The Dating Life Cycle

Dating in San Francisco. Is it truly more difficult here than any other city on earth? I think so. In another blog post I will go more into the nuances of dating in San Francisco, but for now I’m just gonna stick with the basic concept of dating. It has definitely evolved over the years and our pals Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte of Sex and The City are all well versed in the ups and downs.

There are a few different approaches. Some are the pursuer, some are pursuees, and some (perhaps the smartest) just have hands-off, relaxed approach. Don’t they say that when you’re not looking, that’s when someone will just fall in your lap? Well we aren’t all so fortunate to be blessed with the virtue of patience!

Here are a few interesting dating observations I’ve compiled based on real-life evidence of a twenty-something:

  • At the funeral (aka last time you are seeing the person you are dating) absolutely make sure you get all of your stuff back. When you were dating your schedules matched up so perfectly, but somehow once you have broken up there isn’t enough time in the day to exchange “the stuff” . Solution: mail the s***. Or just fuggedaboutit. And move on.
  • So you moved on and you’re on the prowl. Girls: the maximum party size is 2 when you are out at the bar. Your cohort is your wingwoman; treat her well. It’s difficult for guys to approach you when you are out with 10 gals. Or with men. Plus there is less competition this way (not that I think like that).
  • Where is a suitable place to meet someone? At the bar? I guess. At the park? Yeah, shows they are active and all into the outdoors. At a professional event? That works. Friends of friends don’t workout, trust me. There’s always that awkward phase when something doesn’t workout. I guess we don’t discriminate in San Francisco – we take ’em when we can get ’em.
  • Exchanging cards. Do or don’t? On one hand, you look professional. “Yeah, I gots a J-O-B”. But on the other hand, the ball is in their court. Which is something you want to avoid AT ALL COSTS. Solution: be sure to take the other party’s card. If you are interested, of course!
  • OR — exchanging numbers. That says booty call all over it, so get right to the point.
  • So you have a card in your hand (or a number in your iPhone), what is the right amount of time to wait to email? Do you wait 3 days to make contact? And, once that email has come that makes your heart flutter (“OMG he’s into me, I’m into him, he emailed me, YAY!”). How long do you sit on it? If you met him/her last night and they’ve already emailed you, clearly they are interested so you can email on the same day. However, if he was too busy aka playin’ the game and decided to wait the standard (?) 3 days, you should definitely hold out on emailing back that same day. At least you know where you stand.
  • Once you’ve established some email contact, what is the standard frequency? If you email all day, that says “I’m so into you, that I’m willing to forsake all others (and my job) to talk to you”. Say you are emailing all day and its all witty banter and s*** — well I hate to break it to you, but that’s the climax. It just all goes downhill from there, because you cannot possibly sustain emailing 10 times in one day. Truth. I say wait a few hours (or maybe days) and then respond. Be sure to keep up that witty banter – it shows that you are interesting even if you aren’t actually interesting at all. Email is good too because you can think before you respond. As opposed to having to come up with something funny to say on the spot.
  • The Date. aka The Meet Up (for all you commitment-phobes out there). Okay so the anticipation is building again, we’re back climbing the peak. How soon do you see each other again? I’m an instant gratification kinda gal, so I’d say set something up in the same week. BUT (and this is a huge BUT) you risk seeming too available. So keep livin’ your life, hang with the girlfriends and meet other guys. Make plans for the next week.
  • When you do make plans, where do you go? Okay drinks are cool, again that is non-committal. If you go for the all out dinner-date, that’s a big step. A BIG step for all parties involved (aka you and this mysterious fellow) because you are stuck with this person for 2+ hours having dinner (see side notes below). In this case make sure you have an SOS escape plan for if the date takes a nosedive. Get some spinach between your teeth – I’m sure he’ll want to plant a big one on you then.
  • Does he look as good in daylight as he did at night aka after you have taken your vodka/wine/beer goggles off? If so, fairplay. If not, game over.
  • So you had the first date and you held out – kudos to you! Do you make plans for a second date on that night or wait for follow up? People, people — this is pretty much like a job interview so if you don’t follow up, it shows you’re not interested in the position. And in this case I mean position in your life. Or in your bed. Or whatever you fancy. Also, is it kosher to text that night to “say you had a good time”. Or can you do that the next day? AM or PM? Hmm…I guess that would depends on how much you actually enjoyed the date.
  • You’ve had a few dates, things are going well. Good for you! You’re jumping hurdles left and right. But here’s the thing about relationships: they can go either 1 of 2 ways. 1) You fall in love, get married, have kids, grow old — you know, the fairytale. 2) You break up. And this is what happens 99% of the time. It’s inevitable, but you know what? It’s like a sport: it gets easier and easier the more you practice.
  • Titles: how do these come about? When does The Guy I Met Last Night become The Guy I’m Seeing and then The Guy I’m Dating to My Boyfriend. That’s a doozy. I guess its probably better to have the conversation than assume he’s your new BF. Because you know what they say: when you assume, you make an -ass- out of -u- and -me-. In this case you will be the ass embarrassed if you introduce him to your friends as such and he says “I’m not quite sure I’m ready for that”. Relationship FAIL.
  • We’re coming full relationship cycle right now and I hope you a ready for it: The Break Up. If it’s done via text message or email – that is not respectful. If that’s his form of break up, he doesn’t deserve you in his life. A phone call is a bit easier, it softens the blow. Sometimes it’s mutual so it’s easier done in person. This is only for the most professional of daters because they are not scared of flying objects. But here is the ultimate worst way to break up: The Ignore. It’s like, c’mon I know you didn’t fall of the face of the planet and die – well at least I hope you didn’t. When did ignoring someone become a way to break up? It’s like they are thinking “If I just ignore this problem it will just go away”. No dude, this problem will not go away. In fact, it’s bound to just get worst. The best way to break up? Just rip the band aid off the wound quickly. It will scab up eventually and heal (am I grossing you out yet?) and then you meet someone amazing [for the time being]. Things just didn’t work out and you are finally free to go explore the land of singledom, fully armed with knowledge of what you want/don’t want in a relationship. CONGRATULATIONS!

