamie. You must to exactly as I say. DO NOT DRINK THE COFFEE! IT HAS BEEN POISONED! You'll thank me later. Yours Sincerely, Future Jamie."

I know I overthink things, and on the surface it probably looks like I'm obsessing about this. Compared to other girls I've dated, I'm really not obsessing this time around. I may be long-winded, but that's me: I like to type and be super descriptive. All I want is basically advice on how I might be able to squeeze this lemon before tossing it aside. I'd also like some advice on not only content, but timing. I figured that, if she is indeed talking to another guy from the event, and if they've set up a date for this weekend, maybe waiting until after that date has occurred might be easier to get my foot in the door. Tomorrow will be one week since the fact. Is that a good time to send it? Should I wait another week? I have no idea about these things.

Thanks! I'll be in touch with more questions in the future, undoubtedly.

First, was a mom?

Second, none of those.  They are both pretty cringy.  What "research" are you reading? 

Third, if she was interested she would have gotten back to you.

Fourth, if you are going to make a last ditch effort, just text her NOW you are interested in getting to know her and would love to meet up for coffee or whatever.  

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Not "was a mother' not as in she's not a mother anymore, but simply in the sense of making my tenses match up to be grammatically correct, since I was telling the story in the past tense. You can't change from past to present tense when recounting events. Well, you can, but it isn't proper.

Okay, noted. I will try that.

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Don’t text her at all. She isn’t interested. I mean, on the other hand you could do it and she can tell all of her friends about this guy she met who is a total psycho who won’t leave her alone.

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I agree, she doesn't either seem interested or she is too busy.  Now, not interested may not necessarily mean she didn't like you, just could mean she is is more interested in another speed dater.  Either way, dating apps and speed dating are geared for the WOMAN to contact YOU.  When it comes to dating (generalizing here), women are a lot less direct than men, and don't like to be put on the spot to say not interested to your face.  They generally just don't answer and hope you get the hint.  Generally speaking, those environments it are a ladies' market, because the male to female ratio is usually more men than women, AND it is simply designed for women to feel comfortable in meeting people and still having the option of being very specific in their choice of whom they want to date seriously. 

 

The TLDR version is leave her be, and if you like the speed dating route, just have fun and try it again.   

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Phooey. :angry: All right, I'll leave it alone. I wonder where I went wrong, though? Might it have been asking for her number? Things might have gone in my favor had I simply stuck to protocol.

Oh well. Another contact for my "little black book." Maybe I'll check in on her in a few months, not via text but maybe by adding her on Facebook (we do have over eighty friends in common, after all) and being like, "Hey, how's everything going?" I won't put all my eggs in that one basket, though. I'll keep looking around for someone else in the meantime. She'll just become one of those low-priority options, if you get me. I've already got a few of those. Little black book.

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Also, just in my experience, the reason many women are less direct than men when it comes to saying they are not interested is a) they don't want to hurt your feelings b) they don't know how the guy is going to react, and they generally want to avoid conflict.  One thing guys forget about, especially nicer guys, is that for women, a lot of guys come on strong and that can be off-putting.  Some guys can even get aggressive and that can intimidate women when they are told she is not interested.  Remember, domestic abuse is a real thing, and that is always in the back of the mind of a woman, when she is looking for someone to date seriously.  Guys forget that to a woman, the same thing that can make them feel safe around a guy that is bigger, is also the same thing that can make them afraid when a guy just doesn't take no (said explicitly or implied) for an answer.  Not saying that is the case with you, but you have to look at it how a woman would see it.

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No, I get you. I'm just trying to figure out where exactly I killed the attraction because, like I said, the results came back indicating that there was mutual attraction, at least at some point. I'm guessing it was either when I asked for her number (and got it), or simply that she wrote down her interest but then had a better connection with someone else.

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It's not always about you, though, or what you did to "kill the attraction" or anything like that. She could be more interested in someone else. She could have decided now wasn't the right time for her to be dating after all. She may have had a heart attack and been in the hospital. It could be any number of things that have literally nothing to do with you.

I really don't think there's anything for you to figure out here.

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We’ve all been here and it sucks. I was here a few months back myself.

Six things I keep in mind:

1. People have lives. Especially single mothers. Just because I am available to text pretty much any ol time, I have to remind myself I am not aware of what other people’s lives are. ESPECIALLY right now.

2. The answering machine scene from Swingers should be a cautionary tale to all dudes who mean well but are lonely enough to have no chill.

