Category Archives: Online Dating

The Perfect Date

I’m afraid to even write this blog, as this date was too perfect, and usually that’s a red flag.  Oh well, I think we can all use some good news, and quite frankly, this date was a breath of fresh air I needed desperately.

We met for drinks on a Sunday night – conversation was effortless, attraction was mutual, chemistry was off the charts.  He asked quickly for the 1st official date, and we met on a Tuesday night at a five-star French restaurant.

He sent me a text earlier in the day: “four hours and counting..”, but after 5 years of ho-hum dates and “kind of” relationships, I was skeptical this could go as well as our first meeting.

I arrived dressed to kill, he was waiting at the bar with our favorite wine poured.  His smile took my breath away, and to my surprise, I was actually nervous. Our laughter came quickly though, and in the 1/2 hr we talked before dinner began I knew we had potential – a lot of potential.

He ordered the tasting menu and wine pairings for us, and we dove into conversation that covered everything from love and life to politics and religion.  No subject was taboo, and our mutual honesty and directness was surprising even to me.  For six hours we couldn’t take our eyes off each other, and I’m sure the wait staff was wondering if we’d ever leave the restaurant.

The food and wine was exquisite, but the company was far better.  The night ended with a long passionate kiss in the rain, and plans to see each other soon.

The next day we talked, both giddy with excitement.  I was on cloud 9, but soon after racked with nerves and worry.  Would it last?  Were we moving too fast?  Did I open up to quickly?

He will never know how many times I stared at the phone, willing it to ring with a text or a voicemail.  Within 48 hours I was sure I could not do this, afraid of actually feeling something real for someone, after all these years, I just was not ready for the uncertainty.  Yet as we talked, I grew more secure, knowing he was as nervous and hopeful as I.

We had to postpone our next meeting until after January when he returned from Christmas – he had wanted to meet this weekend or early this week before he left, but I had scheduled eye surgery last Friday and could only offer up a tentative answer for maybe Tues or Wed.

Of course my eye surgery was a longer healing time than I had expected, even now I type this under a haze of blurred vision, knowing I will simply have to wait to see him again – literally and figuratively.

Until then, I am back to being frustrated – what seemed to be moving too fast is now at a complete standstill, and I am, again, staring at my phone like a ridiculous school girl.

I hate this part.  I don’t care how much he told me that he loved every moment with me, it doesn’t comfort me to remember his numerous compliments, or ardent pursuit.  All I can think about is, why hasn’t he called lately?  Did he already lose interest?  When can I see him again?  I fight myself when I want to reach for the phone – I remember our conversations, the “catch” with hin is he’s a workaholic and women get frustrated by his lack of constant communication.  I won’t be that woman, I won’t get clingy, and certainly not this soon.  But I hate this part, I really hate this feeling of hopefulness and insecurity.

However it turns out, it was the perfect date.  I have never – in my life – had such a picture perfect evening.  Whether this is the start of something meaningful, or just a great date that gives me hope that this kind of chemistry is even possible, I don’t know yet.  So I wait.  And stare at my phone.

Debunking “When Harry Met Sally . . . ”

Can men and women be platonic friends? Whenever I get into conversations on this topic, someone usually brings up the movie, When Harry Met Sally . . . (1998). This film is an icon for making a case that men and women cannot be platonic friends. The protagonist, Harry Burns argues,

men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.

Harry may be right for his life but his theory is not universal. I, for one, am an example of someone who breaks the rule. Some of my closest friends are women and we have not gone down or even plan on going down the dating path. Some people are skeptical of my platonic friendships with women because of their subjective experience and perspective. It is understandable why they think they way they do, however, I would like to shed some light on why I disagree and show why When Harry Met Sally . . . is just a movie.

Does Sex Really Get in the Way of Friendship?

The biggest argument against platonic man/woman friendships is the possibility of sex. This reason presumes that we have not evolved beyond our primal instincts and that we have no control over our sexual impulses. It also supposes that men and women are only primarily interested in each other for sex. This reasoning is too simplistic and neglects that there are many other reasons why men and women befriend each other. Also, sex may be an issue but people have a higher level of discernment than that. Therefore, sex may be a factor but it is not mutually exclusive for relationships between men and women.

