D.C.-area nightlife, events and dining

On Dating: Too Many First Dates

Network News

X Profile
View More Activity
Friday, July 24, 2009

For five years, Laura Zam blazed through online dating profiles in hopes of making a lasting connection with a Washington man. A few relationships bloomed, but mostly she found herself going on first date after first date.

"I went out with this one guy once, and by the next dayat one o'clock, I was beside myself with anxiety," waiting to hear from him, says Zam, 45. "I had to contact him just to diffuse it."

Are second dates the myth of the online dating world, bestowed on the lucky few who meet all the unknowable standards? Are soul-mate seekers faced with daters in it for dinner?

"There are some who are serial daters," says Laurie Davis of the digital-dating coaching service eFlirt Expert, which reworks profiles and answers e-mails for clients. She suggests that signs can be in the profile: Someone with a strong interest in clubs or who throws in sexual innuendos probably isn't seeking a life partner. "People who are looking for love tend to list qualities they are looking for, rather than talk about themselves," she says.

Relationship coach Amy Schoen, who runs the Web site DCDatingInfo, teaches clients to be honest about goals. "I was talking to a girlfriend who was doing online dating, and she was on a first date, and he said immediately, 'I'm not looking to get married,' " she says. "At least he knew where he's coming from."

Zam asked her taciturn suitor for a second go-round, but it would be an understatement to say it didn't go well. "He proceeded to be really mean and belligerent," she says. She realized her assertiveness may have been too much.

Zam -- an actress and writer who turned her online dating into a one-woman show called "Stupid Frailty" -- ultimately did find success. After meeting a man for lunch, he called her (note that he didn't e-mail or text) that night. And they went on a second date, sort of: He came to "Stupid Frailty."

They've been together three years.

Would you start seeing someone who is unemployed? Or is that a deal-breaker? Tell us how economic woes have changed the game. E-mail dating@washpost.com and include your phone number.


© 2009 The Washington Post Company

Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity