How To Ensure You’ll Never Get a Second Date


Last week, I had a blind date whereby she slowly but surely insisted that I meet her at the place she wanted (which was totally fine with me) but with her friends present (her introducing me when I arrived). I felt so uncomfortable like while they were asking me questions right away like they all had to inspect / get to know me and felt that it turned into a 5-on-1 and by the time we were alone (30 minutes into the date), I felt like I had been rung over the coals. I guess I passed the test but didn’t really want to spend more time with her to be honest. So in the future, I’m going to ask someone to meet “on neutral grounds”. Am I wrong in doing this? Thanks much! – Matt, NYC, 36

You’re within your rights to be turned off by this behavior. It’s rude and childish.

I wouldn’t make it a point to say that you wish to meet on neutral grounds. You should, however, take control of the situation from the start. Choose a place. If she comes back at you with another suggestion – and you know there’s nothing wrong with the location you chose – consider that a warning. You can concede if she pushes the issue, but realize that that’s a red flag, too.

Here’s what you learned by her little maneuver. First, you learned that she’s rude. Second, you learned that her friends are rude. The socially appropriate thing to do in a situation like this is to break free from your gaggle of gal pals. If her friends were remotely polite, they would have either left before you arrived or soon after in order to give you and your date some privacy.

The main reason you shouldn’t go out with her again is that you established a bad precedent. You took her crap and didn’t speak up. Now she’ll think she can do things like this and get away with it. There’s nothing wrong with standing your ground in a situation like that. In fact, I recommend it.

There are various things that men and women do that reveal will tell you they’re going to be difficult. After running events for many, many years I am able to spot a person who will be a problem a mile away. Keep these moves in the back of your mind next time you agree to meet someone.

They upgrade the date -We’ve discussed this before. If you suggest one place and they counter with a place that’s more expensive, they’re either testing you or just in it for the experience or story. If you’re someone who expects the man to pay for the date, the guy gets to choose where you meet. End scene.  (Unless he tries to drag you all over the place because that’s convenient for him. Fuck that noise.)  If you upgrade, fork over some cash. This also includes people who, on a date, order food without asking their date first if they mind if they do so.  If you order food on a date that was originally specified to be a drinks date, pay for it. Or at least offer.

They pull the safety card - Unless you’re suggesting to meet them in a dark alley or your apartment on a first date, the safety excuse is specious. It is being used to force you to give them what they want. Push the issue and you are immediately labeled a criminal. You are not obligated to hand over your last name to someone before you meet them, and if they ask for it, you can be sure they’re racing over to Google with it.

They demand various kinds of contact info – At this stage of the dating game, most people prefer to keep their last names or other more personal contact info to themselves until they’ve met you. Just because they’re not offering you their blood type doesn’t mean they’re hiding something. It means, like you, they’re not sure if you’re dangerous. As for social media, DO NOT start following or friending people until you have a handful of dates with them under your belt. Don’t give me the safety excuse. A friend request or follow too soon sets off alarm bells for many and it puts the person receiving the request in an uncomfortable position.

They pull a 180There was a story today on XOJane about a woman’s great first date with a guy she met on Match. Everything went swimmingly, but then the next day he sent her a text saying he was intimidated by her but really wanted to be friends and hang out. Translation: I want to redefine the terms of this arrangement to meet my specifications. The compliments are a smokescreen used to make the other person more pliable. Someone who does this is trying to manipulate the situation to their advantage. Or they’re flakey.

They ask for more pictures - If you have at least 3 recent photos on your profile and they don’t look a decade old, that should suffice. They want to be sure they won’t show up and find you heavier or older. Anybody who needs that 45 minutes to be “worth their time” is too particular or has had a number of bad experiences, which in and of itself is a problem.

They tell you you’re their first date from the site – This one isn’t so bad, but it still should be filed away. Don’t get your hopes up, especially if the date is amazing. They’ll go home thinking that if online dating is that successful, why stop now?

They tell you about all their awful dates – Again, somebody who has a series of failed or horrific first dates is the only common denominator in those situations. They either have bad filters or thrive off the drama of all their ‘bad dates.’ Keep in mind that there’s a difference between sharing stories as a way to bond or break the ice and ranting. The former is okay and is usually done with a jovial tone. The latter isn’t.

