Antonio Sabato, Jr., well-known television actor and Calvin Klein celebrity model, is now immersed in the world of helping people with dating and romance in the 21st century digital world we live in. Good Men Project interviewer Savas Abadsidis catches up with Antonio to talk about dating in the changing world of technology as well as hearing Antonio’s “worst date” story.
Do you think that technology has ruined dating?
Quite the opposite actually! In an increasingly digital age, technology has allowed people, for the first time ever, to connect across the country—and sometimes even across the world—with others whom they never would have come into contact with otherwise. Getting to know people who have different worldviews and backgrounds can really broaden your dating experience. It also brings a level of cultural awareness and understanding that can be life-changing for the men and women involved.
With that said, all couples definitely need to learn to put their cellphones away when they’re out on a date! I can’t tell you how many times I see guys and girls sitting at a table when they’re out to dinner or taking a walk through the park and both people are texting their friends or trying to find the perfect filter for their Instagram pictures. What’s the point of even being together if you’re going to do that? When you’re with the person you love—or even if you’re on a first date—turn your phones off. You’ll be able to spend more quality time learning about the person you’re with and figuring out if the two of you are truly compatible. All of your Snapchats will still be there when the date is over, I promise.
How do you maintain trust with someone in the era of online dating and dating apps?
Establishing trust is a very important factor in any relationship, whether you meet online or offline. After going on a couple of dates with someone you’re interested in and have fun with, there’s nothing wrong with finding out what that person is ultimately looking for before moving forward. Learning whether or not you are on the same page with someone will allow you to waste less of your time and spend more of your energy on the kinds of relationships that will be lasting and meaningful to you.
Take your time and meet lots of people, but also make sure to be cautious and selective. You don’t need to fall in love with every girl you go on a date with, and you don’t need to sleep with them all, either. Be patient with yourself and others, and the right person will come along when you least expect it (really!).
What’s the most romantic thing that someone can do on a first date?
Take the time to listen and learn about the person you’re out with. No one wants to hear you talk about yourself or your workout for an entire two-hour date. Instead, ask interesting questions and be engaging! Not only will that help to make her feel a true connection, but when you plan a really romantic date next time—whether it’s a walk on the beach or candlelit dinner—you can tailor it to exactly what your date is interested in (for more of dating tips, check out my newly launched blog at blog.AnastasiaDate.com).
What’s been your worst dating experience?
When I was a teenager, there was a girl I really liked and always felt nervous speaking to every time that she was around. One day, I finally got the courage to ask this girl out on a date, and when she agreed, I asked my cousin if I could use his car to take her out to dinner since I didn’t have one yet. When the day came, though, my cousin ended up completely smashing up the car, so I had to pick her up in this beat-up, twisted, smoking vehicle. Needless to say, she was less than thrilled.
To make matters worse, after taking her to a pizzeria for dinner, I learned that she didn’t even like pizza to begin with! Of course, the date didn’t last very long, and I never heard from her again. I was heartbroken at the time, but in the end, if she really cared about me, the car and the food wouldn’t have mattered. She would have loved me for me, and that was an important life lesson for me from then on out.
How do you build the confidence to approach someone you’ve been crushing on? What do you do if you’re rejected (and have to see the person all the time)?
Rejection is a part of life—no matter how good your game is, how smart or handsome you are, you will get rejected many, many times. If you have to see the person all the time after that, it’s important to remember your sense of humor and keep future interactions with her as conversational and witty as possible. Do your best to take away the awkwardness so that you both feel comfortable around each other again (she’ll appreciate it, too, believe me). Focus on maintaining a friendship with her (if you want one), and just move on with a smile on your face and a good story to laugh about with your friends later.
During the summer of 1996, Calvin Klein hired you to be the company’s first celebrity model since Mark Wahlberg four years earlier; did this help you to get the ladies back in the day?
I’ve traveled all over the world throughout my life and have definitely met and dated a lot of beautiful, exotic, intelligent and interesting women along the way. But in the end, it’s really not about whether you’re an actor or a model or even a powerful executive at a big company. Everyone has his or her own insecurities and flaws, and it’s all about meeting the right person who knows and understands these aspects of you and learns to appreciate them, because they make you who you are. It’s important to know exactly what you deserve, and don’t settle for anything less.
Antonio Sabato, Jr. is one of the hottest commodities to come out of daytime television, nabbing a series of prime-time roles and appearing in the most successful Calvin Klein underwear campaign in the company’s history. Antonio was recently seen guest-starring on the CBS hit CSI: New York and on ABC’s comedy Scrubs after completing the first season of his hit reality dating show My Antonio for VH1. He is also making an upcoming appearance on ABC’s Castle. Fashion designer Calvin Klein hired the actor in the summer of 1996 to be the company’s first celebrity model since actor Mark Wahlberg four years earlier. Antonio currently resides in Los Angeles and is the celebrity spokesperson for AnastasiaDate, where he has recently launched a dating tips blog to help people find and maintain love in a cross-cultural digital world.