Is the third date the turning point?

Many people will say that the third date will make or break things. Others say they’ve never heard of this before.

First date: First impressions, people are putting their best foot forward, people are nervous, there’s more polite chit chat and both are great listeners. (Obviously, this is in the best case scenarios, not including people who only like to hear themselves talk, people who chew loudly and with their mouths open, etc etc…)

Second date: Two people are a bit more comfortable with each other. They obviously want to give the other person a chance since they’re at another date. (But it could be because the first date went so well, or it could be that they’re about to drop the whole thing… but wanted to give the person a second chance after a screwed up first date.)

Third date: By now, there are two dates under your belt. You should be able to see them on their “best behavior”, perhaps a few mishaps due to jitters and nerves, and a more relaxed comfortable side. Here is a graph for all possible scenarios.

A. You’re pretty much just hoping for this magic to continue, and you want to ask them to marry you, but they might throw you in a mental institute for that. So by the third date, you better say something, or else it’s just makes the other person feel like they’re the only one who thought everything went well, and you don’t like them as much as they are interested in you.

B. You saved yourself! (or vice versa) The first date was horrible, but you guys believed in second chances, and the second date was awesome! Why was the first date so bad? Well, you can blame it on the nerves, trying too hard to make a good impression, still trying to figure out how both people relate to each other, etc. So the fact that the first date had some mishaps and boohoo’s… understandable. So now you’re on the 3rd, trying to break the tie right now, it’s 1-1 (one good one bad), but the second date is weighted heavier, since there’s more possibility that each person is being more “themselves” on the second date than on the first date.

C. So the first date was amazing, but the second date was not too great. This scenario is much more concerning than B. In B, there are the nerves, the anxiety, overly concerned about the food, the hair, the clothes, the makeup, etc… But for this scenario, it’s more concerning, because this may mean the you guys don’t really work when you’re truly “being yourself”. And while the first date was wonderful, because both were on their best behavior, the second date tells a lot more about the personalities, values, etc. So if the second date bombed… it’s almost a foreshadow that the two people might be great acquaintances, but not for serious dating.

D. Both first and second dates were horrid. Don’t even know why you’re trying for a third. Maybe it’s for that saying, “Third time’s the charm.” But… don’t have your hopes too high that the tides will change. Chances are: if you didn’t like their first impression (best behavior), aaand … you didn’t like their relaxed, more realistic side… then … you probably won’t like this person even after the third date. But hey! Kudos for your courage and resilience!


“I don’t want to jinx myself…”

I overheard this conversation on the bus the other day.

Two guys were talking to each other, let’s call them Adam and Brett.

“How’d your date go?” Brett asks Adam.

Adam starts talking about this girl, that she’s awesome and they had a great time. And how they’re going to see each other again and how he’s really excited.

Brett then asks, “Well that’s great! So you guys are probably going to get together, huh?”

Adam says, “No man. I don’t want to go there. I don’t even want to mention it. You know? I feel like if say that, I’m going to ruin things. I don’t want to jump to any conclusions till I see it.”
“Why?” Brett asks. Adam answers, “Because of 3 things that might happen. 1, I don’t want to jinx it.

2, I don’t want to overthink it and get too nervous the next time I see her. 3, I don’t want to fall head over heels and then get hurt.”

Brett disagrees, “Alright, man. Maybe that works for you. But I don’t really agree with that mentality. I say if you’ve found someone that matches so well, I would go all in.”


Interesting discussion.
I see both points, and as a girl, how would I weigh in?

1. Honestly, Adam, if you go in with such low expectations, I guess you’re right in saying that at least you won’t be disappointed. But that also means that you might be bringing your A-game. And if this girl is actually such a great catch, you’d better bring your A-game. Or she’ll think you’re not interested, or you’re just playing around, or that you think she’s not worth it.

All those points are contrary to what you’re thinking. But if you go into defensive mode and

protective gear, and you try to aim low so you “don’t get hurt”, then chances are, you will.

2. For girls, listen up! This is way cute! This guy is pretty much gushing about a girl that he really digs, but guess what? He’s worried he’ll be nervous next time! And he’s trying to use Jedi-mind tricks on himself so he can keep his cool the next time he’s around her.

Are you ever super self-conscience or nervous during a date? Don’t worry, because there is high probability that the guy is nervous, too!

3. Go, Brett!! I agree, if you find a girl that is worth something, you should at least give it your

100%. That’s the reason why there’s the term “put your best foot forward.” And also the boy scout motto of “Being prepared.” So if you found a girl that’s more than just average, you should go all in and try your best!

You hear the most interesting things on the bus…

“This is my… (friend?) … Lauren/Patrick…”

Lauren and Patrick are on their 3rd date. They are in the middle of the date. Patrick sees some friends, and introduces Lauren as a “friend.” Lauren is confused.

Ok, so they’re going on their 3rd date now, and they’re spending time doing things like ice skating, bowling, etc. He is still paying for everything, so no sign of the “let’s go dutch” idea. So is there still romantic interest? Or is he trying to break things off by hinting “friends”?

