The fact is that first dates are awkward which is why we believe in the two date minimum rule.
We have seen a significant number of ‘neutral’ first dates turn into full-on committed relationships. There are a thousand reasons why. Not everyone hits it out of the park the first time. Some people are really guarded and need time to warm up. Or they could be ‘off’ or have had a bad day. Maybe their nerves got the worst of them. Or they’re introverted and come across as aloof. Or there’s a lack of instant chemistry.
Unless it’s a disaster or you’re repulsed, you should definitely consider seeing someone again.
Too many quality people are being overlooked because of (too) high first date expectations. Seeing someone in different surroundings can tell you a lot. Observing how they move and deal with other people is insightful information. Chances are there will be more levity since you got the first date out of the way.
If you’re both athletic, perhaps meet up for a tennis match as a second date. Or if you like the outdoors, go on a walk or hike. If art is your thing, meet at the Getty. How about the zoo? Or driving out to some cool festival? Karaoke, anyone? You will discover a lot about someone when they’re out of their comfort zone or just being in the moment.
And don’t worry about leading someone on by accepting a second date. The whole purpose of dating is to collect as much information as possible (slowly; not in one sitting and in a fun way) so that you can decide if someone is right for you.
Some of our best success stories came out of “on-the-fence” first dates.
One of our favorites is when we introduced a lovely woman in her mid-thirties to a semi-retired doctor who was a bit older but super fit and attractive. He said amazing things about their first date; she was a bit hesitant, questioning the attraction factor. He suggested a hike for the second date. She wanted to cancel. I convinced her to go. You have an hour to lose or a life partner to gain; go explore! I knew she would be able to collect a lot of ‘quality data points’ by seeing the good doctor in another light. (It helped that he was athletic which highlighted his masculinity and led her to the coolest, secret trails).
Of course, she thanked us profusely for “getting me out of my own way”. They’ve been a beautiful couple for almost two years and are talking marriage.
So the next time you leave that first date undecided, consider giving it another chance. You may just be making the most important decision of your life.