Yea, I know, we’re still talking about first dates. It’s like we’re in high school.
Lots of us see first dates as an ordeal that has to be got through in the quickest, most painless possible way. We bemoan the artificiality of the whole thing, the way you have to overdress, go to some bar you don’t even like, be on your best behaviour and sit through the ‘getting to know you’ chat, then brag about a few of your achievements and hope that you were impressive enough to get a second look-in, or a kiss, or a “we should do this again sometime”.
Not the most enticing offer, right?
But first dates are important. Every relationship needs a beginning, and that usually comes in the form of a first date.
And I know, it’s one of those topics no-one can ever stop giving advice about. Everyone has their own little tips and tricks, or strategies and rules about what you can and can’t do. Or there will be hidden tests, like looking to see whether he holds doors open, gauging whether he’s a cheapskate, or looking for early signs that he might be a player.
There are all kinds of traits and behaviours that can stop us wanting a second date. So today, I want to ask: What are those big turn offs that prevent a guy from calling you up to meet again? I’m not trying to call out women here by the way, as the reasons given below can apply to both genders. There’s no doubt whatsoever that guys can be accused of all the negative traits listed below.
Nevertheless, I can draw from my experience of coaching, interacting with, and generally being a guy, and with that in mind, here are four big reasons guys get scared off after a first date…
1) “She was too boring/serious”
This usually happens if conversation stays on those standard topics like work and never really makes him feel any emotional connection. It also happens if a first date is missing all of those fun elements that add sexual tension – teasing, jokes, flirting, showing your playful, cheeky side. It’s particularly easy for women who are used to being dominant at work to fall into this “serious-mode” trap, and it can take some practice to get out of it.
2) “She’s shallow”
Surprisingly, perhaps, men have a well-honed radar for women who seem superficial or shallow. (Note – we are talking about high quality guys here. Of course, those men who are only looking for one thing might be less picky). A first date for a guy is a chance to see if the woman he’s on a date with has standards and integrity. If she just agrees with everything he says, or isn’t able to talk about anything deeper than what she had for lunch today, it’s enough to ensure he doesn’t want to repeat the experience any time soon.
3) “She would be too much drama”
A man will say this if a woman brings up her exes, or bad previous relationships, or if she seems to get easily upset when little things go wrong. These little behaviours spell out “drama queen” for a guy, and it’s a big reason that men get scared off early on.
4) “She was so negative/depressing”
This obviously applies to both genders; first dates should never be a place for us to vent about our problems and hang-ups.
As I said, these aren’t all gender exclusive – a guy could be guilty of any of these as much as a woman could. The fact is, we can all be better at dating. I really believe that the dating phase can be the most exciting, adventurous, interesting time you’ll ever have. I know some women who have so much fun dating that they don’t even want a relationship, simply because they enjoy putting energy and creativity into making great dates.
So what are some things you can do to create that feeling?
a) Choose dates that inspire better conversation
Dating needs to be something that excites us. Just going to the same old bar and having drinks makes it hard to inject much emotional connection. Try dates that force you to share an experience together – try new places, make that little extra effort to create an extraordinary experience. Do something you’re passionate about and bring him into your world.
b) Get to understand who he is, not just what he does
In first date conversation, spend less time on the facts and more time on understanding the person behind them. Share your dreams and aspirations. Talk about where you would most like to be in the world. Talk about your deepest values. Be excited about the future.
c) Make fun a priority
As we have already seen, most people treat first dates like a long test. Throw all that out the window and make the date about having fun together. People remember the emotions of a first date – the excitement and sense of adventure – let go and have fun – play silly games, go seek out a new area of your city you’ve never been before, tease each other and act like giddy teenagers – make your dates fascinating.
So there you have it, four things scaring him off and three steps for guarantee he comes calling for date two.
What are some of the best first-dates you’ve ever been on? I’d love to hear your comments.
Enjoy this post? Everything from meeting a guy to getting into a relationship is covered in my home study programme, The Man Myth. If you haven’t tried it out yet, click here to find out more and get access!
48 Replies to “His Silence Explained: Four Reasons Why Guys Won’t Go For A Second Date”
Two months ago I went on a date with a man I met on a dating websie. He lives about an hour away and we arranged to meet at a country pub near me. It was a lovely hot day and as soon as we met we clicked and the conversation just flowed so easily and we laughed and joked together all afternoon.
