Ask Tanya | Tips & Tricks: Dating Online… (Part 2)
So, how are you all getting on? Christmas has been and gone and the New Year beckons, so we start to reflect on past events, look forward to new events, put our resolutions in place (which, of course, seem to only last the course of January, if indeed we make it until the end) and hope there’s someone alongside us to share them with – but if not, all is not lost.
Here are a few more of my tips for dating and relationship success:
5. ENJOY THE PRESENT
By this I’m referring to the present day not a gift; though gifts, of course, are always welcome ☺
Over the years, I have seen friends go through breakups, meet new partners, go through breakups and meet new partners and so it goes on, but one of the things that never ceases to amaze me is how many of them are always looking too far ahead. I often hear:
‘I wonder where we’ll be in a years time?’
‘I wonder if we’ll still be together in 10 years?’
‘What if they find someone else?”
‘What if this doesn’t last and I’m on my own again!”
And so the list goes on and on and on. Not only are you boring your friends (trust me, whilst we are supportive, we don’t need him/her to be the subject every time we see you), but you’re putting undue pressure on the relationship instead of doing what you should be doing, which is enjoying it!
Very few things in our lives last a lifetime, so my philosophy has always been to enjoy the moment; because, if your mind is moving in fast forward, you could be missing some of the most memorable moments.
6. WHO PAYS?
I get asked this a lot and I have to say, I’ve also asked myself the same question – it’s a tricky one to answer, when the subject is money.
Traditionally, men always took charge of the wallet – women were taken out and the expectation was always that men paid. But if we look back, many women were unable to work or didn’t have the same earning capacity as men; there was no equality in terms of salaries and so it was only right for men to take charge of any dining and drinking costs.
However, times have changed and while there are many women earning considerable salaries, the divide still remains in many industries, where women work alongside men in the exact same job. The only difference today is no one talks about it!
There are no set rules when it comes to paying the bill – however, there still tend to be different trains of thought as to who should pick up the tab at the end of a date:
I’ve known women refuse to even consider opening their purse at the end of a date, considering it an honour for the man to have her company for the evening; women who point blank refuse to be paid for, arguing that it undermines their control and women who will quite happily go with the flow, not minding either way.
Personally, I have always offered – particularly if it’s a first meeting, as I get very embarrassed when the bill arrives. If it isn’t picked up within 30 seconds of being placed on the table, I quickly offer.
Many of my male friends say I should leave it, as the majority of men would automatically expect to pay and would be offended if a woman were to offer; but nevertheless, I always have thought it depends on the circumstances. I did go out with one gentleman who, on our second date, said he needed to get something out of the way; he would always expect to pay for the lady, so anything we did together he would pay, as that was how he’d been raised and hoped that I was okay with it. Was I okay with it? Absolutely! Contrary to the belief that all women are ‘takers’, I have on occasion been the one taken from, having offered to pay and the man accepting!
As a rule of thumb, if I have been invited out to dinner and if a man offers to pay, I’m happy to accept as he offered the invite. If I invite someone to dinner then I would offer and if it is our first meeting, I would offer to split the bill.
Now I cannot tell you what you should and shouldn’t do, I can only tell you of my thoughts and experiences so please don’t get into any restaurant arguments because of me! Haha, play nicely!
We all, or most of us, like a tipple and when it’s our first time dating our nerves can kick in, so we reach for the glass of wine to help calm us down but before we know it, a bottle has gone and we’re talking gibberish at best or embarrassing ourselves and our date at worst.
Ladies and gents, keep the levels down if you’re serious about dating and actually want to get to know the person sitting opposite. For me, there’s nothing worse than trying to have an intelligent conversation with someone who’s slurring or coming out with a string of innuendos.
I had a date once who was charming, he looked great, smelled great and I honestly thought I was in for a treat, an evening of looking into sexy eyes all the time wondering how I’d love to kiss those lips. We’d chatted on the phone numerous times, laughed, discussed world news and debated issues so I was really looking forward to the date.
He ordered the wine, we chatted and I sipped but noticed he took huge swallows from his glass and was forever topping up and by the time he ordered the second bottle, I had still only had a glass and half – most of still sitting in my glass! Consequently, he started to slur, make comments about how my dress fitted, how he’d often thought what I’d look like without the dress on and all those lovely images and thoughts I’d built up in my head were now being washed away with every word he said.
No longer did I see the charming, intelligent person I’d been speaking to every day, but a drunken, loud and problematic man and I so desperately wanted my evening to end so I could go home. When he almost fell when handed his coat my mind was made up – this was not someone for me. If he drank like this on a date, then how much did he drink on a regular basis?
I had no problem with someone enjoying a drink or even getting a little giggly, but this was a different matter and all I could see were problems ahead so needless to say I never saw him again – though he did apologise and put it down to nerves, but I didn’t want to take the chance.
So, if you really want to be seen in your best light, take it easy. A drink does help calm the nerves, but too many and your inhibitions fly out the window and you could miss the most exciting person in your life.
There are no hard and fast rules as to when you should cross that line. In my last relationship, I sat for hours talking to my partner and we ended up in bed that night and stayed together for 7 years. In another relationship we didn’t sleep together for weeks, so to be honest there are no rules and it just comes down to personal preference and how you feel at the time.
We’re all old enough and big enough to know our own minds and know how it may or may not affect things going forward. Nothing can beat chemistry between two people so whether you are happy with a possible one night stand or see it as the start of something great, you have to let her head rule on this one and read the signs.
Yes there are serial daters who date in the hope that every date will end in sex, there are those who prefer things to build up before it gets intimate and those that do have sex on the first proper date, but see more than just a one night stand (like me), but it is individual taste.
I am no judge and do not expect to be judged so don’t feel you can’t go with your emotions, but at the same time don’t ever feel pressured. It is your body, your mind and your control – only you can make the decision about any of it.
Happy New Year and happy dating!
Love Tanya x