December 23, 2011 12:43 AM   Subscribe

How do you "wrap up" a first date that goes well? Or a date that doesn't go well?

[Sigh] You'd think that in my mid-30's I would know this. But I don't.

Let's say you [man] went out to have coffee/dessert with a woman.

Scenario 1:
You both laugh the whole time, the conversation flows easily. You'd like to see her again.

Who is supposed to initiate the hug? Handshake? Are you supposed to plan the next thing immediately?

Scenario 2:
It's filled with awkward gaps. It's ok, but not quite working out.

What are you supposed to do? Pretend to want to see the person again?
posted by StrictlyVague to Human Relations (16 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
What are you supposed to do? Pretend to want to see the person again?

It seems to me, like you answered your own question right there.
posted by timsteil at 12:47 AM on December 23, 2011

Scenario 2:
It's filled with awkward gaps. It's ok, but not quite working out.

What are you supposed to do? Pretend to want to see the person again?

Well, do you want to see the person? I wouldn't recommend pretending, if not. A smile, thanks, and "good night" is sufficient if you don't care to see the person again.
posted by bearette at 1:10 AM on December 23, 2011

Best answer: Scenario 1: "I had a great time with you. I'd love to see you again if you'd be up for it." Hopefully she says something positive here. Then you say, "Awesome, I'll be in touch soon. I'm looking forward to it." Hug. You can initiate it. Don't make it super long or tight or gropey at all.

Scenario 2 (neither of you is feeling chemistry and it's understood there won't be a second date): "Well it was a pleasure to meet you. I hope you have a great night and get home safe." I would probably hug here too.

I'm giving you a Scenario 3: you are not feeling chemistry but the woman clearly is.

"Well it was a pleasure to meet you. I hope you have a great night and get home safe. Good luck with [XYZ that she told you about on the date]." Handshake.
posted by cairdeas at 1:22 AM on December 23, 2011 [6 favorites]

I think avoid handshaking. I mean, if you don't mention wanting to see them again and then don't call, that would be adequate. A handshake seems a bit like the body language equivalent of shouting that you don't want to see them again. A cheek kiss seems less wierd than a hug to me, which seems like something good friends do, and so a bit try-hard. A cheek kiss is, to me, a polite and friendly acquaintance/cross gender friend salutation. But I'm australian... So possibly not relevant to you? Perhaps we do it all differently...
posted by jojobobo at 2:08 AM on December 23, 2011

However it went, I generally don't ask about a second date or suggest meeting up again while still on the first date. A rejection would be too awkward. Just say "I had a great time" or "it was fantastic to meet you".

Then if you want to try for a second date, do it by email or phone or message the next day. Then she's had time to think it over, and it's less awkward if she says no.

My experience of rejections: about 25% will give a polite rejection message, 75% will just not bother to reply.

My experience of acceptance: most will accept a second date with a couple of days. A few women will wait as long as a week before accepting. More than a week and you can be pretty sure it's the standard twist-in-the-wind silent rejection.

It's best to be approaching the next prospect while waiting for a reply, even if you think the last date went well. Otherwise you lose time and sanity waiting to find out what's happening.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 3:58 AM on December 23, 2011 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I think you should figure out what you want to do and then do it, in a non-skeezy fashion. If things are going good, initiate a hug. If things are going great, initiate a kiss. If it's been the best date every and the vibes, go for tongue and the gentle ass feel.

Things didn't go well? Initiate a quick reply.

If she's going to reject you, it doesn't make a lot of sense to worry about her feelings. If she likes you and you're behaving like a decent human, which you should be doing anyway, then there's not a lot you can do to make things bad. At worst, she'll tease you months later about it. "Ha, remember you tried to kiss me on the first date, after that horrible movie, Aliens IV? Geeze you were aggressive, like one of those creatures in the film, all mouth. Thank God you turned out to be a good kisser. Now come over here and remind of that fact."

Rejection isn't great, but it's not the end of the world either. You might as well be able to look back and say "At least I went for and got rejected, instead of not doing anything and still being rejected."

Be bold, but decent and respectful.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:17 AM on December 23, 2011

Seconding everything that cairdeas said. Except for maybe the handshake part. I'm of the opinion that hugs are fine even if you aren't interested. It can be a brief, friendly goodbye hug, nothing more. But then, I'm the hugging type so YMMV.

It's just too bad that the two (and sometimes three or four, depending on the country) hello/goodbye kisses are not universal. I think that would make things a lot easier in these situations!
posted by seriousmoonlight at 4:34 AM on December 23, 2011

I agree with everyone above, and would lean toward not asking if she'd be up for getting together again while you're on the date. (I've been in that position, and it's very, very difficult to say no.) Just say you had a fantastic time and you'll be in touch (if you liked her); or that it was nice to meet her and you hope she has a good week/weekend (if you didn't). Either way, a hug is pretty standard.

