Valley Girl With a Brain

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Why Didn't He Call?

How to avoid common mistakes when you’re first getting to know someone

It’s the familiar cry of women left scratching their heads after a seemingly wonderful date with Mr. Right: “Why didn’t he call?”

Was it something I did? Did I say something offensive? Was there a booger hanging out of my nose?

Oftentimes, we are in the dark about what exactly went awry, which is why we immediately go to our friends for a sensible explanation. However, as we all know, most of our friends will simply brush off the experience – as “He’s an idiot” or “There’s clearly something wrong with him.”

I’ve consoled plenty of pals using those exact phrases. That may be true, but it still doesn’t answer the question of “Why didn’t he call?” 

Since I didn’t have the answer, I turned to someone who did. 

Jessie Kay Kravik is a Los Angeles-based matchmaker and founder of TheRealMatchmaker.com. She boasts 18 years of experience in the business of love, creating hundreds of relationships and many marriages. I figured with that kind of experience under her belt, she might know a thing or two about dating.

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Valley Girl: What is the biggest mistake that women make when we’re starting to date someone? 

Jessie: Women tend to over-think a first date. We get so excited about the prospect of a new guy in our lives that we obsess over what we're going to wear, how we'll do our hair, what we'll ask him, when our wedding will be, and maybe even what our kids will look like. This puts major pressure on the man, and the date itself, to be perfect.

VG: Is that why he might not call for a second date? 

JK: This kind of pressure and intensity sets the date up to disappoint, and often scares the guy away. 

It's important for women to relax, keep an open mind, and get to know men with the intention of making a new friend. Doing this takes a lot of the pressure off, allows people to be themselves, and paves the way for people to make real connections.

The attitude you go into a date with is everything, it sets the mood for the whole experience. Be open and energetic and your date will mirror your demeanor. Make an effort to flirt with your date, smile and laugh and it will be returned. Likewise, if you are too serious on a date and are reluctant to open up, your date will likely be uncomfortable sharing as well and you may have an awkward and disappointing dating experience. 

VG: What have you seen as the biggest problem men have when they start dating someone?

JK: Men tend to get distracted on first dates by sexualizing the woman right away, instead of focusing on getting to know her. They often zone out while their date talks, obsessing over things like: Does she like me? Do I like her? Should I kiss her tonight? Does she want to sleep with me? I wonder what she looks like naked?  

VG: That behavior does sound familiar… So what’s your advice for them to stop acting like hound dogs?

JK: I tell my male clients to slow down – walk before you run. A man should use a date to get to know a woman as a person first, and a lover second. I urge them to find some things they like about her personality and focus on that. Showing her you are interested in what she has to say, and who she is will win her over a lot faster than trying to take her home.

VG: It sounds like these behaviors are biological in a lot of ways, since it seems like EVERYONE does them.

JK: Men and women make these common mistakes because of how they are wired. It's a woman's instinct to want to find her life partner, get married, and settle down. On the contrary, men are very visual and very physically driven. These natural characteristics of men and women can influence their state of mind on a first date so much that they become a detriment to themselves. They live so much in their own heads, be it planning a future or planning a score, that they don't connect with the other person.

VG: Wow. So this is why we have no idea how we’ve messed up.

JK: In the moment, men and women don't realize they are making these mistakes. It's not until they get rejected or not asked for a second date that they begin to reflect on what they could have done better. Even then, many people don't recognize it's their state of mind that prevents them from making connections.

VG: Is there anything we can do to stop this state of mind?

JK: One easy way to get people out of their heads and into their dates is to go on a more fun and casual date than dinner. I always suggest doing something more interactive like hiking, mini-golfing, or going to the beach because it allows people to bond and get to know each other and is less pressure than a dinner date. 

The most important rule of thumb I stress to my clients is to think of a first date as a chance to make a new friend, and see where it goes from there. 

VG: OK. Let’s say that we’ve passed the first date hurdle and we’re hanging out. How do you know if this is a guy that you should seriously pursue?

JK: The best way to find out if you and your date are compatible is to get some alone time together, without the distraction of other people or noise, and see where the conversation goes. Test the waters and express some of your core values and dreams. If you are able to share your views with each other respectfully without a major clash, you are off to a good start!

Chemistry plays a big role in compatibility as well, so going for a walk by the water or making a meal together and simply enjoying each other's company is a great way to see if you and your date could have a future.

VG: And… if there is no future. I’ve always wanted to know this, what is the best way to reject someone nicely?

JK: The key to rejecting someone kindly and effectively is to not insult them but still be firm. Politely say, "Thank you, I'm flattered by your offer, but I'm not interested in going out with you." If you know the person, you could suggest friendship. If it's a stranger, it's best to leave it as is.

VG: Let’s talk about online dating. It seems like everyone has done it at some point in their lives. What do you think of it? Is it the best way to meet people today?

JK: In a perfect world, everyone would meet in person and get to know each other face-to-face. You can learn so much about someone just from meeting them the first time-the sound of their voice, their mannerisms, the way they smell, the way they walk, things you can't possibly know from an online profile.

These things are essential to know as soon as possible because they are all factors of chemistry.  People are busy however, and can only meet so many people on their own.

Dating is a numbers game after all, and that's where online dating has its strength. It allows you to view a multitude of profiles and pre-screen people to see if they are worth meeting.

The key is to make this decision early on, and then meet them in person. Do not waste weeks of time online chatting, just to never meet, or to finally meet and not have chemistry. Extensive online chatting can create false fantasies and can blur the lines of the natural stages of a relationship, when really, you want to have a real-life girlfriend or boyfriend. My advice is to use online dating as a tool to meet someone in person, as a means to an end.

VG: I’m curious. In all your years of experience, what is the biggest complaint you hear from men about the women they’re dating? 

JK: The most common complaint I hear from men is about women sending them mixed signals. They are frustrated with women that seem like they like them but push them away, breaking dates, not returning phone calls, playing "too cool." 

In my experience, men get fed up with women that "play hard to get." Men don't want to have to guess what you're feeling and they certainly don't want to waste their time on women who aren't interested in them.

Ladies, if you like a guy, let him know! It often backfires when women push men away to try to get them to like them. Serious, relationship-minded men don't want to play games.

Another complaint I hear over and over again from men is that women don't understand that they need alone time. Ladies, give men their space!

Doing this allows men to unwind and miss you. They will appreciate their time with you more if you're not constantly around.

VG: I know there must be a ton of things women complain to you about men, but what are the biggest ones you’ve heard so far?

JK: The biggest complaint I hear from women is about men who have no follow-through. They are confused and dejected when guys tell them they are going to talk to them soon, or are ready for a relationship, and then their actions prove otherwise. Men, be straight with women about what you want and where you are in life! We'll respect you more for it.

VG: And finally, what is your biggest dating no-no for both sexes?

JK: A common complaint I hear from both men and women is that their date wouldn't stop talking about their ex. This is no way to show that you are interested in your date, or that you are ready to start something new with someone else. It is rude and leaves the other person feeling insecure. Keep the past in the past, especially on your first couple dates with someone. 

Jessie Kay Kravik is CEO and Founder of TheRealMatchmaker.com, which is one of the highest rated and reviewed matchmaking services on Yelp, which is how I found her. She is my new love guru and she should be yours too.

Follow me on Twitter @thisjenkim.

Follow Jessie on Twitter @realmatchmaker 

Jen Kim is a former Psychology Today intern and a graduate of Northwestern University.

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