When it comes to early dates, women are constantly being urged to be solicitous to the male ego. If a guy has the courage to ask you on a date, you should go. I mean, it’s just coffee, right? Right.
But when it comes to second dates, we can give ourselves permission to be a little more choosy. My rationale is this: You have given the guy a chance, and for whatever reason, you aren’t into it. Research shows that it takes women mere moments to pick up on essential cues that let her know if a man is husband material. Give her an hour or two of conversation over a drink, and any feelings of “ugh” or “meh” are totally real and highly accurate. If one drink has told you all you need to know, don’t complicate your life by dragging things out.
Here are seven reasons to skip the second date that you don’t need to feel guilty about.
01. When You Just Aren’t Attracted to Him
According to Dr. Helen Fisher, biological anthropologist and author of Anatomy of Love, the first date is really a “look-and-see” to make sure the basic building blocks of a relationship are in place—namely, chemistry.
If you just aren’t feeling it after the first date, it’s not unfair to assume that a second date isn’t going to make much of a difference. Being attracted to one another is a really important place to start, and dating will feel like a grind if there isn’t something intriguing. Can attraction grow over time? Certainly, but there is no need to force things.
02. When You Come from Two Different Places
Having friendships with people who don’t share your worldview can be an eye-opening and fruitful experience, but when it comes to love and marriage, it’s so much easier to be with someone who shares your values and take on life. That doesn’t make you a bad person.
Sure, grab a drink with a guy whose profile suggests he sees things differently than you; you may be surprised by his perspective. But if at the end of the date, you’re not feeling the whole “opposites attract” thing, don’t beat yourself up over it. Marriage and raising kids is always going to be a challenge, and it’s likely going to be even harder if you don’t share the same values.
03. When He Looks Like Your Next Big Mistake
If you are anything like me, you can spot that guy you always fall for—and who always ends up being all wrong for you—from a mile away. Sure, you can think of a million reasons why you should give this guy a chance, but if the first date feels like the beginning of an all-too-familiar roller coaster ride, it’s OK to spare yourself potential whiplash by bailing out early.
04. When He Asks You Out That Same Night
Let’s be honest, if you’re really into a guy, you’re probably going to be a little more forgiving of a last-minute invitation than you would if you were on the fence about him. Still, same-day invites suggest a certain level of thoughtlessness that is understandably a turnoff to any relationship going forward (unless there is a legit reason—I mean, I’m not suggesting you turn down last-minute tickets to Hamilton that he got from work). Go ahead and turn him down if he asks you out with little notice.
05. When He Talks About His Ex Beyond Just a Mention
Talking about an ex or past relationships is a really big first date red flag—and for good reason. It typically means your date is not done processing or healing from a past relationship. If you feel hesitant about moving forward with a guy who clearly still needs to move on, you are making a smart move. There is nothing wrong with protecting yourself from getting emotionally involved with a guy who isn’t ready for a new relationship yet.
06. When He Starts Getting Super-Sexy with You on the First Date
Speaking of red flags, guys who make it clear that they are thinking about sex on the first date do not move on to date number two. If you are looking for a guy who wants more than a one-night stand, you will save yourself a world of trouble by reading his verbal and physical advances as a sign for you to go your separate ways.
07. When He Gets Really Mad at You for Declining a Second Date
There is nothing that validates your feeling that you aren’t a good fit like a guy being a total jerk about your disinterest in him. If a guy grills you about why you aren’t interested in him or tells you you’re making a mistake, this is not the time to change your mind and give him a chance. Thank your lucky stars that your intuition picked up on his craziness, and say goodbye.
Photo Credit: Taylor McCutchan