Perfecting Your Online Dating Profile With Laura Hucke
Jordan D’Nelle 0:01
Welcome to Vaginas Vulvas and Vibrators with Jordan D’Nelle. This is a safe place to learn about women’s health and sexual wellness. I’m your host Jordan D’Nelle, physician assistant, women’s sexual health educator and intimacy coach.
On today’s podcast, we are talking all about online dating and specifically online dating profiles. Do you know what makes a strong profile? What immediately turns people off? And how to start the conversation in the DMs? I am really excited for this conversation. As you guys know, I don’t really use online profiles very much, but I enjoy learning all about them. And I know a lot of you have questions on them. I’m really excited for today’s episode.
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Joining me today is Laura Hucke. She is a writer and marketer by day, but an online dating coach at heart. After going from being a total third wheel to getting triple booked for dates. She felt called to help other frustrated singles make a similar transformation. She knows writing about yourself online can be tough. She specializes in helping her clients craft one on one dating profiles and irresistible messages. We all need this in our life. I am so happy to have found her through Instagram. I slid in her DMs, and I cannot wait for her to share with us all her tips. Laura, would you go ahead and tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became an online dating coach?
Laura Hucke 2:59
Absolutely. It’s kind of an organic story. Over time I became the one that all my friends came to for dating and relationship advice. And it’s funny because I was the latest bloomer of any one of my friend groups. And I think that’s almost why I’m a great coach, because a lot of people who come to me are thinking, “Is there something wrong with me? Why can’t I find somebody?” I felt that for so much of my life. And then, over time it really shifted for me. I guess there was a year when I was about 22 or 23 where suddenly I went from having no dates being the perpetual third wheel and then suddenly I was having dates every single weekend! I think that’s why a lot of people were wondering, ‘What are you doing? What is it that flipped the switch for you?’ I was also the first one of my friend groups to even do online dating. I started online dating in 2008; I was 19 or 20 at the time. And everyone would say things like, ‘Oh my God, you’re gonna get kidnapped!’ ‘It’s gonna be crazy!’ And, I don’t know, I’ve just always been someone that’s formed internet relationships. I was really into Live Journal, back when that was a big fad. It was basically one of the first social medias and blogs before Myspace, Facebook, all that stuff. I got really into it. And I met these people from all over the world. Some of them I’m still friends with today, 16 years later. And I think because of that, online dating always felt very natural to me where I was like, of course, you can form relationships online. I’ve been doing that my entire life since I was 14 or 15 years old. It never really was scary to me. And I think that’s another reason why it just felt like a natural fit. Also in my nine to five I’m a copywriter. There is kind of that connection there of marketing copywriting. Essentially, an online dating profile is an ad, right? You’re advertising yourself to the market, if you want to call it that. I think a lot of my skills from my nine to five are also highly transferable to online dating and putting together a dating profile. I think it’s just the combination of all those things where I thought, I love talking about this stuff, my friends asked me for advice. It’s really in line with what I do on a day-to-day basis. This is a fun way for me to use my skills.
Jordan D’Nelle 5:11
I love that. And you brought up something that we’ll have to talk about at some point; it’s safety with online dating. I think that is so important. We might have to do another episode on that. But when it comes to creating a dating profile, which is something we’re going to talk a lot about here today, what makes a dating profile strong?
Laura Hucke 5:32
Yeah, this is not the marketer, advertiser side of me, but something you learn in copywriting is you’re not really writing for you, or the company you work for; you’re writing for the consumer. And I think it’s the same with a dating profile. People always think: what should I say about myself? I don’t know what’s interesting about me. And it’s not about you, you should really be thinking about the person you want to attract. You should be writing things in your profile that would stand out to them, that would be talking points that they would want to message you about; it’s not about you. When you think about it like that, it kind of demystifies it, and it makes it a lot easier. Because, think about it, you know more about yourself than anyone else. It’s overwhelming to just have this blank slate and be wondering, where do I start? I have 500 characters to sum myself up and I know every facet of myself, but where do I even begin? When you switch it up, and you think, alright, what do I want to talk to my ideal person about? What would I like them to like about me that really narrows down and helps you focus and figure out what’s most important to put in that little space.
Jordan D’Nelle 6:37
I love that. Because you really are trying to attract somebody else by putting some things to help attract what you want. I’m going to share with you my Bumble profile here in a minute. But, I can tell you mine does not attract a husband at all. But for me, the whole point of Bumble is more hookup culture than attracting a husband. But that’s so interesting. What are some of the biggest dating profile mistakes you’ve seen?
