Dating Advice, Plz

When you go on a date that’s really, really good, it’s easy to know how to proceed. Usually both parties felt similarly about the chemistry, and a second date is scheduled at some point. When you go on a date that’s really, really bad, it’s also easy to know how to proceed. Usually both parties felt similarly about the chemistry, and you never contact each other again.

But what about those dates that aren’t great or bad? You didn’t dislike the person, everything was pleasant enough, but you know that you’re not really that into them? Worse, what if they thought the date went very well and are clearly into you? How do you proceed from there? There’s almost no reason to not see them again, since the first date was pleasant, but you also don’t want to lead them on. How do you politely turn someone down that you liked well enough? Especially when they seem so sure that the chemistry is there?

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  1. RosemaryNo Gravatar
    Posted August 16, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I’m super bad at this game. Usually I just disappear–stop calling, stop texting, break off all communication. But that’s because I’m wicked passive aggressive and am terrible at breaking it off with people face to face :-/

    • Britni TheVadgeWigNo Gravatar
      Posted August 16, 2010 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      I usually do the same thing. I just disappear. But I feel so mean doing that!

      • twgNo Gravatar
        Posted August 16, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        I feel that, after one date, no one owes anyone anything. Two calls/texts, and no return = no spark. I accept it if it happens to me, so I like to think I should get to do it. After one date, you can hardly take it personally, and if you do, then you’re dating wrong.

  2. AliUptownNo Gravatar
    Posted August 16, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    I think there are different levels of a ‘date not going well’. If it went superbad, then definitely don’t lead them on. I don’t think there’s any harm in telling them you’re just not feeling it-honesty can be brutal but I think it’s better than avoidance.

    If the date was just ‘meh’, what’s the harm in trying again? Switch things up and see if it just wasn’t a case of the first date awkwards (which may or may not be them being intimidated). If not, then at least you gave it a valiant effort.

    Apologies for being a bit advice-column-y.

  3. BatNo Gravatar
    Posted August 16, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Have you ever tried a food or drink and weren’t sure you liked it the first time? You give it another try. I’d hate to think that I missed out on sushi just because the first time I had it, the atmosphere wasn’t right, or I didn’t feel good, or my brain chemistry was just out of wack. Everybody deserves a second chance and it’s not like it will be that much meaner if you disappear after the second date. IMHO

  4. ElodieNo Gravatar
    Posted August 16, 2010 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    If you enjoy their company, hang out with them on non-dates. Take it slow.

    I don’t think one date without fireworks is enough to write someone off. Chemistry that builds over time is almost always more enduring than the kind that flares immediately.

  5. AuroreNo Gravatar
    Posted August 16, 2010 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    I am in the exact same boat right now…

    Don’t disappear – I find that the most hurtful and confusing thing you can do to someone. I have much more respect when people just tell me they aren’t interested in pursuing something. It’s harder but it’s more humane.

  6. Britni TheVadgeWigNo Gravatar
    Posted August 16, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    I’m absolutely referring to the kind that you KNOW you’re not into them like that, nor will you be. Not the “let me give him one more shot” kind of thing.

  7. TaniaNo Gravatar
    Posted August 17, 2010 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    If it were me, I’d probably try and steer it in the direction of something more casual…although if they’re really into you, this could end badly.
    I’ve done the disappearing thing a few times myself, but I feel bad if they were really nice, and I know how much I hate it being done to me.
    I guess you could try just talking to them and being nice but not leading them on, and if they don’t take the hint just tell them straight out that you had a nice time but don’t see it going anywhere?

  8. Essin' EmNo Gravatar
    Posted August 17, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    I will say that I had a similar “meh” date with J for our first time. It wasn’t bad, but it was definitely awkward, and I felt uncomfortable, and wasn’t attracted to zir at all. However, I didn’t know how to put J off, so we went on a second date. Which was ok, till J went off on 9-11 conspiracies, and I was so not into ze. However, we ended up at my place, and J helped me pack up my whole place. And that was hot. And then we fucked. And that was hotter. And then we dated and fucked for almost 6 months…and as hard as the break up was, I’m so glad I accidentally went on the second date because it was really a good relationship, and very sexually fulfilling and explorative. Just saying.

  9. PrettyPrettyPrincessNo Gravatar
    Posted August 22, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    Gah, I’m late to this party. meant to respond earlier. I have this down to a science:

    Via text or email:

    “I enjoyed meeting you the other night but I didn’t feel a romantic connection. Thank you for the (coffee/tea/pad thai/multiple orgasms) and good luck :)

    Friendly, non-blamey, inoffensive. Unless someone is a complete stalker/jackhole it works every time.

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