Ask GreerBy Greer McDonald
Let FindSomeone's new Agony Aunt solve your dating dilemmas...
Denise asks: "How do you tell someone you're not interested when they have been kind enough to take you out for dinner?"
Look, dinner is great and it was very kind of them to take you out - but you can't change how you feel. Essentially you have two things you could do. Firstly, have a really good think about why you're not interested. Did it just not click with the person? Did you have someone else on your mind? Did the date not go the way you thought it would? If you think there might be an inkling that something could be there - I'd go on a second date.
Secondly, if you were really sure you're not keen, I would wait for that person to make contact with you. If they asked you out on another date, you could simply thank them for the invite and the original date, but say that at this stage, you're not interested in taking things further. Being direct and honest is best! Don't tell them you've got to go out of town to see a dying aunt or that your cat just died. It sends the wrong message and you can guarantee you'll be found out (potentially in a really embarrassing way!). Dinner is great - but it's not a marriage contract, so don't feel obliged to take it any further.
I've tried talking about the things they're interested in, I've tried asking random questions to come across as "different" and "unique". I've also tried simply asking "How's it going. Any plans for the weekend" but nothing seems to be getting me any positive responses. I typically don't write more than a paragraph each time. What are women looking for in a first message and how much should I write in a first message?
This is a really good question! Here are my tips:
Hi , I met a girl on the site three weeks ago and we hit it off really well our first date was a coffee on a Wednesday and then a movie Friday night the date didn't end till 3am Saturday morning, picked her up for lunch that day and spent most of the day together. We have been texting like two teenagers and I really like this girl. She has a lot going on in her life with work and kids. We have sparks together but have been told it's her not me and she may not have space for someone. I think she is afraid of being hurt again which I would never do. We had a chat about where things are and we are friends but we still keep texting and she has called me once since our chat. I'm confused.
Ah girls, gotta love 'em, eh? As that guy said in the sunscreen song in the mid nineties - don't be reckless with other people's hearts and don't put up with people who are reckless with yours. (He also suggests flossing. Do that too). I guess you can only really take someone for what they are. If she says she's not keen to further develop your relationship together, then trust that she's made that decision for whatever reason and respect it. She may be confused also, but the only thing you can do is be supportive without pushing her. Best to say your piece - that you're keen (if you still are) - but if she only wants to be friends, then you'll be that. Just make sure that once that line in the sand is drawn, you stick to it. The last thing you want is to be strung along and feel like you've 'wasted' time waiting for her to come around.
I've met a man who's 15 years my senior and who left his wife about 10 months ago. We were not even friends at this time, however we have an amazing rapport. He is obviously interested in me and finds me attractive, he's told me outright that he's single and needs a woman in his life. He's left it open for me to be more forward on numerous occasions and I just don't seem to be able to gather the courage to even ask him out for a drink. What do you think is the best way for me to get over my nerves? I'm usually quite confident when it comes to such things, but this guy makes me nervous and I can't quite work out why. I'm not even sure if he's knows I'm single at this time as I haven't been forthcoming with that info either. Is it true if he was really that interested he'd be making the first move?
In many cases, if a guy is interested then yes, he would make the first move - but that's not always the case.
Obviously he has had relationship issues in the past so he may be dealing with a whole range of unresolved emotional stuff that could get in the way with moving on.
I think the best way to go about things is to take things slowly. You say he doesn't know you're single, how about making that more known? (Without coming across too Bridget Jones-like, if you know what I mean...)
Start simple - why not just work up the courage to ask him out for a coffee? The only real way to get over the nerves is to push through so by asking him out, you'll know almost instantly where things may be heading. People usually give off a 'vibe' and if this is what he's been waiting for, then I'm sure he'll jump straight in to accept!
Recently I have found that my partner (who was my flatmate) has been active on Findsomeone. We havent classified ourselves as boyfriend and girlfriend as he doesn't want to be property. I have a profile on Findsomeone and checked in to see if I had any interest just for something to do. I looked up my partner and saw that he turned himself into a Gold Member. Does that mean he's actively looking? I have communicated my feelings about this and he says he's not actively looking, but I feel confused and used.
DING DING DING DING DING DING. That's the sound of big, red, shiny alarm bells ringing in your ears.
Firstly, this isn't about whether or not he's on FindSomeone - gold membership or not. Surely this has to be about you not classing yourselves as "boyfriend and girlfriend as he doesn't want to be property". Excuuuuuuse me, but what? This is an unbalanced and unfair situation that you have allowed yourself to get into. Without knowing more, it sounds like he wants his cake and to eat it too (A saying I've never really understood but you know what I mean!). You've called him your partner yet say you haven't classified yourselves as boyfriend and girlfriend. I suggest you two sit down and clarify what's going on immediately before someone gets hurt - if you haven't been already.
My boyfriend is the most caring and loving guy when it's just us hanging around but the moment we're around his friends it's like he has a personality transplant. He won't cuddle or hold my hand when they're around and he just picks on me and encourages his friends to do the same. I love him heaps but I can't stand the hot/cold treatment. What should I do?
