The Dating Scene: Are You Coming On Too Strong?

by Editorial

The four signs you’ve tipped your hand and scared him off.
By Jess McCann


Ladies, are you coming on too strong?

Angie Barry may be sitting at lunch across from me, but she’s a million miles away. On the table, next to her iced tea is her cell phone, which she glances at every minute and a half. She’s waiting for a text back from Steve, a guy she went out with for the first time last night.

They went to Buddha Bar, had a nice bottle of red and shared some wok-fried beef. It was more than the one drink they had previously decided on, which Angie took as a good sign. They said goodnight around ten, and as she walked back to her 6th street apartment, she took out her cell phone and sent Steve a text.  Thanks again for dinner! I had a great time.  Let’s do it again soon!

Fifteen hours and twenty-two minutes later, Steve has still not texted back.  Angie is confused, albeit furious at his obvious lack of text etiquette.

“It’s just rude to make me sit here and panic. Why would he hold out for this long,” she asks me.

I don’t want to tell her the truth. I don’t want to tell her that Steve is not holding out. Steve is just moving on.

Did You Tip Your Hand?

When you first start dating someone, it’s important to keep that element of the chase going for as long as possible.  Most guys want and need to feel like they are pursuing you, at least for a little while. So while I advocate women making certain moves of their own, it’s important not to tip your hand and come on too strong.  Men are just as perceptive as we are and there are a few tell-tale signs of overt interest we’re frequently guilty of giving.

The Follow-Up Text

It seems like a harmless nicety, an innocuous thank you note that simply signifies proper behavior. But truth be told, the follow-up text is loaded with intel. You may think last night’s date went swimmingly, but how do you really know? Your date is certainly not going to get up in the middle of the conversation and declare his lack of interest in you. The only way for you to be sure that he wants to see you again is to wait for the follow-up text from him. It’s a clear sign of interest. Don’t beat him to the punch because he knows the drill too well. If he likes you, he will want to text you. Thus, if you text him, he knows exactly what that means and the chase is then over.

Fight the urge to follow up by thanking him before you part ways.  Tell him you had fun, give him a hug, and go home.

I Saw On Your Facebook Page…

Never, ever, under any circumstances start a sentence with, “I saw on your Facebook page…” Doesn’t matter what the next line is. “…you went out of town…you had knee surgery… Today is your birthday.” The reason you are stalking this man does not disguise the fact that you are, without a doubt, stalking him. If he’s someone you’ve only been out with a handful of times he will suddenly have the urge to de-friend you and your all seeing eye.

A good rule of thumb is to hold off on adding him as a friend for as long as possible.  If you don’t have the discipline not to stalk, this may be your only hope.

You “Lol” Too Much

How often does he really say something so funny it has you laughing out loud? Kasey, a Georgetown graduate student,  finds herself “Lol-ing” in every email, text, and instant message. She says she is mostly afraid that she will be misunderstood, and uses it to keep the mood light.

“Not only do I use “Lol”  as a response, I use it at the end of my own sentences,” she says. “I wouldn’t want something I said jokingly to be taken the wrong way.  If I caveat everything I say with that acronym, I feel at less anxious and worried about how the guy will perceive me.”

It may make Kasey feel better, but how does it make her look? Insecure? Uncertain? Self-conscious?

People often laugh too much when they are uncomfortable.  So too many “Lol’s” could tell a guy he makes you nervous. Better to just risk saying what you want to say without laughing out loud.  Let him be the one to worry about your tone, not you.

Double Texting

You’ve texted him an hour ago and haven’t gotten a response.  You wonder what he must be doing that is keeping him so occupied. You are itching to send another text. Maybe he didn’t hear his phone chime the first time? Maybe it was noisy? Maybe he got distracted and forgot he meant to answer you?  The reason doesn’t really matter.  If a guy doesn’t text you back, you cannot and should not, text him again. Once you text twice in a row, it’s blatantly obvious you are into him.

Remember that in the beginning, dating is like Chess. You each get to make one move and then you have to wait. Waiting stinks, but much like Chess, it’s unthinkable to move twice without the other person taking their turn. Your only option is to sit and wait, and wait and wait.  Moving again because you’ve grown impatient will only get you thrown out of the game.

A Two Time Offender

After an hour of sitting at lunch Angie decides to text Steve again. Her logic? Well, there really isn’t any. The notion that he’s not interested doesn’t enter the realm of possibility. Something must be wrong with him, with his phone, or with his sketchy cell service. She sends a second message asking him what he’s up to today.

“It’s just a short text,” she tells me. “I’m just being friendly. There is no pressure in asking what you’ve got going on today.”

Angie puts her cell phone down and takes a sip of her iced tea. She now glances at her phone every thirty seconds until we pay the bill and leave.  Some people never learn.


author-jess-mccann_previewJess McCann is an author, speaker, and dating coach who knows what it’s like to be on the other side of the fence. Before finding love and writing, You Lost Him at Hello: a saleswoman’s secrets to closing the deal, she was confused, self-conscious and alone. Since then, she has coached women all over the globe on how to kick their love life into high gear and get the relationship they have always wanted. She’s appeared on national television shows, such as Good Morning America, The Fox Morning show with Mike & Juliet and speaks frequently at women’s rallies, college campuses and lifestyle events.

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