Laura Hucke 7:08
I think for me, the biggest mistake that I see is just being super, super generic. I know, just as a girl on the dating apps, 70% of the profiles I swipe on look the same, the same types of pictures, the same types of sentences, comments, answers to prompts. Even when people think they’re being clever. I can’t tell you the number of times I read pineapple does go on pizza. It’s just not clever anymore. Everybody says that. I would just say, don’t be afraid to be specific. I always tell people you want to think back to English class in high school and show don’t tell. I see so many profiles. I just spit out a bunch of adjectives. I’m laid back. I like the outdoors. And yeah, everybody really likes that stuff. Get a little more specific. If you like the outdoors, talk about what you like doing outdoors. That way when someone’s reading your profile, they can picture doing that activity with you. If it’s kayaking, say I spend my weekends kayaking on this lake. It gives them an idea of what being with you might be like. They can picture doing that with you. Versus if you just see the outdoors. That could be anything and it’s not specific. So, I would say getting specific is probably my number one tip.
Jordan D’Nelle 8:20
Yeah, when I look at dating profiles, for me personally, I don’t use the apps very often. But when I’m traveling in two new areas, it is something that I use to help just meet people. And at first glance, all you get is a picture on the apps. I was talking to a guy I recently was dating about this. And he was making a comment about what a man’s profile needs to look like. They must have a nice picture; they need to have an adventurous picture. I know for me, they get one picture; if that first picture isn’t good, I move on. I don’t even read the description.
Laura Hucke 8:56
Wow, you’re tough. See, because I’m a writer, I really don’t care about someone’s pictures as much as their writing. If you don’t fill out your profile, you are automatically swiped left. For me if your profile is blank, I have nothing to go on. I will not swipe right on you. So, for me, profile’s most important, but I agree with you. I think for most people, if that first picture doesn’t really spark something, it’s usually a pass. And I would say another common mistake that people make is with their pictures. For example, posting a picture where they are wearing sunglasses and hats and things like that, or they are in a shadow or bad lighting. Like you said, you get one chance to make a first impression. Your first picture that pops up should be a nice photo that very clearly shows what you look like because I know women especially are very worried about safety, as we talked about a little earlier, where if you get any inkling that that person is not being true about what they look like. I think that’s another thing that makes a lot of girls laugh. this guy’s posting pictures of his face in a shadow or with sunglasses on. Why? Does he not want to show what he looks like? Not only does it maybe raise red flags about safety, but it also seems like you’re not confident. If you don’t put a picture that clearly shows what you look like it really gives off the impression that you don’t think you’re attractive. And whether you’re attractive or not it’s totally subjective, right? Everybody has different types. Some people like blonde hair, some people like brown hair, or whatever. What you deem non attractive, might be attractive to lots of girls. It’s better to stand tall, show yourself off proudly and project that confidence because above any physical attribute, the thing that’s most attractive to most people is confidence.
Jordan D’Nelle 10:38
That is so true in you can see that in a picture very easily. Okay, so I have to share with you my dating profile. My girlfriend made this for me, oh, probably six or seven years ago. And I just left it because I thought it was great. So, five-four loves to laugh and be better than you, loves clubbing, exploring and short hikes to the bar. I look great at the beach, on a yacht, taking tequila shots. Physician assisting my ass off to help you help yourself. Serious inquiries only. Let’s party. Got kids, swipe left.
Wow. Yeah, I could totally see the type of person that that would attract. More on the hookup side. Yeah, definitely, we’re on the hookup side of things.
Yeah, I should probably change it.
Laura Hucke 11:28
Yeah, it depends on what you’re looking for, right? Hey, nothing wrong with looking for hookups if that’s where you’re at in your life. And, you know, I think that’s another thing to keep in mind when you’re making a profile, right? You want to think about the type of relationship that you want. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting a hookup. But if you want that you should be honest about it, which you are. I do applaud that. I think that you’re upfront. You say, this is what I’m looking for; this is what I’m about, you know. I’m not gonna leave anything to question.
Jordan D’Nelle 11:55
Yes. When it comes to dating apps I noticed that men seem to swipe right on everybody. Is that true? And how do you avoid that? If that is the case.
