The J-Train is coming through and he’s got the dating advice you need!
From the long line of WWN advice columns (i.e. Dear Dotti, Ask a Chimp, etc) comes a new breed of intrepid advice giver. It’s Jared Freid aka J-Train. A frequent dater and lover…
Dude Dating with J-Train: The Cell Phone
Q. As a young girl, our mothers and fathers taught us the rules of engagement, courting if you will. The one problem is there is a new step in the process, texting. Can you provide us single ladies with a few guidelines for text messaging? – K. Gibbler, San Fransisco, CA
Q. Train, I’ve been on a few dates with this lady and last night she asked me for my Blackberry Messenger Pin. Not sure if I want to give in. What do you think? – Kevin Franklin, Sewickly, PA
Q. My phone is driving me crazy. I don’t know if I should email, gmail, text, sext, call or send smoke signals to this girl I’ve been seeing. Help me Train!! How do I navigate the cell phone with a girl I’ve been seeing? – Balki Bartokomous, Mypos
A. There’s obviously a lot of confusion about the way technology plays into our dating lives. Everybody, take a deep breath and relax…now start panicking again; because if you’re not a savvy communicator in these increasingly technological times, you might as well have a funeral for your privates because sex, let alone dating, is a remote possibility. During courtship we have to navigate this push and pull of being there enough, but not being too much; the advent of the cell phone has made that tight rope walk more difficult – and more important – than ever. Here are a few tips.
An email says confidence; maybe even too much confidence. You love to hear yourself speak and you think your pretty damn funny. It’s exciting to see what comes back; unlike a text or phone call, etiquette states they have to respond. The anticipation is exhilarating in a way only David Carradine once knew. My opinion is that if a potential mate can keep up with some well-crafted emails, then this is someone you would probably have a good conversation with in person. Here’s the rub: once that email is sent, it’s done. Unlike an actual physical conversation, you can’t read the person’s body language or see how they’re responding and adjust what you say. All you can do is hit send, and then open that sent email every ten minutes to pour over every syllable, wondering if they are getting your jokes, reading your sarcasm, and …is that an exclamation point? My Lord. What a limb to go out on; as I said, this takes confidence to do in a new relationship. If you can pull it off, great, but know that you’re taking a risk. If she responds to your 10,000 word manifesto about your weekend with an ‘LOL’ and nothing else, go ahead and crawl into that hole you dug to die in.
Here’s the thing that sucks with BBM: the person your contacting knows you’ve read their message. If some creep simply texts you, chances are you’ve read that text – but they can’t know for sure (Plausible Deniability: it’s the great glue that holds the dating world together). Why would you want other people to know when you’ve read their text? Who invented BBM? Where do they live? Simply put, this is the most smothering and unhealthy form of spying/contacting a potential date. If someone asks for your pin here’s what you do: get naked and start running in circles while screaming because that’s less insane then being Blackberry Messenger Contacts with one another.
This method is great if used the right way; it’s efficient, and the perfect way to impart quick info. There are no time constraints; get back to the person at your own leisure. If it’s late at night you can send the text out like fishing line and see what comes back to you in the morning. The issue with text is that your not showing the person that they mean a little more than your buddy that you text each day. So that means you might have to do a little of this…
Actually Speaking Over the Phone
This is tough, girls love a good talk on the phone and most guys can’t stand it. The “guy bases” are like so: First Base: Make out, Second Base: Oral; Third Base: Lovemaking, Home Run: Talking on the phone. It’s the last step for most of us and it’s because we just aren’t any good at it. Understand that, for tens of thousands of years, women have evolved to be more lingual creatures than men; they use far more words per day on average than men and speak almost twice as much (have you seen girls at brunch?). What this means for you ladies, is that every time you get on the phone with one of us cavemen, it’s a little like playing tennis against a Toddler. Sure, it’s cute that he’s wearing Toddler sized tennis clothes but you need to go easy on the kid. That said, men need to try harder. Here’s the truth: any time my phone rings, I think there is something wrong. It’s weird that it has come to this but I always think that someone must have died for me to receive a phone call. Man, what does that say? We all need to talk more. It’s more personal and less confusing. If you want to ask someone out, call. If you need your sweatshirt back, call. If your herpes is flaring, call. When in doubt, just call.
Twenty Five years ago, a guy would have to call a land line to talk to a girl, set up a date or find out if that broken condom is more than just a broken condom. Sometimes you even had to ask their father if they were home first(!). When you stop to think, our parents and grandparents had to put in a pretty unbelievable amount of work just to keep an active dating life. The cell phone has changed all that – and with late-night texts, facebook messages and calls at 1AM, some call it the death of romance. I see it like this: phones and computers make it easier to cast that wider net – you may catch a fish you want to put on the wall forever, or you might catch one you just want to screw (or something like that). Listen, whether it’s text, BBM (don’t even think about it), email, or phone calls; be confident, have something to say, and don’t freak out when its been ten minutes and you haven’t heard back. Give it thirty then freak out.
Do you have dating questions for J-Train? … Email me!