They tell you about their good dates – Much like the general rule that you don’t talk about your exes on a date, you don’t talk about your successes if they’re current. Take that to mean that they’re playing the field. Mucho.

They tell you that previous people have called them intimidating – Warning! Danger Will Robinson. Something about them is difficult to deal with or unlikeable. A person only has to hear that once in order to do some inventory. That is never, ever, ever a compliment.

They reveal something too personal – Either this person has issues with boundaries or they’re trying to force familiarity with their date. Oh, you had an abortion or once had a woman threaten to get a restraining order? Keep that shit to yourself.

They suggest a coffee date – Boo boo boo boo. You’re probably dealing with someone who refuses to spend more than X on a date. If they’re a recovering alcoholic and don’t want to meet in a bar and you drink, consider that a major difference in lifestyle choices. They might be newly sober or don’t wish to put themselves in that kind of environment. That’s perfectly acceptable, but if you enjoy a drink or three, eventually that could become a problem.

They don’t send a thank you text/email after the date – This is just bad form, plain and simple. If your date paid the bill, send them a message and say thank you. That’s what you would do if you received a gift. It’s proper etiquette. You don’t have to discount that person completely if they don’t send one, but you should keep tuck that in the back of your mind. If you want a second date, you should be following up the next day with a simple thank you email. (Looking at the women here.) If they don’t follow up, they either aren’t interested or feel you should be the one to contacting them first. It’s a hoop. If you like them, jump through it. If you don’t, don’t. To the single women reading: if you find yourself constantly scratching your head why that guy you really thought you clicked with didn’t ask you out again, this could be the reason. Guys hate this. It’s offensive to them.

 This is a re-post with updated info.


Sometimes the love of your life is the love of your life. (R)


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36 Responses to “How To Ensure You’ll Never Get a Second Date”

  1. AnnieNonymous Says:

    One of my main dealbreakers is when my date argues with everything I say. I approach conversations like, “Here are my thoughts and stories, please listen to them and I would love to listen to yours too.” It sucks when your date doesn’t turn things around and tell you their cool stuff, and instead tell you why your stuff is wrong or stupid. I don’t like “playful” debating on dates.

  2. jaclyn Says:

    Your date is insane. You don’t bring five of your friends to your date unless you are in middle school. You don’t need to put a disclaimer in your profile, since normal women won’t engage in this kind of behavior. If you suggest a place for the first date and the woman starts to argue, then just cancel it since she is on her best behavior at the start of the relationship. If she is entitled in the beginning, it is only going to get worse. Since you are the one asking (and probably will have to pay) then you get to pick the venue. The only time I ever suggested a venue is if the guy asked me to do so, and even then I made sure it wasn’t expensive since I figured he wouldn’t let me pay and I didn’t want to take advantage of him.

  3. Kyra Says:

    I think all your points, except one, were spot on Moxie – as per usual.

    Personally I do like coffee dates. I also like going out for drinks in the evening. But coffee is delicious, a low-key and relaxed date to get to know someone. Sure it may not facilitate taking someone home for the night, but I’m probably not going to have sex with a guy I just met. In my mind coffee can be equally as lovely as going for drinks.

    • Rocky Says:

      I can’t speak for Moxie but my issue with coffee dates is they feel like dating in a library. Don’t get me wrong — I love it when the date is quiet (can’t wait for the weather to warm up so I can start having them outside) but something about coffee dates gets in my head. I think it’s because not only is it quiet, but the other patrons are often on their laptops or whatever and have nothing to do but eavesdrop. And/or, you feel like you have to whisper which doesn’t suit my personality.

      I wouldn’t consider a coffee date a red flag but it’s not my preference. If it were a red flag, it would be because it comes off as very “kick the tires”/low expectations. But “drinks” isn’t really any different in that regard….

      • fuzzilla Says:

        **If it were a red flag, it would be because it comes off as very “kick the tires”/low expectations. But “drinks” isn’t really any different in that regard….**

        Exactly. That’s what turns me off about it. Plus just not a very sexy atmosphere. It’s like – what, is this my study buddy for the group project? Booze at least holds the illusion of mystery and romance and, “Hmm, let’s see where the night takes us…”

        If you really absolutely can’t drink and want to keep costs low, then maybe the activity date isn’t a bad idea.