Did he introduce Lauren as a friend because:

1. He’s not interested in anything BUT friendship. But doesn’t know how to express it. So continues, but really is hoping for a way out.

2. He’s not interested in pursuing a relationship, but really appreciates the friendship. He wants to keep her as a friend, and perhaps he’s from the south, where many times men think it’s appropriate for the guy to pay for things, even as friends. (I’ve had many many good guy friends refuse to let me pay, and I’ve seen this happen amongst my parents’ friends, too. Like… it gets worse for older people.)

3. He’s interested in Lauren, but needs more than 3 dates to decide. So doesn’t want to jump the gun, so calls her “friend.” But at the same time, sees the potential and is hoping that this will develop into something more. So using the word “friend” isn’t really accurate, but doesn’t know what else to say. (in the place of  “this is the girl who is kind of like a friend right now, but if all things go well, I really hope she can become my girlfriend, but I’m not sure yet, so that’s where we are right now.”)

4. He’s very interested in Lauren and simply can’t wait to have her as a girlfriend. But is shy, doesn’t know how to ask. In his head, he’s stopping himself to say “girlfriend” so he politely says… “um, friend.” But he doesn’t know how Lauren feels, doesn’t want to rush her or sound desperate. Doesn’t know how the middle ground goes, so says “friend.” (Or he doesn’t want to do the thing that some guys do: introduce the girl as their “girlfriend” and assumes that it automatically counts as them advancing the relationship to another level.)

I will not elaborate on the Ladder Theory here, but basically:
Guys, if you’re even somewhat interested in pursuing something romantic, never let the word “friend” escape your lips. Because that sends the girl into a bit of a confusion. And if you’re unlucky, while you still really like her, she’ll dismiss you as a friend from now on. And any chance you had before? All gone.

So, what do you do in this situation? Very simple. DON’T add a label!

“Hey, guys! Great seeing you! This is Lauren! We’re on our way to dinner! …”
“This is Lauren. And we’re about to head to… xyz …. for the evening.”

Done. You’ve done your due diligence of introducing the person you’re with, but you didn’t have to use a label. You’re safe. Buy yourself some time, whether it be assessing whether or not you want to go into dating relationship or if you’re trying to get the courage to ask them to be in a relationship. Drop the label. Just give their name. 🙂   After all, it’s the name and person that counts the most, right?

Our family photo-shoot

So Brian and I went to Taiwan together over Christmas to visit my parents and extended family in Taiwan.

My father, who is a high power executive in a large company, also tries to run his family (read: us) similarly. He has deadlines and requirements and schedules set up for us. Obviously, this trip to Taiwan was the same. I already had an itinerary planned the moment my flight hit the ground in Taipei’s International Airport.

According to my father, it is the most important thing to take family portraits every 5 years. This has been happening ever since I was a child.

Now many of you may think that this just means 4-5 photos of the family (mom, dad, my brother and me). But you could not be more wrong. This 5-year photo shoot is literally a PHOTO-SHOOT, encompassing all that you can imagine. We have a studio set up for us, different outfits, we have to go to a fitting for all the clothes 3 days prior to the shoot. The whole process takes at least 8 hours, and my mother and I each have a personal makeup and hair assistant. Sounds like any girl’s dream? No, not really. Not really when it becomes required. I am very grateful that my father puts so much effort in documenting the process of us growing up. But there were definitely arguments/tension about scheduling a full day extravaganza on the day/month that it most absolutely has to be on, especially when my brother and I started growing up, and living in different places in the world.

So… we actually missed out 5-year photo shoot this summer (2010). My father was not pleased. Actually, he was very upset. My brother and I both went to Taiwan to see my parents over summer, but had just missed each other by 3 days. (So he left right before I got there). My father said that we ruined his plans. 😦 So to make up for all this, my brother and I planned to have a full overlapping trip back to Taiwan over Christmas.

Coincidentally, this was also the trip that Brian had decided to join me in order to meet the parents and grandparents.

Now comes the interesting question:

Do we include Brian in the photoshoot? Or leave him out? Make him sit at the studio while waiting 8 hours for us to finish? Or he can wander the streets and shop around, and wait for us to finish? (Brian was in Taiwan to see my family, so he was staying with us, traveling around with us, etc etc.)

But if it’s a family photo shoot, and our family currently is at the number 4.  Maybe Brian may become the 5th member… but who knows. Do we assume yes… or no?? Awkward or be polite? So now what?

When girls feel ugly, they’re easy to impress

Apparently, this trick is used often against us women!

Maybe you’ve been in it before, or seen a friend in this situation. You, or her, may be the cutest thing tonight, but somehow, something or someone has made you feel unattractive and undesirable. The next thing you know, you’re talking to a person that you would’ve not talked to in the first place. Or you’re awkwardly laughing at their jokes, but really, they aren’t funny at all. What is going on?

So in a common men’s handbook, written to teach men how to chase women, it describes a strategy.

The woman of interest is named Target. But Target is the type of woman that is completely out of reach, and because she is so used to getting attention, she will and can easily blow you (the guy) off. Now the Target is usually with friends (that are female), they will be call Friends.

