THE DATING PROJECT #7. A FIRST DATE
The Dating Project follows the adventures of three women Lou Lou ( 30s), Astrid (40s) and Iris (50s) as they navigate the tricky online dating scene. Along the way they have the support and advice of renowned sex therapist Bettina Arndt and relationship counsellor Rob Tiller.
Talk about restraint!
I waited three days after the long weekend before calling Iris to see what had happened.
Last week she’d had a breakthrough, receiving an email from a man who’d promised to get back to her after his weekend away. Our dating team was waiting with bated breath…
“Well, have you heard from him?” I asked. “Oh yes,” came her nonchalant reply. “We’ve been having a chat on email but it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.”
Intrigued, I asked her to send me the correspondence. What a hoot! Here was Iris and her mystery man exchanging emails about what they did at the weekend, about movies, the weather, housework, what they were eating for dinner. No progress forward, no gradual discovery. Iris had simply acquired a pen pal.
I’d better let her tell the story…
Iris: “My pen pal”.
This dating business is very confusing and frustrating. Lots more kisses this week and one email exchange. I know everyone was excited that I’d actually had an email from a man last week and, yes, I did hear back from him.
It was all very friendly, mentioning the movie he’d seen at the weekend, complaining about not being able to get HOT coffee in the local shopping centre…
I wrote back and talked about the movie he mentioned, chatted about the freezing weather, the friend I’d seen at the weekend.
The next day he was back, also commenting on the cold, mentioning his ok day at work, the salmon he was eating for dinner. And asking what was on my menu that night.
And so it went on. He didn’t respond when I asked a few direct questions about what he did but then came a cryptic comment saying he was looking for someone serious and he didn’t want an “email mate”. His email ended: “Pick me, move to QLD, and live the good life!”
I just didn’t understand all this. What should I do now?
Well, what I did was ring Bettina who told me to stop writing chatty little emails about everyday events, to write a long, really open email telling him that I loved his invitation about moving to Queensland but that I did need to know a little more about him first. Telling him more about me might encourage him to reveal more about himself, she suggested.
I did that, he emailed back again and was a bit more revealing, talking about his work and saying he would love to just start a normal relationship – wouldn’t we all? And complaining how time consuming it was just to arrange a cup of coffee
My next move is to email again tomorrow and, on Bettina’s advice, give him my phone number to see if he wants to chat. Gulp! What if he does?!
As for the rest of the internet activity, from the 21 kisses received I replied favourably to three. I kissed four others who had not kissed me. The men I knocked back were just too young or lived too far away or their profiles didn’t appeal to me. Oh dear, when checking back on my mailbox I’ve realised that I never got back to someone who responded positively to my kiss. I think I am really going to have to bite the bullet and buy some stamps now.
So that was my week, exciting but I’m exhausted trying to keep up with it all.
Rob says: An invitation for tropical relocation two weeks after your profile went up, nice one Iris! It makes sense to cut to the chase and seek relevant information early without going through days of back-and-forth emails. I know many women like this type of email exchange but a number of men find it hard work and could possibly lose interest if you pursue this approach. You may be better off suggesting a phone call after the initial email exchange because this gives you more chance of sorting out quickly whether you click. Even then, it may help to remember women are generally more comfortable with phone conversations than many men, so be patient if he ums and ahs a little.
Bettina says: You do need to be on the ball in this business. If someone responds to a kiss saying they’d like to hear from you, it’s not a good idea to wait for days before responding. Remember he’s probably responding to a bunch of women and popular men are easily distracted by other options. Also when you are having an email conversation, you need to be prompt in your answers. We all hate waiting for responses and it’s not fair to keep the men hanging.
Yes, I know it is all pretty exhausting and time-consuming. Think of it like a job search – you need to make the time, put in the effort to get the rewards.
What about Lou Lou?
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