How to Play the Dating Game

I always overhear people complaining about dating:

  • “Dating is so hard, guys just want to get in my pants.”
  • “He’s always playing games with me.”
  • “I don’t know the rules of dating.” And on and on and on.

Dating isn’t as complicated as everyone makes it seem. Own the dating scene like a boss.

The Pre-Date

He swiped left and you swiped left and magically he’s messaging you. Don’t. freak. out. It’s a little like an interview where you want to know if this person’s looking for a relationship or dtf. Dtf- no thank you, goodbye. For something longer term – winning!

  • Make It Yours – be yourself in conversation, don’t make up crazy lies about that volcano rock climbing trip you did last year. Think long and hard about some interesting fact about yourself or something you’re into – talk about it.
  • Set a Date – If you like them and you’ve been messaging back and forth for days with no f2f in site, initiate. Beware of someone who constantly blows you off – that’s called Catfishing and it’s on MTV.
  • An Eye for an Eye: You know that saying? It applies to messaging, when there’s even back and forth it’s great, when you’ve sent ten messages and they’ve mic dropped, that’s when you know it’s time to walk away – on to the next swipe.

The Date

The big date day is here. You’re ready! (It’s date no. 324, but it could be a winner). Sifting through the dating world can be time consuming, but once you find that person you’ll be so happy you were looking.

  • Keep it simple (stupid) – Don’t stress over what to say, how to act or if he’s into you. Pick a location that’s not time intensive (coffee, drinks, book store, ice cream, etc).
  • Leave Your “Perfect Man” List at Home – Go in with only an expectation of having fun, even if the date(s) are horrible it’s still a funny story later.
  • Be Honest – When the other person says they’re looking for something casual and you’re not, it’s ok. At least their honest, and you should be the same. When they say they love spicy food and you hate it, it’s ok. It doesn’t mean you can’t date.
  • Remember How You Feel – Did you feel chemistry? Did you have feelings of comfort and ease? If the whole interaction felt like a warped version of a Miss America interview it’s a hard pass. Hard pass.

The After Date

It’s a waiting game, you’re wondering if he liked you and when he’s going to call/text/facebook message you.

Think about how the date went. Do you really want to see this person again, it’s not all about self validation and every man has to come running down the street after you have left the restaurant. Sometimes you are not interested, in which case it doesn’t matter what your text responses are.

  • Don’t Waste Time: people don’t go on dates to make friends so don’t worry about “letting them down easy”. And don’t take it personally if the other person wasn’t interested in you. Knowing that the person isn’t into you after the first date is much better than learning they aren’t into you on date 12.
  • Timing Isn’t Everything: there are no unspoken rules about how long (or short) you should wait before texting, calling or messaging someone after a date. If it feels right, contact them. If they’ve left your seven texts unanswered that’s a sign they aren’t into you.
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Initiate: If you’re interested in Date no. 2, say so, “I had a great time at x, interested in hitting up Bar Y on Friday?” Guys are also trying to feel out your interest and the best way is to be a little blunt about it. There’s no shame in saying what you want.

Dating is fun, you can make it so. I know it seems arduous and sometimes you have a string of terrible dates, but its worth it when you finally find your partner in crime.