Make It Stop: Why The Hell Can’t I Get A Second Date?

I regularly go out with guys I meet on on dating apps and I can’t get a second date to save my life. We usually go out for a drink somewhere local, fool around at either my place or his afterwards, and then…nothing. I never hear from the guy again. What am I doing wrong? 

First, I applaud your efforts. It sounds like you’re putting yourself out there and really giving this dating thing the old college try. However, a few factors concern me right off the bat. If your goal is to get a second date, girl, you’re sabotaging your efforts left and right. Your entire approach to dating needs an overhaul.

Let’s talk about the methods you’re using to meet men. Dating apps are the junk food version of dating. It’s a quick hit of sugary attention. A dating deli, if you will. They’re a great way to meet a lot of people quickly, but not necessarily the best way to meet the kind of person who’d be interested in a second date. Instead of free dating apps, you might want to look into a service where you pay to communicate with the fellas. That way you’ll (hopefully!) meet men who are more invested in finding a longterm partner.

Now, let’s take a look at the screening process you’re using. That might need a tuneup as well. With all due respect, I suspect your screening process isn’t too rigorous. Are you picking guys for superficial reasons like that he has nice teeth or smoldering eyes? Or are you picking guys who have similar values and life experiences as you? If it goes well between you, there’s potential to merge your lives—friends, family, lifestyles. Are you picking guys who’d even have a life you’d like to share? That has room to be shared? That’s information you need to know if you’re looking for something that lasts longer than The Hateful Eight’s running time.

Also, when you meet up in person at a local bar, maybe you’re using these dates as an opportunity to escape into a whirlwind of heaving petting and whiskey rather than using it as an opportunity to get to know him better. What kinds of things do you talk about? What questions do you ask him? If the “date” is more like an excuse to get tipsy and rub his dong through his jeans, that’s fine, but it seems like you’ve outgrown this approach as it’s not getting you what you want.

Which leads nicely into my next concern: what signals do you send when you’re out on these dates? Do you lead with sexual energy? Do you dress provocatively? Is the focus of your date letting your tiger let out of its cage? If you’re pre-disposed to equating a nighttime date with drunky fun hookup times, why don’t you switch it up and opt for daytime dates for coffee, lunch or hell, ice cream sundaes. Not only is it adorably retro, but it shifts the point of the date. It’s no longer about getting tipsy and stumbling somewhere close by so you can feel each other up. It’s about fostering that longterm connection you’re seeking.

The bottom line is, if you’re looking for an emotional connection to take hold, then you have to change your behavior to allow it to take hold. What if you waited until the third date to hook up? What if you scheduled a phone date with him before you met up in person to gauge if you have a spark? Slow down and save the physical stuff for later, once you’ve established whether if you’re even interested in seeing him again.

Once you tweak these behaviors and break these bad habits, my hunch is you’ll be that much closer to enjoying the connection you seek.