Also, if you're really into her, it never hurts to send a text that night reiterating that you had a good time and that you hope she got home all right.
posted by cider at 5:01 AM on December 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

When I was heavily dating, I had no problem saying to the good dates "I want to see you again" right there on the spot. And I had no problem saying to the bad ones "it was nice to meet you, but I don't have an interest in seeing you again." And the women all did the same to me.

Be honest, up front, and communicate. Seems to be the answer to all relationship questions, really.
posted by TinWhistle at 7:26 AM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]

I dunno, a non-committal "we should do this again" sends a nice signal at the end of a date, if sincere. If she's not interested, she can make a neutral noise and not follow up without too much awkwardness. If she is interested, she knows you're interested and can suggest such an activity a few days later. YMMV.
posted by smirkette at 8:18 AM on December 23, 2011

Tips on scenario #2 previously

Ah, the kind of dates in scenario 1 are so rare but so wonderful. I usually walk them home/to their car and give them a kiss. If things are going as well as you think they are, you don't have to worry about creeping them out. So kiss her then say "I'll give you a call/text/whatever tomorrow, okay?" and you can tentatively plan something then. No, it isn't desperate - you're showing interest after what was obviously a great date.

And the wonderful thing about a great date is you don't have to play weird games.
posted by OnTheLastCastle at 8:44 AM on December 23, 2011

Please do NOT pretend to want to see someone again if you actually don't just to be polite, and do NOT say you'll call someone if you don't intend to.

In scenario 1, if you know 3/4 of the way through you'd like to see her again, casually mention 1-2 things you'd like to do in the coming month (alone or with her, don't make stuff up, though) in conversation.

If she expresses interest in either/both, tell her you'll get in touch later in the week about making plans for (1-2 things you're both interested in) so you both leave knowing where your communication and plans to see each other again might be headed. She has time to change her mind that way without feeling pressured, and you do, too.

In a pinch, you can always tell her where you'll be during the next weekend and go there. If she shows up, she shows up; don't overthink it, though (easy to say, hard to do when you're dating).
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:12 AM on December 23, 2011

My above advice actually applies to any gender, for others who end up reading this question.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:13 AM on December 23, 2011

And the wonderful thing about a great date is you don't have to play weird games.

Totally sympathize with this feeling, but, OP, I think seeing this as weird game playing can lead to a lot of frustration. Overall, when you're dating, I think it's way less frustrating to frame it in your mind instead as "We're in a situation where most people are nervous, excited, awkward, confused, and none of us are mind readers, so we just do the best we can to treat each other well under those circumstances given we are not psychics."
posted by cairdeas at 9:35 AM on December 23, 2011 [3 favorites]

"It was nice to meet you, but I don't have an interest in seeing you again."

Whatever you say, don't say this in person. Convey it clearly but politely in your follow-ups if the person is clueless and you must, but expressing yourself in that manner face-to-face to someone you just met in such a rude, uncivil way is ridiculous and juvenile. Have some tact!

Unless the person was incredibly rude, a fraud or insane, treat your date-- even a bad one-- with at least the amount of courtesy you'd extend to a new professional acquaintance.

And never equate honesty with unnecessary rudeness or bluntness. That way lies bad karma.

Basically, just treat others as you'd like to be treated and try for a kiss no later than the second date if you really like the person.
posted by devymetal at 10:02 AM on December 23, 2011 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Whenever I go on a great date and tell my friends about it the next day, the first thing they say and ask is "wow that sounds great, so did he make plans to see you again?" and then I always pause and reply "Hmmm. No. Was he supposed to? I mean, he said he had a nice time and said he'll call me, but we never actually made plans."

So if you want to convey to the girl that you really do want to see her again, and you're not just saying it because it's the nice thing to say, make some plans with her for a second date during your first date. It'll make her feel special. Obviously, only do this is the date really is going awesome and if the girl seems into you as well and is responding positively to hints such as "I've been wanting to go to ____ museum/show/park."

A hug at the end of the good date (not a quick awkward hug, but one like you mean it) is always good, unless you guys were all touchy feely and holding back sexual chemistry during the date, in which case a kiss would probably good too. But that generally doesn't happen on first dates.

A quick phone call or a text the next day to say something like "I had a great time yesterday, your story about ____ was hilarious, look foward to hanging out with you again" is also great. Waiting 3 days is ridiculous. If I haven't heard from a date in THREE DAYS, then I know that he hasn't thought of me enough to spend a minute of his time to bother to say hello.

If you don't want to see the girl again, then just a "I had a nice time, get home safe" is enough, and try not to mention things during the date that you want to do, because she might take it as a hint that she should ask you to do these things.
posted by at 4:11 PM on December 23, 2011

« Older Down vs. cotton vs. silk blanket/comforter   |   Help me spread 1960's style cheer? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.