What Do You Do with a Kiss-Ass?

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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,

I understand that you want to get to know him — valid.

How he is at the start helps you vet him.

And… anything benign said before actually meeting IRL or over video shouldn’t count on his permanent record.

A lot of folks have a hard time connecting over text, phone, or email, and it doesn’t mean anything about their social skills. When you’re on the phone or texting, you can’t read body language, you can’t see someone’s expressions, and sometimes you can’t even get an accurate read on the emotional tone of the conversation. And from the other side, you can’t see his spirit and essence shine through.

There is nothing organic about this process. He has no history with you. He can’t see you. He has no way to connect with you. He doesn’t know where to start, 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 amazing, because you’re the best part of his week.

For now, just take the compliment and cut him a little slack. Don’t let it trip you up (unless he’s too goofy with no substance underneath). Then get yourself on that IRL or video date right now. I mean what else are you doing with your life other than waiting out a global pandemic?

After you’ve gotten yourself on that date, if you still like him, and he continues to respond to you in a way that’s too goofy or familiar, i.e. “hey gal” or “Good morning, gorgeous” then call him on it gently by saying something like, “Thanks for thinking I’m gorgeous. Can you save that kind of compliment for when we know each other better?” and if he makes it past the next few dates he’ll likely learn that ick, don’t do that with you! (PSA to the guys reading this, most of us HATE this overly-familiar compliment. It creeps us out. Please stop.)

So give him a chance and go on an actual date — IRL or video. Wait, you say you’re not video dating yet? What? It’s what all the pandemic-savvy kids do now. Good news – 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 or your ex-boyfriend’s boxer shorts below the camera! Now that’s making some good out of a bad situation, yes?

.   .   .

Wendy Newman is the author of 121 First Dates. She’s a dating, sex, and relationship expert who’s led hundreds of workshops and revolutionized the lives of over 70,000+ women internationally.

You can send a question to the column via email: Wendy@WendySpeaks.com