Rules/guidelines on starting the dating process?

I dated my high school sweat-heart throughout college, which was great…until it didn’t work out after we’d graduated college. Besides the serious heartbreak and soul searching, I missed out on honing courtship skills in college when everyone else was figuring them out. Enough time has passed that I am ready to move on and start seeing people, but I feel lost and clueless (hence my name here) as to how it all works. An example from this weekend:
I attended a party my friend was hosting on Saturday night and met this girl and we seemed to connect fairly well. At the end of the night we both took the metro, and while on the metro I asked if she would like to get dinner sometime, she said sure, and so she put her info into my phone. Sunday afternoon, I texted her to see if she was interested in dinner Monday night (as I figured I should try to keep the momentum going and also because Monday night worked best for me). She responded later in the evening that she wasn’t interested. So I’m wondering–did I come on too strong, and should have given it more time? Or is this just an example of it being easier to say no when you’re not with the person? Or just a sober realization of “I’ve made a mistake” disinterest (although neither of us had too much to drink, and I had more than she)? And basically, do you have any other words of advice/wisdom for a novice in this subtle and tricky game?

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10 thoughts on “Rules/guidelines on starting the dating process?

  1. Sabrina says:

    [Contacting her the next day and asking her out to dinner does not sound too strong – it sounds polite! Perhaps she wasn’t single in the first place and leading you on, that an ex came back into her life, that she found God…. the possibilities are endless! The point is, they have nothing to do with you.

    My only word of advice: don’t play games. Smart girls see right through it! If you like a girl, ask her out. Just don’t drop the L-bomb on the first date, ok? 🙂

  2. BreckEffect says:

    [Everyone has great advice, I don’t have much to add except to say…relax and enjoy the time you have now to be single and meet and talk to interesting people. There are TONS of people out there in the world and at least one of them will wind up being someone you really want to see more of and vice versa – so enjoy the journey and most of all, have fun!

    This one didn’t work out, but that’s ok. Word to the wise: try not to put too much pressure on yourself to find someone ASAP because that will communicate itself to the women you are seeking out and they will not like it. Just an insider tip 😉

  3. Matt Sanchelli says:

    [In my personal opinion, you definitely did not come on too strong. I think everything you did was extremely well done for someone who claims not to have been able to hone their courtship skills.

    Advice I ALWAYS give when it comes to asking someone out usually falls along the lines of; “Just do it and the sooner the better.”

    Never be afraid to show interest. Too many people hesitate because they are afraid to show interest and therefore a lot of opportunities are missed. In the end they then end up living in regret and playing the “What If?” game in their mind.

    I think this case was simply that of she was either being polite Saturday night (as you said easier to say No when not face-to-face); or she had second thoughts about her intentions/wants towards dating.

    But I wouldn’t spend too much time wondering ‘Why’ she gave you her number and then turned down your offer the next day.

    You seem to be on the right track when it comes to getting back into the “game”. You went out, you met someone, and you tried. Advice wise I’d say just keep trying. Meet people and if you genuinely want to get to know someone better then be direct.

    “I had a great time talking with you. Can I get your number and call you sometime?”

    Easy. Simple. Direct. Polite. And no pick-up lines necessary. 🙂

  4. Dennis Hong says:

    [Pretty much what Parker said. People change their minds. Or, they’re too polite to say no in person. There are tons of possible explanations, but all of them lead to the only conclusion that matters:

    This one wasn’t meant to be.

    If there’s one tip I can offer, it would be to learn not to take rejection personally. It’s gonna happen, and you just have to learn to suck it up and move on. There are plenty of other single women out there.

  5. Happy Pants says:

    [There’s really no way to know why she said no after she gave you her numberlike Sabrina said, it could be any of a number of reasons. It has nothing to do with anything you did.

    I would second Parker’s advice, but also add to try not to take No’s and future refusals too hard. Unless you are Ryan Gosling, you’re going to get turned down who knows how many times. Don’t let it get you down.

    Also, and this is really a matter of personal preference, but if I were in your position, having just gotten out of a long-term relationship, I would want to date around a bit and not get involved with anything serious too quickly. Personally, I would probably start asking out a lot of girls and leave myself open to whatever happens, not just because I think it’s fun to meet people (and make up for “lost time”, frankly), but because it will help you to stop worrying about why girls say no, or why girls say yes, or why girls do anything, really. I mean, we don’t even know why we do the things we do; you shouldn’t waste too much time worrying about it.

  6. resullins says:

    [I agree with the (2) comments I actually read above. You sound polite, interested, and prompt.

    My guess, she was having a little PMS or something, or maybe you caught her in the middle of a fight with her boss or something. Don’t take it personally. Keep getting out there and trying. I would, however, recommend that you call next time instead of texting. It’s just a lot easier to judge and verify someone’s reaction when you can hear their voice. Then maybe you’ll know better.

    And the best way to pick up a woman is just to talk to her. One of my (now best friends, but former) ex-boyfriends once picked me up at a bar. I was having a terrible day, was still in a wife beater and bandana with soot all over my face cause I’d been welding all day, and I was sitting at a bar looking forlorn (sorry for the grammar, I’m exhausted and don’t care). He walked over, and said, “you can either sit here and continue having a bad day, or you can come over and join me and my friends, and have some decent conversation and a free beer.” He was simple, sincere, and to the point.

    Keep trying. You’re going to miss and put a few dents in the wood, but eventually you will hit the nail on the head, I assure you!

  7. lilredbmw says:

    [Have you ever gone on a job interview, and you think it went really well, but then they call you and say they aren’t interested? You sit there like, “What the heck?” Well, this is a similiar situation. It’s not personal and you might never know the true reason that it seemed to go well, just to find out she wasn’t interested. Don’t invest too much time in it. It is what it is and you had the guts to ask so I say…go you!!! Not everyone is as courageous as you are, but maybe the world would be better if they were! You keep doing what you are doing. Keep being yourself, keep being kind and putting yourself on a limb. The right person will have the right mind to say yes when you ask!

  8. Clueless says:

    [Thanks everyone for your words of wisdom/encouragement. As someone who is much more of an introvert than an extrovert, I just wanted to make sure I am maximizing my chances whenever I do go for it. As a self-acknowledged not-Ryan Gosling, I can appreciate it being a fact that there will be a lot of rejection, but I at least want it to be because she’s genuinely not interested in me.

  9. karlos says:

    [Yeah everyone gets knocked back and hurt by romance every now and again. I think someone wrote a song about it, probably Chris Brown.

    Either way you had the confidence to get a girls number so you’re not totally clueless. You just had a bad experience, which has been said, happens to everyone.

  10. Dave Jag says:

    [You handled is absolutely FINE, so don’t sweat it. You may have caught her at a bad time. I’d be straight out with her and ask if she has any interest in EVER seeing you again. If she shoots you down again, at least you KNOW you’re totally shot down… into a flaming ball of wreckage. Just remember: God created man, and man created Jack Daniels. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. 🙂

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