      • Kyra Says:

        I think it really depends on location. I mean, the bars in my city you can barely hear the other person if you’re not there on a slow night, and bars have never really been my scene, maybe because I’m the kind of person who would find a bookstore date fun, lol.

        All in all I think it really depends on the coffee shop, I’ve personally not been to many really quiet ones where it feels like a library or that people care what my conversation is about. But all in all, I think my city just has better cafes than bars.

    • Goldie Says:

      It really depends on the coffee shop in my opinion. Starbucks, nope. A nice local coffee shop with ambience – why not?

      Also, as a woman, whenever a guy asked “so where do you want to meet?”, I’ve always suggested coffee dates (local shops with ambience). In my age group/location, the default is that the guy pays. I’m more than willing to pay half, but the guy doesn’t know it yet, since we haven’t met. A sports/divey bar is not the best place for a first date in my opinion. I want to have a conversation with my date, not holler over a sports game and hope he can hear. And by suggesting a nicer bar, I was afraid that I’d come across as high-maintenance (seeing as the guy expects to pay.) So with that in mind, when asked, I’d suggest a nice coffee place, and he was welcome to upgrade to a bar if he wanted to.

      • Rocky Says:

        These are good points. I don’t ask that question (I see picking a place as kind of my job as the guy) but I can understand why, if asked, a woman would suggest coffee.

        The venue thing is a good point too. I envy those of you who can date outside year round…

  4. Goldie Says:

    I really needed to hear the “previous people called them intimidating” piece. I was only ever told that once, by my then partner of 1.5 years. He said all his previous exes had told him that they were intimidated by him. (I wasn’t, for the record; we wouldn’t have been together if I’d been.) He did appear to think that it was a compliment. I didn’t know how to react to that statement or what to make of it, it was so far outside my realm of experience. I did not know it was a red flag; I just thought it was a very weird thing to say. Thank you Moxie for the info.

  5. coffeestop Says:

    Any time I feel uncomfortable on a date for any reason, a second date will not be happening. I went out on a date with a man to see/hear some music within a group of his friends and they were actually really nice and I got along great with them but I felt like I was auditioning to fit into an existing group and because we were in a group we did not spend much one on one time talking. He asked me out again so I guess I “passed” but I said no, I just did not get a sense of him and I was worried it would be another group date.

  6. Yvonne Says:

    I agree with most of the points, but I don’t think my sending a thank you note after a first date has made a bit of difference when it comes to a man contacting me again. Most of the time when I’ve sent thank you notes, I never heard a word back. My sending a note of thanks won’t prompt him to see me if he doesn’t already want to. If a man wants to see me again, I will usually hear from him within 24 hours of our date.

    Don’t get me wrong; I always thank a man graciously at the end of a first date. At that point, I already have a pretty good idea if the man wants to see me again, because he will generally say something specific about wanting to get together. If and when I hear from him, I’ll thank him again for the date.

    • Goldie Says:

      When I first started dating online six years ago, I was told not to send a written thank-you after a first date, because that comes across as chasing and may be a turn-off, or, alternately, may guilt the guy into staying in contact/suggesting a second date when he’s really not interested… I’ve come to doubt that particular wisdom. I now think a brief thank-you text won’t hurt. Like you said, if he doesn’t already want a second date, a thank-you note won’t change that in any way (nor do I want it to) and it’s a nice, polite thing to do.

      I’m still confused about the situations when you don’t want another date, but he might. Wouldn’t a written thank-you send him the wrong message then, that I’m interested and want to meet again, when that’s not the case?

      • Goldie Says:

        Want to clarify the above: the advice I got was not to initiate any contact after a first date, but instead to wait for him to contact me first. Not to specifically “not send him a thank-you note” – the advice was more like not to send him anything, which would include a thank-you note.

        Like I said, I’m skeptical about that advice now.

