Guys, there are plenty of interesting and attractive women on JDate and I am sure you have already dated many of them in search of your ultimate woman. Many of you have emailed me asking why you haven’t been getting second dates. Several guys claim that the women on JDate are serial daters while others have claimed that most women aren’t interested in relationships. Before we address reasons why both of those claims are unfounded, why don’t we look at ten reasons why women might not choose to see you again after a first date:
1.) You have no plan. Many guys don’t take the first date seriously and don’t make a definitive plan. Instead, they tend to fly by the seat of their pants. Women, on the other hand, will be offended by men that do this. They want a guy to show them they are interested and took some time to make a plan. Be precise with respect to time and place. Choose a nice place to meet for dinner or a drink and give them a specific time to be there. And, don’t be late!
2.) You don’t confirm the date. A guy must confirm the date that day before 2:00 pm to let the girl know that the date is still taking place. Don’t just assume that the date is on. Make the effort and let her know that you will be there and be on time. It also wouldn’t hurt to say, “I am looking forward to meeting you tonight.”
3.) Never order before the woman does. A gentleman will always allow the lady to order her drinks or food before he does. Never forget this. A woman will think you are a gentleman when you allow her to order first. She will think you are a pompous, self-centered ass if you order first.
4.) Let her speak. Sounds pretty simple, but it’s not. Many guys like to hear themselves speak and talk about themselves too much. Remember that a person feels as if they know you better when they are allowed to talk about themselves more often. Women like good listeners, so use your ears more than your mouth.
5.) Don’t brag about your life or accomplishments. Yes, it’s definitely OK to talk about yourself, just don’t get carried away. There is a distinct difference between saying, “I am a Vice President at a bank. I enjoy my job,” and “I am a Vice President of a bank. I am up for another promotion next week. I am the leading salesperson in the district. My manager loves me and I am the most popular person in the office. I was just given a raise.” Try to use the word “I” less frequently.
6.) Never talk about your ex-girlfriend. Sounds pretty simple, but many guys do it. When you talk about ex-girlfriends, you are indirectly telling the girl in front of you that you continue to think about your ex-girlfriend and that you are currently comparing her to your current date. Never a good thing.
7.) Don’t outstay your welcome. A first date should be a feeling-out process. Don’t extend the date past an hour or so even if you like her. If your date doesn’t want a second date, you are only wasting your time. If she does enjoy spending time with you, there is plenty of time later in the week to arrange future dates.
8.) Always pay for the first date. A guy must always pay for the first date, especially if it was you that asked her out in the first place. Show her that you are a gentleman and not a cheapskate. Treat her like the lady she is. Even if you have no plans to ever see her again, you must pay. You need to maintain your status in the community as a gentleman. A good reputation is tough to sustain, but easy to destroy.
9.) Never say “I will call you” after a date if you don’t plan on doing so. Not an easy thing to avoid. Ending a bad or disinteresting date is not a comfortable thing and we all have made the mistake of saying, “I will call you,” knowing full well we won’t. When you tell a girl you will call, she will be expecting you to call, and when you don’t, she thinks you are a jerk. Instead, walk her to her car or to a cab and say, “I enjoyed meeting you, have a good night.” Say it with a smile on your face and simply turn and walk away.
10.) If you are interested, call her the next day. Forget playing games. Games are for little kids and little kids don’t get girlfriends. Call her the next day and let her know you had a good time. Ask her out for a night later in the week. If she isn’t interested, it’s much better to know immediately than to let her string you along. If she is interested, you are well on your way to a second date.
I appreciate all of the comments and emails I have been getting over the past few months. Should there be a topic you would like me to write about in the future, please let me know. I look forward to hearing from you.
Great article, Brad. Some very valid points that I never thought about.
Finally a guy that “gets it”. I have been on too many dates where the guy is late, doesn’t pay, is rude, eats my food, doesn’t dress well, talks about himself too much….. Very good article.
