Posts Tagged ‘ Dating 101 ’

Let Me Hear You


Several months ago, I promised that GreatDateSpot.com would be making a return soon. While we are still toiling away at revamping the site, I have been diligently taking notes on all the new ideas I’ve had over the last 9 months of what would make a good post here. But I thought I’d take a moment and throw this out there to you guys… This is a blog dedicated to encouraging couples and singles in any stage of their relationship to date well- whether your entertaining the idea of starting to date or are already married- we want to do relationships well.

Also- for those of you in the Ohio River Valley area, this is a place to come get ideas for dates.

So what do you want to talk about? What’s your best kept secret for dating? What’s your favorite date spot in the area?

Leave a comment and let me know.

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5 Ways to Navigate The Land Between…in Dating


Have you ever been in that spot with a girl and you aren’t quite ready to ask her out yet, but you definitely like her.  You know that spot… you guys really connect.  She’s easy to talk to.  You enjoy being with her.  The fact that she’s pretty hot doesn’t hurt anything.  But you’re not sure if you’re ready to make the big leap and full on ask her out.  You’re not sure if you like her that much?  Then my friend, you are in the Land Between.

Check out this picture.  What’s going on here?  Are they dating?  Maybe not…they aren’t exactly “next to” each other.  But he definitely looks like he could be “in to” her.  Maybe she’s still figuring it out.  But she’s not making an excuse to leave.  So what’s going on here?  Are they in the Land Between?

Last week I wrote a post about what to do when its time to tell her that you love her.  It was something a good friend of mine was going through and it got me to thinking about when that time came for me and Penny.  Well…this week I was working on a project with a different friend and he was telling me about some time he had recently spent one on one with a girl that he’s been into for a while.  It wasn’t a “date” per-say, but it felt very date-ish.  He’s still not quite ready to ask her out, but he’s definitely interested.  And he wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.  And I remember that time really well for Penny and I as well.

It really is a sort of Land Between.  What it doesn’t mean is that it’s time for the big “What is this” discussion.  I know it may seem like a good idea to have that Define-The-Relationship discussion at that point, afterall, its a good thing to be on the same page, isn’t it.  Sure it is.  In fact, I’d say that’s exactly what you want- to be on the same page.  To have everything above board and on the table.

We all know the pain of unspoken attraction and the confusion of an ambiguous relationship.  But the problem with those sort of discussions, with these DTR’s at this point, is that it goes beyond getting on the same page and forces both individuals to be in the same place.  And if they aren’t- then awkwardness ensues.

But how does that work.  I mean, look at the progress of relationships, it goes from attraction to dating…right?  Perhaps not.  Let me toss out a step in between, (thus The Land Between) that I think will help out everybody a lot!  It’s a stage that I think naturally exists, but some people want to skip over it all together.  That’s no good.  That stage exists for a reason.  And you want to take full advantage of each stage.  Don’t rush through the stage your on (I’d also say don’t linger either, but that’s another post).

This stage is what I call BEING INTENTIONAL.  So what does Being Intentional look like?  Well, it starts when you find yourself in this stage of- I think I like her, but I’m not sure I’m ready to full on ask her out just yet.  I just want to get to know her better.  It’s a time when you aren’t exclusively dating, but you do hang out a lot, especially in groups of people.  Maybe you’re hanging out with a group of people you wouldn’t otherwise hang out with.  You are really just getting to know each other.  When you go out with a group, you are intentionally in the same car.  You sit near her at the restaurant.  From time to time, you may even go out on a date, but for the most part, its not dating by yourselves.  The whole point is to get to know her to see if she’s someone you want to date.  It’s such a great stage to be on.

And like I said with How to Tell Her I Love You, you need to freakin’ tell her that’s where you are.  Ambiguity in a relationship never serves it well.  But you also want to make it ok for her to not be there at the same time.  That is a rule that will serve you well all throughout your relationship with her.

What does that talk look like with her?  It’s simple- but not easy-

1) Pick neutral ground to tell her. You don’t want her feeling trapped in your territory or feeling like her territory has been invaded.  It needs to be a safe place for her.  Keep it a public place.  You definitely want a place where the two of you can talk by yourselves, but not a place where your cloistered in a small room or car.  For me, it was in the auditorium at church after most people had cleared out but some people were still milling around.

