All posts by Steven Zawila

Is online dating hard? Here’s my secret, go-to message!

The rules of dating are different now than they were before. When everything was “normal”, maybe you’d run into a woman you liked while you were out with some friends and then you’d get her phone number.

Maybe your first date was a double-date with friends, or dinner at a nice place, or even a fun activity such as mini-golf (one of my favorites!) Maybe your second date included going to the park where you’d “accidentally” brush up against her and somehow ended up holding hands. And, if you still liked her at this point, maybe your third date would involve drinks and a movie with some cuddling.

It’s different now. The old rules of dating no longer apply.

Just because we’re under lockdown, though, doesn’t mean that our dating lives have to come to a halt!

Today, more and more people are turning to the world of online dating to continue their dating lives. They have virtual dates over Skype/FaceTime/Zoom rather than in-person dates. And, hey, just because it’s a virtual date doesn’t mean it’s any less real!

To make it as easy as possible for you, I’ve put together a Q&A of some questions that I’ve received from my readers:

Continue reading Is online dating hard? Here’s my secret, go-to message!

How to continue dating during the COVID-19 pandemic

Imagine that you’re on a Zoom call with a woman that you’ve started to connect with…

Initially, you met her on an online dating website. You check out her profile and, turns out, you both have many of the same hobbies! She seems like a cool person, so you decide to send her a message.

A few anxious moments pass. Did she even read your message? Your computer beeps, causing your heart to skip a beat.

It’s her! She responds to your message, and you have a little back-and-forth conversation before you have to log off. You tell her that you had a great time talking to her and you’d like to get to know her better. She agrees, and gives you her contact info.

That was several days ago.

Tonight, you’ve got your first date planned with her. Of course, you can’t meet up physically during social distancing, so you both decide to have your first date over Zoom instead. You plan to begin the night by having dinner together—that is, you’ve cooked some dinner for yourself, she’s cooked some food for herself, and you both plan to eat together virtually.

After dinner is drinks and a movie. She’s poured herself a glass of wine, you’ve poured yourself a glass as well, and you both turn the lights down as you both fire up Netflix simultaneously and watch a cheesy romantic comedy together.

Hey, it’s a virtual date, but it’s no less real than any other date!

I’ve decided that our dating lives don’t have to come to a halt just because of a global pandemic. In the immortal words of Patrick Star…

Continue reading How to continue dating during the COVID-19 pandemic

Okay, our dating lives don’t have to stop just because of COVID

So…COVID-19 sucks, amirite? I mean, that’s pretty much the understatement of the year at this point.

When this first started back in December 2019, I think everyone just believed that it was all just going to blow over really quickly—just like the Bird Flu or Swine Flu panics that were supposed to be a big deal but just fizzled out.

I’ll admit, I didn’t really mind being stuck inside at first. I’m an introvert at heart, so being inside and spending my free time doing this was right up my alley…

…but after a while, it sucks not having the option to go out anymore. It sucks not being able to go to new places, or try new things, or even meet new people. There are several areas of our lives that are currently being put on hold because of the pandemic.

Dating doesn’t have to be one of them.

More and more people are finding love via online dating these days. I’d like to help you do the same. Over the next couple days, I’m going to cover the essential ingredients for a great online profile including:

  • The secret ingredient for a great online profile – get this wrong and you may get zero responses
  • The EXACT word-for-word message I use to close the conversation and get her number
  • How to date even during a global pandemic

Stay tuned. This is going to be fun!

Please stay safe from Covid-19, okay?

It looks like some parts of the world are loosening up on quarantine restrictions. It’s nice that we’re finally starting to be able to go outside again, but I’m also worried that there may be another wave of infections if we come out of lockdown too early.

If it were up to me, we’d all continue to stay inside. And I know that’s easy for me to say since I’m already married and have someone to be holed up inside with. But I’m going to say it anyway.

Just…stay safe, okay? Keep washing your hands whenever you go outside. Limit contact with people you don’t know. And make sure you’ve got something covering your nose and mouth. I’d hate to learn that any of my readers got sick.

Be careful out there!

But then, somehow I ended up dead

Once upon a time, I lived in an apartment building for about 4 years. It was a great building: the location was good, the rent was reasonable, and the room had an amazing view of the lake!

If there was one thing that I thought was amiss about that building, though, it would be that the shower water was way too cold during the winter. It wasn’t that much of an issue anyway…it only happened during the winter, and a cold shower never killed anyone, right? So, I just kinda dealt with it for almost half a decade.