      • Yvonne Says:

        If you feel like sending a thank-you note after a date is the polite thing to do, there’s nothing really wrong with that. Just know that it’s not going to have much of an influence on making a man want to see you again. Personally, if I want to see someone who hasn’t expressed interest in seeing me again, sending a written note that goes unanswered just ends up being more rejection for me. If you don’t want to see someone again, no need to send a written note. Thanking someone is person is always appropriate, no matter what the situation.

        • Goldie Says:

          “Personally, if I want to see someone who hasn’t expressed interest in seeing me again, sending a written note that goes unanswered just ends up being more rejection for me.”

          Ah, see, I don’t see it as rejection. I see it as a good thing. If we’re not going to have a good time as a couple, then it’s best to nip that thing in the bud, the sooner the better. It hurts a lot more to find out that you’re going nowhere as a couple after two years together, than it does after one date, when you two are still strangers.

          In this case, I’d see my written note as testing the waters. I’ve done this. “Hmm, I’m not sure if he wants to see me, let’s shoot him a text and find out” (sends text, receives no answer or “k”) – okay, I found out, he doesn’t want to see me again, great, moving on.

      • DrivingMeNutes Says:

        The purpose of the thank you text is not to be generally polite or to satisfy eager Internet commenters or to “please men” generally but to increase the chances of getting a second date with a man whom you are interested in seeing again. So, no, don’t send a thank you text if you are not interested in a second date. Always send one if you are.

        The thank you text may very well offend some guys. Do you want to date those guys? That’s kind of the point.

    • K Says:

      Yes. I have found this as well. I do thank graciously at the end of a date if he treated. The only time I have sent a post date text is when something caused their to be ambiguity, like a cab showing up too fast and having to dash and didn’t want to appear like I wasn’t properly saying goodbye. When I treat my friends to drinks or dinner, I appreciate a thank you then and there and if they follow up with a text, sure it’s nice, but never expected nor does it change my feelings toward the treat. Anyhow if it’s making a difference for others, then great. For me, it’s been the same as you, often the guy texts me before I even get the chance to text him in any case if he’s really interested.

      • fuzzilla Says:

        **When I treat my friends to drinks or dinner, I appreciate a thank you then and there and if they follow up with a text, sure it’s nice, but never expected nor does it change my feelings toward the treat.**

        I’m sure your friends are confident you’ll see each other again, though.

        • K Says:

          Yes that’s likely the case. I just meant on a polite-ness factor. If the goal though is to encourage a second date, I’m just saying for me it’s not a super must. But if it works for others that’s great too. My second date rates didn’t change when I started sending out thank yous, so I just do whatever feels natural to me. Not by any means trying to tell others they should do that. In fact most others on here think otherwise, so shouldn’t really confuse people. Just sharing a personal account.

          • fuzzilla Says:

            I don’t think any reasonable guy you want to see again is gonna sit there like, “that BITCH! Where the FUCK is my thank you? She clearly has NO manners, blah blah, etc.”

            On the other hand, if I know I wanna see a guy again I’m gonna make damn sure (in a reasonable, appropriate manner) that he knows I’m interested. Lack of clearly demonstrating interest could be the tipping point that makes a reasonable guy you want to see again pass you by for someone who does. Just seems like common sense, really.

    • D. Says:

      So, here’s the thing about the “thank you” text after the date. It shouldn’t be something to do as a rote thing. You should, like DMN suggests, do it only if you’re interested.

      In fact, think of it this way. It’s less of a “thank you note” in the sense of what you should send to grandma so she says “Oh, how thoughtful.” It’s more of a way to open a door for the conversation to continue and to show you’re genuinely interested..

      Put simply, there is a big difference between “not turning the guy away” and “showing that you’re interested,” and most men who have dated for any decent length of time have learned to tell the difference. You may think that you’re showing interest, but what you’re probably more likely showing is what you might consider “an absence of rejection.” Many men have pursued women who did not actively reject them, but who weren’t really all that interested in them. These women were lukewarm about the guy, thought he was “you know, nice enough, I guess,” or thought that they wouldn’t mind hanging out with him again. That’s a far cry from “I liked this guy! I want to see him again!”

      So, if you know you want to see the guy again, thank him, and let him know that in no uncertain terms. That’s all the “thank you” text is for, really.

