You’ve put your favorite dress on, and your make-up is looking perfect.
The restaurant is booked, and you’re already planning which cocktail to order.
You’ve got a great feeling about this one.
You’ve been chatting for a few weeks, and you just seem to click. Every conversation is easy.
There are so many weird coincidences about what you’re into and the places you’ve been.
Sure, there are never any guarantees, but you’ve just got a good feeling about this one…
The date goes really well. You had fun. You didn’t embarrass yourself, and as he walks you to your taxi, he tells you ‘I’ll message you soon’.
You go to bed feeling certain that you’ll wake up to a lovely message from him, and then…there’s nothing.
No message, no call. You can see he’s been online. You haven’t given up hope, but you’ve got that sinking feeling.
If he liked you, you just know he’d have been in touch already.
When a great first date doesn’t turn into a second date, you feel gutted.
If even this one didn’t work out, what hope is there for anything else?
You’re starting to wonder what’s wrong with you.
There’s nothing wrong with you. There are lots of reasons why your first date didn’t work out.
And most of the time, the signs will have been there. If you can learn to look for them, you’ll be much less likely to be hanging on for that message that never comes.
In this article, you’ll learn what those signs are so that you don’t get disappointed again.
When you know these signs, you’ll find it much easier and can move on to the next one without any hurt feelings.
1. He doesn’t mention a second date
This is the clearest sign that he’s not interested after the first date.
If a guy is planning a second date with you, he’ll usually want you to know about it on the first date. He’ll want to keep you interested.
Even if he doesn’t directly ask for a second date during the first date, there will be signs that he’s going to.
He might ask what you’re doing at the weekend, for example, to scope out when you’re free.
Or he might message straight after to ask for another date – sometimes shyer guys find it easier to do this than ask in person.
One way or another though, you’ll know pretty quickly if he’s interested in doing it again.
If he really is super shy and waiting for you to make the move, then it’s still possible that you’re in with a chance of a second date, but it’s unlikely unless there are some other clear signs that he really, really likes you.
Recommended reading: When and what to text after the first date: 19 easy tips
2. He talks about other women
You’re on a first date, so it’s pretty much a given that you’ll both be dating or chatting to other people too right now, or at least open to it.
But if a guy specifically mentions other women on the date, even if he makes out they’re just friends? That’s a bad sign that this one isn’t going to go anywhere for you.
A guy who’s really into you just won’t do that unless he’s deliberately trying to send you a not-so-subtle message.
Or perhaps he feels like the date isn’t going well, and he wants to make sure you know that.
What about guys who talk about famous women, like movie stars or singers? If he keeps telling you about women he thinks are ‘hot’, be wary.
He’s setting you up to be compared and is revealing himself to be someone who judges on looks, not brains. Even if he does ask for a second date, turn it down.
A guy who’s into you will be focused on you. He won’t be thinking about other women – except perhaps to compare you favorably with them.
3. He talked about his ex
Worse than talking about other women is a guy who talks about his ex on your first date. A guy who does this isn’t into you enough for a second date – because he’s not over his ex.
It’s natural that your conversation might drift towards previous relationships on a date, but any mention of exes from either of you should be brief and factual.
If he happens to mention in passing about a holiday he took with her, because you happen to be talking about holidays, that’s one thing.
If he constantly brings her up, or he badmouths her, then he’s clearly thinking about her much more than he’s thinking about you.
It’s actually pretty common for a guy to not be over his ex, even if he’s dating.
Studies show that guys tend to think more about their exes than women do, and often have a harder time getting over a breakup.
Don’t take it personally if a guy you’re dating isn’t over his ex – he probably didn’t even realize it himself.
But let him go – it’s not your job to be his therapist and you definitely don’t want to be his rebound.
4. His attention seemed to drift during the date
We all know when someone isn’t really interested in talking to us.
That guy in the meeting who can’t seem to stop checking his email.
Your friend who constantly looks at Facebook while you’re in a bar with her.
And your date who seems to spend a lot of time either staring into space, looking around the room or examining his phone, all while fidgeting and looking uncomfortable.
When a guy is into you, he’ll be focused on you. He’s interested in what you have to say and he can’t stop looking at you.
His phone, the rest of the people in the bar, the view out of the window – none of these should be more important than you and what you have to say.
A guy who didn’t look interested in your date isn’t interested – even if he has told you otherwise.
