October 27, 2021
There is a lot of discussion on this subject in "Intentional Courtship," which we will be releasing in a couple of weeks.
Let me say, for the record, that the first two times I tried to message Cathy on Facebook, she didn't respond. The third time, she did and we had a good conversation. There were other men, however, who tried to contact her in this way. Sometimes, if she didn't respond the first or second time, he would say, "What, are you too good to talk to me?" That's not the way to start a conversation friends. If I had responded that way the first or second time Cathy ignored my message, I doubt we would be together. That would have gotten the relationship off to a really bad start.
Single parents are often busy and have other priorities and responsibilities, including children, employment or business, and church. Talking to a stranger on Facebook or other social media may not factor into their priorities. If the person is interested in you, they may want to respond, but you are still a stranger and cannot be on top of the list. It's not a good idea to jump to conclusions or personalize the person's non-response.
What do you do instead? If you are not in an exclusive relationship, don't focus all of your attention on one potential dating partner. As the familiar cliche goes, don't put all of your eggs in one basket. As you identify a variety of people, if one of them doesn't respond the first time, focus on someone else for a minute. Maybe circle back again a time or two over a period of days or weeks. If they continue to be non-responsive, let It go and move on to other opportunities. Don't be so invested in one interesting person that you make it mean something negative. Also, I can't tell you how many times on dating sites or on Facebook, I got a message from a woman that I had messaged weeks or months before who would apologize for taking so long to get back to me. She might explain that she had been really busy or even that she was in a relationship at the time which had since ended. Do you think I would have gotten any of those messages if I had sent back a snarky message about how she was too uppity to talk to the likes of me?
If the person seems to indicate that he or she is not interested, a snarky response does nothing for you except make you look insecure and petty. Most of you have been anointed to become kings or queens. Remember that and comport yourself with strength and dignity, even when something you might have hoped for does not materialize. Move on and use your energy and emotion with the next potential partner. No self-respecting person is going to be shamed into a conversation or a date.
I don't know how many memes and other discussions I've seen on social media where women have expressed that they don't want a stranger to refer to them as "so hot" or otherwise in sexual terms--and yet, over and over again, I hear of men doing just that. They approach a total stranger out of left field in a Facebook message by saying how hot they look or even what they fantasize about doing with them. Guys, get a clue! Of course attraction is important. But I don't know any woman who wants to be valued only for her sexuality. When you approach her for the first time in that way, it gives her the impression that you only care about that one aspect of her personality. There's nothing wrong with commenting on her appearance if it is done tastefully. For example, "you seem like an interesting person with lots of good things to say, and you're obviously beautiful. I'd like to meet you sometime and get to know you better." Most women will appreciate a comment like that, even if they say no to the date. It sets a whole different tone when you start your very first conversation with, "You're so hot!!!"
If your first attempt at a conversation is in person, the same principles apply. First, you want to identify a number of potential dating opportunities, knowing that not all of them are going to return your interest. If all of your hopes are riding on one person's response, it can be very deflating if he or she does not return your interest. Again, however the person responds, comport yourself as a king or queen, with dignity and respect--both before and after you receive the other person's response.
In terms of asking for a date, I am not a fan of waiting around and "laying a foundation" for weeks or months before asking a potential dating partner to take the next step and meet you in person. Ordinarily, I suggest proposing a date after no more than three conversations. Really, I think it is best to propose a date after one conversation. There are several reasons for this. First, if you spend weeks or months laying a foundation, you are going to be incredibly nervous when you finally ask for a date because you are already invested. It's going to be incredibly deflating if the other person says no, or that he or she only wants to be friends. Second, I have seen how, many times, people have taken a long time to get around to asking for a date, only to have someone else swoop in and start dating the person you have invested in. Third, waiting doesn't make the asking easier. It makes it harder, because you are a lot more invested in the response. Furthermore, I don't think it increases your odds of success to invest a lot right at the beginning and lay a foundation. In fact, it can easily lead to getting stuck in the friend zone because you are not new and novel anymore.
So, once you have identified an interesting person, how do you go about asking for a date? First, have a simple plan for your date so you know what you are going to propose to the other person. Second, make it clear that you want to get together and talk some more because you enjoyed your conversation. Let the other person know that you want to get to know him or her better. Third, be direct. Don't beat around the bush. Don't hint. Don't try to preserve plausible deniability. Get to the point fairly quickly and just ask.
I would love to read your thoughts on this too.
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