dateVirginia Clark, a love expert at YourTango, writes, "If your first date with a man is only mildly interesting and leaves you feeling rather blah, you may be tempted to write him off and move on. Beware: this might be a dating mistake that could affect the rest of your life."
Dramatic, right?! And yet isn't that how we're all left feeling after a strange first date? You ask yourself, should I go out with him/her again? Did we have chemistry? Do I like him/her? If we don't go out again, will I be missing out? If we do will I just be wasting my time, or worse, will I end up getting sucked into a relationship that I don't really want to be in because I don't know how to say no?
Clark makes an important point when she says:
Since most men and women are looking for instant sexual attraction on the first date, if it's not there, a second date is out of the question. Without that "special feeling," you see no reason to see him again. But there's something you need to know. It's been found that about 75% of married women say they married a man who was not their "type." Now think about that. A man who's your type turns you on, he's the man that you spot across a crowded room and are drawn to without being able to help yourself.
I'll add here, though, that often times when we are magnetically drawn to someone we don't know, we're feeling the pull of the familiar, and if your dating history has been a disappointing one, what is familiar to you probably doesn't work for you. You may be acting out repetition compulsion, trying to right a wrong in your family history through repeating the trauma in romantic relationships. Instead, try being open to meeting someone new - not just a new person, but a new "type" of person.
Clark says, "On a first date you're more inclined to be looking for the qualities that usually impress you and these tend to be the more superficial ones. Let's face it, charm and humor stand out when you first meet a man, but honesty and integrity can't be seen." In other words, it takes time to get to know someone, and so when you feel an instant chemistry with a person, it's often a result of behaviors and attitudes that tend not to be impressive and can sometimes be downright hurtful in the long run.
"If a man is just OK and definitely not a jerk, only good can come of going on a second date," Clark says. "You owe it to yourself and to him to give it another chance so you can have the experience of getting past the initial awkwardness. Without the craziness of intense sexual attraction, you will get to know him better and begin to see his true colors and the qualities that make him a real person."
That being said, DON'T IGNORE RED FLAGS. If you do get an outright *bad feeling* on a first date, there's no need to talk yourself out of listening to your instincts in order to see the person again. There's a fine line between giving someone a chance and denying your own thoughts and feelings in order to make something work, so be sure to always trust your gut. If your date is a decent person but by the third or fourth meeting you're still bored, move on.
Finally, to reiterate Clark's point about marrying someone you had a bad first date with, I actually know a couple who admit to having an awkward first date and an even more awkward first kiss, and yet they have a beautiful relationship and marriage today, so you never know! Hang in there, love bugs!
-By Carolyn Castligia
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