We then went into town and a walk along the seafront and had ice cream.
Then we went back to mine and had a chat with my daughter, then walked to the Indian restaurant across the road and had dinner, then walked to the local pub for a couple of drinks, all the while enjoying each others company and laughing.
He stayed at my house but nothing happened apart from a kiss and cuddle.
When he left after breakfast he was working away for 2 weeks and sent me a lovely text saying what a fantastic time he’d had.
He has stayed in touch ever since and we haven’t been able to get together until now…..he is coming for our second date on 5th Nov for my birthday! Then on 9th for the weekend and we’ll see what happens from there :-)
Wow! Good luck!~~Have fun. All the best! xx
Best of luckkk =D xx
A few dates I went on with my boyfriend before we got together were the best I’ve experienced, one was in a cinema where we were teasing each other, sharing chocolate and had an excuse to touch each other to show we like each other. Our best one was in a restaurant and we just talked about all the good things, we were sat opposite each other and the proximity between us was really good as we could hear each other and we were able to provide one another with good eye contact.
I am someone that is on a dating website and have meet a great guy but he is currently separated and only looking for friendship. I am looking for a great guy to have the wonderful relationship. Is it a good idea to put energy into a friendship with a guy knowing that is all there is going to be or is it a good idea to have male friends? Thank you.
Congratulations. You have discovered an emotionally unavailable man. I think finding a guy on a dating site who doesn’t want to be in a relationship should have been a red flag.
I agree with you, Mika, that a guy who is recently separated is emotionally unavailable and is a big red flag.
Kim, you are fooling yourself if you think you can be “just friends” with him. He will still be full of negativity, and you will be his steam valve for the negativity. If he ever gets over this half-way and you still have not woken up and run away, then either a) he will fall in love with another woman and you will realize that you subconsciously had hoped he would see more in you than just friends or b) he will make a pass at you and suggest you to be friends with benefits, etc.
To make a long story short: he will be anything but a good platonic friend for you.
If you don’t believe me, print my statement on a piece of paper, put it into a drawer and look at it later. The time will come when you see my point (much likely sooner than later).
I’d say that it’s always good to have male friends so that you can find out how the male brain works haha. But if you are interested in him as more than friends, watch out. You can’t have expectations that it will be more than that as he is now emotionally unavailable indeed. It’s recipe for disappointment.
I am someone that is on a dating website and have meet a great guy but he is currently separated and only looking for friendship. I am looking for a great guy to have the wonderful relationship. Is it a good idea to put energy into a friendship with a guy knowing that is all there is going to be or is it a good idea to have male friends?
am one of thousands people on the dating site, I met the guy far away from a remote area, in a year of our conversation swap for email chat and phone calls, many of which he committed in excess I hope we meet soon.
It is impossible for us ever to become real life like a couple,? I really love and we hardly know each other. :(
Good read! I met someone about two weeks ago at a club – I acted out of confidence by striking up conversation, teasing him, even talked to his friends who ‘approved’ him talking to me. He asked for my number, we went on a date and we ended the date by him saying, ‘I like you, you seem really cool and I would like to see you again.’ Brilliant.
We texted a few times after that and he said he cannot wait to kiss me again. He was away for a week and said he would meet up when he got back. However, and this is the part I am confused about, when he asked me when I was free, I said, “Well, I am busy on these days but free others, you pick.” His reply was, “You must be dating other guys. No pressure on me.” I wrote, “Haha, no, just hoping to date one. How about Monday?” To which I hear no reply. I don’t get it. I am finding this a major turn-off but I am trying to understand what has turned him off. Any ideas?
Thank you in advance x
Hi Ali! Sounds like you did great and you know your way with guys. However, when you reaplied “just hoping to get one” i might sound a little bit needy (i think i might be right since i usually think like a guy, or at least thats what my guy friends always tell me haha). I would have responded something like “hahaha. I’m having a busy week. What about next monday?”, at that point of the dating game its not his damn bussiness anyway. Accually he sounds like an insecure and/or jealois guy.
Hope this helps you a little bit and have fun dating!! And sorry for the grammar mistakes, this isn’t my first language.
I understand where you are coming from, since saying that I am looking for ‘just one’ does sound a bit overbearing. However, he said something similar to me when we were texting. I said, “You must be busy chasing all the other girls.” He replied, “No, just one girl called Ali.”
