You don't owe it to anyone.
It is easy to decline a second date when the first one is a disaster, but what if it was just fine?
Many singles feel like they should never deny someone a second date without clear, overwhelming evidence. But I disagree. You should just say no if:
1. He doesn't pass the sweatpants test.
Can you confidently state that you would rather be at home relaxing in your sweatpants than spending another evening out with Mr. Mediocre?
If your answer is yes, then feel free to pass on the offer.
2. The conversation is entirely one-sided.
These are the dates where you hardly get a word in, because Mr. Limelight is doing all the talking. Sure, he is attractive and polite, but you're the only one asking questions. Mid-way through, you wonder if you are on a date or an interview.
Admittedly, I have persevered through date #1, thinking that date #2 will mark the end of the interview phase. But to no avail.
Unless you enjoy one-sided conversation, leave Mr. Limelight on your first date.
3. You discuss the weather.
Once I had a date interrupt our mutual silence to ask how I enjoyed last week's weather. Despite our similar careers and interests, conversation just did not flow, and the harder we tried, the more awkward the situation became.
I feigned exhaustion, and he faked feeling distracted by work matters.
Shockingly, Mr. Weather asked me out again, and even more surprising was my answer. I accepted, hoping nerves and circumstances stumped both of us for words.
But in reality, conversation on the first date is easiest, because you are starting from scratch. So, the second date was even more quiet than the first. After all, we really didn't have anything left to attempt to talk about… other than the weather, of course.