Ladies, gentlemen and all overly anxious Jewish mothers, I recently had a date that was NOT set up via a dating app. Hey, you have to start somewhere, right? Even better, it was a great date.
We clicked, exchanged small talk pleasantries, seamlessly moved into “big” talk musings and you guessed it, even mutually insinuated the follow up.
After I left, the accolades piled in: emoji congratulations from the roommates, a firm pat on the back from coworkers and most importantly, a day-long Bar Mitzvah-esque smile.
But, often times the emotional high of a quality first date transitions -- almost instantly -- into the emotional low of incredible uncertainty on what's next in the process. For me, when this "low" is added to an already neurotic mind I begin to get ramped up with an endless string of questions.
"Do I text first or wait for them to text me?" "Do we add each other on social media? Which one?"
Facebook is too personal, Snapchat is too ambitious, no one even checks Twitter anymore and if their Instagram account is private you don't want to seem like you went out of your way to search for them. You have a million options to choose from and yet, none of them are good enough.
I longed for the days when all you needed was a quilt, parchment and witty Shakespearean sonnet to further pursue your romantic interest.
Although I was on my own (except for five texts to friends, two-hour dating blog browsing and 30 minutes of mental coin-tossing ), I took a dive into my own creation of the proper steps. Overwhelming? Yes. But impossible? No.
The fact that there is even a process behind the madness is absurd, but here are the five digital steps to take after a first date:
This is the natural first step, it's unavoidable and just has to happen. The waiting game sucks, so my best advice is to go for it (at least by 2pm local time the next day).
Exclaim how great of a time you had the night before, throw in at least one emoji (nothing more serious than :-)) and put on your sales cap with a specific proposal (date, time, place) for date number two.
Ambiguity, as I've found over countless fails, is not your friend.
This is a crucial part of the equation, and I think it's pretty clear that in 2016 Instagram has trumped Facebook as the next step on the date follow-up chain.
With the Instagram FFF (Follow for Follow), you present “you” (the one you fine-touch five separate times) to your date and open the door for them to get a more personal glimpse into your life. Seriously though, this is a quality move in the social media exchange.
I'd wait until date number two, but at the end of the day, this is like a 30 yard pass -- you're not throwing the Hail Mary, but you ain't rushing for a yard either.
The social database.
Instantly find out your mutual friends, biographical snippets and who they're supporting in the election.
Clicking that “add friend” button is no easy feat. It takes bravery, humility and of course, the nonchalance of a pro. Don't fret; you've done this many times before. Your personal network is vital, and opening it up is a big step.
I'd say on the fringe of date number three, this is a solid play.
Snapchat is pretty much the Ferrari of social media dating. You can really ramp it up to the next level here, but you need to also use it wisely. Recklessness can lead to disaster.
It's a deeply personal, collaborative experience. Brace yourself, folks, for the Ferrari. All of the reward in the world, yet all of the risk if used improperly.
We recommend this particular social media exchange to occur pre-Sunday brunch. Time to amp it up for the week.
You are really in the door with this step. If Snapchat is the Ferrari, LinkedIn is the minivan. No, it's not the sexiest network in the world, but damn, is it making a statement about your direction with the relationship.
No longer is your eyesight solely near-sighted, but you are thinking long-term and the minivan is a smooth inkling on the deeper benefits you expect from each other. Career advice, business connections and maybe an “Endorsement,” you're well on your way.
This is like college graduation: A huge responsibility, but still not at the heart of your value proposition.