This is the final edition of Adventures in Online Dating, which chronicled one woman’s experience in my 6-week online dating bootcamp. All of Joanna’s words came directly from her, unedited and unfiltered, and I’m thrilled that she’s had such a positive experience.
I don’t know if I’ll do another bootcamp again – my energies are currently focused on launching my new eBook, Why He Disappeared – but if I do, I hope you see what potential six weeks of attention can give to your love life.
For our last week of Bootcamp, Evan taught us to be smart, confident and self aware daters. We learned — and laughed — about the different agendas that men and women bring on first dates. Evan encouraged us to leave our agendas at home and gave tips for both men and women about being a great first date. I learned how important it is to be confident and assume that my date will like me and be as comfortable as I might be going out with a group of friends. Evan had a lot of new ideas for us. A couple of examples – start thinking of our dates as successes (instead of coffee meetings with exit strategies) and — gasp — dream of what a great first date might look like (not coffee!). So I’m thinking Saturday evening at the Getty gardens, with a delicious picnic to enjoy…
I learned how important it is to be confident and assume that my date will like me and be as comfortable as I might be going out with a group of friends.
I asked Evan how to handle “early disclosures” — things that men told me on 1st or 2nd dates that might have been ok to hear much later on in a relationship (when I knew and loved him), but that were too much information early on. His answer surprised me, but it was one of the most valuable lessons from the bootcamp. Evan told me that the reason men disclosed too much is that they probably felt comfortable and accepted by me, and they just didn’t know that early dates weren’t the right time to talk about these things. These men might not be as skilled at dating, but they still might be very good partners. Evan asked me to forgive them, to be patient, understanding and less judgmental. He said that if we dismissed every man based on what he said on early dates, we might be sabotaging ourselves and we sure as heck weren’t getting to date 4. What an eye opener! Here I thought I was being completely open minded, because I was less focused on looks, height, and age — and yet I was closing off possibilities by being too judgmental on dates. I’ve decided to put this into practice — if the date is otherwise a winner, just file the information and continue to go on dates and see what happens, rather than sending the poor guy his pink slip!
I learned SO much in six weeks. I got all of my questions answered and learned from the questions of my fellow bootcamp participants. Now it’s just putting it all into practice, having patience and remembering one of the sweetest things Evan told us — as rare as it seems, there is someone out there just like me who is looking to find someone and hasn’t found her yet. When I meet him, Evan will be the first to know!