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On the fence about a second date?
You are tired of so many first dates that are either a complete disappointment or leave you feeling unsure about whether this is someone you want to know better. You know- the ones where your date was average looking, was conversant and had a pleasant manner, no red flags popped up, but the chemistry was just ho-hum. You weren't turned off, but you didn't have butterflies either. Do you thank them and say the chemistry wasn't right for you, do you say you had a nice time and would like to do it again, if you are a guy do you say "I'll call or text about getting together again in the next couple of days," even if you don't plan to?
Every situation unique, but here are the things you should keep in mind before, during and after that first date:
* How easy was it to make a plan to get together? Did they seek out and weigh your input and contribute their own, were they punctual, and did they offer to pick up the tab, split the check or handle the tip, depending upon who asked who?
* Did your date resemble the person you agreed to go out with? In other words, was their appearance and behavior consistent with your pre-date impressions?
* Were they well groomed and dressed appropriately--as though they had made an effort to put a good foot forward? Were they respectful and attentive when you spoke and able to carry on a good back and forth conversation? Did they seem really engaged or distracted by their cell phone, watch, or others in the environment?
* Were they positive when they shared about themselves? Were they respectful to wait staff and others around you? How were their boundaries--both around how much and how far they shared verbally and demonstrated physically?
* Did you get the sense that they were having a good time and really into you, or were there mixed messages?
* Do you feel you share a similar sense of humor, world view or passion?
As you observe and reflect on the above, you will form a much more solid picture of who your date is and how well they match up with who you are. This compatibility of values and behavior is an important piece to all successful relationships, and part of the foundation they will rest on. If something struck you as off, made you uncomfortable, or was a clear turn-off, this should weigh heavily on your second date decision. If everything to that point felt OK, just not wow, you should consider:
* Continuing the date by taking a walk or having a nightcap together, as long as your remain in a very public area. This would give you time for more in-depth conversation.
* Telling them you had a nice time and yes, would like to get together again. Don't try to sound more excited than you actually feel--just be genuine so the message is that you need more information to know how you feel.
* Extending your hand to initiate a warm hand shake at the end of the evening if a kiss seems premature. If it doesn't, a kiss on the cheek is warm and usually well received.
* Being open to offering or discussing a time frame for that second date.
* Following up after the date with a thank you and/or an idea of what to do on a second date.
Once you have done the date follow-up the ball is in their court if they want to play it. If not, you have done all you could and it's best to move on.
The bottom line is that if you are not turned off by their appearance, personality, and how they relate to you and others, and you feel a decent level of comfort and compatibility, consider giving it another try. Even if you feel less than sure than you had hoped, the second time around could result with a better connection. Sometimes folks decide to give a "nice" person a chance, which isn't fair to either of you if you just don't feel it. However, if you are on the fence, seeing them again would help you get a better sense of who they are, how well you connect--and if there is a possibility that your feelings could get stronger. This happens much more frequently than most people know.
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Toni Coleman, LCSW
© Copyright 2008 Antoinette Coleman. All rights reserved.
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