2) Tell her what you like about her. This is a good way to start the conversation.  Is she easy to talk to?  Does she share similar interests?  I remember when my friends asked me what was the biggest attraction factor I had for Penny, my answer was that she was almost as big of a smart a** as I was.  She kept up with me and all my antics.  It was so much fun.  What is it for you?  Tell her specifically.

3) Let her know that you’re interested. Don’t skip this step.  This is the clarifying statement and the whole reason for having this talk in the first place.  Be really clear.  You like hanging out.  You see that there is some attraction and it could possibly one day be something more.  That’s what you’re interested in finding out. You can end this with, “I’d like to be intentional about getting to know you better.”

4) Tell her how you want to Be Intentional.  Tell her what “Being Intentional” looks like to you.  This is where you’ll dispel all doubt about your intentions.  Tell her you want to be intentional about hanging out around her.  Going to the groups she goes to.  Sitting near her.  Being intentional about talking with her.  In other words- taking the actual steps to get to know her better.  Not stalking her, just getting to know her.

5) Get her permission. Now this may sound cheesy, but there may be a boyfriend she hasn’t told you about.  The words are simple- “Is that ok with you?”  She’ll let you know one way or the other.  No harm no foul here, you just didn’t know and never-the-less, you guys still clicked, that’s why you needed to have this conversation.  Maybe she just got out of a relationship.  Or maybe that’s exactly where she is.  This is the part where its really ok for her to NOT be there yet.

So what do you do if she’s not there yet- reassure her that its really ok.  You just wanted to let her know where you were.  You can tell her that you are indeed still interested, and when she is ready, then she can let you know.

The great thing about this is that its a win-win.  Cause if she says that its all good, then great.  This actually begins your pursuit of her.  If not, then you have clarified some things.  If she is flirting with you and shouldn’t be, then this will let her know.  You also haven’t gone to any weird places yet, so you really still can be friends.  And if she does eventually get there, then she’ll know its safe to come back and let you know.

The Land Between- Being Intentional- call it whatever you may, but its a great stage to be in.

Weekly Featured Date: Kitchen Witches by The Studio Players


That’s right, the Weekly Featured Date is back!  And I’m excited to have a line up of lots of new and exciting GreatDateSpots around Central Kentucky and the Tri-City area coming at you!  And to kick it off is what Penny and I are doing tonight.

Now, whether or not you live in the Central Kentucky region, one of the best Dates anywhere , and most affordable too, is taking in some local theater.  The great thing is that when you do local theater, you have several options to choose from.  Usually there is a high school play happening somewhere around you.  While the acting may not always be stellar, they certainly have a bit of nostaglia to them.  But I challenge you to look deeper and check out the Community Theater in your town.

I like plays.  I like plays a lot.  I like plays for DateNights even more.  And for several reasons, mostly because its a lot like going to see a movie, but very different at the same time.  Sure, you’re in a theater, with lots of people you don’t know, watching a story unfold before your eyes.  Its great for getting cozy with that special someone.   Rarely will you be in a theater with other people you know, which creates such a great, unique shared experience for the two of you.  But plays can be so much more fun- for one thing, there is a bond that happens between actor and audience, especially in the intimate setting of community theater.  It’s sort of an inside-joke that we all know what we are seeing isn’t real, but we are agreeing to suspend reality and just go with it.  When mistakes happen, we are drawn in even more to see how they will recover, and often add a level of charm that we would never get from a movie. Also, community theater tends to afford us the opportunity to break out of the same ole plays we see over and over again.  Let’s face it, sometimes they suck and there’s a reason this play never hit the big time.  But more often than not, these plays really are unfound gems.

Which is exactly what I’m hoping for tonight as this is exactly what Penny and I will be doing for our DateNight tonight.  We will be heading out tonight to see The Studio Players take on Canadian playwright Caroline Smith’s Kitchen Witches.  The premise is that we have two women, one ambitious, professional and self-promoting and the other a stay-at-home mom with country skillz who both happened to have loved the same man are forced to work together for a local cooking show.  I’m looking forward to what can only mean a lot of quick-witted banter and blows back and forth as these two polar-opposite forces collide.