Laura Hucke 12:08
Yeah, I don’t have a number. I think probably you don’t really know if you had an in at OKCupid and match.com and you could get those statistics. I really don’t know. I do know, I have talked to a lot of guy friends, ex boyfriends, whatever, and I know that a lot of times they do kind of swipe right on a lot of people only because they’re kind of expected to make the first move, right. It ups their chances. And I think also it’s sites like Tinder, where you can’t send a message until you get a match. It’s kind of, alright, I’ll just swipe right on everybody and see who matches with me, then I’ll decide who to message. I do think, yeah, there are a lot of guys who do that. And I think it’s because, like I said, they’re expected to put more effort in in terms of messaging. I think it’s kind of in their mind, ‘I don’t want to put so much effort in upfront before the message even comes in, I’m already gonna have to put so much effort in on the message that may or may not even get a response.’ I think that’s kind of where that mindset comes from. I don’t like to generalize those. I’m sure there are tons of guys who do read profiles, just like I do. I mean, people are like, girls never message, but I do message. I mean, I’m dating someone now. But when I was on the apps, I did send messages to guys, and I think that’s the right way to do it. Right. If you’re swiping and someone’s interesting to you, send them a message, whether you’re a girl or a guy, it doesn’t matter and put some effort in. If you want effort in return you need to put effort in. I don’t know, that’s kind of where I fall on it. I do think there are guys who put in effort and who do take their time and go through profiles and swipe left or swipe right accordingly, according to what they like and dislike. But I also know there is a large number of guys who just swipe right on everybody and wait to see to the end of matching with.
Jordan D’Nelle 13:53
You brought up messaging and I know a lot of women struggle with what to say when it comes to messaging, especially on Bumble when women have to be the first one to make the move. What advice do you have for how to start that conversation?
Laura Hucke 14:10
I think the number one piece of advice is to comment on something on their profile. I know that’s hard sometimes because the profile is blank. I think if the profile is blank, ask yourself what made you swipe right on this person? I mean, was it just that they were hot. If you like their photos, find something in one of their photos to comment on. For example, if you are in the same area, maybe recognize the bar they’re at and think, ‘Oh, hey, I love that bar too. Do you go there a lot?’ Something that shows them you actually paid attention to what was in their profile and there’s something about them that was interesting to you. I think that’s the best way you can open a conversation because everybody likes attention or everybody likes that someone noticed them, you know, even if you’re somebody who doesn’t like the spotlight, it’s still nice to think, ‘oh, something about me stood out to them.’ I think anytime you can play on that is good. I mean, I wouldn’t do too much flattery or anything because that can kind of seem fake. If you’re like, Oh, you’re the most beautiful person I’ve ever seen. It’s like, All right, yeah, no, I don’t know about that. But I think commenting on something in the profile is good, because they probably wouldn’t put it in their profile if it wasn’t something they were interested in. They’re gonna be more likely to respond and have something to say if you pick a topic of something that they’re passionate about, versus, you know, the Hey, how are you messages? Where’s that really gonna go? You know, you don’t know the person, it’s kind of awkward; they’re not going to go into a long story about what their day is like because they don’t know you. I think it’s much better to just pick one thing, do a short but sweet message. But pick one thing in their profile that you think they can start a conversation with, you have bands that you guys both like a movie you both like, place you both in your hometown type of food, whatever just riff on something that is in the pictures of their profile that you think you can make conversation around, and you have that common ground to build off of.
Jordan D’Nelle 16:00
I think that’s great advice. And that’s usually what I try to do. When I talk to other women, or my girlfriends in particular about dating apps, that’s exactly what I tell them to. Because the “Hey,” is so boring. That’s not gonna start a conversation. Nobody’s really interested in Uh, hey, what’s up? What are you doing?
Laura Hucke 16:19
Yeah, it also just seems lazy, right? Like I said, when you’re in a relationship, you need to put an effort to make a relationship work. If, from the get-go, somebody is not going to put in any effort they don’t seem like they’re a very good partner. Like they can’t come up with anything, especially with someone like me, where I filled out my profile, I answered all the problems, I put pictures, there’s plenty you could make conversation with me about. If you’re so lazy, that all you say is ‘hey,’ I’m going to pass. There’s other interesting people that I think I’m going to vibe with a lot better. And immediately I write that person off.
Jordan D’Nelle 16:53
Yeah, and the other thing that I’ve kind of heard about when it comes to conversations is that there’s a lot of fatigue in starting conversations, because you have to think of something unique for every single person. Any advice on that?
