By Erika Ettin Tribune News Service
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Dating coach Erika Ettin fields dating questions from singles looking for love. Maybe you identify with some of these scenarios? Take a look.
Tribune News Service
Q: I'm kinda in a dilemma. I don't know what a guy I'm talking to wants. Around four weeks ago, we went on a date, happy hour and shared a small plate. I thought after the drinks it would be done, but he mentioned us walking to a networking event after. I was surprised but went along with it. We had a drink but didn't like the crowd so left. He then asked if we should see a movie. I went along with it, and after he walked me to my car. We hugged and that was it. No exchange of numbers or anything. I sent a message the next day stating I enjoyed my time. Then I got a message 24 hours later asking for my number. He then sent me a text a day after I gave it to him. We don't text after. He asks almost a week after the date if I would like to grab a drink with him. Mind you it's at 7:36 p.m. and he wants to meet now. That's not the kind of relationship I want, where I drop everything I'm doing to meet you when you please. I love spontaneously meeting up, but after a few dates. I decline and we just say next time.
A week later, I text asking him to grab a drink that week when he is free. He states he is going out of town for work Wednesday, and if he can get everything packed he could meet Tuesday. Tuesday comes, and he can't meet.
Then this week, he sent a text asking if I would like to join him for a networking event the next day. I agreed and stated I would meet him there. He offered to pick me up ... . I'm extremely confused ... I don't know if he is too busy, just wanting a friend, or just doesn't get it. Can you give me your insight? -Jackie, 33, Washington, DC
A: Plain and simple: He's not making time for you. (I think you know that in your heart of hearts.) He likes you ... enough. Inviting you to a networking event is not the same as going on a date. See how it goes, but then let him take the lead. If he wants to see you again, he'll make an effort, and if he doesn't, he won't. Trust me, you'll know when someone is excited to see you again.
Q: So I'm really liking Jim and don't feel like sifting through other profiles. But is that wise? Should I still go through the motions as back-up options until my three-month Match subscription ends, in case Jim and I fizzle? I know he likes me. - Maryln, 54, Orlando, FL
A: Of course you should not go through the motions if you like Jim! Enjoy yourself with him. We don't plan for contingencies. Should things not work, we can cross that bridge later. (There will always be interesting people around.) I fully believe that having a back-up plan actually impacts the quality of the current relationship, and not for the better, so enjoy it and put the profile away!
Q: I have a question for you. I was invited to a speed dating event this weekend. I declined to go. I have gone to this type of event and do not get matches. Do you have any suggestions? For a shy person, these events can be a little intimidating. -Susannah, 50, Pittsburgh, PA
A: I certainly understand that, as a shy person, those events can be intimidating. The advice I'd give is to go with a friend (as somewhat of a crutch) so you don't feel like you're all alone there. That way, even a glance at each other can be reassuring. For the short conversations, just remember that everyone is nervous. I remember that you're really into the arts and cultural events, so you can ask people if they've seen anything good that they'd recommend, which will hopefully start up an interesting conversation. Speed-dating is really just an opportunity to meet a lot of people in an efficient setting to see if you want to go on a "real" date with each other. So, as hard as it sounds, try to take some pressure off of yourself. It's just a few conversations with new people. ___ (Erika Ettin is the founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps others navigate the often intimidating world of online dating.)