5. He doesn’t make eye contact
Even if a guy appears to be listening to you on you during your date, you might find that he’s not really looking at you.
If you’re into someone, you really can’t help looking at them. It’s simply a natural part of getting to know someone. Eye contact is a huge part of human communication.
If he’s constantly avoiding your gaze and looks away whenever he gets close to looking you in the eye, it’s probably not that he’s shy. Even shy people can’t help looking at someone they like.
He might be doing this unconsciously because he’s already thinking about the drive home and the hot coffee he’s going to have when he gets there.
Or he might be doing it deliberately because he knows that you might think he’s into you if he does.
Either way, he’s hiding from you. Someone who’s into you just won’t be able to help looking you in the eyes.
6. He doesn’t message within a day
You’ll sometimes still see advice that a guy who likes you will play it cool and won’t message straight away.
There are people who’ll tell you that you need to wait three days before you write off a first date who didn’t call.
That’s great advice…for the year 2000. Not for the 2020s, where it takes seconds to send someone a message after a date.
Especially if you’ve been messaging back and forth regularly before the date, and then it just stops.
A guy who wants a second date with you will be in touch quickly. He doesn’t want you heading out on multiple dates with other people – he wants to make sure he’s your number 1 choice.
He’ll message you within hours, or at the latest the following day, to set up your next date because he doesn’t want your diary filling up with his competition.
What if he told you on the date that he’d like to do it again, but then he doesn’t message?
He probably got carried away in the heat of the moment (and perhaps those beers he drank) and when he’s home, he decides it’s not what he wants.
Remember that this isn’t your fault – it’s annoying, but it happens.
7. He messages…but it’s minimal
What about guys who message, but don’t seem to be moving towards an actual date?
This is confusing because you naturally think that if he’s messaging you to chat, he’s going to move to ask for a second date.
Sadly, this isn’t always the case. If a guy is sending you one-line messages like ‘how are you?’ and giving one word answers to your replies, he’s possibly just hoping for sex, without having to go on another date.
He probably likes you. but not enough to see you as a potential girlfriend.
There is a big but here though.
Sometimes, guys just aren’t great at messaging. It might be that you’ve got a guy who does like you, but is busy with work and just gets distracted before he has a chance to reply, or gives a short reply because he’s short on time.
Maybe he doesn’t see it as a big deal, even though you do. In this case, all you can do is wait and see – and plan a date with someone else while you’re waiting.
8. He was over-the-top
If you have a great first date, where you were setting the world to rights for hours, staring dreamily into each other’s eyes and talking about your favorite things to do on a date…it might just all have been too good to be true.
Some guys will go all-in when they think there’s a chance of sex that night.
He won’t go as far as actually promising a second date, but he’ll hint heavily that it’s going to happen.
He thinks that if you think a second date is going to happen, that you’ll be more likely to have sex on the first date.
When you didn’t give him what he wanted, he went cold on you. It’s a horrible feeling when this happens, but it wasn’t your fault.
He had a plan from the beginning and went for it, without really caring about your feelings.
9. There wasn’t much laughter
When you’re comfortable and happy in someone’s company, the laughter just seems to flow naturally.
Think about your past relationships or your best friendships and the good times you’ve had – can you remember nights out when you just couldn’t stop laughing?
And years later, you still talk about ‘that hilarious night when we…?”
Science shows that laughter is strongly associated with positive relationships. In other words, couples that laugh together, stay together.
While a first date without much laughter doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get a second date, for most of us, laughing is just part of a happy, healthy relationship.
Having a shared sense of humor is one of the things that brings us closer together with each other.
If you and your date didn’t spend much time laughing, or you did and it was awkward as hell because you just didn’t laugh about the same things, he probably instinctively knows that you two don’t have legs as a potential couple.
Be relieved if this has happened to you – you’ve probably dodged a bullet.
10. You had a fundamental incompatibility
As well as a lack of a shared sense of humor, there are some other fundamental things that can make you incompatible.
When you’re attracted to someone, it’s easy to overlook a nagging feeling that you might not be quite right together, and want a second date anyway.
It’s natural to feel like you want to get to know someone a bit better before you dismiss them because of a weird opinion they hold or a strange lifestyle choice.
But, if your second date isn’t happening, it might be that he thought those seemingly small incompatibilities were actually much more of a big deal.
If that’s the case, he’s probably done you a huge favor.