Laura Hucke 17:11
Yes, I guess I know, it’s not the sexiest comparison. But I always say think of it like job hunting, it’s a means to an end, I know it sucks, but you don’t send the same cover letter and resume to every single job, it’s a grind, and you are supposed to tailor it to the job you’re applying for. And dating is the same way. And I said, it’s not sexy, everybody wants to think they’re gonna have their meet cute, they’re gonna bump into someone on the street, they’re gonna, extend a hand and it’s gonna be Prince Charming, or whatever they see in the movies. But the fact of the matter is, it usually takes work to find a good relationship. And, if you put in good work before the relationship, you’re probably gonna have a more successful relationship, because you thought about what you wanted; you dated with intent. And you’re probably going to find a higher quality partner than just somebody random, you know. Not to say that random meet cutes don’t work. I’m sure they do. But I think it was about 2019 where more than 50% of relationships now start online. And it’s cool, because before the internet and online dating, you really couldn’t meet anybody that you didn’t work with, or wasn’t a family friend, or didn’t live in your neighborhood, there was no access to people in other areas; where now literally the world is your oyster, you know, especially with COVID. You can take off all your location requirements, parameters on your apps, and you can chat with people anywhere. I did that during COVID. I was kind of like, I mean, it’s six of one, half dozen of another, right? Whether I’m in Florida, or wherever, I can’t see people anyway. I’m just gonna chat with people all over and just see what happens. And I talked to some interesting people all over the world, Brazil, and England, and oh my gosh, I don’t even know all over the place. But it was so cool. So yeah, I always encourage people to expand their location parameters on their dating apps, if they’re having trouble finding people, because I think that’s the greatest thing about the internet, right? It connects everybody. It gives you so many more options. That’s a double-edged sword. Because sometimes when you have too many options, it’s hard to decide. I do tell people to limit their time on dating apps, because I think there is a fatigue that comes with swiping for too long or sending messages and not getting responses. It’s better to be consistent and show up every day, but not for too long. Just say 15 minutes a day, every morning, just get up swipe on the app, send a message or two and then close it. And don’t think about it again. And don’t worry about it. But show up consistently because putting an effort is going to get you better results than that laziness of oh, I don’t want to read a profile. I don’t want to say something more than Hey. It’s like, do you really want a relationship? How important is it to you?
Jordan D’Nelle 19:44
I think that’s so important that you know what your intentions are behind. Trying online dating, and right, whether it’s hookup culture, whether it’s intended for an actual partner, know what you’re looking for, so that you can attract that based on your profile. I think that’s beautiful. Speaking of hookup culture, how do you avoid that if you are looking for a legitimate relationship?
Laura Hucke 20:11
I know that everybody has different answers to this question and different opinions. I really think, be straightforward. If there is something on the app that says what you’re looking for, for instance, I know OKCupid has that where you can say ‘looking for a hookup’ or ‘looking for short-term, long-term dating.’ Be honest and put what you’re looking for the way that you did in your profile, you said it straight up, I’m looking for a good time not looking for something serious, you know, but I think there’s a lot of fear, where people are thinking, Oh, if I say I’m looking for a relationship, I’m going to scare people off. And I’m like, you’re only going to scare off people that aren’t looking for relationships, so they’re not the right person for you anyway. I think it’s better to be upfront, if there’s a place to say it gracefully and your profile, go for it. If there isn’t, and you want to go back into it, that’s fine. But don’t be afraid, in your text conversation with the person or even your first date to kind of say, what is it that you’re looking for? You know, are you looking for something a little more serious? Are you here, just have fun, I just want to make sure we’re on the same page. And I think if you say it that way, people will appreciate it, right? Because nobody wants to be in that awkward position to have to reject somebody, or you know, freak out because somebody wants more than the other person. It’s better to have that conversation sooner rather than later. And just be upfront. And most people appreciate people who are honest and straightforward.
Jordan D’Nelle 21:24
Yeah, they really do. Most of my situation ships that I end up in. I am honest, but the recipient, the other partner is not honest, necessarily. And that always gets us into trouble every time. I wanted to talk about first date ideas, especially with dating safety. And how long should you have a conversation with somebody before you decide to go on a date? How do you progress?