3. The magic number is 2. Not 3, not 4. TWO points of contact with no response may not seem like a lot, but it’s the max amount pokes to give somebody in this situation. Think about it— on your end, being interested, you’d respond right quick. I rarely let texts go for more than an hour, even ones I don’t want to respond to. I’d rather text back and shut a convo down than see that little red dot. One unanswered text can happen if say it shows up when you’re busy and you forget. A second would remind you. It super sucks, but after two, you need to back off. Ball is in the other person’s court.

4. Games over honestly is pure bullshit. Being clever/funny to illicit a response, waiting an amount of time to respond to assert control, asking questions to illicit a return, faux humor— basically anything other than being honest in a communication is putting things on a track to ultimately not go well. I know this, and I struggle not to do this myself. I never WANT to play games or be manipulative, but I naturally engage in a way that is designed to keep the contact going, (until I don’t want it to). This is my biggest failing with trying to meet woman, and again, not intentional. I am combatting years of programming from movies teaching me that’s how it is done.  

5. Do not rob women of their agency. The second you create a narrative that places yourself in any sort of victim roll to a woman’s actions (or inaction) you begin to doubt yourself and see her as somebody who has something wrong with her. This is a dangerous place, psychologically, to be. You cannot see women as wronging you for making the best choices for their own life. Being ghosted sucks, but sometimes people would rather do that than be honest if they think they are being hurtful. In those cases, pushing for a response only makes it worse.

6. All that said, there is always the off chance the other party is playing a game or not being honest. I don’t think it’s always likely, but I am a chump who despite seeing social media, still thinks people are good. But maybe you pulled a crap person. If that’s the case, it’s a blessing in disguise. accept the lack of response as exactly that and move on.

Being who I am, my TLDR version advice to you is, you seem to approach encounters with women as movie meet cute where you have to fight for the outcome you want because this is your movie and your story.

But sometimes you may just be a walk on role  or bit part in her movie.

Of all the times you have asked for advice, my point #5 above seems to be the common problem.

You always frame responses and actions from women as a direct reaction to you personally. You’re defining what they say and do purely as a response to what you have said and done. This builds the notion in your head that every outcome is somehow in your power to manifest. Again, this is psychologically damaging. It programs the idea that women MUST be gamed and manipulated, and at the same time, only makes you feel like a failure if it doesn’t go how you wanted.

You have to accept that often times rejection from a woman may actually have zero to do with you as a person, zero to do with what you’ve said or done, and likely will go the way it did regardless of what you think, say, or do.

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30 minutes ago, Zerimar Nyliram said:

Phooey. :angry: All right, I'll leave it alone. I wonder where I went wrong, though? Might it have been asking for her number? Things might have gone in my favor had I simply stuck to protocol.

Oh well. Another contact for my "little black book." Maybe I'll check in on her in a few months, not via text but maybe by adding her on Facebook (we do have over eighty friends in common, after all) and being like, "Hey, how's everything going?" I won't put all my eggs in that one basket, though. I'll keep looking around for someone else in the meantime. She'll just become one of those low-priority options, if you get me. I've already got a few of those. Little black book.

You posted this while I was typing— but this exactly what I am talking about at the end.

You are asking “what did I do wrong?” You are framing it around yourself. Maybe you did nothing wrong. Maybe her ex saw she went speed dating and swooped in with apologies and she is giving the father of her kids another chance.

You have to stop robbing women of agency by thinking they make their choices based purely on what you have said or done.

...and little black books are creepy. If you pop up out of nowhere after a few months she won’t think that’s cute.

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You're right, but one clarification I want to make is that I have this problem with everyone in my life, regardless of who they are. That should be known lest you or anyone else think I have some sort of sexist mentality. It has nothing to do with that. When my interactions with people don't go as I like, I tend to internalize and think it was because of something I said or did. It's a problem I need to fix, for sure, but I want you to know that it has nothing to do with male dominance or anything like that. It's just me being in my own head.

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Totally get and understand that. I have been there, I’m an impatient control freak. 

It’s an important distinction though. I’m sure you’ve been in a place where you didn’t get a job and you think “how did I screw up that interview” instead of “somebody more qualified must have applied” right?

Totally get it. A lot of us are great at beating ourself up.

But in the case of dating this like double Jeopardy because if you stay in that space too long you will end up hating yourself AND hating women.

