Why wasn’t there a second date?

For the podcast: Looking to talk to someone who was with a partner for a very long time before getting married. Email me at meredith.goldstein@globe.com with "podcast" in the subject line.

Hi there,

I've recently started listening to your podcast and have really enjoyed the second season on how to meet someone. I wanted to send you an issue I'm having and see if you have any advice.

I'm a 28-year-old habitually single women on the East Coast, and I feel like my problem is figuring out what people are looking for when initially dating someone. My dating history is frustrating. I've been in very few "real" relationships (two). I do go on dates here and there but frequently get frustrated and stop dating for a while.

I'd definitely consider myself an outgoing person. I love going out and am involved in local music activities and volunteer programs. I have a great job and am very independent, but I feel like that scares guys away for some reason. I have been told by people that I am intimidating. I'd consider myself an attractive, intelligent, and kind person, and I have great relationships with friends and family. It has been hard for me to connect with men romantically, and I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong or if everyone I date is just not interested in a relationship. I'm not looking to get married any time soon, but I do want to date someone exclusively.

About two months ago I went on a first date with a guy I met through Bumble. We chatted on the app for about a week or so, and then I gave him my number and we began texting. I initially suggested we met up for drinks and he agreed, so we met on a Saturday night at a local craft cocktail bar. We had a great date, or so I thought. The conversation was easy and interesting, and it seemed we shared many of the same view points, interests, and lifestyle. Our body language felt relaxed and it seemed he was interested in me. I was immediately attracted to him. We stayed for over two hours until last call and he even offered to drive me home. We didn't kiss but I didn't think too much about it since we had just met. I told him I had a great time and I'd like to see him again soon, and he agreed. I did text him the next day to say thank you and it was great meeting him, and he did text me back. Over the next week I didn't hear from him. I ended up texting him the next weekend just to say hello. No response. I haven't heard from him since.

This guy doesn't owe me anything, but I wish I knew why he didn't reach out again. What about our date made him decide that he did not want to see me again? In my mind it went really well. He didn't have to drive me home, and our conversation and body language suggested he was interested. What am I doing wrong?

– Frustrated


I can't tell you why this man didn't want a second date. Maybe he liked your company but didn't feel the chemistry (sorry). Maybe he did feel chemistry, but decided he felt more chemistry with a different person the next night. Maybe his ex showed up at his door after he got home from your date and they decided to get back together because they've always been in love. Or maybe he got distracted and lost momentum, and if that's the case, well, I guess it's good to know he's not the kind of person who follows through.

I could do an entire season of the podcast – maybe something Serial-style – where I investigate dating ghost stories. "Where did they goooooo?" (Insert creepy music here.)

What I can tell you is that it's not unusual to have a bunch of first dates that go nowhere, and to have gaps in your dating history. Some people manage to find partners without having to be alone for long stretches, but I don't know their secret. I'm sure some of it is luck.

You say you're involved in some great activities. I do think you can tell people in those groups (and in the rest of your life) that you're looking to meet someone. We had a Season 2 episode about setups and learned that the most effective matches can be made by acquaintances. It might help to tell everyone in your world that you're open.

As for the whole "intimidating" thing, I don't buy that. It's something people say to women, and I don't like what it implies. Just make sure that when you're on dates, you focus on the moment, ask questions, and have fun. Keep the stakes low until there's a real reason to raise them.

– Meredith

Readers? Just curious: What do you think about the whole "you must be intimidating" line? When have you found a date intimidating and how so?