The other night I was sitting across the table from a man I’m currently dating, and he said something that caught me off guard.
“I like how you know what you want. And how you aren’t afraid to slow things down between us. I don’t experience this often…”
I was surprised to hear him say this, because many of the women I know prefer to take things slowly when getting to know someone. And while there is no “right way” to go about dating, a lot can be said for the slow dating movement that’s been picking up steam these past few years.
What is slow dating?
At its core, the definition of slow dating is getting to know fewer people at the same time, so you can stay present with and thoroughly evaluate the quality of the connection.
It’s also a backlash against the frenetic way people have been encouraged to connect on dating apps. You know the drill, swipe, match!, dopamine hit, send a couple flirty messages, then poof! disappear.
The Slow Movement has been going strong in many areas of life for over a decade now, (slow food, slow sex, etc.) and I’m glad to see it is gaining momentum in the area of romance.
Although my definition of slow dating is a bit different than the one above (I like to keep my options open), I’ve always been a fan of intentionally pacing intimacy so that you are able to make better decisions about any person you bring into your life (and bed!)
So, in this blog I’d like to share 5 tips that will help you incorporate this style of dating into your life.
Tip One: Date Against Type
When someone says they don’t have a “type” I’m truly amazed. I wish I could say the same was true for me, but I’d be kidding myself. If a guy is tall, handsome, a bit rough around the edges, and looks like he could use a shower, it stops me dead scroll. EVERY TIME. (What can I say? I’m a Highlander kind of gal.)
But when I recently noticed that most of the men in my dating feed (who were worthy of a right swipe) didn’t look this way, I reset my priorities.
Dating against type is difficult for most of us because sexual chemistry is a complicated and hardwired phenomenon. It’s not that “going for what you like” is bad or shallow. It’s more of a question of who is presenting themselves as available and your priorities. Is holding out for your perfect physical specimen more important than connecting with someone who is kind, available, empathetic, and generous?
I say not.
The other reason why it’s smart to date against type is it can help you bypass old relational patterns. Dating against type tends to blow the field of possibility wide open, and when you expand the number of options you have to choose from, well, that’s always a good thing.
Speaking of options, check out this bit of intel:
Research is showing that men swipe right (i.e., like) women’s profiles 70% percent of the time; while women swipe right on men’s profiles only 4% of the time. That means if you are a woman and you see 100 profiles, you are only opening to possibility with 4 men. FOUR OUT OF A HUNDRED?
What earns that right swipe is different for all of us, but if the main reason you’re not swiping is because of what you’re seeing in his profile photo, maybe it’s worth taking a second look.
The gentleman I’m seeing right now is handsome and considerate, but he is also more buttoned up and conservative in appearance than the men I’m usually attracted to. (Thankfully, I swiped right on his profile anyway.)
The point is this: just because someone is not your “type” doesn’t mean they can’t be The One. So why not say yes to that cute redhead, even if tall, dark and handsome is your usual cup of tea? He just might surprise you 😉
Tip Two: Date in an Emotionally Sober Way
No one loves a good old fashion fairytale more than me, yet when it comes to modern mating, doing it in an emotionally sober way makes a lot of sense. What does emotionally sober dating mean? It means you deepen the connection and pace intimacy in a very mindful way.
This can be trickier than you think. Here’s an example from my own life:
A couple weeks into dating a new guy (no, not the one I mentioned above, I’m “duty” dating several men right now) I began receiving “good morning beautiful” text messages from him. The first time he sent one, I felt flattered and texted back a note of appreciation at the gesture. It was really sweet.
But then a couple days later he sent one again. And then again a few days after that; until finally, it became a daily ritual.
After I checked in with myself, I realized that this flirtatious morning exchange was not something I was ready for. And so, the next time I saw him in person, I let him know that although I appreciated his thoughtfulness, I wasn’t ready for this level of daily touching base. I told him if he wanted to continue dating me, he would have to stop sending me “good morning beautiful” text messages (at least for now).
See what I mean? It can be tricky naming boundaries, especially when they are around sweet gestures coming too fast and too soon. However, when you commit to dating in an emotionally sober way, you avoid prematurely over investing in the wrong person.
Here are 5 more emotionally sober dating tips:
- Keep the frequency (and raciness) of your text exchanges in check.
- Leave some space in between get togethers.
- Beware of the “too soon” PDA trap.
- Plan group outings to see how your dynamic works in social situations.
- Keep your options open (and be transparent about it.)
Tip Three: Invite Your Suitors to Court You
If someone you like shows an interest in getting to know you off your devices, invite them to court you from the get-go. Time investment is the #1 indicator of a man who is seriously interested in getting to know you better.
For better or worse, we are now living in an “attention economy” and stopping the scroll (i.e., actually reading someone’s profile before messaging) takes more time and effort than it does to simply look at a photo and swipe left, right, up or down, (double tap, super-like, do the hokey pokey, you get it.)
