I recently went on a "date" with a friend's cousin. We hit it off, but whether it was romantic or platonic was unclear. At the end of our drawn out lunch, I pondered our chemistry with optimism and looked forward to our next date ... that is, until I received a follow-up text a few hours later that read: "I had a great time. It was really nice talking to you, and now I've decided to try online dating. Can you help me with my profile?"
... not exactly music to a single girl's ears. So, I offered my advice and consequently find myself firmly rooted in the friend zone of someone who might have been so much more. Here's what I should have done differently:
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1. Don't do lunch. There is something about getting dressed up at night that sets a tone for romance that even the best of lunch dates simply cannot do. Save your day dates for your real friends and your first dates for after dark.
2. Don't divulge too much. This seems like a no-brainer, but in the right company, it may feel instantly comfortable to fill the pleasant stranger sitting across from you in with intimate details of your romantic history. Resist this temptation — no matter what.
3. Don't be too nice. A counselor by nature, I easily fell into Dear Abby mode with my most recent "date," and as a result encouraged hearing more details than I cared to regarding his next romantic conquest. I should have coyly turned the conversation around the first time he asked, but in an effort to be nice and agreeable, I didn't. So, unless you prefer to live your dating life like a bad Taylor Swift Song, take my advice and avoid giving your own.
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Even if you do find yourself driving down the platonic road with someone you wish you were dating, don't be afraid to declare your desire for a detour. You never know, they could be waiting and hoping for the very same change.
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