It’s encouraging and often exciting when you go on a first date. In your opinion things went fairly well and whilst you are interested in meeting that person for a second time, the feelings are not mutual. Oh well you can’t win them all, so you move onto the next person. But then the same thing happens again and again. Despite your best efforts, second dates are becoming a rarity. So what’s going on? And more importantly, who’s responsible? The online dating website? Or the singles event that you’re meeting these people from? Or you?
Often, it’s difficult to admit our own shortcomings and easier to abdicate responsibility and blame others when things don’t go the way in which we had hoped. Sometimes by taking a step back and assessing objectively what is going on, we can tweak our behaviour and maybe get a different end result. There are no hard and fast answers why people do not get second dates but by reading on you will see that there are a number of common reasons, which may shed some light.
Are you doing too much of the talking and not enough listening? Or vice-versa? Let’s start with talking. If you’re constantly rambling on and not giving your date a chance to talk, how do you think they are going to feel? After a few minutes they are likely to switch off. Constantly interrupting someone when they are talking is also off-putting (although partly excusable if you can’t get a word in edge ways). You need to strive to be an engaging conversationalist and share your opinions and experiences without coming across as boring, arrogant or aggressive. Part of being engaging also includes being a good listener. This is normally demonstrated through positive body language and feedback in the form of questions related to the subject matter. If you’re asking the same questions back to your date, do so by adding something extra on. For example, you’re asked “where are you going on holiday this year?” After replying, you could respond with “where are you going on holiday this year, have you travelled much?” Where possible, do ask unique questions and not simply follow your date’s lead, otherwise you risk giving the impression that you lack basic communication skills, or are not making a concerted effort.
Whilst nobody wants to invest lots of time & effort dating someone who is unsuitable, placing too much pressure on yourself and the other person by treating the first date as an interview for your lifetime partner, will not get you very far. In fact, whilst you may discover that the person ticks X, Y & Z box, you potentially stand to put them off by your demeanour. Keeping the conversation light-hearted and engaging, you probably would be able to discover the same information, without coming across as a potential employer. It’s important to remember that a first date is exactly that, you do not need to make any life changing decisions, you just need to find out whether you have enough in common and enjoy one another’s company to warrant a further meeting.
Despite it being a well cited dating rule, often people start talking about their ex in great depth during the first date. Whilst past relationships may come up in conversation, there is no need to provide a detailed post-mortem about the relationship at this stage. Answer the question briefly and then move onto the next topic. Going on about your ex leaves the other person wondering whether you are over them and emotionally available to start a new relationship. No one wants to play second fiddle to an ex.
Are you coming across as someone who does not have a life outside of work? Whilst it is great to share information about your career and aspirations, if you’re constantly talking about work and hardly anything else, how interesting is this likely to be to your date? It will raise a number of questions. Are you a workaholic? Do you really have time for a relationship? Would you be boring to be around as you appear to have no interests/passions outside of work? Are you getting the picture? Faced with the prospect of competing with your job, for your time and attention... No thanks, next please!
When you turn up for a date, do you make an effort with your personal appearance? First impressions count and take seconds to form. Whilst you may have an amazing personality and lots to offer a potential partner, this may be overshadowed by your lack of attention to your image. For example, if your date is put off by your dirty nails, whilst you’re trying to make your personality shine, they’re thinking about your nails and not really paying full attention to the conversation. Furthermore, people often draw a correlation to ones appearance with their attitude and way of life. For example, if someone can’t be bothered to look after themselves on the outside, do they approach life in the same slap-dash lazy manner. Therefore, by taking the time to present yourself at your best, gives you a positive head start in the dating game.
These are just some of the reasons that people do not get a second date. If you fall into this category the key is to be honest with yourself and work out the possible reasons why. It might be a case of trial & error while you tweak what you believe to potentially be the cause. An option is to also discuss this with a trusted friend of the opposite gender – who can potentially give you insight from your date’s point of view. But if you’re feeling brave enough and willing to accept constructive feedback without getting defensive, you could also ask your date for some honest feedback in the name of self-development... Good luck!