Advice and Insights for Modern Daters

Second Date Sadness

Laurie offers advice to a letter writer wondering why she consistently gets asked out on first dates, but never gets asked on a second. 

Q. What am I doing wrong that I literally NEVER get asked out on second dates? I have no problem getting first dates or attracting people on dating apps, but no matter what I do I can’t seem to get to Date #2. This is baffling because we have great conversations, and the guys say they want to see me again. Is this me, or just something that happens to everyone in dating today?

Claudia, 27, Los Angeles, CA

A. Ghosting is the worst, isn’t it? You might feel like throwing your phone and yelling, “Just text me back and tell me your deal!” When all you get is a blank screen, it’s easy to feel like you did something wrong. I promise you didn’t.

In fact, I’d argue that ghosting is a great way to screen out guys who aren’t relationship ready. Either he can’t follow through, or he’s avoiding confrontation. You don’t want a man who is all talk and no action. And if he’s not willing to have this type of conversation early on in the relationship, how do you think he’ll be later on?

To put your heart at ease, let’s take a closer look at what’s happening on your first dates so you get more second ones soon. It’s time to get out of this dating loop.

You mentioned the conversation always goes well and you both say you want to see each other again. These are the words from your date. It makes me wonder: what is being said nonverbally?

The most common complaint I hear from people after a date is that there wasn’t any chemistry. And when chemistry is lacking, usually flirting is too. It’s what gives your connection romantic potential, as opposed to it being just a friendship.

There’s an easy way to understand flirting: the flirting formula*. Credit for this one goes to my hubby and fellow dating coach, Thomas Edwards.

The Flirting Formula = (Complimenting + Teasing) to the power of Touching

Complimenting and teasing are the core of flirting. But if you think back to middle school math, you’ll remember that anything “to the power of” makes it exponentially more powerful. So when he touches you – or you touch him – it makes your flirtation much stronger.

So next time you’re on a date, ask yourself: is he flirting with you? Look for compliments and teasing in particular. And, are you flirting with him, too?

I hear from a lot of women that they don’t feel like they should need to initiate flirting – they want to feel flirted with first. But if you’re interested in him, don’t hold back! Most guys have a strong fear of rejection, and if they feel a flirtatious vibe from you, it will make it a more comfortable environment for him to open up, too. It’s a signal to him that he won’t be rejected. If you’re not sure where to start and want to send a clear message that you’re into him, start with a compliment. Men give compliments often but rarely receive them, so it will feel extra special.

Remember that when it comes to dating, what is felt will always trump what is said.

Speaking of words, a thank you text the next day is a must. Lead with appreciation – and be specific. When you reference something from your date it is more likely to elicit a response. So rather than, “Thanks for the wine! I had a great time last night,” try, “So much fun last night! I’m still laughing at your Fourth of July story. How is your day going?” You’ll notice there’s a question at the end, because just like on a dating app, the momentum you created continues when you keep the conversation going.  

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LAURIE DAVIS 

Laurie Davis Edwards is a relationship coach and the founder of eFlirt, a company that has helped thousands of people find love. She’s responsible for more than 100 marriages and her advice has been featured in more than 500 international media outlets, including the New York Times, Good Morning America, Elle, and the Wall Street Journal. Send questions to Laurie at advice@hinge.co with her name in the subject line. 

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