More important than that initial quick match, is how things progress in real life #IRL.
If your suitor only communicates via text, let him know that you would appreciate an old fashion voice mail every now and then. See how he responds. If you are only getting invitations to “Netflix and Chill” tell him you would like to take things more slowly and would enjoy spending time with him on a proper date. See how he responds.
The key is rather than making someone wrong for being “forward” or “lazy,” make a generative request and see how they respond. If he’s truly interested, courting you will be something he’ll happily do. (And by the way, courting is not about gender roles, it’s about wooing someone you’re sweet on, showing that person interest, and getting to know them by investing time and attention. In other words, slow dating.)
Some men will initiate courting without any nudging on your part. Others may need a bit of encouragement. In any case, if a long-term relationship is what you’re ultimately after, inviting your suitors to court you will help you figure out who is available, who is not, and who is saying they are, but really isn’t.
Tip Four: Don’t Plan the Wedding on Date 3
Okay, I know this tip is a bit of an LOL, but it’s easier to do than you think. ?
Let’s say 7 months into a dry spell, you finally meet someone you’re gaga about. You almost gave up on men and then BAM! There he is. He sent you the cutest intro message on Tinder (What? it can happen) and he actually read your profile. After a few conversations back and forth you make plans to meet. On your first date you walk into your favorite coffee shop and your eyes lock.
He. looks. like. his. profile. picture.
He stands up, smiles, and hands you a cup of your favorite desert coffee (which you had mentioned deep in the bowels of your bio), and it’s exactly the temperature you like. Your heart skips a beat.
Fast forward three weeks and, he’s full-on courting you. You’ve been slow dating, placing healthy boundaries, having fun outings, had an amazing first kiss, and even his dog loves you!
One Saturday morning while in the checkout line at the grocery store, you see the latest issue “Bridal Guide.” You feel giddy and quickly throw a copy of it on the conveyer belt with the rest of your groceries…
Um, hold on sister.
Two coffee dates plus three dinners? Sorry, that’s not enough information for anybody to know what they want.
Day dreaming about your wedding day, or an Instagram-able proposal in the Grand Canyon is fun, but if you’re doing that with someone you’ve barely met it’s a slippery slope. Try to enjoy the present moment and leave any mental wedding planning to later (much, much later.)
Tip Five: Be assertive.
Once thing I think many women get wrong about slow dating is they think that they have to wait and let the man initiate every interaction. Not so. Every couple is different and you just have to know yourself. If you like the feeling of experiencing someone else taking the lead, by all means let them. But one person always being emotionally responsible for everything in a relationship is not fun!
So, take the initiative sometimes. Assertiveness is not aggressiveness. Assertiveness is confidence. It’s the welcoming of a dialogue. Aggressiveness is debate and defensiveness. As long as you assert yourself without tying emotional weight to the response, it will be a very pleasurable experience for both of you.
“The need for certainty is like a plague these days. We want the comfort of knowing something like we know information from a text book. Life isn’t so cut and dry. The ability to relax, lean back and go with the flow takes strength and courage.”
Wrapping It Up
In this blog post I’ve obviously had a bit of fun describing the ups and downs of modern dating. But if slow dating sounds like something you’d like to try, I highly recommend it. Even though I’m in a place where I’m dating several suitors, I’m really enjoying the pace in which these connections are unfolding.
Dating in an emotionally sober way feels like an entirely new experience for me. I’m in the driver’s seat, yet I feel magnetic, radiant, completely feminine, and open to more possibilities than ever before.
What about you? How is your dating journey going? I would love to hear what you think about the slow dating phenomenon. Is it something you would ever consider doing? Shoot me a quick reply down below and let me know. I’d love to hear back from you!
Join me for Coffee with Cami
Sunday, April 3, 2022 | 10 AM PST
Coffee with Cami is a NO-CHARGE, once-a-month Zoom Coaching Circle where I will share about my current dating journey while providing group coaching as we all up-level our commitments to being visible and actively dating this year (yes, even in during a pandemic).
This 60-minute call is intended to be a structure for women who want to create, not wait! We are not just going to be talking about love and relationships.
I will hold you accountable and support you as you move toward making your vision for love a reality. Let’s come together in gratitude and possibility, staying open to love during this unprecedented time.
Dating apps during COVID-19? Virtual coffee dates with potential matches? Why, yes! We will even take a few minutes during our time together to whip out our cell phones and… you guessed it, SWIPE for 10 minutes!! (If you are not on any dating apps, no worries. I’ll send you a list of the ones I recommend after you’ve signed up.) And you do not need to be on a dating app to join the call.
Come be in the energy of women around the globe honoring their deepest desires for love.
If this is something that speaks to you, all you have to do is sign up and take a short questionnaire so I can learn a little more about you, and the dating topics that interest you most. If you have already filled out the questionnaire you don’t need to do so again. But please do sign up for the link to the call.
Joining the Coaching Circle is complimentary so sign up here.