Ask Wendy

Screening Dates & Covid-19

Friday, March 27, 2020
Hey Wendy,

What do you do with guys who, whenever you ask them a question about their life and what's up, they use it as an opportunity to kiss ass?

Sure, it’s flattering (or something) when they say I’m their favorite part of their day, or what they're most looking forward to this weekend is finally meeting me. But what I'm really asking is: "what's exciting about your life that makes you happy/eager to get out of bed every morning?" I'm trying to get to know them a little better.

I feel like calling bullshit. It seems like such a fake answer, and, for me, it creates distance, not connection.

June D.

Hey June,

You’re really not gonna like my answer to this question. Ready? Talking on the phone or texting should only be used for setting up the first in-person date. I know you want to get to know him. I know you want to vet him. And the way to do that is get yourselves in front of each other ASAP (and yeah, that might mean FaceTime for now).

If you feel he’s responding to you in a way that’s too goofy and noncommittal, or he’s using phrases you just don’t care for like “hey gal” or “Good morning, gorgeous” when he hasn’t met you IRL yet, I get it. If guys take the casual language too far, it can be a real turn-off or show bad judgment on his part. But expressing interest and delight in you? You might want to cut him some slack on this one. Put off the chit-chat until you two are face to actual face—or for now and in the weeks to come­­­­­, camera-to-camera on Zoom.

Wait, what? Wendy, are you saying to have first dates over video conferencing?! Yesss, my friend. That’s what we shelter-in-place-savvy people do now. The good news about this is you can set up multiple dates in a row and you only have to do your hair and makeup once—hey, feel free to wear sweatpants below the camera! Now that’s making some good out of a bad situation, yes?

The bottom line is this: A lot of guys have a hard time connecting over the phone or through email, and it doesn’t mean anything about his social skill level. When you’re on the phone or texting, you can’t read body language, you can’t see someone’s expressions, and sometimes can’t even get an accurate read on the emotional tone of the conversation. Nothing is organic about it. He has no history with you. He can’t see you. He has no way to connect with you. And he doesn’t know how much or how little to share when he can’t see and interpret visual cues (same for you!) All he’s got to go on is your profile, and apparently, it’s pretty damned good, because it’s the best part of his week. Take the compliment, don’t let it trip you up (unless he’s too goofy with no substance underneath), and get on that IRL or video date yesterday.

Good luck!

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