Pre-Date

shadow-of-man-and-womanDuring my earliest experiences in dating, I would often encounter attractive young women.  Oh how great those college days were!  Many of these girls I got to know because we interacted on a somewhat consistent basis through a class, club activity, work, or because they lived nearby, or exercised at the gym at the same time.  Continuing on the routine that was in place, a friendship was likely to ensue.  If I really started to hit it off with someone, I eventually got to a point were I had to decide whether or not to take a chance. Was it worth the possibility of rejection with a girl I saw as part of my weekly routine in order to find out if we could be more than friends?  If I decided it was, I needed to change the dynamic of where things are heading by asking her out.  While many guys would ask the girl on a typical first date, I learned to improve my chances of getting repeat dates by asking her on a pre-date.

Every girl says they want to meet Mr. Right and be swept off their feet, but the reality is that when faced with the possibility of a relationship with a good guy, many will hesitate or flat out freak out.  Why does this happen?  Well, just about anyone has the time for a date, so when a girl is asked out by someone she’s interested in, she will graciously accept.  However, at some point before/during/after the date, they start questioning if they really have time for more than that.  In their brain, one thing leads to another and decide a relationship should not be in their near future and that’s where things stop.  After all, many of the best single girls are too busy focusing on school, work, improving their friendships, spending time with family, etc, etc.  So even though the first date went very well, they bail out on further dates to pursue their other interests.  After encountering this problem multiple times, I decided to seek an alternative approach.  I needed a more gradual progression from the friendship phase to the relationship phase, and adding the additional step of the pre-date was the answer.

If I asked a girl out on a pre-date, it’s because I already knew I was interested in pursuing a relationship with her. Not that I was expecting things to lead toward marriage someday, but when dealing with someone I saw on a regular basis, I wouldn’t have risked the chance of awkward interactions on a weekly basis for something I wasn’t excited about.  Since I already knew what I wanted, the whole purpose of the pre-date was to subtly get it into the girl’s head that they wanted to explore the possibility of being in a relationship with me as well, without setting off any of her internal alarms.

The pre-date is like a first date, with a few subtle changes.  Similar to a date, the pre-date needs to be just for two.  Since I already know this person from a group setting, it was important to see them in a one-on-one venue to change the path of our association. Secondly, it was important that the event chosen is something that can be done between two friends or two people that are a couple.  The fact that it could be seen as a friendship activity helps in reducing the chance of hitting the proverbial panic button, but since it was something that a couple could do, it still leaves her imagination open to consider what the relationship would be like.  It is also important that the activity chosen gives plenty of opportunity for conversation, but only lasts 60-90 minutes.  The social interaction is important to building the connection that you already have, but keeping things short is key because it helps end things at a point that they are still wanting to know more about you, rather than risking ending on a lull. The final piece is that the activity needs to take place in a way that the potential awkwardness of who has to pay doesn’t come up.  Now I never have an issue picking up the bill on a first date, but girls have varying feelings on how to handle this situation.  Some are more traditional and expect the guy to pay for their evening together, others are more independent and feel the bill should be split.  Even more confusing is the fact that some will offer to split, even though they don’t really want to ,and others are willing, but to don’t say anything at all… so frustrating!  Anyway, I learned that pushing that off until a later day just tends to made things a little more comfortable and allows one less thing to distract her from the fun time that was had.

If the pre-date went as well as I thought it would, I would establish some subtle physical touch during our time together.  A simple hand to the arm, back, or shoulder is all that is needed to get a response.  I’ll go more into this on a future post.  If a girl was receptive to this, I knew that she was ready for a typical first date.  If not, a second pre-date might be in order.  However, it is important not to make the pre-date into a routine, otherwise momentum is lost and the window of opportunity could soon close.  If the pre-date was successful, the typical first date was likely to be a continuation of that and a goodnight kiss was extremely likely.  I’ll talk about the importance of that in a future post as well.

Since college I’ve rarely used the pre-date method because most of the girls I have met came from situations where they are open to a relationship.  When someone is willing to give their number out to someone they just met at a bar, tells a friend they are willing to be set up, or has taken the time to set up an online dating profile, then they are willing to go straight to a traditional first date without a large chance of hitting the proverbial panic button I spoke of earlier.  I still wanted to write about this topic because it was one of my earliest and most thought out date-isms, and I still think it has a time and place, even at this stage of my dating experience.  As I said earlier, many of the best single girls are focused on improving the other parts of their life, so you’ll meet them in ways outside of the bars, set-ups, and on-line dating.  If and when this happens, it’s important to know the best steps to take so you don’t send them running for the hills!  If I ever decided I was going to get involved with someone that I see on a consistent basis today, I would certainly take the pre-date step.  Better safe than sorry!  Just last year, I was involved in a unique dating situation where in hindsight, the pre-date approach would have certainly made the earlier stage of our relationship go more smoothly and perhaps things would’ve worked out differently.  That is of course a story for future EX-Factor posting.

Regardless of what others think about the pre-date, I can vouch that it works.  While working on this theory, I never again had problems getting continuous dates with the same person.  After a little tweaking, I used it to successfully start my first long-term relationship with a girl named Whitney.  Months into the relationship, after we were strongly established I shared all of this with her (verbally of course) and she admitted that there was probably no other way she would’ve allowed a relationship to start if anything had happened differently.

If someone else tries this and has success, I’d love to hear about it!
Happy (pre)dating!

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12 thoughts on “Pre-Date

  1. OK wow, I’m now wondering if my crush reads your blog! He did everything you talked about (including the thing lasting 60-90 minutes.) This approach is genius. We got to have a relaxed conversation without out worrying about the formalities of a date (and I get easily nervous on dates.) It was a perfect next step from our previous casual interactions.

    As for the paying thing, I honestly don’t mind splitting the bill/paying separate checks, but then I’m afraid that whenever I propose this, the guy will think I’m “just being polite.” So much confusion! Of course if a guy wants to genuinely treat me on a first date, I appreciate this but definitely don’t expect it all the time. I’m sure this input will just add to the confusion though haha.

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