For anyone around who’s interested, the Studio Players are based out of the Carriage House Theater on the property of the Bell House right off E Main Street.  Shows are at 8:00 and tickets are $16.  Check out the review from Lexgo.com for more info.  And if you do get to go, be sure to come back and leave a comment, let us what you thought of the show!

Gift Idea:: The 12 Daytz of Christmas


I ran across this idea earlier today and I just had to share.  Our friends over at the Dating Divas have come up with a rather unique idea for a Christmas gift this season that could really mean a lot to your spouse or dating partner.  While I’m not a big scrapbooker, I absolutely believe in the idea of PLANNING and getting your date nights scheduled, so much so that its part of The Fifth Commandment of Dating.

Now, generally speaking, I hold to DateNights happening at least once a week and are usually planned by the guy.  For that, I believe this gift idea can be utilized by either Men or Women and here’s how:

MEN:: I realize that sometimes once a week can be tough to go out on the town, especially if you have kids or funds are really tight- or both: to which I say, get creative and make it happen.  But if it can’t, at least once a week, make sure you’re grabbing some couch time for a couple hours and spend that time with the TV off and the kids not around, and be connecting.  Here’s the kicker- those can count as DateNights.  If that’s the situation you find yourself in, then perhaps you would benefit from a Special DateNight once a month- you know, those times when you get a babysitter, save up some cash like you did in high school, and then go out.  So how about for Christmas, you plan out 12 dates, one for each month. -OR- If you already have a weekly DateNight, how about 12 of those become “special” DateNights, and I’ll let you decide what the word “special” means to you in your context.  But You’ll have to go to the Dating Diva’s site how to make the gift.

WOMEN:: It is no easy task to be the one who is always planning out the DateNights (not easy, but still a joy).  How about giving your man the gift of a break, when you step up and take the reigns once a month to plan the DateNights.  There are so many benefits to you planning the DateNights, but mostly it gets you involved in this aspect of the relationship and even gives you a bit more investment.  It would be a great gift.  And again, you’ll have to head over to the Dating Diva’s to see how to make the gift.

Give the gift of Dating this Christmas.  And if you have any ideas how to tweak this or customize this for yourself, be sure to leave a comment and share with the class!

And show some love to our friends at Dating Diva’s by visiting their site : www.thedahlingdatingdivas.blogspot.com

It’s the Last Day to Vote


Hey guys, in case you haven’t heard, GreatDateSpot.com has been nominated as a finalist for one of the Top-Ten Marriage Blogs of 2010.  This has been such a great honor for GreatDateSpot and has had a HUGE impact on the readership of this blog.  It has also led to some very fun other stuff going on behind-the-scenes that I can’t wait to tell you about.  This truly has been HUGE in the life of this fledgling little blog.

Anyway, with all that said- TODAY, December, 14th, is the last day to cast your vote.  So do me a favor and head over to www.themarryblogger.com and vote for GreatDateSpot.com to be one of the Top Ten Blogs of 2010!

To my readers, thanks for your support over the last year.  It has been tremendous.  I love bumping into you and hearing how what you’re reading is helping or changing things for you in your dating or marriage relationship, and sometimes even in your spiritual life.

As for me, I can’t believe that my first year of marriage is already almost over.  Just yesterday I was looking at somethings to do for our first anniversary which is coming super quick like.  I’m excited to see what Year Number 2 has in store and what new things I’ll be learning.

But in all of that, if you haven’t voted yet, take a moment to do so.  I really appreciate it!

http://www.themarryblogger.com/marriage/the-top-10-marriage-blog-finalists-for-2010/

Weekly Featured DateNight- Shadowbox Live, Holiday Ed.


Shadowbox, Live was one of the very first Weekly Featured DateNights here on GreatDateSpot.com.  But that was for their Halloween Show.  I have to admit, I had never been before, but it sounded cool and made it as a Featured Date.  I think it was a week later that Penny and I actually got to go, and I tell you what…it was one of the funnest (most fun?) things we have done in a while.  Think Saturday Night Live meets a restaurant where your waiters and waitresses are the performers you see on stage (both in the skits and in the band).  With songs ranging from Pearl Jam to the Eagles, and mix in a little raucousness and some PG-13 humor, it was a really fun night.

