Sometimes, the hardest part of the date is knowing how to follow up afterward.
And you thought the pre-date anxiety was the hardest part? Think again. Any serial dater knows the most infuriating time in the early stages of a relationship is the 24–48 hours that follow the first date. Excelle: 5 Power-Packed Dating Strategies
When's he going to call? Should you call him? What's an appropriate amount of time to wait? Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:
- Sleep on it. Give yourself some time to assess your feelings and the date itself.
- Don't be afraid to call him. Haven't heard from him yet? Give him a call. A lot of women are afraid to take the initiative on this one, for fear of seeming desperate or over eager. But that's just silly and outdated! A lot of men will respect you for having the guts to follow up. And if this guy doesn't, he's probably not worth your time anyway.
- But, don't call if you have nothing to say. Know of a show you'd like to invite him to? Give him a call. Or maybe you saw something that reminded you of a conversation you had. By all means, tell him about it. But if you're calling just to sit awkwardly on the other end of the phone, waiting for him to say something meaningful, you're wasting both your time and his.
- Know when to back off. If you find that you're the only one making any sincere effort after the first, second, or third date, it may be time to cut your losses and move on. Don't project your own feelings of interest onto him or you might just find you're having a relationship with yourself. Let him reach out to you. If he doesn't, onwards and upwards! Life is too short and you're too awesome to be making all the effort. Excelle: Avoiding Dating Nightmares: A Three-Part Series
And what if you don't like him? How do you break the news?
- Be Kind. Think about how you'd want to be treated if you were the rejectee. Nothing is worse than being left in the dark. If your date expresses interest in pursuing the relationship, a phone call or email will go a long way towards giving the both of you piece of mind. Excelle: 7 Phrases Men Love To Hear
- Be Honest. Or as close to it as possible, without hurting his feelings. Tell your date that, although you enjoyed meeting him, you didn't feel there was any chemistry or potential for the long term, and so you aren't interested in taking it any further. It's not easy to say, but you'll feel so much better once you've done it. Need a good one-liner to get you started? Try I'm not feeling what I need to be feeling to … [fill in the blank]. Whether the ending to that phrase is "to continue seeing you romantically," "to pursue anything beyond platonic friendship," or "to keep footing the bill for all our dates," this start can be helpful both in person and in email.
- Don't Fool Yourself—or Him. If you know for sure that it could never go anywhere, don't give him another shot just to be nice. You'll just end up getting his hopes up. He'll continue to pursue you and you'll have to have the talk all over again.
- Use the Right Medium. Only met once? A polite email should suffice. Been on a few dates? A phone call is probably more appropriate. Avoid breaking the news via text message in the vast majority of cases, although if it's between sending a text message and dropping off the face of the earth, just text.
Of course, connections and communication aren't always perfect. There will be people who you keep "forgetting" to call back. Some will catch the clue. Others may need the I'm not feeling line after their seventh screened call in a week.
There will also be people who "forget" to call you back, who don't call, email, text, or IM you ever again. It's natural to muse on why, but don't let yourself linger on that type of thought for too long. If you did this to someone, wouldn't it mean that you're not interested? Right. So listen to the wisdom you already have, don't take it personally, and don't become the topic of "that gal" stories he tells to his friends. Move on!
Each mismatch brings you closer to the real thing. Don't waste your time on the ones that aren't right and learn from what didn't work to help you find the person that does!
Written by Anna Hennings and Tania Khadder for Excelle