    • BlondeAmbition Says:

      Have to agree about the thank you note. My instinct has always been to send one, but that hasn’t made a difference in call backs. In fact many guys read into it and feel like you’re chasing them (despite the brevity) so it’s truly a no win. Why does dating have to be so hard??

    • AnnieNonymous Says:

      I think calling it a “thank-you” is misconstruing the mechanism at play, if that makes sense. If I enjoy a date, I’ll send a text the next afternoon saying, “I had a really great time – let’s do it again soon!” There’s an implied thank-you in there (as in, “thank you for showing me a good time”) but it’s really more about keeping up the momentum and letting your date know where your head’s at.

  7. ATWYSingle Says:

    I get a kick out of the fact that time and time again men have weighed in on the post date thank you text or email and expressed how crucial it is, and yet women here STILL debate it’s merits and continue to misinform each other. It’s fucking baffling.

    • BTownGirl Says:

      Dudes correct me if I’m wrong here, but I’d say a sincere thank you at the end of the actual date is also crucial. Hell, you could even get real crazy and, after they’ve handed their card to the server, say thank you. I mean, it takes two seconds to show someone you have decent manners. What normal man is going to be like, “Ugh, she thanked me more than once. How over-eager and annoying!”?

      • D. Says:

        To answer your question, it’s crucial only insofar as it indicates that she’s not entitled. It doesn’t really tell you anything beyond that.

        Consider the phrase “Well, thank you for a lovely evening.”

        Pretty neutral on its face, right? Could mean “This was wonderful, and I’d love to do it again, so please ask me out again.” Or, it could mean “The date is concluded. I’ll be leaving now.”

        To put it another way, plenty of men have been told “thank you” at the end of a date, or received a polite hug or maybe even a kiss goodnight, then asked for a second date and been told “Sorry, not feeling it.”

        But I would bet that no man who has received a text reading “Hey, just wanted to say again that I had a fantastic time tonight. Hope to see you soon,” has ever been turned down for a second date. Why? Simple. The former means nothing. The latter indicates genuine interest and a desire to get together again.

        • Goldie Says:

          This happens to women as well. The verbal exchange at the end of a first date, in my experience, means nothing. A man would walk me to my car, give me a hug and a kiss, say something like “Thank you, I had a great time! We should do it again” and then I’d either never hear from him again, or (on a rare occasion) he’d text to say there was no chemistry.

          I think what happens here is he starts by giving his date a hug and a “thank you” because he’s being polite (I mean, what are the alternatives – tell the date “ugh, this was terrible, two hours of my life I’ll never get back”?) and then sometimes he gets carried away and says “we should do this again” when he knows damn well we shouldn’t.

          So, yes, I agree, I’ve learned to attach no value to the verbal thank-yous and I’m sure that men feel the same.

          • D. Says:

            Absolutely. And I’ve done that, too, where I said “This was great, let’s do it again,” and then realized not long after that, no, I didn’t really want to do it again. When I would say that that it was usually down to one of two reasons:

            1. I meant it in the moment, but changed my mind later for whatever reason.

            2. I didn’t mean it in the moment, but just kind of blurted it out because saying “Ok, well….bye!” seemed somehow wrong. Although I later came to realize that “Have a good night!” or whathaveyou was perfectly acceptable.

          • BTownGirl Says:

            Excellent point here – I generally don’t consider that I “know” they are interested until they’ve asked me out for a second date – much easier that way!

        • BTownGirl Says:

          Makes perfect sense to me! :)

      • Dave Says:

        Hmm, I think this is one of those things that goes without saying so I wouldn’t call it crucial. I think it boils down the golden rule of treating others the way you’d like to be treated. Or said simply – common sense! :)

        I don’t think I’ve ever gone on a date (having connected online or offline) where the lady didn’t say thank you at the end of the date. Even if we didn’t go out again, even if I could tell they were not interested…unless I’m forgetting a few they all have said thank you. That’s the reason I asked them out in the first place…they seemed attractive, kind and interesting.