With all that said, this weekend kicks off the new Christmas show at Shadowbox, Live, Holiday Hoopla, and Penny and I are there tonight!  Can’t wait to see the changes for this show.  That’s what makes Shadowbox Live appear for the second time on this spot- its a new show, new fun!  Hope you guys can join us.  If you get to go, let us know.  we’d love to know your thoughts.

If you need more info about Shadowbox Live, click here.

Merry Christmas and Happy Dating!

Alone in a Relationship


Last week I received a message from an old friend asking if we could get together.  She needed some advice from a “man’s perspective.”  We had the opportunity to get together today and caught up on what was going on with each other.  And coming out of that conversation, there are a ton of thoughts swirling around my head, but one stands out above the rest:: I am so thankful for the rich community that Penny and I not only get to live in today, but that we got to go through our season of dating together as well.

As my friend and I talked, she told me how she was absolutely in love with the man that she is with now.  They’ve been together almost a year, and he is so far and above different than any other man she ever been with before, that she couldn’t imagine being with anyone else.  But there was something that has been bothering her over these last couple of months.  Now that all the warm fuzzies of a new relationship have worn off and they find themselves settling into a rhythm, they are finding the rhythm has turned into a rut.  The more we talked, the more what I was hearing her say beyond anything else was that she knows that he loves her, but she doesn’t often feel it.  That, unfortunately, he has stopped pursuing her.  He loves her, he has committed himself to her (but hasn’t put a ring on it yet, so keep it in perspective), and she should know that.  And as a guy, I really get where he is coming from.  But it doesn’t translate well to her heart.  So she pushes in to try to make him understand that she is feeling a gap, hoping that he will respond.  But what she doesn’t see is that he is responding, in a very guy way.  Occasionally, the way he responds does connect to her heart, but usually it only serves to frustrate her more.

As I listened, I thought back to several times in Penny’s and my dating relationship, and even now that we are married, and all the times that we did something that was frustrating or didn’t seem to connect with each other…and at first I couldn’t think of much, but the more I thought, the more I realized that we have had and continue to have the same issues as my friend and her boyfriend.  But in almost every circumstance, I reached back to sitting in the garage of my LifeGroup leader, Michael (who would later be one of my groomsmen), hashing out what was going on, what was confusing and frustrating.  I thought about my ministry team leader at church, Lorelei, who, as a girl, gave me incredibly great insight into the liv

es and hearts of women and decoded a lot for me.  I thought of a great mutual friend that both Penny and I loved and loved us, Rebekah, who had eyes on us as a couple and wasn’t afraid to ask the hard questions, as well as encourage us in the things we were doing right.  And Penny had Megan, her own LifeGroup leader, that I knew she was constantly talking to (Megan would also be in our wedding). And I realized something- Penny and I were surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses of people who had nothing to gain from our relationship, they just loved us enough to love us.

So I asked the question to my friend, “Who do you have in your life that is having eyes for you both individually and as a couple?  Who has permission to slap you upside the head when you’re being stupid, and call the best out of you?”  And her answer… “No one,” she whispered as she shook her head.

You see, this guy hadn’t stopped loving my friend.  He just doesn’t have anyone in his life to hit him upside the head and say, “Hey, how about you not hang out with the boys tonight and go hang out with her.”  She doesn’t have anyone in her life to say, “Hey, you know how he said this thing and it frustrated you, do you hear how actually romantic it is.?”  They are doing this relationship alone.  Sure, they have each other, but they don’t have anyone else with them in the middle of it.

Here’s the thing, we were never meant to do any of this life alone.  We aren’t ring-bearers and most of us aren’t named Frodo.  We are designed and meant to do life- to do relationships, in community, with other people around.  It’s what I was talking about in the 10 Things I’ve Learned About Dating :: #7- Date in Community. You don’t have to be alone.  You won’t be better off for it either.  Get people around you.

So how’s it going with you?  I ask you the same question I asked my friend, Do you have anyone in your life that has eyes for you individually and as a couple?  Who has permission to slap you upside the head and cheer you on at the same time?  Leave a comment and let us know.

(PS- Thanks again to Michael, Megan, Lorelei, Rebekah, Todd, Michael R, Ginny, Brad, Jonny, Elijah, Sarah, Harlan, Mike, Teri, and so so many more who were and are part of the community that Penny and I get to do life with.  You guys rock!)