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  • Neenah Pickett

December 22 - The Many Steps of Online Dating - When to Take It to the Next Level

I have been emailing back and forth with two guys who I like based upon the limited information that I know about them. Each email makes me like them a little more. It has me thinking about the many phases of online dating:

You receive the first email from a potential suitor, which prompts you to do the profile review. If that goes well, you continue and there is a 2nd and perhaps 3rd email. At this point, you expect to receive the email that takes it to the next level, i.e., would you like to meet, talk on the phone, or here's my chat name on yahoo, etc. Then there is the 1st phone call, and perhaps soon thereafter a 1st date, and even a 2nd. And then for me there is that ever elusive 3rd date. That's a lot of phases. It's approximately 8 steps that takes you from a first email to a 3rd date. Well, I have been looking back to see if there is a pattern with my online dating - taking note of those who make it to a first phone call and those who make it to a first date. Obviously it's not all up to me. A guy could drop me at any step, just as I could choose to end it with him. But what are some of the things that make you want to continue or to discontinue the many phases of online dating? For me, one example is that I've noticed that I'm more likely to respond to men who smile in their profile photo. The bigger the smile, the more appealing they are to me (go figure). I become less interested in guys who in their email exchange offers an average of one or two sentences, or those men whose emails fail to ask me anything about myself. Once I get men on the phone, I'm discovering more about the guys on a different level. I love the conversations where I'm laughing or smiling or we're both sharing what we like about the world around us. On the opposite side, this seems kind of an obvious no-no, but it's amazing how many men talk about their problems during the first phone call or those men who want to have a long conversation about their previous dating (or love) experiences. Maybe I'm being too quick to judge, but isn't that what dating is about - judging (or deciding) if we want a relationship to continue? We add up the sum of our previous experiences with a person (a profile, and a couple of emails, and maybe a phone call or two) and decide if we want more of the same. I now realize that every step is a glimpse of the next step. If I don't like where I'm currently at with a person, I need to explore whether there is anything that makes me think things would be any different in the future. If in your emails you only talk about yourself and never ask questions about me, why would I want more of the same? If you're really, really boring on the first date, or if you're rude to the waiter and short with me, what makes me think the next date would be any different? I'm not talking about going overboard and being really picky about everything that person says or does. One goofy comment about an ex, doesn't make me run for the hills, but if my overall experience during one of the steps isn't a good one, it just may be a good indicator of where the next step will take me

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