The guy’s next move is to go and talk to the Friends, and try to ignore her, Target. He will once in awhile throw her a bone (so not to lose her attention completely), but basically enjoying in conversation with the friends. This strategy will make her feel ugly and unattractive, and she will also crave the guy’s attention.

Then toward the end of the night, the guy will ask Target for her number, and she will happily give it. Because now, she will think that she won something, and that she feels privileged that the guy asked her, instead of Friends, for a number.

Tables have turned. If the guy hadn’t used the strategy, she will most likely not give the guy her number, and think that it is ridiculous that he even tried. But now, it’s like she can’t wait to give him her number.

Hmm… This strategy was told to me by a guy friend.

Ladies!! Don’t fall into this trap!!! It’s just a mind game to play on our insecurities! if this is happening to you, walk away. Go find other people to talk to. Leave. But don’t let them capitalize on this! Also, no one can make you feel unattractive. Only you can.

This strategy would only work when the guy has fully convinced the girl (Target) that she is not wanted, which is a lie. Don’t fall into this.


One of our best dates ever

When you think of a best date, what comes to mind? Beautiful flowers? Expensive wine and cheese? Gorgeous outfit? Wonderful string quartet in the background?

My most recent visit to my Michigan boyfriend was to stay in the house for the whole weekend to study. He was studying for his annual general surgery residency exam. And I had some work to do myself. I figured it would be helpful and supportive if I flew over to Michigan to help keep him motivated and focused to study.

So over the course of 3 days, we set up camp at his large dining table. Each of us occupied one end of the table with all of our work materials sprawled out. There were some moments when I started dozing and had to give myself a time-out (read: nap on the nearby couch…), and there were moments when I caught him playing a game on his beloved iPhone4. But for the most part, we helped each other be more productive than ever, keeping each other accountable to our work/study schedule.

We still went out to dinner on some nights and ordered in/cooked on other nights. It was a quiet and peaceful weekend, but it wasn’t any less precious than the dates that had flash and pomp.

I liked our weekend of mutual support and accountability. Sometimes a peaceful stay-at-home weekend is just what we need from the crazy fast-paced life we so often get lost in.

(oh, and you save a lot of money, too!)

Good guys don’t finish last, they win the final race

My guy friends always lament about this phrase: Good guys finish last.

But that is so NOT true!

You may seem to lose the battle for a moment, but in the end, you win the entire war, if that’s what you want to call it.

1. Amanda gets hit on by two guys. Adam is a nice quiet guy. He starts to talk to Amanda. Brett is eying Amanda from across the room. He swoops in between Adam and Amanda with 3 other friends of his. He dominates the conversation and pushes Adam out of the picture. Adam and Amanda quickly trade numbers, but from the looks of it, Brett has won and Adam has lost.

Later on in the night, Brett continues to talk with Amanda, and Adam is seen leaving with his friends.

A week later, Amanda has a date set up with Adam, and Brett? She is blocking Brett’s calls and texts. Why is that?

Guys sometimes think that they’ve lost completely when they see the initial scenario of the Amanda, Adam, Brett chaos. Brett acted like a jerk, Amanda took note of it. She was courteous to both men, but women are NOT stupid. We can often recognize actions and behaviors that scream “JERK”. Sometimes, in moments of stupidity and unfounded hope, we think his jerk-symptoms might go away. But more than often, we know that he will continue to be a jerk, and most women will not want to put up with that type of crap. We realize our value and understand that we also have 50% of the stock shares. So if you’re being a jerk, then we’re pulling out our investment shares. Off to another fund.

2. Bart and Dave are friends. They are at a party together. Both have a small crush on their friend Sandy. Bart starts making jokes about Dave and using him as a punch line. Dave can only smile weakly but he’s burning with anger at his “friend” Bart. Sandy is politely smiling and nodding, but inside she’s thinking “Wow, what a mean guy. Some of his jokes are kinda tasteless. And at the expense of his friend?”

What guys forget sometimes is that women ARE sensitive creatures, so when you do things like bash on your friends or bash on things/topics/people, women are more than likely to be a bit offended. (Disclaimer: if you are the type that are not offended, great, good for you. I’m just stating an average of women that I observe.) So if a guy seems like he’s getting all the attention, being the loud and boisterous one, putting down the other guys. Don’t worry too much, she’s probably wincing every time he makes a crude remark and a stupid punchline.

3. Jeff and Jean went on a date. Jean started dating George. Jeff and George are coworkers and share many mutual friends.

Jean started spreading horrid things of Jeff. Also saying that she felt so bad for poor Jeff, now that she’s with George, it must break his poor little heart.

Jeff had no idea that all their friends had heard things from Jean. Jeff is a good guy and has many friends. One of them confronted and told him what was going on and tried to verify if all these rumors were true. They weren’t. It came out that Jean had spread mean rumors of Jeff because she wanted a relationship with Jeff, but Jeff told her after the first date that he wasn’t interested. Truth comes out.

Jean is now just seen as a joke and also someone who has ill-intent. And for Jeff, well, his reputation and friends are unharmed.

Even when the girl is the one who is beating on the guy… Good guys still WIN THE FINAL RACE.