So basically, I said the exact same thing as he did…
Oh, I don’t know. I doubt I’ll hear from him again but all I can say is that he is an idiot to get scared off so easily!
Hi Ali, just some little thing I feel compelled to tell you when I read your post: I might be wrong, but your reply ‘Haha, no, just hoping to date one.’ was what turned him off. Why? I think, when Matthew replies, he’ll explain it to you better.
Just my 2 cents!! :)
I think he likely has some jealousy issues, or low self- confidence to have made the joking assumption that you could be seeing other guys. x
I thought so too, and I thought it was rude of him to suggest that I would just go out with a number of guys as well…
you know maybe he’s just not for you. If a guy is that easily turned off, you have to wonder if that is the kind of guy you want to hang out with. He might be just a bit of a player.. I’d say, keep looking forward and not have your radar just on this one guy. :)
Thank you! I am coming round to the idea that this guy was really not for me. He has done one thing for me though – he has opened my eyes and made me realise that I am ready to open my life up to another guy now – just has to be one that is worth my time and attention :)
If he asks you whether you are dating other guys, maybe he is insecure. Normally it is none of his business to ask you whether you are dating other guys. He and you are not dating exclusively, so you have the right to date other guys. Stop wondering why he stopped calling. After all you do not want to have a job as a therapist. LOL
Say to yourself “the next one please”. You need a guy in your league – not below your league.
´The best date I´ve been one included all the elements that you are somewhat against, Matt.. Dinner and a movie and a loooong walk in the streets of Copenhagen afterwards, making the date drag on for hours and hours (really only because we kept missing our train). But as we ate we had a million things to talk about, we laughed and had so much fun. In the cinema it was the typical sligth touches and holding hands throughout the movie. And the long walk, I´ll admit, could´ve been spared because we didn´t have much left to talk about. Still, it was nice walking about, holding hands and enjoying not HAVING to talk.. With that said, we had known each other for over a month at the time, so it is probably the only reason it went so great. But I can honestly say that it was one of the best evenings/nights of my life. <3 ..but it all ended a week later, because the **** had led me on. But in the immortal words by Miranda Hart: "Life, eh?"
not Matt here, but just wondering: wouldn’t you like to have that date replayed a second third or for a life time continued. You mention some stuff, that was happening and which sounded much like Matts advice, though you deny it. And in the end there is no second date. So is that experience not something you would like to work on to make it a continious thing in your life the next time you meet someone that seems to be Mr. Right?
Best wishes for your future!
Thanks for all the tips. Haven’t gone to any date yet and I hope it will be very soon. I’ll try to remember then all that you have shared in here. Hope this date will have another one until we develop a certain degree of a deeper relationship. Thanks Matt
What to answer if a guy asks ” How come you are still single?” , ” How long have you been single? Why?”
” Why did you break up with your ex?” – how not to look like a drama queen if I didn’t have a positive experience in my previous relationships ( my ex was cheating on me with my best friend)?
just answer: we were not right one for another!
he doesn’t have to know all OF your problems on the first date….if you continue dating and start loving each other of course you can reveal him even those things (this is my humble opinion if I may … p.s. so sorry what happened to you, it must have been really hard)
Try and be witty in your rejoinder, like to his question on how come you haven’t dated in a while – use your confidence and reply with something like “Well, I guess that’s because guys like you have been keeping me waiting, huh *cute giggle*!!”
..or you could say: “Hey, you know almost nothing about me. If you really care, you will have to find out who I saved myself for and what my background is.” I’d say on a lousy guy this will feel as if he was wasting his time and in return you will know you do as well. But a nice guy will take the challenge as is in his nature and pride. So right there you can turn around the situation in your favour. Good luck!
Hey Bella, why not just reply with something vague like “oh, we realised we were just incompatible” or “we just wanted different things”… and if he pushes it further, maybe say you’d prefer to focus on getting to know eachother, right now.
Good advice here! Now I know what I should go for and what I should refrain from doing.