Thanks Brad. Also, I would have added: “Shower prior to leaving the house”. 🙂
Brad, it is interesting to hear the other side. As a woman, there is nothing more offputting than a guy who doesn’t stop talking/bragging about himself. On the flip side, I cannot tell you how many dates I have been on where I have been forced to direct conversation as the date just sits there. I cannot remember the last time that a first date showed interest in me – it is okay to ask questions in a relaxed and friendly manner although please, don’t grill the other person. I am always amused that while people plan meticulously for business meetings, they take no time to plan their first dates. Planning is key and communication is vital!
Great article, Brad
Thanks, RL. Planning is vital. When you don’t plan, the girl thinks you don’t care. And you know something, she’s right.
RIGHT ON TARGET! One would think that any male over the age of 18 would know these things. Men tend to define themselves by their profession, career , occupation, rather than by their interests, actvities, and personalities. At my age, they don’t just talk about the latest EX but every EX they’ve had since high school! I do wish you’d have added: Men should dress apropriately, In a restaurant, the lady sits facing the room and Don’t sit down before she does!
Carole, you are absolutely right on both points. You can also talk about holding a door for a woman, making sure the waiter doesn’t rush the woman before she is ready to order…
Brad, You look great. I havent seen or spoke to you in years.
You nailed it, Brad. It’s funny that everywhere else in our lives we don’t worry about men being a gentleman, but in this context it’s absolutely necessary. I wish all guys would read this.
Hi Brad, great article, I wanted to ask you about when a member does not put their picture and he sends you a message. I have responded and have gotten the picture but………….I don’t like to ask for the picture because I’m feeling like I’m judging the looks more than his profile and I’m not like that at all!, but….I do need to feel some attraction to his looks also. I feel that when someone does not put their picture is because he feels ugly, aged or maybe too good looking, you know what I mean?
Thanks for a very important article. Clear and well stated. Sad that so many men need such an article. I’ve had a few dates where the “gentleman” tried to steer me into ordering something he liked so we could both share it. I understood that to mean he didn’t want to pay for a second plate. It just didn’t sit well with me.
AN, thanks for the comments. I would be very wary about somebody who doesn’t post a photo. Are they hiding something? Are they not being truthful? Even, are they married? Hey, your photo is there, it’s only fair that they have a photo, in fact, more than just one, on their profile. Ask them to post them or email them to you. You are not be judgmental at all.
Brad-Can you post this on my profile. This is a must read an so true..maybe as in instruction manual? I don’t think enough guys will read this. I also think guys ask tooooo many intimate and inappropriate questions too fast. They are so scared of gold diggers and shallow girls. They ask for naughty pictures and get too frisky on the first date. They are so scared to invest an hour or pay for a drink if you are not going to be who you say you are. I think there needs to be a seminar led by you!
Wait…do us men really need to be told any of this? I guess so…scary.
Some times I let my date decide where to meet because as a gentleman I think it better to go to her instead of have her come to me and I often do not know the area as well as she does. Is this wrong? What might you recommend?
How about when a girl asks the guy out on a date? Should the guy still offer to pay? Also, what if the girl offers to contribute. Should the guy gently decline? When a girl does this, how can you tell whether she is being sincere or if she’s doing this to test the guy to see if he will turn her request down? For me, personally, I have absolutely no problem paying. I just want to be sure I get it right and don’t run into any misunderstandings along this line.
You touch on a very difficult issue, regarding calling after a date. Some women insist on being called after the first date, regardless of the intention to request a second date or what you may or may not have promised regarding calling. It would seem obvious that in the absence of interest, not calling would be a gentle signal that reflects this. Unfortunately, a failure to call in some social circles seems to provide a socially acceptable green light for defaming a man’s reputation (e.g., creating a non-mensch label to describe the guy) even if every other point enumerated in your sound advice is thoughtfully and carefully performed. Even in some cases in which there is a gentle call back, defamation is unavoidable. Understandably, people are upset and many choose to lash-out in frustration. In any event, the dating seen is indeed a mine-field, regardless of the precautions taken and an assiduous following of “the rules”.