Laura Hucke 21:57
Yeah, that is a great question. I think this is something so many people get wrong, because even me when I try to accelerate the pace of things, there’s so many guys that I end up talking to on the apps where they’ll message me daily for two weeks, I’m thinking, ‘Are you ever gonna ask me out on a date?’ And then it just kind of like falls off and I start getting frustrated? Or I’ll try to put something out like a feeler and say, ‘Are we gonna hang out anytime soon?’ I just feel like that happens a lot. I hear about that happening with a lot of people where it’s like they have these week or two conversations and the date never happens. And that’s a bad pattern to fall into. I don’t know if that comes from maybe guys are worried that women don’t feel safe. I’m not sure where that’s coming from. Maybe it also has to do with the options. There’s too many, and they can’t decide who to take on a date because they’re talking to 15 women, I don’t exactly know where it comes from. I think there’s probably research that will emerge in the next couple of years now that online dating is so much more prevalent. But I think the best timeline, in my opinion, is to exchange a few messages on the app, make sure you have a good banter going, you seem like you have some common interests, exchange phone numbers, texts, maybe for another day, then decide to have a date that week. You know if you’re texting over the weekend, maybe the following weekend or one weeknight the next week, because I do actually think it’s kind of rude to ask someone out for that day or the next day, it kind of signals to me signals you think that I’m not in demand? Because I’m just sitting around, and I don’t have plans on the weekend. And also, it kind of also shows the same thing about you, right? It’s Friday night and you’re asking me out like an hour or two before you’d go to the bar. Why are you sitting around? Are you just swiping the app looking for a hookup? That’s the signal it sends to me. I don’t know, if you’re a more spontaneous person, maybe you don’t make plans, I guess I’m more of a planner, but I prefer if a guy is gonna ask me out, you should ask me out for the weekend by like Wednesday or Thursday, Thursday at the latest. I don’t want to hear from you on Friday afternoon that you want to hang out that night. That just seems very rude. I guess that’s a little pro tip there. If you want to seem like you have a good game, ask somebody out on Wednesday for the weekend. That’s the most respectful way to go about it and show that you’re interested in the person. You’re already picturing the weekend and you want them to be part of your weekend plans. It comes across nice. So, if you’re talking to them for a day or two, and it’s midweek, ask them out for the weekend and see them that first week that you started talking. You started talking to them on a weekend, ask them out maybe like Thursday night, the following week, or maybe the following weekend. If you’re busy during the week, you guys have busy work schedules, whatever, I would say within one week, if you’re having a good vibe, get on that first date because you really don’t know what the vibe is truly going to be like until you’re in person. There is always something different to being in person. I know it’s tough with COVID. That kind of throws a wrench in things. When COVID first started, I solely virtually dated. And I know, for instance, I met this guy. We had four virtual dates, and it was amazing. But when we were in person, when we finally did get together in person, because we both lived alone, and we were both working from home, so we got to a point where, okay, it feels safe to me like we’re not introduced to anybody else, there was no vaccines yet or anything like that. But we were like, okay. We both quarantined. We hadn’t seen anybody else; it feels safe to get together. And there was something different about it once we were in person. And that’s happened to me a few times with people that I’ve met online, and then we get together in person, it’s not quite that same feeling that we had when we were chatting or when we had a zoom call or whatever. I would urge people you really nothing replaces that in person chemistry. So, better to get your answers sooner, rather than drag on this conversation for weeks on end, and you know, get false hope or whatever. That would be my thing that I think a lot of people get wrong is they just drag on the testing for too long. I think even women don’t be shy to see something such as, ‘Hey, what’s your weekend looking like?’ That signals to the guy they’re thinking about hanging out with you this weekend. Now you have the doors open, make some plans. I think it’s just important for both people to be straightforward; not to let things drag on too long. And I said, either gender can really make the move. I think if you don’t want to straight up ask, at least just make a comment like that, that kind of opens the door.
Jordan D’Nelle 26:18
Yeah, that totally makes sense. I mostly meet men in person, that’s just kind of what I’ve done. I have an active lifestyle; I meet a lot of people out. And the last person I dated, we went on a date the same day that I met him, just it just worked out that way. Because I’m a planner, I don’t do spontaneous stuff, like I have my morning routine, I don’t want it to be messed up, I have my evening routine. And if there’s going to be an altercation in my routine, I need to plan for that. Yeah, I think that’s good advice on how to do it. And you also brought up women making the first move and kind of opening that door up. And I think that a lot of men appreciate that. When a woman is letting them know, giving them the cue, go ahead and say something. Go ahead and invite me.