My best first date was with this guy i never thought would be my type, but he quickly proved me wrong. He took me to an Ice cream shop downtown where we talked for a good hour and a half about our childhood and dreams of the future. It was getting rather late when he asked how I felt about go karts, which I love. We went to a place that had them and drove around for awhile and then I challenged him to a game of putt putt…which I suck by the way ,but I figured it couldn’t hurt to boost his ego lol. Before we hit the last number in the game he asked if I wanted to keep my ball which was hot pink ;) I said sure why not so we purposely skipped the last hole and left. I had my hot pink ball and he had his blue ball. I will never ever forget that date and I hope he doesn’t either ;)
Hi Matthew and team, I have a query similar to Bella’s. How do you think we could answer if somebody asks why r u single, and irritatingly presumes that you expectations must be too high? I mean I do not want to ans with- because my previous relationships did not end well, and really I have been dating the same sort of guys who do not suit me. I mean having to explain, or giving such an answer makes me slightly sad. So how should I answer??
Yes I got the same question, how to handle tough question like ‘Why are u still single?’, ‘Why a great person like like must look for a date from a dating site?’….Seems strange but I got asked those questions lots of time.
Matthew, why don’t you write another article on how to tackle turn-off questions from guys?
Say I expect it’s the same reason you’re single or I guess we have that in common.
I had my first date with a guy I met on a dating site. We had drinks and found out we went to holiday at the same time to the same place! That was so great, as we had lots to talk about. We then went to the cinema,watching a horror movie, which made me jump a few times grabbing his arm lol!! By the end of the date he walked me to my car and we hugged. I then had a second date and that was wonderful too, he took me to this restaurant that I’ve been wanting to go to and it was like he read my mind. Again we had a great time and he walked me to my car and we kissed each other on the cheek.
This is where I’m confused now, he doesn’t text me much and hasn’t called me.towards the end of our second date he asked when I was free for the third date,he messaged me last night saying he’s got to cancel due to work and he would like to make it upto me on saturday which is fine. I’ve had to stop myself from messaging him first. He did say he would call me but he hasn’t. I think he’s shy?? Also we haven’t even kissed yet lol. What should I do?
I would not call him. If he wants to see you again, he should be man enough to call you. He cancelled the last date for whatever reason, so he has to be the one who is active now. If nothing comes from him then to me it looks like he is putting you on the backburner or he wants to take the French leave.
I find these posts as interesting as the articles, when I have time to read them. Perhaps what’s going wrong in some cases is a syndrome common in older people, especially men, I think. Ambivalence and fear of intimacy (I mean true emotional intimacy with another, which is not the same as sex). So they may come on strong at first but are really quite fearful of actually engaging with someone so get cold feet…
I’m not too surprised but somewhat discouraged after a second date the other night. Matt says we often miss/ignore warning signs but as the first date was coffee and a walk nothing could have prepared me for the multiple breaches of dating etiquette. These included getting me to meet near him as he seems to find going to central London a big deal (!) and yes, ok, I went along with this. Other breaches included expecting me to pay for myself when he had suggested the outing, selecting a poor quality Italian which was cold and had zero ambience, probably as it was ‘5 minutes from my flat’, being a bit strange about us ordering our own food, dressing in t shirt and trainers ie no effort at all so I felt overdressed, alluding to another dating website he’d just joined and a date which hadn’t gone that well but ‘I didn’t fancy her anyway’ (too much information!) and the worst ie choosing spaghetti and being oblivious to my aghast looks as he proceeded to let it drip and dangle all down his face…
We’d had an interesting talk on the first date but generally I felt treated like a mate rather than a date. But all of this feels like a waste of time and money…
I’m so sorry to hear about a ‘bad date’ experience you’ve had (but I do hope you saw the funny side, as it was so bad – it was comical. I hope, you saw it as an ‘interesting’ experience rather than a waste of your time and money)
You sound like a great Lady who deserves much better, and you will meet a Gentleman who will treat you right and feel lucky to spend quality time with you ! If you expect better, you will get better. Perhaps, you should go for a toyboy next time, as women look and feel younger and live longer and have more energy, anyway (judging by your date’s lack of effort to even come to see you…. he must have been feeling tired… GET A YOUNGER MODEL !!)
Best of luck !!