You really don’t want to start a relationship with someone who you’re totally out of whack with – it’s never likely to end well.
If he dreams of settling down in the suburbs and you want to see the world, you’d probably never have worked.
If you’re all-in on your career and he’s happy to pick up minimum wage for the rest of his life, you’d never have worked.
And if he’s a quiet, homebody type and you’re a social butterfly, you’d never have worked.
Opposites can attract – but only if you have shared life goals too. If you’re completely different, you’d have ended up making each other unhappy.
Why do guys lose interest after a great first date?
What if none of the signs above apply after your first date? You had a really great time. You talked and talked, you flirted outrageously and you were the last people to leave the bar. You maybe even tentatively planned round 2.
And then…crickets. He doesn’t reply to you, he doesn’t call you, he doesn’t initiate anything and you’re left feeling totally dejected.
If even this one, that seemed just so promising and was so much fun, doesn’t work out, what hope is there?
The thing is, you’re not inside his head. And a fun evening can just be a fun evening. It might be that, once the cocktails wore off and he had time to think, he realized there was something that means that he just can’t see a future with you.
A lot of the time, unless you turned up to the date with unbrushed hair and bad breath, that won’t be anything to do with you. It’ll be him.
It could have been that…
- He was attracted to you, but realised that he just isn’t looking for anything serious right now, and doesn’t want to lead you on by offering a second date that won’t go anywhere.
- He went through a recent breakup and his date with you has made him realise that he isn’t over her yet.
- He’s thinking of moving to another state or even overseas, and while he thought dating might be fun, he’s just not up for letting you down.
- He’s super-busy and just doesn’t see where he can slot a girlfriend into his life right now.
- He’s going through something in his personal life that means he’s distracted and doesn’t have the emotional space for anything more than a one-off date.
If any of these applies, you’ll probably never find out for sure. But sometimes, it really is him, not you.
What if he texts after the first date but no second date?
One of the most frustrating dating experiences is when a guy messages you after the first date, and it all sounds really positive, but the second date never happens.
The messages aren’t dull one-liners, but proper, chatty messages that make you feel like you’re practically on the second date already.
In fact, you’ve already cleared your weekend diary and are picking out what to wear.
It could be that he’s just after sex, but he’s a bit more dedicated to getting it than the one-liner guys.
Or it could be one of the ‘it’s him not you’ reasons we just talked about.
It could also be that he’s just not sure whether you’re interested in him, or that he found you a little too full-on.
The texting could be his way of testing the waters before he jumps in with a second date request.
It’s hard, but be honest with yourself…
- Did you do anything on the date that might have made him unsure about your interest level? If you were constantly checking your phone, or you’re a dreamy type who seems to drift, maybe he’s thinking you’re just not that into him and doesn’t want to risk being hurt.
- Or perhaps, in trying to play it cool after the date, you’ve accidentally come across as being uninterested. Don’t play games and leave it days to reply to a message – he’ll just think it’s not worth bothering.
- Could you have given the impression of being just a little too keen? He might like you a lot, and that’s why he’s texting, but he’s worried that you’re going to want more from him than he can give.
- Maybe you told him that you’re sick of being single…and he’s taken that to mean that he’s going to be fully responsible for your happiness if you get together. Or maybe you mentioned that things got really intense quickly with your ex, and he’s thinking you’ll expect the same from him.
First dates aren’t always going to be perfect
Dating isn’t always easy. First dates can be anything from amazing to slightly weird to a complete turn-off.
Sometimes, a date that felt amazing and that you thought was guaranteed to lead to a second, doesn’t turn out that way.
There are lots of reasons for this – most of them nothing to do with you.
But if you can learn to read the signs that the first date isn’t going as well as you hoped, it’ll be far easier for you to move on and not stress about it.
Because, honestly, when a guy is falling for you, you’ll know.
Usually, a guy who wants a second date will make that clear – so if he didn’t ask, he’s probably not going to. That’s the biggest sign.
He will also let you know through his body language and behavior. If he is distracted or doesn’t make eye contact, then that’s a bad sign.
And if he’s talking about his ex all the time, or about other women he finds hot? Then even if he does ask you for round 2, you’d be wise to say no.
When you’re dating, relax, be yourself and never hold on too hard to the outcome.
Just have a fun night and if you get another, great. If you don’t, it was just never going to happen.
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