Rules of Attraction

In terms of attraction, people surround themselves by people with similar levels of attraction. The company you keep is like a mirror of your own self-image. There may be a few outliers (an ugly or hot friend) but most of your close friends are probably equally attractive. Therefore, it makes more sense to see friends be attracted to each other than not.

Importance of Communication

One of the most important factors in maintaining any relationship is communication. Most fights and arguments occur because one or both parties were not clear in conveying their wants and needs. People are not mind readers, however, we often think that people close to us should just “know”. Often we assume someone else’s intensions but we do so with little accuracy. Confronting a person about their intension can be awkward so many of us often settle for our misconceptions. However, if we are able to communicate our wants and needs more clearly and get confirmation from the receiver that they understood what we said, then many problems would be eliminated.

Boundaries

To make a good relationship work, it requires clear boundaries. By clarifying the basis of the relationship, it is easier to develop the relationship to its full potential. However, not being clear with where you stand can often blur the relationship. Having the Define The Relationship (DTR) talk may be uncomfortable but it is a necessary step in developing a close friend.

Usually when I hear why a platonic friendship did not work out, it was because one person crossed the line. Often this breach occurred because one party felt lonely, horny, or drunk. They may have also taken too much liberty in their friendship and did not respect the boundaries that were set up. Furthermore, a person can confuse intimacy with passion, which goes into my next point.

Difference Between Intimacy and Passion

According to Sternberg’s Triangular Theory of Love (1986), there are three components of love. These elements are commitment, intimacy, and passion. Depending on the existence and combination of these components, different types of love evolve. The following are the different forms of love:

  • Nonlove = No Intimacy, No Passion, and No Commitment.
  • Liking/friendship = Intimacy
  • Infatuated love = Passion
  • Empty love = Commitment
  • Romantic love = Intimacy + Passion
  • Companionate love = Intimacy + Commitment
  • Fatuous love: Passion + Commitment
  • Consummate love: Intimacy + Passion + Commitment

Therefore, intimacy and passion are separate components. Intimacy is closeness and sharing of private information. Passion is lust and desire. Close friends can be intimate without having the passionate feelings for one another.

Benefits

Here are some of the benefits of having a platonic friend of the opposite gender:

  • Have someone to accompany you to +1 events (i.e. weddings and parties)
  • Access to information and perspective from the opposite gender
  • Opportunity to talk about different topics than you normally would
  • Fulfill a need for male/female companionship
  • Ability to participate in partner activities (i.e. ballroom dancing)

Having a close platonic friend will help a person learn more about themselves and how they interact with the opposite gender. By examining the relationship, a person can realize their capacity, habits, and blind spots. Ultimately, this will help a person become more sophisticated and grounded, therefore, more able to be in a healthy solid romantic relationship.

In Conclusion

Men and women can be platonic friends. There may be unique challenges because of gender differences and sex. However, a challenge is only a challenge and does not mean it is impossible or improbable. Therefore, be honest with yourself and be clear with your intentions. If you want to date someone, date them. If you only want to be friends then just be friends. If things change, communicate. Be truthful if you can be friends with someone you had a previous romantic interest in but they are not interested in you, and vice versa. The clearer you, the better able you are to nurture yourself and the relationship.

Introducing Dating Forums

We would like to introduce a new section of DatingThoughts.com: DatingThoughts Dating Forums!

Over the last six months, we have received many great emails to our writers and in post comments asking for our take on a certain dating situation.  What does it mean when a guy/woman says….?  What would you recommend I do in this situation?  We have also received a fair share or hilarious dating horror stories.

Well, we thought it would be fun to create a forum where our readers could interact with each other and our writers more easily and discuss juicy topics such as these.  So DatingThoughts Dating Forums were born.  For starters, we have 3 main forum categories:

1) Analyzing Dating Behavior (Women’s).

2) Analyzing Dating Behavior (Men’s).

3) Random Rants, a catch all category called “were readers can share funny dating stories, vent, etc.

Please check out and contribute to our forums today!  They can be found: here.  And as always, please feel free to contact us with your feedback and suggestions–it is always welcome.


Warm regards,

DatingThoughts.com

Booty Call, Fuck Buddy, or Friend with Benefits?

Recently, I heard “If I’m Not Your Lover” by Al B. Sure!. Listening to it now, the lyrics resonate more then back when I first heard it in the late 80s:

If I’m not your lover
If I’m not your friend
Tell me, baby
Just tell me what I am

The song reflects the role confusion of what many dating singles go through. Since there are many more types of relationships than before, figuring out where one stands is more challenging. Recognizing the terms of a relationship can help keep expectations realistic and in turn keeps you in control. Below are my definitions of some relationship patterns. By no means are these descriptions definitive.

