As I established a few weeks ago, it is still possible to date and have a fun, sexy time during the era of #MeToo.
While awareness around bad behavior is heightened, the rules are what they’ve always been: Listen. Communicate. Be attentive. Look for cues. Ask for clarification when you need it.
Above all, respect, respect, respect.
But as you’re probably well aware, it can be hard to establish boundaries and clear communication with someone you barely know. And this is where a matchmaker can be a major ally.
What is your date’s comfort level with PDA? With affection?
Are they open or slightly guarded?
These questions can be hard or impossible to know if you’re going in blind or with only a few limited interactions on a dating app.
The Benefits of Using a Matchmaker to Date
But with a matchmaker on your side screening for personality traits and compatibility, the picture becomes a whole lot clearer.
Aside from having the benefit of a screener, there are a few key behaviors to follow to ensure that your date feels respected and valued–and that no lines are crossed. In no particular order…
Lead with subtle cues. Note: This is not code for “be handsy”.Men, keeping your hands to yourself, in general, is a good rule of thumb.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t get your bearings through good old-fashioned body language….
- Lean in–does she lean in to meet you?
- Is she facilitating connection through (reasonable, flirtatious) touch — grabbing your arm, touching your shoulder, etc.?
- Does her body language mimick yours? (Read what Psychology Today has to say about mimicry and sexual attraction!)
These are all subtle (and sometimes, not-so-subtle) indicators that sparks are flying, and physical connection is welcome. But what to do if you’re still not sure where you stand?
It’s simple: if you don’t know, ask. Really!
Verbal and Social Cues for Better Dating
It’s okay to verbally assess comfort levels and ask permission if you’re having trouble reading cues.
In fact–not only is it okay–it can be really sexy. Clear, verbal communication ensures that you and your date are on the same page and all systems are go. Find a way to push past your fear of direct communication and have a discussion.
What you don’t want is for both sides to be immobilized, fearful of making the wrong move. In this case, clarity is way more helpful than regret.
Try it out. “I’d really like to kiss you. Is that okay?”
Trust me, this can be an incredibly sweet and sexy thing for a woman to hear.
(Or if it helps, just imagine the reverse. After your date leaves, she complains to her friends, “I really wanted him to kiss me–but he wouldn’t make a move!” Ouch.)
Quick Cheat Sheet for Your Next Date
So, to recap–these simple guidelines can put your mind at ease as you swim through the dating pool:
- Read the room. With respect as your northern star, be highly attentive to your dates cues and body language. We’ll talk more about this in the next blog.
- If you don’t know, ask! Don’t be afraid to be (politely) direct. It’s better to know where you stand than to be frozen by fear, or trapped in your head. And finally…
- Have a matchmaker on your side. A relationship expert who has screened your date specifically for compatibility and likely chemistry can give you far more useful information than you get from a dating app.
There is no reason to fear dating in a post #MeToo world – for men OR women. As long as respect and communication are driving the car, your ride to a happy relationship will be smooth.
Next up: the do’s and don’ts of dating in the #MeToo era (and any era). Stay tuned.