This all sounds rather teenage to me. Clearly this guy can't man up and is afraid to show his true feelings around his mates because this is what he believes to be more socially acceptable.
The truth is there are plenty of decent men out there who would die at the thought of treating their girlfriend this way.
I think it's worth sitting down and telling this guy how you feel, and if he doesn't see there's an issue - then there really is an issue and it's probably best you start seriously considering if his treatment of you is something you think you deserve.
I'm pretty sure you - or anyone - ever deserves the hot/cold treat so I'd turn the tap off.
My partner and I met on online dating but she won't let me tell people how we met. She still thinks it's "embarrassing" to have met online so instead we tell people that we met in a bar. We're getting serious now and apart from this one issue, everything else is great.
Should I just leave it and let her keep telling this white-lie story?
Aww, bless. It's kind of cute that she thinks there's a stigma around online dating because guess what, there basically isn't anymore!
There have been way too many success stories now for people to baulk at this legitimate way of meeting people and when we think about how much time we all spend online now it's so obvious that people will meet this way.
One of the most common things that happens these days is when people start talking about online dating, the moment one person puts their hand up and says they're doing it, the rest of the group will admit they do too! So while I think it's important you work with your partner in terms of talking openly about your concerns, I think that you could both find a suitable answer for those prying (but loving) enquires about where your love started. Who knows, they may even ask for your tips in how to locate the perfect match online!
What's the deal with txting? Like, are there rules about who should txt first when you first meet someone or after a first date?
Ah yes, the digital-age conundrum that we now find ourselves battling thanks to wonderful technology!
There's no real right answer to this but I think that one way to look at it is like this: if you go on a date and you liked it and would like a follow up, a cute short txt saying as much shortly after the conclusion of the first date is always a nice way to end any 'Will he/she want to see me again?' type thoughts. It also gives the other party a chance to back out at the earliest stage instead of spending days wondering how they're going to let the other side down gently (never a nice prospect).
I'm a bit of a traditionalist and I like to think that a guy should be the one to do this (as girls are so often misjudged as 'needy' if they txt too early - which is ridiculous just quietly, there's plenty of over-eager dudes out there too!) but some guys like a girl who knows what she wants so power to the txt I say!
I've been offered my dream job in another city but my boyfriend doesn't want me to go. We're pretty set up where we are and things are going well between us but he simply cannot entertain the thought of a long distance relationship. He's pretty set in his ways and I can't see me being able to convince him to also move. Should I go anyway and risk losing him?
OK so this is something that comes up a lot. The way I like to think of relationships is that you want the best for your other half. If the other half gets their dream job, who am I to be the one to stand in their way?
Relationships are fluid beasts. They're not designed to be stagnant and boring (well at least they can be, but how fun is that?) and change can be the perfect catalyst to zjoosh things up a bit.
If he really was committed to your happiness, he'd agree that no matter what you decide, you'll make it work. It takes commitment on both parts (expect big phone bills and make sure Skype becomes your best friend!) but it can work. If not, at least you'll still have your dream job!
I have been emailing my ex. He asked me if I wanted to "hook up", so I said yes, for a coffee. He cancelled, saying he had to work, and now we won't email me back. Should I give up? Is he just not that into me, or is he really busy?
Um, what? Seriously. Why are you letting him have all the control in this situation? I am guessing he is an ex for a reason. Do you genuinely think there could be a chance you'll get back together? If so, do you think his current behaviour could be indicative of what the future has in store for you? I say you should let this one slide. Don't put up with people who are reckless with your heart. Move on and don't have a second thought about it.
I have been seeing this girl for nearly four months, although for the last two months she has been really cold and erratic. I am a single parent with two kids aged seven and 10, who can be a bit of a handful. She's started saying she can't handle the kids and misses being able to do what she wants. Until now l have been very patient with her, but am getting upset with her treatment and lack of feelings towards me.
This is a tough situation. I'm only guessing but I imagine that this girl was very excited about meeting you and having you in her life - but then reality hit. Asking someone to take on more than just yourself (i.e. your kiddies as well) can be one of those things that only time will tell if it will work or not. I think what you need to do is ensure that both you and your children are happy. If the person you are seeing is not providing you with the support you need, then you have to do what is best for you in that situation. Sometimes, that can be cutting someone free. In saying that, this situation is totally fixable if your girlfriend is willing to work through her issues and if she finds a way to cope with the kids. Good luck.
Sixteen months ago I broke up with my partner, and I've been lonely ever since. I've moved away from where we used to live, and I'm unsure how to go about making new friends and dating. I'm quite shy.
One of the best places to start with meeting new people is either in the workplace or where you study. Making new friends and connections doesn't have to be a formulaic routine, it can be incidental which is therefore a lot less stress (and works wonders for the shy out there).