Laura Hucke 27:13
Yeah, absolutely. Because I will say, I think guys get frustrated. There’s so much pressure. I think it’s important for women to put themselves in the guy’s shoes and say . . . I don’t really want to only talk about it like this because of course there are also homosexual couples and things like that, so of course, there’s different dynamics at play. But if we’re talking about strictly heterosexual, I think there’s so much pressure on the guy to make the first move. And I think it’s important for the ladies to think, how would you feel if you had to always make the first move and you had to do this, and you must do that? And I think that’s why it’s nice for a woman to make a comment like that, that is kind of like a primer, ‘Hey, just so you know, I’m feeling this too.’ That doesn’t have to be so straightforward. But just say something, and not everyone’s about to pick it up on hand. It may or may not actually get through to the person. But I think anything you can do to validate the direction things are going in is good, because it does take a lot on someone’s self-esteem to put themselves out there and ask someone on a date with fear of being rejected. It’s nice to make overtures like that, it shows them that hey, this is safe, you can ask me out, I’m feeling this. You know? That way, it’s not so much pressure because it is high pressure to be in that role in the relationship.
Jordan D’Nelle 28:32
Yeah, it is. And it’s a little validation, and we all love validation. Now, first date ideas, what are your go to first date ideas?
Laura Hucke 28:43
Yeah, this is gonna sound boring. I guess I don’t have some super cool answer to this. I honestly think the best first date is coffee or drinks. I would say, if you do a bar and drinks, be careful, don’t go crazy and have too many drinks. Because you do want to make sure that you’re in your right mindset and are making intelligent decisions because you don’t know this person, especially if you met on a dating app. I would say drinks are good. But with the caveat of limiting yourself to two or three drinks depending on what your limits are. I think the most important thing with the first date that I would say in terms of what you’re going to pick is something where you can talk . . . so a movie is not good. You can’t get to know the person. I think most people know that. But anything else like that, like a concert, even if you both like music, not really a great first date, because you can’t really talk. If you’re going to do the concert and you’re gonna have dinner after and talk about the concert, yeah, that’s okay. You know? But I would say don’t do just one activity where you can’t really talk a lot because you’re not really going to get a good read on if you like that person. Now on the flip side of that, if you do something like drinks or coffee, things like that, I like it because it’s a shorter timeline, then say dinner, because if you go and you’re not feeling the person, you can have the drink and hightail it out of there. Versus if you’re at dinner and you get drinks in an appetizer and you’re not feeling it and now you’re stuck there for another hour while you order the food and get dessert, whatever. I think drinks is the lowest pressure, shortest timeline, where you can get a feel for someone. And then especially with something like drinks, if it’s Happy Hour, five to seven or whatever, if you’re feeling it, you can stay for dinner and you can have dinner with that person. But you know, if it’s afternoon drinks, it’s okay, we have some coffee, oh, it’s getting to be dinner time; I’m really enjoying talking to you do you want to grab dinner together if you want to extend the date. Now, I would say I personally like a short first date, I think it kind of leaves a little mystery. It leaves the person wanting more. Sometimes I think if you spend too many hours together on that first date, something about that reads desperation to me. I don’t know if I’m predicting that or something. I mean, I don’t know if everybody picks up on it that way. But I would say a good first date is two hours or less. Somewhere between an hour and two hours I think is the sweet spot. And that’s why I think drinks or coffee is the best. But like I said, if you’re really feeling it, if you hit it off, or something like that also is great, because you can stay for dinner if you want to.
Jordan D’Nelle 31:04
Yeah, some of my favorite first date ideas. I like activities. And I’m definitely like, let’s go on a hike, which is not a good idea for somebody you don’t know, in the woods, I will definitely preface it with that. Don’t encourage that. But I do that or go ice skating or go to some sort of popular walking place. That’s a much safer option than hiking in the woods. But I like activities because I’m not a big drinker. I do like the coffee idea. But I don’t like to do things based around food and drinking. Because I have diet restrictions. I don’t drink very much so it makes it tricky to find good ideas, and then to explain to somebody else – oh, by the way, I don’t want to do anything that you would normally do. Do something extravagant that’s probably free. And that would be more meaningful for me. But yeah, dating is difficult.