I follow 9 of the 10 rules. I always have. I almost always get second and more dates unless the first date was wrong to go on. The one rule I don’t follow very often is, paying for the date. Many times my date insists on paying for herself. This was not prearranged but brought up by my date during the meal, I don’t disagree since my funds are low. I went on the date to meet this girl and impress her as well as be impressed by her, so I follow the other 9 rules and the date is fine
Re: responsibility – While I agree that a guy should pay for the first date, not say “I’ll call” when you have no intentions of doing so, and to call the next day to says thanks, and possibly plan a next date, I am astounded by the number of women who fail to respond with a similar level of civility. For example, after several dates, failing to offer to pay (even half-heartedly), to call and say thank you (or even just send an eMail), or to follow-up when you say you will…and if you ask us to call you, call us back! These aren’t really even dating etiquette, but normal, civil discourse!
I am old enough to know rather good dates from bad, yet three times in the past year I’ve had dates with adult, successful women (over age 30) who seem to think that they should live by that goofy book, “The Rules”! As you suggest, “Forget playing games. Games are for little kids”…that applies to women as well as men.
OK, that’s all fine and good, but I want to hear about first dates. It seems like (and correct me if I’m wrong here Brad), that entire generations of single people from age 22-35 revolve every social activity around consuming alcohol. I prefer to go for a walk or get coffee on a first date, but it never seems to work out they way, and I end up at some bar dropping dollars and feeling pressured to drink, or feeling like I’m pressuring someone else to drink. Lay it on me brother…
Great advice,nobody wants to be compared with somebody else,everybody is an individual and has there own likes and dislikes.
I know a couple that got married after the guy did not call back and, after a week, the gal decided to call him! She was super-popular but had never seen a “challenge” like that before, and they were engaged within 6 months. The point being, some rules can be broken. The best advice is to be considerate but also know yourself and know the other person – and above all make it exciting for both of you.
Pretty sound advice but I echo previous comments about wiggle room.
Re JG: If what you say is true, this marriage will probably not last as the premise was based on gamesmanship. Once reality sets it the wife will bolt.
I’ve been on about 10 jdates and yet to have a second date. I follow 9 out of 10 rules. The one I don’t follow is the 1 hour limit. My dates go longer. Will she think I really didn’t like her if I end the date after an hour. I’m going to try it. What do you say at end of 1 hour?
Mike, either just say casually you have to be going somewhere else legitimate (maybe even make another arrangement with friends for shortly after the date) unless she genuinely wants you to stay. Or how about when you yourself genuinely wish to close it off – there’s nothing wrong for making your choices provided you remain a mensch. Alternatively try sussing out her feelings on ending the date.
For that matter one of the most important things not listed here is paying attention to her feelings and signals instead of your own, while staying positive and empathic. Also always hold your personal boundaries and values rather than kowtow to hers if you get the sense somehow they’re being infringed upon or you’re trying too hard to please – you aren’t meant for each other either way then and human nature means people in general don’t fall for those who try too hard to please them.
I’m meantime usually quite intent on always paying for the date – several women’s magazines advise their readers to test the guy by offering to pay. If he doesn’t he automatically fails.
As for conversation, what I’ve found is that while as the guy you mustn’t ever dominate or brag, you must however steer it subtly. For example when it’s getting too serious, try make light of the topic or steer it away towards happier ground. Our memories are grounded in emotion and we’re more likely to remember something or someone fondly if we get good feelings from such memories.
Super helpful article Brad; I’ve recently become single so your list is timely primer for me. A top ten point for me that isn’t on your list is remembering manners and basic ediquette. Maybe I’m out of touch but my sense is women still appreciate doors being open for them, chairs pulled out and even ordering food on their behalf (after find out what she wants to eat). Am I off base? Have times changed? It has been almost nine years since I was single.
As you mentioned, ending a date that didn’t have a connection is uncomfortable. Your suggestion is a good start but isn’t it best to just be clear, acknowledge that its not a match and wish each other luck finding the person that they are looking for?
