Current.com recently did a story on how the recession is effecting singles and came up with some surprising findings. When it came to the dating habits of single professionals, they turned to the dating specialists at the It's Just Lunch San Francisco office. Check out the segment here!
When you are asking someone out on that first date, we suggest asking him/her out on a weekday. Busy people tend to fill up their weekends up well in advance. You want to create the opportunity to build on the energy you felt when you had your first conversation with their new person. You don't want to end up scheduling a date two or three weeks out just because weekends are busy for people. Also, it really helps to take away pressure and to allow everyone to be more relaxed when you know that you'll be with the person for a shorter period of time. It can build intrigue too. You get to know a little bit about them, leaving you both wanting to find out more. You can have a couple of great week day dates and then have a longer weekend date as things start to go well.
If you feel nervous about making the first call or writing the first email, just keep it brief. The date is where you get to know someone, and the email is just to arrange the date. Here's an example of a short email:
It was nice meeting you last Thursday. It is amazing how many things we have in common. I am interested to hear what you thought of the new _____ album. Are you available to have dinner on Wednesday or Thursday? I have a good place in mind.
Have a good day,
Now that you have their contact information, it's time to make contact! Although you don't want to sound plastic or rehearsed, be prepared.
If you get them on the phone, just be genuine and upbeat like when you met. You may want to remind him/her of who you are. "Hi John, this is Nancy. We met last weekend at the concert". Now, continue as you usually would with any conversation, "How are you?". A little small talk is fine, but you'll want to keep the call brief and to the point. Your goal is not to get to know them over the phone, it is just to set up a date.
Be prepared in case they don't answer. If you get a voice mail, be sure to leave a message! You don't want to be a pest by calling more than once. Leave a lighthearted message and be sure to leave your phone number. If your number wasn't stored in his/her phone and you didn't leave it, there's no way to call you back and you'll be left wondering what happened. Here's an example of an appropriate voice mail to leave:
"Hi John, this is Nancy. We met at last weekend at the concert. I can't believe you've seen that band as many times as I have! Anyway, I am hoping you'd be available for lunch or dinner this Tuesday or Wednesday. Give me a call at -------. Talk to you soon!" Mention in the message that you would like to get together. This way when they return your call you know they want to get together.
These days it is appropriate to ask someone for either their phone number or an email address since many people use email as their mail form of communication. Don't be shy! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by asking someone for his/her contact information.
You may never see the person again and you don't want to have any regrets! Since part of getting out there is taking risks, it is important to push yourself a little bit beyond your comfort level. If you aren't comfortable asking for information, extend yours. A business card can be a great tool for this. As the conversation comes to its natural close, say "It was nice meeting you, I'd like to get together another time", while handing him/her your business card. "Give me a call sometime" is a great casual way to indicate you would love to see them again.