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Dating Advice 74 - No Second Date!
Dating Advice

Dating Advice 74 - No Second Date!

After one date, he's had enough. But what's the best way to let her know that?


Dear Rosie & Sherry,

I date occasionally and consider myself lucky to meet so many great women. However, for whatever reason, I can usually tell quickly whether I am interested romantically enough to ask someone out for a second date.

But often I will go out with someone I end up liking very much, and feel that the interest is not romantic. How do I communicate this? Should I say something to this effect at the end of the date? This seems to me like a very awkward thing to do on a first date. Should I simply not call them back? This seems a little harsh, especially if I did have a nice time and thought they were a nice person.

I have asked many women friends how a guy should appropriately indicate a lack of interest and, oddly enough, I get very diverse answers. Do you have a recommendation? What if I like the person, but not as a potential mate?


Dear Lewis,

When you don't want to date a woman again, the best way to end a date is to thank her for an enjoyable evening and let it go at that. Don't promise to call -- she'll expect that you are interested in continuing to date and will wait for that call. Don't get in touch with her after several days and expect her to read your mind (i.e. that you are not interested in a courtship). She'll think that you want to date her again.

If you were set up by a third party, you can have that person call your date to say you're not interested. This way the woman gets the courtesy of a call, without any discomfort on your part or hers.

Or you could always call her home number during the daytime, when you know she's at work, and leave a brief message on the machine: "I enjoyed meeting you last night, but I don't think this is a 'match.' Best success to you, I know you'll make the right guy very happy."

We'd like to address a more basic dating issue.

Our culture has conditioned us to expect to feel a spark of romantic interest when we first go out with someone new. Truthfully, this spark isn't genuine romantic interest. It's chemistry, plain and simple, and in every single case this chemical reaction will burn itself out. We all hear of some couples who felt an instant connection and have been going strong ever since, but you have to believe us when we say that their marriage has not endured because of that chemical reaction. It has endured because they acquired the foundations of a good relationship and built on them. Most people who feel instantly attracted to each other never achieve this and break up in a matter of time.

We know that what we have to say next goes against everything you have come to expect from dating, but it's the truth: The majority of good marriages don't start out with that spark. They build gradually. Many times, the first date for such a couple is pleasant but not superb, and sometimes it's only mediocre. That's only natural when two people hardly know each other and may feel uncomfortable. However, the second date is better, and after three or four dates the couple senses that something is starting to develop.

If you are looking toward marriage we'd like to see you give yourself more of an opportunity to get to know a date whose company you enjoy. Go on a second date, and even a third or fourth, to see how things develop. You may find yourself becoming more physically and emotionally attracted to your date than you initially believed could be possible. If this happens, we hope that you'll concentrate on developing the courtship further (rather than wondering if something better could come along).

We hope this has been helpful, and wish you the best of success,

Rosie & Sherry

January 19, 2003

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Visitor Comments: 7

(7) Anonymous, January 29, 2011 5:14 AM

Great advice

I think your advice is truly helpful. being a young person and growing up in the midst of TV shows like The Bachelor, I think it's easy to forget that with real love it takes time and commitment to build a relationship and isn't always just about a romanic "spark" that you feel immediately. Thanks for the wonderful and honest advice.

(6) claire, November 4, 2009 4:22 PM

Good Advice

This is one of the best articles I have read on articles. its really mature and takes a mature approach. We always look for some fairy tale spark but never look for the POTENTIAL for long term. If I have a nice date with a man, even if there was no spark per se, I will go out with him a few more times to see if things develop. I am not romantic in thinking that we will fall in love then flay away together. i believe that mature lasting relationships develop over time, not just after the first awkward date.

(5) Anonymous, September 27, 2004 12:00 AM

Why can't SHE call

Why is it that it's always the man having to call back. Why can't the woman call back. After all the man is the one who worked up the courage to ask her out, treated her to a free dinner and movie, and he has to call her back. If anyone should call back it should be the woman thanking him for the great date. So much for equal rights. You can't have your cake and eat it too. By the way, women who wait for someone to call them back even if they are interested are too immature and arrogant. Why does it matter who calls who. If you enjoyed the date, just call them back without thinking of such things. We are not in high school. If a woman enjoyed the date and she is too proud to call him back, that's her loss and stupidity. Relationships should be equal and not women having unfair advantages of just kicking back and not taking initiative. Isn't this the 21st century.

(4) Donna, October 18, 2001 12:00 AM

Give it more time

Lewis is being short-sighted by believeing that at he can always tell at the end of a first date if it's only a friendship. While we all have had dating experiences with people we have no interest in seeing a second time, I believe that a date that ends with him really liking someone, even if there's no initial "spark" is a friendship that is worth pursuing. My best relationships have been with men that I went out with once or twice (or even 3 or 4 times) before I realized that a nice evening was indeed something more. In fact, a very strong attraction on a first date or initial meeting is often a warning for me to be extra cautious! Lewis, do yourself a favor and revisit some of these nice "platonic" dates you have may find yourself in the beginning of something very special!
I am disappointed that a site which offers otherwise excellent advice on how to matriculate through this difficult social interaction called "serious" dating, you would counsel someone to have a third party do the dirty work of "dumping" a date. That is poor advice and I can't say it any other way!

(3) Anonymous, October 14, 2001 12:00 AM

dating advice #74

When I go out on first date I could never say that I really like him right away! My experience has been that it takes me at least a month if not more before knowing if I want to date someone romantically. If I feel butterflies in my stomach on the first date I know for sure there is a physical attraction but I have learned that it doesn't mean there is a connection. The one's that I do connect with are the one's who #1. Pursued me. 2#. Took the time to get to know me not my body.ļ Regardless, I can't say that I fully understand men because there are those times when I hope he calls and he doesn't. I am 30 and I enjoy being single but I am still open to possibilities. When I think I am with a nice guy and says he will call after he just kissed me good -night I get my hopes up high. Until 2 weeks have gone by and he hasn't called. I go through every emotion possible but I get over it. I have figured out that just because they take your number doesn't mean they will call but I don't know what to do when I see him again. I am disappointed that he didn't call so do I act like it didn't matter? I don't want to make him feel guilty for not calling because I'm sure he has his reasons but do they want us to ignore them like they did us? Like I said before half the time I don't know if I like him more than just a friend (because I don't know him)and he has closed the door to any possibility so what is a girl to do? To finish off I'd like to say to the men out there: It's to bad for you that you don't make the call because if your date was mature enough she would understand that your not interested romantically and she'd live on but you may have missed out on the possibility that they might have a friend you would connect with.

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