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One thing I used to struggle with was exactly that.  I feel like "I was trying too hard," or "being on my best behavior," or " what did I do wrong?" Sometimes it is none of that.  Sometimes it IS the OTHER person.  Be it that they are a flake, or not interested in you, or they are busy, or they just don't have their head on right about dating.  Some are just looking for a free lunch. Some are looking for maximum amount of gain, with the least amount of effort.  Point is, there are literally hundreds of reasons for someone not responding after meeting.  I personally have always thought speed dating is weird anyway.  It is all based on first impression, which is often misleading, anyway.  I also find online dating less than honest, too.  People often put idealized descriptions of themselves, not their real selves.  The thing is, dating now is a mess because the majority use mediums like that to date, rather than the old-fashioned way of just asking someone to get a cup of coffee and chat for a lunch break or whatever. 

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Thanks, guys. You know, I actually feel much more at ease about this after talking to you. Like, seriously, you've really helped put my mind at ease. You have no idea.

As a funny aside, she did tell me where she worked: at a Sports Clips near my gym. Maybe I should grow what is left of my hair out and go in there sometime! That wouldn't be creepy at all, right? ;)

Just kidding. See you in a few months with another dating and relationship dilemma. Same time, same place: this thread.

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Well, you are not alone when it comes to dating dilemmas.  I had plenty of them when I was younger while not in a committed relationship, as I am now.  I only have one brother as a sibling.  I think guys like me who are more introverted and never had a sister or a girl cousin as platonic friends to learn at a younger age how to relate to girls and women  struggle more than guys who have female relatives that help them not be afraid to approach women and relate to them.   If I ever found myself single heaven forbid, I would probably be lost because I haven't had to go on a date with someone new in 12 years, and things seem to change fast where dating trends are concerned.  Despite "The Rules,"  there is a lot left to dating that one just has to go through trial and error to gain an understanding.  If it helps, one thing I realized is that women have the same difficulties and insecurities guys do.   The only thing that I find that helps is to LISTEN more than TALKING.  I don't mean in a way like playing poker, but in a way to just actually listen to the other person and try to understand where they are coming from and try to empathize with them.  Very much like building a business relationship, because personal relationships share a lot of commonalities. 

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We, as guys, often think women are far different from us in cases like this but in reality they aren't. If a girl texted and called you and decided to not respond are you really just hoping she attempts a third time? Ofcourse not. Its no different with women. 

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I know that, but I also am not a ghoster. I never have been. Still, I can understand that people have different coping mechanisms.

I think part of my problem is that I start to build things up in my head before anything even happens. With this girl, I was thinking that we went to high school together, so that would have been a really cool thing to have in common. I envisioned talking about our old friends and teachers, prom, etc., maybe even taking a road trip together out to the old neighborhood where we'd be able to show one another the houses we grew up in. It would have been a unique experience, in other words.

Also, she works just a few blocks away from where I work out, and dammit, tonight I couldn't help but thinking she might be there now. I'd never go stalking or anything, but it was definitely on my mind. That's another thing: although I met her in Pittsburgh (roughly thirty minutes from where I live), this girl was from my immediate area for a change. It would have been far more convenient than the girls from Pittsburgh or from thirty miles in the opposite direction of Pittsburgh that I usually meet.

These are the things that run through my head. It's annoying!

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You ever see The Office where Michael is told he idealizes relationships? Well you seem to idealize them before they even happen. That kind of thing can happen to anyone but you seem overly suspectible to it. 

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I'm glad you're getting help, but I also feel like there's a big issue that needs to be addressed:

The most helpful people on Nightly aren't responding to you anymore. None of us men are nearly as qualified to give advice on this subject as the women are, but they don't respond to you anymore. And it isn't a big mystery why, because you refuse to listen to them, and if you treat women offline the way you treat them on here, no woman should ever date you. I certainly wouldn't introduce you to any of my single friends, and yet at the same time I'm in your corner because I really believe you can be a better person. But, for the most part your persona on Nightly is to be an angry know-it-all who looks at woman as prizes to be won, and only cares about your own interests.  

I'm not saying this to be a jerk, but, man, you especially need to listen to women.

 

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I would just add that receiving advice and feedback can be difficult.  Sometimes the feedback makes a person want to defend themselves or debate the advice with the person giving it.  That can put a chill on that person being willing to give additional advice, especially if they feel you had attacked them in some way, because you disagreed with their advice.   It is human nature to do that, but when getting feedback or advice, especially if it is something one disagrees with, one needs to resist the urge to debate the advice with the person giving it.  

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