        Anyway…for sure the post date thank you is extremely important. But as I’ve said before…I also pay close attention to the way they say goodbye…although I went out with a lady a while back who at the end of the date started to give me a handshake and then hugged me. Wasn’t quite sure what to think of that, but there was no thank you text afterwards so I never followed up (plus there was another lady on my radar at the time so I chose to pursue her and not the mysterious handshake hugger girl).

        However…I also remind myself that there are no hard and fast rules. The first date with the last girl I dated for a few months ended with her just saying thank you and goodnight and then walking away without any physical contact. To be fair we were in a very public place, but I really liked her and took a chance and asked her out again (I can’t recall if she sent a thank you text or not). Turns out as she told me later, she was just really nervous on the first date so I’m glad I followed up with her. :)

        • BTownGirl Says:

          I agree that it totally goes without saying, but…people still need to be told, from what I’ve heard haha! I think it’s part of the general lack of manners that seems to be getting worse by the year (yes, I’m saying this in my “Get off my lawn!” voice). Oy vey.

          Your last paragraph cracked me up, because I was totally nervous on the first date with my current dude and, yup, he wound up planting one on my ear because I was turning to leave. It’s known as game, y’all, learn from my sweet moves :)

          • Dave Says:

            I think you’re right…lol…but is it “Get off my lawn!” or “Git off my lawn!”? I’m a fan of the latter, personally. :)

            You know you just made me remember…I did make a move to give her a hug and she did this quick girly “bye!” move and scampered off. But…I do recall that she looked back at me and smiled over her shoulder so that was when I decided she was worth chasing after. ;)

        • Goldie Says:

          I’m not super great at reading people. I’ve walked away from first dates with some real characters thinking, “wow, great guy, can’t wait to see him again!”

          The one I just got out of a 2-year relationship with, there was zero physical contact after our first date. I wasn’t even sure that it was a date, per se. We weren’t sure about dating because of how far we lived from each other; but decided to meet up because we seemed like such a good match, each of us was curious what the other looked like up close and in person. We had lunch at a really weird, unromantic place in the middle of nowhere, halfway between his place and mine. He talked about health problems and exes. Don’t remember what I talked about, but he later said it was exes. Basically broke every rule in the book. I walked out of there thinking, “cute guy, won’t date.” Ended up getting together a few months later and having a fantastic two years together. (Obviously not 100% fantastic, since things eventually ended, but best relationship I’ve had so far.) If he’d have made the call on whether to continue or stop staying in touch based on getting an excited “omg lets do this again” text the next day, we would’ve missed out on a really good relationship, because I don’t remember sending him one.

          So yeah, you never know where things will take you. You just have to take your best guess and go with it, I’m afraid… I have to admit that after a first date, I’m still cautious and not in a hurry to jump to conclusions about whether this person and I are a good match or not.

  8. bbdawg Says:

    One basic rule is: anyone who violates your boundaries before you even met them is not worth meeting. This is a great example and that means the person is not interested in you in the first place.

    They are interested in letting you know they are in control and are using you to meet their immediate needs.

    The woman who wants to meet at an expensive restaurant or the man who pushes for sex before you have actually connected. Neither are interested in you.

    This happens a lot to people who date outside of their “league”, for example a man in his 40s dating a woman in his 20s and complaining that she is demanding or difficult, or a woman dating a man who is a lot more attractive than she is and complains he only calls her last minute when he wants sex.

  9. Glazer Says:

    Moxie nailed it again. Good stuff.

    Venue changers/upgraders are the worst. I won’t meet them after they attempt this maneuver.

    Sharing dating horror stories is 50/50, as Moxie indicated. Depends on how it’s presented. I think topics such as exclusivity and timing thereof are fine (not that their honest, mind you).

    There’s another behavior that really turns me off besides the financial foo foo.

    I call the folks that indulge in this behavior…Relationship Experts.

    See, they’ve no doubt read hundreds of self help books.

    They often share their parents have been married for over 40+ years.

    The relationship experts will go on to say they’ve only been divorced once.

    This dialogue happens pretty quick into the date.

    See, they come from the perfect part of the GENE POOL. They’re certified pedigree with walking papers.

    Quality people they are!

    Like, these experts are using some kind of relationship FICO score to evaluate you.

    Whatever happened to laughing and flirting? Jaysus.

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