Laura Hucke 32:07
Yeah, that’s a great point. I wasn’t even thinking about diet restrictions. But I know I have a background with that, too. I had my gallbladder removed when I was in high school. And I was on a restricted diet for a year. And I totally empathize with that because I remember how frustrating it was going out with friends. I mean, when you’re a teenager, what do kids eat? They go out for ice cream, they go for pizza, burgers, milkshakes, whatever. I couldn’t eat any of that stuff. And every time I was out with people who didn’t know me, and they didn’t know what was going on in my life, they’d be like, oh, you want some of my fries? Do you want some of this? I always had to say no, no. Then people would start making jokes. What are you, anorexic? Or what do you know? I’m like, dude! It actually is a lot. It’s very frustrating to have to constantly explain yourself, even if it’s something that’s not even obvious, like an eating disorder is a very heavy thing. This is just a weird thing that happened in my life. I got gallstones, and I had to get my gallbladder out. But regardless of what it is, whether it’s anything related to that, it still feels like people are prying into your business. And it’s already something that you’re struggling with, then you have to talk about it and explain yourself constantly; it’s so tiring. I totally get that. And I think some ideas you brought up are great. I love ice skating personally. So, big fan of that one. And you can talk if you guys are both good skaters. You can talk so that’s good. I think indoor rock gyms are also great. That’s a fun one that I would love to do personally for a first date. Again, if you’re scared of heights, maybe not. But I would say on that same track, I would say don’t go bowling, because it was just the two of you, then constantly one person’s up and one person sitting down and you’re not going to maintain a good conversation. Other than that, like mini golf things. Maybe a cute one that can have some of the same issues as bowling, but since the holes are small, you can usually maintain a conversation so maybe an arcade would be fun too.
Jordan D’Nelle 33:48
Yeah, the last guy I dated. One of the places he took me was an arcade. And it was chill. It was nice. It was perfect, honestly. Now as far as first date safety, do you have any tips or advice?
Laura Hucke 34:03
Yeah, so I know this is the bare minimum. Everyone knows this. But do not go to that person’s house. Do not give them your address to have them pick you up. I have had guys that – and I will say I’ve been lucky and nothing’s happened – but I have regretted it later. There’s been one or two guys that has been ‘I’m a gentleman. I insist. I really want to pick you up.’ And I’ll say, I’ll meet you outside my gate. You’re not coming to my building. But even so, even though I lived in a gated community they couldn’t get in without dialing. They didn’t know the code. There was something about it where I’m like I don’t have power in this person’s car. They could take me wherever they want. That feels unsafe and already just kind of put the me in a bad headspace. Like I said, none of these people did anything to me it was fine, but even so, I would still strongly suggest no matter what I would never do that. During COVID, I did with one guy. We had a first date at my house. And that’s the guy I mentioned earlier, we had four virtual dates, we talked for hours and hours, and it was COVID. At the beginning, nothing was open. And I was kind of like, I feel like I’ve talked to you long enough, like on video to know you are who you say you are. But even then, I will tell you, I was freaking out the entire day going, I hope I didn’t make a mistake, he sent me a picture of his license, he said, send it to all my friends. And he said you can text your friends while I’m there. He was who he said he was, and it was fine. But I will say even with all of that I didn’t feel safe. I think your safety is more important than anything. And those two experiences for me taught me that when you’re doing online dating, especially when I’m five foot one. I’m very small. For me, I just feel like a target. I cannot defend myself. I would rather feel safe. It’s always better to meet in a public place. Even if the guy’s insisting on being a gentleman and wants to pick you up. You can say, ‘hey, for this first date, I would really prefer it if we met in a public place.’ And if anyone has a problem with that, that’s a huge red flag and you should not go out with that person.
Jordan D’Nelle 36:12
Yes, that’s exactly what I was going to say, as anybody respectable is going to respect your safety first and be okay with that. What I do; what my girlfriends do; they have their location services on, especially when they go on dates. I’ll get a text from a girlfriend. It’s like, Hey, I’m going on a date. Here’s my location services. This is the name of the dude on the app. If there’s ever any issues, and then she always texts me when she gets home, and some other girlfriends, we just always have to know where you are the location finding on each other. But I think that’s also a helpful tool.
Laura Hucke 36:49
Yeah, absolutely. I feel like I’m not that high tech. Funny enough, even though I’m an online dating coach, and I love dating apps. Yeah, I’ve never used location services. But I know that is a thing. And I would recommend people do that. I think that’s great. I am somebody who will text my friends, ‘just so you know, I’m going on a date; here’s the information. I’m gonna check with you guys later.’ Make sure if you don’t hear from me, reach out. But yeah, I think trusting your intuition is also a big thing. I think not that many people think about that. But it’s if you get a gut feeling about somebody, listen to it, you know. If someone is giving you the heebie jeebies, for whatever reason, there is a reason. You might not be able to pinpoint what that is, but listen to yourself; you have an instinct for a reason. And if someone’s giving you a bad vibe, don’t fool around, get out of there, or decline the date or whatever, wherever you are in that timeline of talking to them. But just listen to yourself, it’s important. At the end of the day, probably the right person for you is not going to make you feel that way. It’s better to just say, I’m not gonna put myself in a situation that could be dangerous, just to see if this person might be my person. There are millions, billions of people out there, don’t fool around. If you get a bad feeling, listen to yourself.