One-Night Stand

Calling Pattern:
Calls and texts are confined to a 24-hour time limit. After sex, cell phone connectivity seems to peter out.

Social Behavior:
Situational factors such as weddings, recent breakups, traveling, and out of town visitors have a profound influence on initiating a one-night stand. The relationship is brief and intense. Attention is focus on the moment.

Sentiment:
As the name designates this is a one-time thing. Therefore, having sex again after the 24-hour period would change the relationship into a different type. Common feelings associated with a one-night stand are “Wanting to get it out of my system”, “I was so trashed”, “Why not”, “It was just on”, and “Everything just fell into place”.

Booty Call

Calling Pattern:
Text messaging is the preferred mode of communication because of its conciseness. Calls or texts are often initiated around a bar’s last call. Chitchatting is avoided and instead there is a quick exchange of necessary details like:
– Can you meet up later?
– When?
– Whose place?

Social Behavior:
Time spent predominantly engaging in or preparing for sex. There is no dating or hanging out. Rarely do you see booty calls spending time in public together. After sex, spending the night is not obligatory and often discouraged.

Sentiment:
You’re on the same sexual page. There is an understanding that each person is in the relationship for just sex. Booty calls are not interested in a romantic relationship with each other. Therefore, dating other people is acceptable and each other’s dating life is usually kept private. To keep the relationship on a sex-only level, getting to know one another on an emotional level is avoided. Depending on the terms of the relationship, if one partner has sex with someone else, then terms of the relationship may need to be renegotiated.

Fuck Buddy

Calling Pattern:
Calls or texts are initiated to see what is happening that night or around town. Calls are usually focused around the social scene and whether paths will cross during the night.

Social Behavior:
Fuck buddies are able to be with each other in public. They often bump into each other at the same parties, bars, and clubs. Fuck buddies will seldom make plans with each other. Meetings are usually more spur of the moment or if there is nothing better happening. Fuck buddies can meet at the venue where the other fuck buddy is at and then go home with each other, whereas, booty calls will usually just meet where they will have sex.

Sentiment:
Fuck buddies are social play friends. The relationship is built on fun, casualness, and sex. They may be actively dating other people and are not interested in dating the other fuck buddy. Fuck buddies will usually only hang out if sex will ensue afterwards. Depending on the relationship, sex could be exclusively with each other or open to other people. This type of relationship ends if one of the members starts to seriously romantically date another person. However, if that partner returns to single status, the fuck buddy relationship can be reestablished.

Friend with Benefits

Calling Pattern:
Will call to just talk or make plans to hang out.

Social Behavior:
For the most part, these two people are friends. The big difference between their other friendships is sex. Friends with benefits have the ability to go out on date-like activities, which is useful for formal parties and weddings. However, real dates are not initiated because there is no romantic interest between the partners. The intention of hanging out is because they enjoy similar activities and each other’s company. Sex is an optional part of the relationship. If one partner has sex outside of the relationship, it does not end their friendship. Instead, the sex element is taken out of the relationship and they continue to be friends. Sex can also come back into the friendship when both parties are ready for it.

Sentiment:
This relationship is primarily about friendship. Friends with benefits care about the other; however, they are not interested in romantically dating each other. They are able to have sex with each other without it being awkward because they either have a good foundation for their relationship and/or communicate really well with each other. Since friendship is more valued than sex, sex is often sacrificed for the sake of the friendship. Friends with benefits are also able to talk about each other’s dating lives.

Girlfriend/Boyfriend

Calling Pattern:
Calls and texts include all of the above calling patterns. In this relationship type, calling frequency also facilitates maintenance of the relationship. Content of conversations spans a much larger topic area.

Social Behavior:
Both parties are comfortable openly expressing their affection towards one another. Each person publicly acknowledges this type of relationship to others. Dating and sex are mutually exclusive.

Sentiment:
There is a high level of exclusivity that does not exist in the other relationships. Both people agreement that they are a “couple”. There is a mutual understanding that this title involves social prioritizing and commitment. The couple will agree with the unique rules that determine their relationship.