Other random tidbits:

  • The Facebook friend-ing: Do or Don’t? I say don’t. Just keep it so that the other person can still admire you from afar, but not question who is writing on your wall. You will also avoid the whole we’re-not-dating-anymore-so-now-I-need-to-defriend-him. And if you keep the “friend” status after “breaking up” a) you are lying to the world and b) you have to see when they start dating someone else
  • Sometimes hot guys are just fun to look at. And that is all.
  • I don’t know about you all, but this is San Francisco. Where he takes you to dinner says a lot about the person. So listen up: Cotogna? WELL DONE. If he got a reservation there, he’s a winner. If he is a local at a nice restaurant or bar and the staff know his name, points for that too. However if he takes you Olive Garden, LEAVE IMMEDIATELY. Commercials are misleading.
  • Doing an activity together is fun – it takes away from having to act like you are paying attention and interested in that the other person is saying. Things that get you out of your comfort zone like dancing, hiking, skydiving, swimming with sharks and playing tricks with tigers are all acceptable forms of activity.
  • When talking to friends about the multiple men you are juggling, make up nicknames. It’s fun, you can laugh about it, and you can trade stories. “So how was last night with Mr. X?” “What’s up with CFO dude?” “You did WHAT with Hipster Bartender?!”
  • Unless you are really sure something is going to work out, don’t tell your Mom/Dad/Aunt/Uncle/Gramma, for obvious reasons. It’s hard to say to your aging grandmother “No, I’m not seeing him anymore. No, you still have to wait a while to see your first great-grandchild”. Awkward.
  • The old “It’s not you, i’ts me” — this is bull***. George said it best.

That’s all [for now] folks, but I will be sure to check in with more fun dating chronicles.

Until next time, xo.

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Filed under Dating advice, San Francisco

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