It wasn’t that long ago that I was single. I’m 32 now, but I was still single when I turned 30!

I was single for about 60% of my 20s. On and off a few years here and there. I met Dan almost 6 months after I turned 30.

As much I love my husband to be (the Danager) I must say, before him, I had a great dating life. Not to say I didn’t have moments like “When am I going to meet my future hubby? I’m sick of this shit!”… I did. BUT. When I look back on my dating life, I’m like… that was a really great run. The quality of men I went out with was always high and there was always purpose in each date. Like even if I didn’t end up liking the guy, I always got an interesting conversation out of it. Learned something. Got to flex my flirt muscle. Or maybe (rarely)…. might actually end up really liking someone! Good dates!

Did I have a few dates that sucked?…….. You might not believe me, but not really. I had maybe two dates that genuinely felt like a waste of time. And there is only one guy I mostly regret dating more seriously.

My dates were almost always worthwhile.

And here’s why. I screened everyone.  Big time. Really took the time to decide whether or not someone was worthy of my time to meet up with. I have an exact method of what I’d do each time.

Being Single In Quarantine

Whether I met a person for the first time on an app or in real life and we exchanged numbers…. there was this unspoken…. I don’t want to say obstacle course? But… okay, an obstacle course (lol) that men would have to get through before I would go on a date with them.

It would usually go something like this:

First, 1-2 FULL weeks of texting. Usually one, sometimes two. Do we have good texting compatibility? Do you text too much or too little aka how much time do you have when it comes to getting to know me? Will you pass my deal-breaker questions?

Deal breaker questions. I asked after the first or second string of banter back and forth. Some might think it’s too soon to ask those but I think: I don’t want to waste my time OR yours. I’m never looking for a hookup, I don’t need guy friends… so clearly if I’m giving you attention and it’s not work-related, I’m viewing YOU as a potential. So answer my questions so I can decide right off the bat if these deal breakers are something I can agree to SHOULD we work out.

I get that not everything is black and white- BUT SOME THINGS ARE BLACK AND WHITE. That’s okay!

For instance, I believe in God. It was okay for me if someone didn’t believe in God but if they hated God, or couldn’t support someone believing in God… that’s pretty black and white, wouldn’t you say? (One example.)

Back to texting. Like it or not, it’s a modern form of communication. I know not everyone is great at texting but HOW YOU TEXT does say something about you. And the very beginning of dating definitely is an information-gathering period, no? BTW, if you’re “not good at texting”— that says something about you!

Second, we move to a phone call. ALWAYS a phone call before I commit to a date. Sometimes a phone call would happen after only a few days of texting. Especially if the guys preferred the phone over texting. Or our texting was *that* good that we wanted to move to a phone call right away. BUT ALWAYS A PHONE CALL.

There was maybe only a FEW times where a phone call didn’t happen. And if that didn’t happen, there was usually weeeeks of texting before a date. But rarely did this happen! I am strict about the phone call.

Yes, some guys would be like, “Really? A phone call?” And I’d be like, “Yes! I always have a call before the first date!” The thing is– why they always agreed to this, was that I kept it flirty and fun. Never like an interview.

I can’t even tellllll you how many what would have been wasted dates I saved myself from because we did a phone call first. A phone call is low commitment. 30 min to an hour, maybe more if you’re both on a roll (which, that’s fun!) But you can do it in pajamas. No makeup. After a workout class. Laying in bed. You don’t have to uber or drive anywhere. You don’t have to put on makeup.  It doesn’t cost anything. It’s not a large time commitment.

….And you figure out so much.

If we can’t have a great conversation on the phone, we probably won’t have great conversation in person. If you are annoying me on the phone, you will probably annoy me in person. If I find you charming over text but suddenly you’re not on our phone call…. dang- aren’t I glad I didn’t go out on a date with this guy? That would have been time and money I would have rather spent elsewhere!

DON’T SKIP A PHONE CALL!

Dating is a numbers game. You gotta keep trying and trying and trying until you find the one. Don’t settle-  I don’t give a flying frick HOW LONG it takes. Keep your standards high baby HIGH. They do NOT drop. Okay?

You’re not doing yourself any favors if you let them drop. Keep YOU number one. That looks like high standards for the guy you’ll eventually give your heart to.

Screening and asking deal-breaker questions up front will save you a lot of time and money btw.

Most guys appreciated that I asked deal-breaker questions up front. They thought I was bold and that it was kind of cute. I presented it in a fun way, but also like “Yes I’m f*cking serious” hehe. They always obliged.

And yeah- sometimes it meant a guy I was excited about suddenly pulled a deal breaker on me. Had to give em up!

Good thing I found out before date three or four- right? 😉

If we had a good phone call– then came the first date.

Dating During Quarantine

BUT KATEY- I’M IN QUARANTINE! Do I just phone and face time for weeks or months?

Yes! Don’t take time off from dating unless you want to. Here’s why I think you’re at an advantage right now.

Talking on the phone for hours on end? You really get to know someone. The act of pure conversation and nothing distracting you is soul driven. Mind driven. Heart driven.

Oh you know, just the things that REALLY matter in a person.

There are no physical distractions with phone calls. That can be powerful!

The night Dan and I met, we only had a few hours of interaction. And half of my attention was with the girlfriends I was out with!

We didn’t meet up until five months after we met.

We often joke that we fell in love over the phone.

Over the phone we learned about each other’s childhoods. Embarrassing stories. Victories. Our fears, past traumas. How we spend our days, who the people are in our daily life and whether we think we’d get along with them or not. Our likes, dislikes. Nearly everything under the sun, we talked about.

And it drew us closer. By the time I went out to visit him, it really felt like we knew each other and it was so, so sweet.

There is potential during this quarantine people!! You are in a unique situation to either one: Potentially find love. Or two, at the very least, line up some great dates for when this is all over.

I HAVE OTHER PERSONAL STATS FOR YOU:

The last 3 guys I dated seriously (yes Dan is one of them)- we didn’t have a first date for months. It was all “falling for each other” over the phone before date one! Those are stories for other times but I was in unique situations (one even kinda like quarantine) where the phone was all I had to get to know a guy!

Use this time to your advantage. I know it’s tough. I know the privilege couples have right now. I’m not denying that. But reframe how you’re viewing this quarantine and dating if you’re starting to feel down.

Also, half the time I am very jealous of single people during this time! Dan and I live in a one bedroom apt and I can’t get space to save my liiiiife. 😛 Perspective!