Well, I recently happened to run into the new tenant who moved into my old apartment. I asked him what he thought of the apartment. You know what he told me?

“It’s a great room but the shower water was a bit too cold when I moved in, so I asked the manager about it and he fixed it right up.”

Wait, what? You can do that!?!?

Continue reading But then, somehow I ended up dead

And that’s why yoga scares me more than tarantulas

You know, I used to be an unconfident socially anxious person in the past. I’d meet women that I wanted to talk to but I’d always be afraid to approach her. I’d see Meetup groups that looked super fun but I was afraid to go. Heck, I’d even be afraid to talk to my co-workers at work!

I was that guy who was always picked last in gym class. I was that guy who would hide in the bathroom and pretend to be playing on my phone at parties while everyone else was having fun. I was that guy who sat at the corner of the lunch table because nobody wanted to eat with me.

This is where you’d find me at a party

The worst part about being that guy is that – when you look around and see everyone else having fun, making friends, and getting into relationships – you begin to wonder if you’re the only one who doesn’t get it.

Yeah. It sucks to be that guy.

Of course, I didn’t want to be that guy. I’d always get advice from well-meaning relatives like…

  • “You should be more confident”
  • “Steven, you should speak up more”
  • “You should break out of your shell”

…and, I mean, I wanted to!! I desperately wanted to break out of my shell. To make friends and talk to people just as easily as everyone else did.

I even tried to break out of my shell a few times. I would ask my classmates if they wanted to grab lunch. I asked a few women that I liked out on dates. Invariably, they all turned me down. And eventually, I just started to wonder if it was because something was wrong with me. If it was because I was a bad person.

That was not an emotionally fun place to be.

If you’ve ever felt this way, then I’m not going to try and talk you out of it. Instead, I’ll just tell you what I wish I knew back then whenever I felt that way.

Continue reading And that’s why yoga scares me more than tarantulas

Don’t leave the ball in her court

Ever had an Uber ride was off-the-rails crazy?

I have. It had neon lights, a freaking disco ball, and some sort of weird glasses on the driver’s face that, in hindsight, I sure hope to God wasn’t covering up a lack of sobriety.

At the end of the ride, the driver turned to me and asked “Hey! Did you know I’m also a rapper?’

“No. Really!?” I reply with feigned surprise. Given all the wacky stuff in this guy’s car, the fact that this guy creates rap music was perhaps the least shocking thing that night.

“Yeah! You should check out my channel,” he says and gives me the name of his channel.

“Will do. Thanks!” I reply, stumbling out of this strange car.

(In the words of Stephen Colbert, “Guess which state this happened in? Never mind, it’s Florida.”)

Well, I have to confess that I never did check out that guy’s rap channel. I wanted to, I swear! But as soon as I got to my destination, I went about the rest of my night and the events of that Uber ride fell out of my brain about 30 seconds after I stepped out of the car. I wish I could tell you what it was called so you could check it out for yourself but I’ve totally forgotten what the name of that guy’s channel was.

When that Uber-driver-slash-rapper was telling me about his channel, he made one fatal mistake. Can you guess what it is?

His mistake was that he left the ball in my court.

Of course, I wanted to check out his channel! But once I stepped out of the car, about a thousand other things started vying for my attention and I just totally forgot about it. He could have prompted me to pull up his channel and subscribe to it while I was still in the car. Or, at the very least, he could have written the name of his channel down on a piece of paper and handed it to me.

But he didn’t. He committed what Ramit Sethi calls a “failure of the last mile” and left me to do it on my own. This cost him not just one potential follower (myself), but many potential followers since I could have recommended you the name of his channel if I thought it was any good.

It’s easy to point out how he screwed up by leaving the ball in my court.

How many of us are doing the same thing when it comes to women?

Continue reading Don’t leave the ball in her court

I still get nervous all the time, too

I’m perhaps one of the least confident people I know.

You’d think I’d be one of the most confident people out there. But I still get social anxiety when I’m around people.

This is me in my comfort zone…

And this is me outside of my comfort zone…

That’s me on the far right. It looks like I’m having a good time, right? I cracked a few jokes, told a few stories, and basically became the life of the party. But if you could look inside my head, you’d see that my emotions basically looked like this:

Life would be so much easier if you could take the part of your brain that feels anxiety and just…flip a switch so you don’t feel unconfident anymore, right?

Well, I haven’t found that switch yet. But until I do, here’s how I deal with those times I feel nervous or unconfident.

Continue reading I still get nervous all the time, too