things you shouldn’t do on a first date. And I’m not trying to add another thing to an already-lengthy list. But if you ever find yourself wanting to schedule a second date before the first date is over (and especially if it hasn’t started), PROCEED WITH CAUTION.
(Scene: Mitchell and I are an hour into on our first date, having met speed dating twelve days prior. We met for drinks at a cafeteria/bar on a Wednesday evening.)
Mitchell: Would you want to go to dinner with me on Friday?
Me: Oh, I’m busy. (I legitimately am.)
Mitchell: How about Saturday?
Me: Well, I’m volunteering and I‘m not sure what time it goes until. (Technically true, but I do know it won’t go past 3:00pm.)
I end up telling him I’ll e-mail him once I have a chance to check my calendar. After sleeping on it, I e-mail him to let him know I don’t see anything transpiring, and wish him luck.
There are a few reasons Mitchell’s persistence was not ideal:1.) It put a lot of pressure on me to give him an answer right then, when we both needed to be able to walk away from our date to think about how it went, if we’re compatible, and so on.
2.) It made Mitchell look like he doesn’t have any plans – which in turn raises questions (even subconsciously) about whether he has interests, friends, and if his social life would rely on me if it turned into something. None of these things may be true, but having spent ONE HOUR with him at his point, how can I know? I don’t have a whole lot to go off of and I can’t read his mind.
3.) It made Mitchell seem overly invested. At this point, he knows very little about me (he did most of the talking during our hour together), so it’s more likely he’s liking the idea of me than actual me at this point. There’s nothing wrong with that, besides the fact that he may be invested in a fantasy.
It’s important to point out that when you really like someone, there’s not much they can do to mess things up. But there’s no way to know if you really like someone before or even during the first date.
On some level (can I get two cheers for some pseudo-psychological analysis?), being so persistent makes me wonder if Mitchell’s emotional investment is disproportional to the substance of his relationships, particularly because he didn’t really make an effort to get to know me (See Rule #1: Ask questions!). At this point, one could be into the idea of being into their date. Into the idea of not being alone or not being desperate anymore, in effect making whoever they’re on a date with interchangeable, meaningless.
So when I have a guy who waits (either to gauge interest or simply to be polite by not putting me on the spot) versus a guy who wants to schedule something NOW, I’m going to be in favor of the guy who waits. Even if he ends up deciding he doesn’t like me, at least I know he took the time to be mindful about getting to know the actual me.
And if you still want to schedule the second date early on: for the love of God, if they decline your first offer, wait for them to counter before suggesting another option.