Archive for June, 2010


Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Paula had been dating Richard for more than a month. He was a newly-retired  IBM executive who, though divorced, still maintained a friendly relationship with his ex-wife. That was a big point in his favor. Divorced men can be bitter. He was kind, considerate, interesting, and fun. Paula had one question about him: Why didn’t he ever attempt to give her a goodnight kiss? What in the world was wrong with him?

Often after their dates, Paula would invite him in. They’d talk. They’d discuss plans for other dates. Then Richard would get up, put on his coat, and leave. At the door, Paula finally asked her question:  “Richard, why don’t you ever kiss me goodnight?” Richard beamed. He seized Paula’s shoulders and kissed her as enthusiastically as if this was the final scene in a $50 million dollar romantic movie. Paula beamed. “That was some kiss,” she said. “Why did you take so long?”

As it happens, it turned out to be Richard’s farewell kiss. Paula was a multi-tasking dater — on as well as eHarmony — and she met someone else who, among other things, was an even better kisser.  If Paula had asked that question sooner, or Richard had been more aggressive, this story could have ended very differently. But he who hesitates gets tossed.


Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

On the phone, Murray sounded  like a nice guy, and since he was in his early 80s, Bernice had no problem inviting him into her home to pick her up for their dinner date. At his age. he was not likely to be a sex — or homicidal — maniac.  When the doorbell rang and he entered, she sat on her couch, and Murray sat on a chair opposite her.

The conversation went well, and they were early for their restaurant reservation, so after 15 minutes or so, Bernice said graciously, “Murray, you’re so far away. Why don’t you sit next to me?”

It was a signal some might have thought “a bit forward.” But Bernice is as honest as young cherry tree chopping George Washington, and doesn’t play games. She was signaling, “So far I kind of like you. Let’s get to know one another better.” It was the first move in what might be called The Chess Game of Love, and the opening gambit of what became a wonderful nine-year relationship.

There are a lot of ways to say, “I kind of like you.” Some women are embarrassed to express them, but they go a long way toward jump-starting a relationship. Men need signals. They clear the air. They eliminate doubt. The man doesn’t have to wonder, “Does she or doesn’t she like me? Am I wasting my time?” They are encouragement to keep phoning and keep ringing that doorbell.

The best signal of all is straightforward, and it can be a great icebreaker. One woman we know opened her door to a first date to find a surprising visitor. Stunned by his good looks, she said, “My goodness. You’re so handsome. You’re almost as good-looking as my husband was.  Come on in.” He laughed. She laughed, and their relationship was off to a good start. The lesson: Don’t hesitate to give a sincere compliment.  And — as long as it’s positive — don’t keep what you’re thinking a secret.