Hello, I met someone on a dating site about 6 months ago who lives about 50 miles away. We have only met each other twice and each time he has stayed with me but he has never taken advantage of the situation and we havent had sex but have kissed and cuddled. He has asked me what would my son feel if he knew his mum was having a relationhship with someone and has hinted that perhaps I ought to have a chat with my son about that possiblity. At the moment I am going along with the flow and we have fun texting etc and I am trying not to get too attached to him but would like more. Should I give him an ultimatum and say unless I see him on a regular basis, I dont see the point in carrying this on. ? Thanks
Maybe this is too later for you to read this…but I would say that if you’ve met only twice, it’s way way too soon to be thinking of an ultimatum.
Hey,I know that many out there may disagree with me but I am beginning to think that the articles that you write are the same that if you were to compare them to a magazine. The same things that we have heard again and again. I have followed this site for a year waiting for a great tip and have even researched many of your lessons but they seem to be of no use. There is no need in reading such articles as they will just repeat the same messages over an over.
After all I guess that this get the guy method was not for everyone.
I’m sorry you feel that way. I put a lot of personal time and effort into this blog to give something free to people who can’t afford to do my programmes (or just want something to supplement them). I pride myself on giving some of the best content out there, and I hope that people can take something useful away from them, whether it be an insight, a technique or just a more positive way of thinking about something.
Obviously the programmes I have are far more comprehensive, and that is why people invest in them financially, but I put a lot into making this free resource useful in it’s own right because I don’t like to exclude people who can’t take the core programmes.
Maybe in future blogs I’ll change your mind and you’ll find something useful. You’re welcome to keep coming back and see if they do. If not, good luck in your pursuit and I hope you find something that works for you.
Honestly, I find your insight and honesty incredibly helpful and eye opening. You’ve made me aware of certain little things I do unconsciously that explain where I’ve gone wrong in the past and have broadened my understanding of the opposite sex considerably.
I don’t agree with her comment. You’re articles/videos are NOT the same as one finds in magazines. There is a ton of value in what you do and the time and energy you dedicate is evident.
Matt, your blog articles are really good. If this commenter finds stuff as good in magazines…good for her because it sounds like she found some really good magazine articles.
you sound like you graduated this – if you know all of them then stop reading and moaning, but go and practice, don’t discourage others. Have you met the guy yet with such knowledge if not, then perhaps you need to re-read and re-reflect and make that head knowledge a heart knowledge.
The best first date I’ve ever had was actually first two dates. I met a guy from a dating site, so it was kind of a bling date, but he knew that I have a small garden in a community garden, so we went there for the first date. It was during the day, so we only had a couple of hours, but he managed to build a small rock garden for me and impress me with his gardening skills, then he kissed me at the dwell.
The second date was a waterpolo game where he was playing. I hardly knew him, but I was proud like a ‘waterpolo wife’, and he kissed me after the game.
I know this all sounds mushy, but the point is that both dates were about getting involved in eachother’s lives, showing a little bit of our worlds. Even after 2 dates we built a strong relationship, which is still working, altough unfortunately not as a love relationship. But I’ll always remember these dates that have set my standards quite high :)
I recently reconnected with a guy I had met folk dancing a couple years ago. We instantly got along and had excellent flowing conversation and we could both tell we were attracted to each other. He asked me out and we went out. I was more nervous that I’ve ever been on a date (and I’m in my mid-30s) i think he was nervous too. It was odd as he didn’t come to my door, didn’t walk me to the door at the end of the night – so I never got to hug him. Normally, I’m extremely out-going, flirtatious and bubbly, but I was so nervous – cause I was so attracted to him (I love nerds)- and because I was afraid of driving the conversation too much, that I felt frozen. I was also having a hard week as it was the birthday of my deceased father a few days before and I was super indecisive. He ended up telling me, over text, that he didn’t feel the dating vibe – so I got dumped after a first date over text! Awesome. Anyways, I keep blaming myself for not being more myself, and thinking maybe I wasn’t pretty, skinny, blah, blah, blah enough. Not sure how to get over this. I have previously been dating men that I’ve mostly met online – and not having a ton of success. This was the first time in a while I’ve been asked out by someone I met in-person and they actually followed-through with it. I’m sure I’ll run into him again. If it was me, I would have given him another chance despite the fact our conversation was extremely awkward – but he’s basically said he’s not interested in more than friends. Ideas to help me move on? So far, I’m on the verge of giving up after several flops since December.
Hey Matt… How do we have great dates with exes ??? Specially if the guy is not that interested in doing new things and loves the known:)
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