GIVE FIRST DATES A SECOND CHANCE
Q I’ve been single for about a year now and am dating quite regularly.
Sometimes I will meet someone who ticks off all the boxes (stable, employed, emotionally available, etc.), but I just don’t feel that first-date spark that I’ve felt in the past when I first met previous long-term partners. I’m generally quick to let the person know I’m not feeling it, so as to save them time and energy.
But I’m starting to question whether I’m taking leave too quickly, perhaps missing out on something good. How much weight should my gut feelings hold when it comes to agreeing to two or three dates?
I’d be happy to get to know someone a bit better, but I feel pressure to make a decision about it sooner rather than later, to not lead anyone on. Ship Jumper
A Your sign-off “Ship Jumper” reveals something you don’t actually say: Dating frightens you. It’s more a race to the finish line, than a journey for you. And less about concern for leading someone on than about getting hopes up yourself. You don’t like making a mistake, so won’t give anyone a second chance if those bells and whistles don’t go off at first meeting.
Yes, gut feelings matter, but you’re listening to a nervous gut rather than letting it relax.
Of course, if a date is totally off-putting — someone who talks only of himself or herself, asks no questions about you, is rude to you or others, has obnoxious habits — that person’s a writeoff.
(Note that you’re the one who’s made gender irrelevant in your question by not being specific. That’s fine with me, but it’s another clue: You’re not forthcoming with details about yourself, which may also be why you’re a one-date sampler.)
My advice is to relax. A first date is only an introduction, with both sides likely to be somewhat nervous. Humour and personal history are more likely to start to be revealed when you meet someone a second and third time.
Besides, even if not a match, the person may have a friend for you who is.