Conclusion

These are only a few basic relationship types. Many of these types have different names associated with them. However, the name or the description is not of highest priority. The important point of defining your role in a relationship is to be able to get your needs and wants met. By communicating with your partner, one is able to better function within the relationship. Games, manipulation, unrealistic expectations, and jealousy can be somewhat avoided if each person is clear with what they’re looking for. Then more energy can be spent in getting the most out of the relationship.

Beware the online dating diarist

As a guy, online dating offers nothing more than yet another way you need to learn to approach girls. This is supposed to be easier, in theory, because you’re not in the same place at the same time. The fact of the matter is that online dating works largely the same way that real life dating works: if you’re the guy, you need to approach her. And there’s so many possible partners on a site that you end up sending out a lot of “hi there” emails and getting very few responses. But every once in a while, you get a response, do a sanity check of their profile to refresh your memory as to whether she fell into the “super hot” or “cute” categories, and start an email conversation. You think things are going well and you actually have a chance of not just meeting this girl, but dating her. There’s only one problem. She’s an online dating diarist.

You anxiously await her next email, and it reads:

Hey Zack,

Boy did I have a busy day! Work was crazy today. When I arrived, my boss already had ten things for me to do. I really like her, but she’s so disorganized. Oh well, I suppose that’s why she needs me, right? I spent most of the morning helping her arrange everything just the way she likes it so she can look good in front of the execs. For lunch we went to California Pizza Kitchen…god I love the salads there. I know, I know, it’s a pizza place but I get a salad. I don’t care, they’re sooooooooo good!

The afternoon was really busy as well as we had clients coming in from out of town. There were meetings all afternoon to try to finalize this deal. After work, me and the girls went out for happy hour and Sarah got totally wasted. I’ve told her so many times to watch it when she’s out with colleagues, but she’s a party girl, so what can I do?

Well, that’s about it. I hope your day went well.

Upon first reading this you may be thinking, “what’s wrong with it?” What’s wrong is that this isn’t an email to me, it’s an entry in her diary. Remember those high school girls with diaries? They don’t keep diaries anymore, they write emails.

If you’re communicating with someone on an online dating site, that means you don’t know them. You must get to know them in order to decide if they are worth the time of meeting in person. Online dating diarists do everything in their power to feed you the most mundane and useless information about themselves as possible. Don’t get me wrong, they don’t know that this is what they’re doing, but it’s the fastest way in the world to ensure that nothing will ever come of the communication.

Now, I’m not a fan of online dating in general (for reasons I’ll discuss at a later point), and this type of behavior just validates my beliefs. The first few emails of an online dating discussion need to be devoted towards getting to know the other person. Ask questions, don’t tell stories unless they answer a question, and skip the day or weekend rundown of your activities.

If you’re a guy and you’re now virtually involved with an online dating diarist, you have three options. The first is to ignore everything that she says and ask interesting questions such as “What did you want to be when you were a little girl?” and “If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would that be?” Chances are she’ll answer the questions, and if you’ve snapped her from her spell, she’ll ask some in return. If she doesn’t ask any questions after answering yours, chances are she’s going to slip back into her diary mode after the next email.

This leads you to the second option: suggest meeting in person. Sometimes people just don’t know how to communicate through writing. They may have a hard time figuring out what to say because they have too much time to think about it. Suggest meeting for a coffee and see if she is any easier to communicate with in person.

Your third option is, of course, to end the communication. Online dating, ideally, is about meeting a large amount of people in a short amount of time and with minimum effort. If you’re putting effort into holding up a “relationship” with someone you haven’t met, then you’re just not doing online dating right. Politely say that you don’t believe things will work out and wish her the best. You may or may not get a response, but either way, don’t write to her again. Just move on.

If you’re a girl and you’re an online dating diarist, the easiest way to snap out of your behavior is to start asking him questions. Don’t provide a narrative, this is a two-party conversation. Give the guy something to converse with you about. Short stories are okay, but they have to have a point or lead up to a question. For example, a story about your nephew could be followed up by the question, “do you have any small children in your family?” Or, as with the guy, just say you’d like to meet for coffee and talk in person.

Online dating is really no easier than dating in real life, it’s just replacing verbal and in-person communication with visual, text communication. Text communication isn’t easy for everyone, so you’ll tend to run into the online dating diarist at least once or twice during any online dating encounters. Just beware, and good luck!