Good article brad but i guess that i need the expansion pack for the tips because i have followed the 10 already since its common practice and the right thing to do. But anyways good article for stating the basics.
Hey Brad, I have been on 3 first and last dates since joining JDate about 4 months ago. I have had very interesting meetings but its all about cheistry for me.The bottom line is always could I ??? Now if I answer no then I will not waste my dates time or money. I always offer to pay my share but it’s refused. The thing is you have to be totally at ease with a man. You have to get so caught up in the conversation that you loose all track of time. You have to be hanging on their every word. You have to just want to stare at them all of the time and feel as if you have known each other always. You may feel this is unrealistic on a first date but trust me, that’s exactly how it happens for me. I cannot speak for all the other women out there just for me
I am now changing my age data and am going for the younger man. Whether I find my soulmate remains to be seen but you have to be out there for things to happen.
Thank you very much for the great comments. I apologize for not checking in earlier.
Many of the answers to the questions can be found in my book: http://bit.ly/RhEgp
Joel G– Read comments from the women on my April 15th article. Take charge man! You need to make the plans. Find out what are of town works for her and make the plans. Women want that.
Dan— a guy should pay for the first 3 dates regardless who initiates the date. Gentlemen do that. Sometimes women WILL test you on that. If you let them pay, they will not like it.
Reuben— find a girl that likes what YOU like. Those that need to drink their faces off aren’t for you. It’s not what you want. People need to have similar interests and values. If a girl wants to go party every night, she isn’t for you, but is for somebody else.
Mike— set up a time limit beforehand. If the date is for 8pm, tell her you have to meet people at 9. This way, it doesn’t seem as if you are bolting. If you like her, stay a few minutes longer. She will “get it” that you like her.
The rule about paying for the date, while antiquated, is really true. If you have NO intention of ever seeing the woman again, AND she offers to pay her half, let her do it. On the other hand, if you want to see her again, and she offers to pay, DON’T let her do it no matter what.
When women offer to pay, they generally don’t mean it at all. It’s just a test that you can pass (or not) as you wish.
Women like to be equal – except when the check is on the table.
I think I need some tips on getting a first date, never mind the second.
In fact, and going back a step, I think I really need some tips on getting replies to my e-mails. Best to learn to walk before I think about learning to run.
Brad, if you have any suggestions, I am truly all ears (or, eyes in this case).
Please expand on the second date experience. What turns a guy off enough to not want a second date.
Great article! I have your book and loved it! Great book everyone I suggest you buy it. It helps a lot! I recently had a date that used me to get a phone charger. Yeah call that bizarre. I only found out later from her adopted mother that she had bipolar. But, she didn’t tell me right off the bat and lied to me. Even lied to me that she was a smoker. I lost over $200 because she wanted to go on a road trip to Connecticut to settle a score with her ex- boyfriend. I tagged along. Bad mistake. She sounded so convincing and sweet yet she was bipolar and crazy. I now have to go back to square one after thinking I was getting somewhere. Turns out, it was nothing. My confidence isn’t shaken from this I still believe my special someone is out there. But, I have to admit I was really upset two weekends ago. My life was at risk ladies! Sweet guys don’t come around that often and I was taken advantage of!:-( My question Brad, what are women looking for in the first email forget thinking about getting the first date? I need to get back on the horse. Thanks for your help!
David and Alan
Thanks for reading my articles. Your initial contact letter needs to be unique and not a form letter. Too many guys write the same thing over and over. Read the girl’s profile a couple of times before you write something to her. Mention something specific in the profile that you liked or that you had in common. Be original and maybe even funny. Don’t write only 2 sentences, but also don’t write War and Peace. Don’t ask her out or suggest meeting in the first email. Let her get back to you. Tell her that you would be interested in learing more about her and look forward to hearing back from her.
Thanks for including: don’t talk about your ex. 75% or men seem driven to discuss their ex on the first date. (75% is my own experience). Despite the plethora of dating advice on the internet, in books, public speakers etc., not to talk about your ex, men continue to do it. Why?