Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Vanishing Second Date

In Your Tango’s advice column, a woman asked why she wasn’t scoring the second date. The last three 1st dates she went on went well. The men took her number, discussed the second date, but never followed through. 

A scene from the move, He’s Just Not That into You, came to mind. The movie is about women chasing men. The adorable fresh-faced protagonist has terrible problems keeping men. She meets them. They chat her up, maybe even go out on a date, but then disappear. Most of the men hint they will take her out again. She sounds out the cute bartender for his advice. He explains if a man wants to call you, he will. If he’s lost your number, he will make an extraordinary effort to find it.  He will get it somehow. If a guy doesn’t call you, it is because he doesn’t want to.

Why does the man even hint he’ll go out with you again if that wasn’t his intention? It makes things easier, way easier. The date ends in an upbeat note. Think how you'd feel if the guy you thought you were really connecting with gives you a hug and then tells you that it didn’t work for him. Not too great. You’d probably spend the rest of the night replaying the date, trying to figure out what went wrong.

Some women will even have a dramatic public meltdown. It may have happened to your date once.  That explains his reluctance to have it happen again. He also may think he’s not hurting your feelings. It may be on the cowardly sign, but he isn’t around when you realize he’s not that into you.

Then there’s a different possibility. He may have mistakenly thought you didn’t like him. Men are fraught with first date insecurities too. What could signal disinterest?

*Not keeping eye contact. Your eyes may have wandered the room, which he interpreted as bored or looking for a different date.

*Not laughing at his jokes. Keep in mind; male humor and female humor are vastly different. What he thought was a joke, may not have been funny at all.

*Not contributing to the conversation. Shyness looks like disinterest.

*Taking a phone call or text during the date. Reading your texts is almost as bad. Unless you work for the fire department or the emergency heart transplant team, you can be off duty for sixty minutes. Picking up the phone tells the man that he’s not important. However, a call from the babysitter is an acceptable one to take.

*Not commenting on how nice he looks. Men are often insecure about their looks too.

*Not mentioning you had a great time, or that you liked him. This will lead him to believe the date bombed and so did he.

*Not smiling. Women smile much more than men do. Men are aware of this and expect a smiling date, even if you’re not a smiler. A not smiling date indicates a pained date.

Still, he may force himself past his misgivings and ask you out again. As he drives home, all his doubts come into play and he convinces himself that you agreed to the second date to be nice. How can you turn these dynamics around?

Start the date out in a no-lose atmosphere. Smile; tell him how glad you are to meet him. Tell him that the two of you will have a great date. Then proceed to be the date you want him to be: attentive, charming and in the moment. Not surprisingly, your date will mirror your actions. There should be no doubts about the second date.

Of course, it could be  he doesn’t want to see you. I am not a computer hacker, but I can locate numbers I misplaced. He can too. Keep in mind, thousands of women passed on the loser hotline number because they didn’t want to hurt the man’s feelings face to face. Sometimes, the not calling is a gentler version of this. Let it go. The worst thing you could do is call, send an angry text or email about what a loser he is. It might make you feel good for a few seconds, but that’s it.

Dating is about discovering people we would match up with and no one matches with everyone.

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