Real Talk

Sex and the Capital City: The dating purgatory of second date, or no second date

Sex and the Capital City: The dating purgatory of second date, or no second date

Sometimes, a date doesn’t work out. And if you read this regularly, you’ll notice that most times, dates don’t work out. Yet for every nightmare encounter, there’s one that’s just OK and leaves us in a dating purgatory: second date or no second date?

More often than not, I tend to err on the side of second chances. Agreeing to a second date to later fret over how I’ll ultimately break it to them. Not the most adult way to go about things, I realize. But, despite my generally brash tone and lack of filter, I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings. Awkwardness, while part of my everyday routine, isn’t something I seek out.

So why not agree to a second date, even if you’re pretty over it at the end of date one? Because that’s selfish, that’s why. If by the middle of the date, you’re checking your email, things aren’t going well. So when it comes time to say goodnight, it should end with a “let’s be friends,” right?

Not every time, and I’m not proud of it.

There’s definitely something to be said about giving things time to take shape. It would be a shame to think that you cut something off too soon. Part of finding the right person is getting to know them on a level that progresses beyond the first date, obviously. When the right person comes along, the doubt should vanish. I get it.

But if you’re disinterested after the first encounter, it’s best to nip things in the bud.

I’m finally learning to practice what I preach. In fact, I went out with someone, a very nice guy who had plenty to talk about and would justifiably be considered a catch, and yet, I just wasn’t quite into it. But when the date ended, I agreed to a second, and the stomach churning began.

Not because he was repulsive or anything; I’m not a completely terrible human being. I knew, however, that I’d have to at some point end things.

So when he reached out some days later, I fessed up. Not the old “it’s not you, it’s me” routine. We all know that’s malarkey. But, at the consult of a friend, I gave him what I hoped to be a gentle let down. “We’re better as friends,” I said. And I hated it. Because he probably hated me.

Alas, what’s done is done. And even though I felt supremely icky about leading Mr. Nice Guy on, I’d hope he’d appreciate my honesty. I hope that, at least now, I can go with my gut a bit more, and trust that I’m saving him from wasting his time as well. Hey — at least he saved the money on a dinner date, right?

And I’m an eater, so he really lucked out.