Jordan D’Nelle 38:07
I think that’s the best advice: to listen to your intuition. And I know, a lot of women have been taught to suppress their intuition. And I know that’s something I’m working on listening to my body a lot more. And it’s, it’s real, it knows; it knows everything.
Laura Hucke 38:28
Yeah, it reminds me of dogs. If someone comes to your house and your dog growls at them, you know there’s something wrong. I think human beings are like that, too. And if you are really tapped into yourself, and your emotional and physical responses, you do the same thing. Watch yourself and what you’re doing. If someone’s talking to you and you’re leaning back, you’re backing away, that’s a signal that something about them is off putting to you. You’re backing up, you’re trying to get away from them. People don’t even realize they’re doing these things, because a lot of it is unconscious/subconscious action. But I think it’s very important to be completely aware of yourself and continually check in on how am I feeling? You know, you don’t have to ask it out loud, but ask yourself in your head through the date, how am I feeling? Because I think too many people get caught up on being nervous and wanting the other person to like them. But really, you should be asking yourself, do you like that person you’re on the date with. That’s the most important thing that needs to get answered. Because whether they like you or not, it doesn’t matter if you don’t like them, if you don’t feel comfortable with them. I think it’s important throughout the night to ask yourself, how am I feeling? How do I feel about this person? Am I having a good time? Ask yourself those questions in your head. And if you’re saying I feel uneasy, I don’t feel good, leave and don’t feel any guilt about leaving, you know.
Jordan D’Nelle 39:41
I love that. I feel like you could not have said anything more perfect. This conversation has been wonderful. If the listeners take anything away from today’s conversation, what would you want it to be?
Laura Hucke 39:55
I think the number one thing I hear from people is that they’re discouraged. I think people are like, I’ve been swiping for forever, I can’t find my person, is there something wrong with me? And I mentioned that a little bit earlier. That’s the headspace of a lot of people that I talk to, I think it’s important to just realize that if it was easy to find a person, your person, everybody would have a significant other. There would be no one dating; everyone would get that person on their first date. It’s hard. And I think the best way to stay motivated, something that I always tell myself is, all these great things that we have in life, say, for instance, the iPhone, it wasn’t made on the first try. It wasn’t even made on the 10th try; it took hundreds of iterations to get to the point that it’s at now. And even then, it’s constantly improving. I think Apple filed for bankruptcy several times before it became the company that it is today. When you think of things like that, yeah, of course, you’re not going to find someone on the first try, you’re probably not going to find him on the fifth try. But if you take yourself out, if you’re like, oh, I’m discouraged, I give up, I’m not doing this, your chances are zero. You’re not going to find that person. And like I said, think about all those amazing inventions in the world. If the inventors of all those things were frustrated, and they got to the 100th iteration, and they were like, I’m never gonna do this, I give up, we wouldn’t have all these great things that we have. They kept going. And that’s the thing that like. I think people forget; you might have just had your 50th bad date, but that 51st date could be the person you marry and are with for the rest of your life, but you won’t know if you don’t go.
Jordan D’Nelle 41:29
That’s beautiful. That’s so beautiful. Thank you. Well, Laura, where can listeners find you at?
Laura Hucke 41:35
I would say the best place to connect with me is on Instagram. My handle is @kissedanddismissed. I also have a website: http://www.kissedanddismissed.com. My email is there as well if you want to send me a message or you can just slide into my DMs on Instagram; I love connecting with people. If you have any dating questions, feel free to reach out. I was on a little bit of a hiatus because I was moving and traveling but I will be getting back into regular posting. I’m not sure when the episode is going to go up. I might already be doing that. But if not, I promise to be back soon. But I love connecting with followers, so feel free to send me a message.
Jordan D’Nelle 42:11
I love that and I’m pretty sure that’s how I found you. I slid in your DMs.
Laura Hucke 42:15
Yep, that’s right.
Jordan D’Nelle 42:15
I love DM sliding. I need a whole episode on how to slide in the DMs. Well, thank you so much, Laura.
Laura Hucke 42:22
Yeah, thank you. It’s such a pleasure to connect with you.
Jordan D’Nelle 42:26
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