Start saying yes to things. Colleague invites you for a friendly drink after work? Go. You never know, you might just enjoy yourself. Even if something doesn't take your fancy (e.g. an invite to an activity such as go-karting which you may not be in to), just go along anyway and see how you get on! You will simply never know who you meet when you start saying yes. One thing I know for sure: you don't meet someone by sitting on your couch at home alone. Yes, even internet dating involves leaving the house eventually to meet the person you may have a connection with!
Just wondering - if I go on a first date, who pays these days? I haven't dated in a while, so I'm totally out of touch as to what the 'right' thing to do is, without offending the other person.
Ah yes, this is always a bit of an issue - and I'm not sure there's always a right answer but I know how I prefer things. On a first date, it's kind of like a job interview so I think of things in a kind of business-like way. I know that sounds terribly unromantic but if, for example the date goes terribly wrong and I never want to see the guy again, I'd feel awful accepting any offer for him to pay for everything. I'd forever be that girl that got a free dinner and no follow up.
How I think things should be done is even before the date starts - say when the boy calls the girl and asks her out to dinner, if he has strong opinions about him paying (some guys are obsessive about paying) then say at that time: "I'd like to take you to such-and-such restaurant and it's my shout". Otherwise, I think it's entirely OK to go Dutch, or for one person to pay for a meal, the other to pay for the movie or dessert or coffees later. I find honesty is always best too; if you can't afford to go on a date on a certain night, be honest and say so!
I go on a lot of dates, and it's starting to add up! I'm happy to play the gentleman and foot the bill, but how can I date well on a budget?
First off, good on you for doing the "gentlemanly" thing - but just so you know, girls don't necessarily expect it these days. Finances are obviously a topic close to my heart at the moment, but spending lots of money on dates has always been something that I've had strong opinions about. For a start, nothing says 'show off' like pulling out your ace card on the first date. Start with something cheap and cheerful - after all, a first date is almost like a job interview. There's lots of talking and testing the waters, so it doesn't matter if there's a super expensive meal or fish and chips in front of you - if it's going well, neither of you will care about that. I reckon you keep your expensive dates up your sleeve; hold on to them for someone special, and a couple of dates down the track.
My best friend is a natural flirt, and I've noticed she's started flirting with this guy I really like. He tells me I'm overreacting. Am I being paranoid?
Ah yes, I think every group of mates has at least one of these people in it. I suppose it comes down to a couple of things - 1. Do you trust your friends? (i.e. if they're really a mate, would they hit on someone they knew you liked?) and 2. Would you want to date someone who flirted back to your mate if they supposedly liked you? The main thing would be to ensure that your friend knows you like the person (if you don't, it'd still be considered a free-for-all) and also to clarify what's going on with the person you like. No use sitting in the corner pining for someone, let them know how you feel!
I recently went on a date, and the guy was a bit weird. I'm definitely not interested, but he keeps calling. How can I let him down gently, but firmly?
Blech - my least favourite type of situation. I can't say it enough: honesty, honesty, honesty... with a few white lies chucked in for good measure. Let me tell you what I mean. Firstly, the next time he calls, explain that you're busy and don't have much time but you quickly wanted to say that you enjoyed meeting them, but that you're not wanting to take things any further. Simple. If he continues to semi-stalk, do the silent treatment for a bit (it's hard, and it's kinda cruel, but it works). If he keeps going and steps it up a notch, then the gloves are off. No more need to be polite. Be direct, be honest and just say, "Look dude, give it a break would you? Not interested, but good luck with your search for love." Failing that, erm, restraining order? (Don't laugh - people have done it! Not to me... of course.)
Every girl I fall for tells me she "just wants to be friends", which drives me nuts! How can I make them want to be more than friends?
Ah yes, I'll let you in on a little secret - this is the girls' equivalent of boys' failure to call back. These girls are trying to let you down easy, to tell you that the spark isn't there - and on most occasions, they genuinely do actually just want to be friends. There are a couple of things you can do. Firstly, what's wrong with friends? Plenty of relationships develop from friendships. If you are really keen on a girl, why not try and be friends? (Easier said than done, but ya know...). Also, re-evaluate things. Do you suffer from Nice Guy Syndrome? Are you a little bit too safe, too reliable, too dependable? Women want these qualities, but they also want something else too - strength, the ability to show raw manliness, and yes, the ability to show a little bit of sexual confidence. If you're too much of a "nice guy", maybe you could try balancing things up a bit?
I've fallen in love with a man 25 years my senior. My kids are horrified, and my friends tell me I'm crazy! What should I do?
Right, I'm assuming a few things here but the fact your kids are old enough to be "horrified", I'm guessing that you are of a certain age which would put your new lover also at a certain age (i.e. really quite old). Go for it! Are you happy? Does the relationship affect your kids negatively (other than their noses might be out of joint?)? Does he treat you well? Those are the only real questions you have to ask yourself. If you're happy with the answers, then I repeat - go for it! Life's far too short to worry about what others may or may not think. Be happy.
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