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Ask Ava

Dear Ava,

I’m a 48 year old divorced man, with two beautiful daughters who live with me week about.  I have a fine relationship with my ex, who has re-partnered with a nice enough guy. My daughters like him, so that’s all that matters to me.  I’ve been single for five years and have dated via the usual apps. But nothing has lasted longer than two dates. Somehow I don’t seem to be able to get past the first fun of meeting or hooking up. And I think it’s me! The women have been great – just “not that into me”. I am not a player and my relationship with Netflix is becoming unhealthy. Ava, what am I doing wrong?

Dan, confused, Narrabeen

Dear delightful Dan,

Firstly, congratulations on having a respectful relationship with the mother of your children. Your doing this is the most important thing you can do in helping your daughters turn into amazing, empowered women.

And secondly, you are doing nothing wrong. You might need a little bit of advice on how to do a few more things right, but that’s Okay.

Post #METOO, the pros and cons of dating can be very confusing for guys and girls alike. However many of the traditional dating rules and tips are dateless and never change. So, to help out some of our single men like you, and to celebrate my maiden post as the resident relationship columnist for Met Through Friends, here are some of my most important dating tips for lovely men like you:

BE PERSONAL: Don’t email or insta message to ask a woman out on a first date, it sets a poor tone. Charm the opposite sex by asking face to face and if this is not an option, use the phone for a conversation, not a text invitation.

SLOW DOWN: Women need security, and for most online dating involves a level of risk and anxiety. Sex shouldn’t come before you know how to spell her name (first and last, and if you are taking a bit of time, her middle name as well). So, spend some time getting to know her, what she likes, dislikes and perhaps any fetishes you may need to be aware of. Like the need to Spray and Wipe every surface after a romantic dinner (or maybe that’s just my fetish).

TAKE CONTROL: When organising a date with a special someone, always have a time and place in mind. Be confident and make a recommendation. And be graceful if she says no. That means you are learning if you are suited, or not. An always, always make a reservation at a restaurant. Or if a restaurant has a no-reservations policy, choose another. Nothing screams “I’m just not that into you” than getting the table nearest the toilet or having to wait for an hour because you just couldn’t be bothered to book.

KEEP IT LOCAL: And in public… Safety is a woman’s top priority, so let’s help them feel comfortable and make the first few dates in public, locations like local bars, restaurants, local events. And local to her. If you make the effort to travel, or if you meet at a wonderful or quirky city establishment that makes it easier for you both, it shows that you care. And that matters.

CONFIRM WHAT’S SUITABLE FOR HER: Your boss and work colleagues do it every day, so should you… The traditional demands of “I’ll pick you up at your house at 8pm” is long gone and should be replaced with a quick call to confirm a suitable time for you both. Relationships are equal, and ensuring that the time you’ve previously arranged still suits acknowledges that we all have obligations beyond our control and a change in arrangements shouldn’t be taken personally – it’s just life.

SCRUB YOURSELVES UP!: We all appreciate someone who looks and smells like they have made an effort in order to see us. It makes us feel special. So, if you can, please bathe, shave, apply deodorant and a splash of something nice and making sure your clothes are not something your ex bought for your birthday 6 years ago, when she didn’t like you that much.

CONFIDENCE AND MANNERS: First impressions are KEY, especially if this date holds a particular interest, show off your confidence, keep your head up, make clear eye contact and smile. Open the restaurant or UBER door, pull across the chair to allow her to sit down and join the table, let her order first are all old school dating techniques that all women love!!

LETS TALK: Keep the conversation fun and TURN OFF YOUR PHONE: There’s nothing more frustrating than phones ringing and beeping while you’re trying to spend quality time with someone. So, share some fun facts and humorous stories, let her see that you have turned your phone off and show  that you are more interested in getting to know her than the latest footie tips or political story.

SOUND SEXY, NOT SEXIST: Women love compliments, but don’t overdo it. Relate your compliment to a trait, hobby or interest in your date. If she loves to travel, find out more, get her talking on her experiences and compliment her on how well travelled she is, this way you are both complimenting and highlighting the interests you both have in common.

MAKE SURE SHE GETS HOME: A women’s safety is very important to her, making sure she gets in her cab, car or bus shows you care and that you’re a gentleman.

BE HONEST AND DON’T PLAY GAMES: Men and women are constantly complaining about flakiness and ghosting, if your not interested, do not lead her on, it’s that simple… If you do like her, and want to date again, weave it into the conversation the end of the date. Simple say: “I had allot of fun tonight, would you like to met again soon?” and if she says YES, Great stuff, reply with “Brilliant, I’ll call you on Wednesday around lunch time and get something set up”. Then, make that call at that time!

I hope that helps Dan. And Met Through Friends will help you find that special other, so why not come along to our next event?

Love Ava

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