Not Getting Second Dates, Should You Go On Second Dates, When To Ask For A Second Date, Reasons Why You Don’t Go On Second Dates

Online dating can be fun, but it can also be frustrating. Mixed signals, bad timing, interpretation of dates and poor communication can make dating exhausting and at times miserable. If you find yourself getting a fair amount of first dates but hardly getting second dates, it could be a number of reasons holding you back from advancing beyond the initial meeting.

Often times, I hear from people that they had a great time on a first date and that their date did as well, but then things end abruptly. One should never assume anything when meeting a stranger for the first time. There are so many variables at play when it comes to first dates that most people forget to account for all the items below. 


Photos Don’t Look Like You

The biggest reason why most first dates don’t lead to second dates are photos. Many people are biased about themselves and their looks. Just because a date sticks around through the end of a first date doesn’t mean they are attracted to you, had a great time, nor want to see you. Laughing at your jokes, ordering a second drink, asking questions about your life means nothing.

Many women can be scared or nervous about confronting someone about their looks. Some guys don’t want to be mean about confronting a girl about using old photos, filters or slimming effects on photos. If the photos on your dating profile don’t all look like you now, you can be deceiving others and that is not recommended. Using old photos or photos of different hairstyles, hair colors, facial hair and baldness can be enough to mislead people. Don’t do that.


First Date Was Boring, Dull. First Date Didn’t Go So Well

If you pick a first date that is rather boring, repetitive, the other person has reason to believe that date #2 will not be much different from the first. There are too many coffee dates to be had and over time, those can become boring, repetitive, predictable and low-energy.

Yes, covid has made date options more challenging, limited, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to make dates fun, unique. Even if a first date is fun, your second date needs to show effort and either be well-thought-out, show a different side of you or not be too dull. 


Did Not Make It Obvious You Wanted A Second Date

If you had a good time on a date, it’s possible the other person does not know that. Not everyone has the ability to read others effectively. Some need more assurance about your feelings in order to feel confident and wanted.

Knowing the other person’t love language can be helpful, but first dates are generally too early to figure that out. If you wait until the end of the date to make it known how you feel about your date, it can be too late. Make it known earlier about how you are feeling about the other person.


Did Not Ask For A Second Date At The End Of The First Date

Some people want to get a feel about what the other person felt before committing to a second date. If you are too insecure about making your feelings known for someone and asking them out on a date, you will struggle with dating in general.

Self-awareness, ability to read people and putting yourself out there is key to have success while dating. Waiting until after a date or the next day to inquire about a second date is too long. It makes the other person feel like you are not sure about whether you like them or not.


The Other Person Met Someone Else

When it comes to dating, people fail to realize that there is a likely chance the person they are on a date with might be going on dates with other people and might also be further along on dates as well.

Don’t assume you are dating in a silo – assume there are others, competition. Don’t get down on yourself when you don’t get beyond a first date as it might not be all about you. Internalizing everything is one way to get down on yourself which can be bad for mental health. Chalk it up to bad timing every now and then. 


Your Date Is Not Ready To Date, Signs You Are Not Ready To Date

Naturally, if you go on enough dates, you will come across people who have no business being on dating apps because they are not ready to date. You can tell this if they person is lonely or depressed or is getting over a breakup.

These people are time-wasters and you are not their therapist or penpal. Don’t waste your time thinking you can turn these people around and make them ready to date and fall for you. Some people need to work on themselves before they can date again and you shouldn’t expect this to happen anytime soon or at all.


You Were Too Forward, Creepy On First Date

Even if the other person is into you, that doesn’t mean anything is guaranteed.  Girls will talk to their friends and get feedback on dates and if you get too comfortable or too handsy on a first date, you can sabotage any and all momentum you had acquired up until that point. Similarly, one can botch any chances of a second date by the way they end the first date or an inappropriate text after the first date. Tread lightly and don’t be creepy.


Background Checks On Potential Dates, Matches

Some women do a background check after a first date so don’t assume you are in the clear after date #1. Something unsavory can appear online that can ruin chances of a second date. I offer background checks for clients who are uncertain about a date they went on. Just because you made it past the first round of backgrounds checks by your date, don’t assume you can get past someone like me who does this for a living.


Date Lied About Age, Location, Job, Pet Or Marital Status

It happens, but unfortunately some people are not always truthful about themselves in their profile. Some people say they are divorced when they have barely been separated for a few months while others lie about their location and say they live closer to city than they actually do to avoid being outside a radius on dating apps. Others lie about being employed or having pets (hello dog-fishing). If you lie about small things early on, what else are you lying about? Be honest, be truthful.


First Date Felt Like An Interview

Treating a date like an interview is a great way to guarantee that you won’t get a second date. Dates are supposed to be fun. The whole purpose of a date is to learn about each other in a casual, relaxed manner. Trying to speed things up too quickly can kill the mood and make it feel like work.

Even if you are looking to settle down soon, get married and have kids, you can’t run before you walk. You have to date first otherwise it will feel transactional. You can’t rush dating but you should cut things off sooner than later if people lead you on. There is a fine line between being efficient and setting boundaries.


Ghosted After Sleeping With Someone After First Date

Some people will do or say anything to sleep with you. Love-bombing, long dates, acts of kindness and grand gestures are all the ways people mislead others and their intentions. Even if a person genuinely likes you and is interested in something meaningful and long-term, sleeping with them too soon can give pause and make them wonder how many people you have slept with and if you sleep with people after a first date often.

There is no perfect way to navigate this dilemma other than taking time to get to know someone and letting them out themselves over time. Dating is a journey not an ordering app.


Should You Go On A Second Date Or Not? Signs He/She Wants A Second Date

One should only go a second date if they are interested in learning more about the other person and the other person makes the effort to want to see you again. Don’t go on a second date if you are lonely or don’t have plans.

Go on a second date only if you think the other person has the same intentions and values as you. Don’t go on a second date hoping the other person will change or correct bad behavior. Most people are on their best behavior on date #1.


Who Should Initiate The Second Date

Life is too short. So many relationships never start because both people were too shy nervous to make the first move. Don’t waste your time on people who don’t put in effort but also don’t stand by idle and wait for someone to ask you out. Some people might have read you wrong or vice-versa. Trust your gut.


Why Do I Never Want A Second Date

Not everyone dates with the purpose of wanting a relationship or even hooking up. Some people are bored, curious or looking to make friends. Some people just want a distraction from their lives. There are also people that want to talk to a stranger or see what’s out there. Some don’t want a connection and want one date, that’s it.

Some people are afraid of being hurt or dumped and thus end things or ghost after one date to avoid any further contact or expectation. Regardless of the situation, don’t invest yourself in a stranger too quickly nor make assumptions about someone you just met. 

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About Eddie Hernandez

Eddie Hernandez is a dating consultant & professional photographer based in San Francisco, servicing clients in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and beyond as featured in the NYTimes, SFGate, ABC7News, East Bay Express, Salon; contributor to Good Men Project, Plenty Of Fish and Meddle.

In addition to photos, he provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice, date planning, screening profiles, ID'ing red flags, offline techniques for meeting people organically, naturally. 

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