Dating and Relationship Advice

Never overthink a first date again with these three moves to make at and right after the first date if you want to lose them and if you want to see them again.

If you want to see them again:

Ask a not-so-unintimate question. First date chitter chatter is a great way to slip in questions that can lead you to their heart. Casually asking what their love language is or which family member they are closest with not only gives you insight into who they are, but remembering and recalling this information later in the date shows them that you are a thoughtful and attentive person.

Figure out physicality. Nothing is more validating than taking the relationship to the next level. Using your body — and establishing boundaries — can be a great way to show your date you’re having a good time. A favorite move of mine is gently stroking their leg with my foot and whispering, “is that okay?” Not only does this jumpstart the physical part of the relationship, but it also ensures that consent is present immediately. Dropping your arm across the table or running a finger over their knuckles can give them the green light to keep the evening headed in a positive direction.

Put the ball in play. Your’s? Their’s? Figuring out who’s court the ball is in can be a headache and a half. Instead of focusing on where it is, simply put the ball in play by launching plans to see each other again. “Thanks for paying; drinks are on me next time,” “tell me how that work meeting goes tomorrow — I can’t wait to hear how you did,” and “I’ll text you once I finish that book so we can go see the movie” are all ways to use your current date to launch plans for a second one.

If you’d rather end things there:

Don’t make promises you can’t keep or don’t want to. It might feel like saying “let’s do this again” is a friendly way to let them down, but it’s a surefire way to lead people. Instead, use phrases like “I had a great time,” “I hope [insert talking point] goes well,” “thanks for such a fun conversation,” or even “I’ll think of you next time I see a commercial for that thing you talked about for 20 minutes”. These phrases used levity and kindness to create a soft and friendly end to the evening — and courtship.

Don’t go through the motions. It can be easy to trap yourself in a useless and uninteresting conversation with someone you have no intention of ever seeing romantically again — simply out of fear of entirely ending things. If straight-up ghosting is too much for you, you can try Caspering, friendly ghosting. Caspering involves waving hi to them when you cross paths or occasionally forwarding along an article you think they might like. This works best for people you work with, live in close proximity to, or cannot avoid seeing regularly.

Deactivate. No, you don’t need to delete your dating apps. Conversational deactivation is easy to deescalate and escape on an over-interested date. Deactivation is a less overt method of in-person ghosting. If they send a long paragraph asking multiple questions about your day, say, “it was good, thanks!” If they share a 10-minute story with you, fishing for comments or conversation, say, “wow, that’s cool.” If they constantly send you memes or articles, use the thumbs-up emoji and nothing more. Deactivation of the conversation signals to a perhaps clueless counterpart that you’re not interested or — at the very least — not a good enough conversationalist for them.

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