This Is Why You’re Not Getting Second Dates

Published On: March 21, 2024|Categories: Advice for Men, Dating Tips, First Dates|7 min read|

Getting out on a first date is complicated enough sometimes, so it can be really disheartening when things don’t pan out the way you want. Some people just aren’t a great fit for you, and in those cases it’s okay that there’s no second date. However, some of the people you date will be great partner material. When those dates come along, it’s important to be ready as your best self.

If you’ve been struggling to make it past the first date, it’s okay. We’ve rounded up a few common reasons we see our clients’ dating lives stall out. Read on to see if any of these reasons for not getting a second date sound like you, and find out how you can pivot to a better way of dating.

You’re making a poor first impression.

When you go on a first date, it’s critical to make a good first impression. This face-to-face interaction will be the version of you that your date remembers, so be on your best behavior. This includes being polite and courteous to not only your date, but anyone else you interact with during your time together.

Being short-tempered with your server or making a judgmental comment about a fellow diner is something your date will remember. And unfortunately, it’s pretty likely to influence their judgment of your character. This is because of a psychological phenomenon called the fundamental attribution error. Our brains tend to interpret our own faux pas as the result of circumstances, while thinking of other people’s slip-ups as a product of who they fundamentally are.

This is in part because we have additional context for our own actions, while we rely on our observations of others for information. Once your date has formed a negative opinion of you, it can be very difficult to change their mind. So even though you might consider yourself to be a generally polite and kind person, your date will have a hard time believing it if they see you behaving rudely.

You don’t ask questions.

First dates can be incredibly nerve-wracking, and some people ramble when they’re nervous. It’s perfectly normal, but it can leave a poor impression.

Questions are a way to delve deeper into someone’s interests and personality. Especially if your date is asking about you, it can seem like you’re not interested in getting to know them if you’re not asking questions in return. You miss out on potential points of connection and shared interests that make a second date attractive.

Unfortunately, to your date talking too much without asking questions can read as self-absorption. So if you spend time complaining about how much you dislike your neighbors, your date will be more likely to remember you as egotistical, rude, and uninterested in them.

Similar things can be said for those who don’t talk enough on their dates. Conversation needs to be a relatively even balance between the two of you. Giving short, one-word, or dead-end answers to your date’s questions forces them to carry the conversation. In addition to making you seem awkward and uncomfortable, it can make you appear disinterested in connecting with them.

It’s essential for you to let your date know you’re interested. Ask questions about them, and pay attention when they talk. If you tend to ramble on or clam up, check in with yourself periodically to make sure you aren’t dominating the conversation or making your date carry all the weight.

You overshare.

When you meet someone interesting, it can be very tempting to spend hours together and want to learn every detail right away. For some folks, this might be a sign of real compatibility, but this strategy can backfire as well.

While it’s important to be honest about yourself to your date, revealing too much too soon can scare them away. Sometimes, singles unconsciously use this as a defense mechanism to avoid developing a truly emotionally intimate relationship. Real intimacy is built over time.

To avoid oversharing, try to keep the conversation light. Avoid digging into topics that bring up strong emotions on the first date. This includes political talks, even if you share the same views as your date. These conversations can easily become heated and are likely to have a negative tone.

Another topic we recommend steering clear of is your past relationships and partners. There will be a time to talk about your ex later. Bringing them up too soon can give the appearance you’re not over your previous relationship. The first date should be focused on finding a connection between yourself and your date, not comparing them to someone from your past.

You have too much to drink.

Drinking on first dates is a touchy subject. It’s common to suggest a bar as a great first date spot. Happy hours offer an enticing opportunity to get to know each other, but they might not be the right choice for every single.

Drinking too much on a first date is a pretty common deal-breaker. About 1-in-4 men and 1-in-5 women say they wouldn’t go on a second date with someone who drank too much on the first one.

Alcohol can impair your communication skills, making it difficult to have meaningful conversation or connect with your date on a deeper level. Drinking too much can also give your date the idea that you’re irresponsible or that you lack self-control. If you choose to consume alcohol on a first date, be sure that you know your own limits and drink conservatively.

We recommend sticking to just a drink or two if you choose to imbibe. This will allow you to stay in control of your behavior and presentation while still allowing you to relax with a bit of liquid courage if you choose to. However, if you have struggled to keep your alcohol consumption under control on past dates, it may be best to forgo drinks entirely and opt for a coffee shop instead.

You’re not present.

One sure-fire way to make your date feel unimportant is to act distant, distracted, and uninterested while you’re together. We conducted a survey of over 3,000 Americans and found that 2 out of 3 said if someone was distracted on the first date, then there’s no need for a second one. Clearly, giving your date your full attention is an essential part of finding connection.

To make your date feel important on your date, you should put in some effort during the date, but also before you even show up. Take some time to get ready. Looking nice and well-groomed shows your date that you’re excited to be there and you value the time you’ll spend together.

If you remember one piece of advice, let it be this: DO NOT SHOW UP FRESH FROM WORK. Go home and take a shower. Even if you only spend a few minutes on your appearance, your date will notice the effort—and a lack thereof. Not only is your first impression likely to suffer if your appearance is untidy, your connection is more likely to falter if you’re still in “work mode” during dinner.

Even if there’s a great spot right by your office, it’s not worth it. Make sure you have plenty of time to go home, get ready, and arrive on time. Showing up late is another great way to make your date think you’re careless, rude, and not ready for a serious relationship. If your workday ends at 5:00 and you know it takes you 30 minutes to get home and freshen up, then don’t schedule for 5:15. Give yourself time to look and feel your best.

In Conclusion

If any of these sound like you, don’t worry. Life is a learning process, and we all slip up sometimes. The important thing is that you’re willing to learn from your past missteps and move forward on the right foot. Even if your first meeting isn’t ideal, you can still have a great time by keeping these tips in mind. At the end of the day, being a great partner is about so much more than just acing the first date.

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!