We’ve all been there: You go on a first date, walk away thinking you really hit it off, then never hear from the person again. With more people using online dating tools to seek meaningful relationships/immediate hookups, 24/7 online access makes getting a first date easier than ever, but securing the second seems like it’s increasingly difficult.
Many people think that the first date is the ultimate deal-breaker. After all, it’s that day you’re all dressed up — looking your best and probably putting your best foot forward at all times. However, the second date’s the real catch. And once your potential partner suddenly stops texting or doesn’t respond to that email — you feel confused.
So what are you doing wrong? You picked an amazing restaurant, engaged in stimulating conversation, and even paid for the tab. Where was the big mistake? Well, here are 7 reasons you’re not getting that next date.
Don’t feel bad about this one. This is bound to happen. Not everyone’s energy clicks. Even when you think you both clicked, the other person may not feel the same way. In fact, the entire mood can be deceptive if the food is amazing, the music is just right, and the atmosphere is immaculate. You can be led to think that you hit it off, but you actually only hit it off with the backdrop.
Chemistry can fail to happen for a number of reasons: dissimilar interests, mannerisms are a turnoff, or you tripped over one of their unspoken deal breakers — whatever it is, sometimes you should just let it go, beloved.
2. Bad First Date Questions
Even if you are a journalist or interviewer, making your date feel like they are on an interview is not the way to win. No one considers job interviews a hobby. Why? They aren’t fun. So it’s time to stop leaving them with the feeling that they just applied for a job and will get a callback.
“But, how will I know things If I don’t ask questions?”
It’s not that you’re asking questions that’s the problem. It’s that you’re asking ‘bad’ questions. From exes to job history, you might as well just do a background check and get it over with. Nobody wants to get interrogated during the first date. If you still want a second date, keep it casual and smooth. Don’t put any pressure on both of you. Enjoy each other’s company, have fun, and keep it light.
3. No Follow-Up
I get it. You’re busy, and they are new to your world. You may get so caught up in replaying the date that you forget an important piece to getting a second date: text them after your date. And no, it’s not just to get a second date but this is a common courtesy that isn’t so common.
Consider that most of their other dates may not respond back to them in 48 hours. By communicating with them about how you enjoyed the date, you set yourself apart from their other options and make it to the top of the list. You also get a chance to remind them of some great moments during the date that is noteworthy. Either way, this is a simple gesture that can take you a long way. (I smell a second date!)
You could just be a jerk on a date. Now you may be saying, “I’m such a nice person. I could never be a jerk to anyone.” But let’s see how that lines up with these examples of jerk behavior:
- You are late for the date. Yeah, things happen, but come on! You can do better.
- You won’t shut up. You over talk, share too much, and give too many personal details too soon.
- You’re too full of yourself. If you find yourself drinking tons of water because your mouth is so dry from talking, you are doing too much. Seriously, your date should be the curious new thing that has piqued your interest that you want to investigate. So why are you talking so much again?
- You’re too intimidating. And you like it. This is for all the accomplished braggarts who can’t help but talk about who they know, all their degrees, what fancy car they drive, and their amazing shoe collection. Chill out and stop puffing yourself up, because you’re running them off (except for the golddiggers).
- You’re negative. You may not like the food, the server, the music in the restaurant, or how cold it is in the room. But you don’t have to say it. You also don’t need to talk bad about your exes, coworkers, or friends. Silence is golden here.
- You’re too sexual. Unless this is just a mutually agreed upon hookup, chill out with all of the sexual passes and innuendos. If you like them and show them, it will be clear you want them sexually too (or should be), so you don’t need to go all creep master on them.
5. Doing Too Much
I get that you want to impress them with the fanciest restaurant and nicest lounge, but first dates are not for that. They are to see if this is someone you want to go on a second date with. That means places that aren’t distractions with pricey menus and exotic locations.
Coffee shops, happy hours, and ice cream spots are perfect first date spots. “But these are all inexpensive.” Exactly! You don’t need to break the bank on a first date. In fact, you don’t want to! If you spend heavily on a first date with a person you don’t know, it says, “I do this with everyone,” so it’s no longer special. Go easy. Plan light. Focus on fun.
6. Your Date is Too Long
If your first date is over an hour, you are probably oversharing. You are sharing stories from childhood, talking about exes, complaining about work, and sharing how your friends are just glad you’re on a date. I know how you feel, though. I hear my clients say things like, “But it was going so well,” or “The conversation was just flowing and I didn’t want to stop!” But I’ll tell you what I tell them: You’re blowing it if your first dates go on for more than an hour in the same location.
First dates longer than an hour kill all of your mystery. By the time it’s over, you both would have found out every interesting thing there is to know about each other. And you know what?
When the mystery is gone, they’ll feel as if there is no reason to meet up with you again. Even though the conversation was flowing well and you felt you had a solid connection, chances are, they’re off banging some other interest who didn’t overshare or listen to their life story for three hours on the first date.
Mystery is your secret sauce to the next date. If the date is going well, invite them to go somewhere else nearby. That will signal the beginning of the second date. It’s very important not to stay stagnant in one location longer than an hour on the first date or you’ll wind up friend-zoned or ghosted.