What To Do When She Doesn’t Want a Second Date

man woman dinner date

Women keep rejecting you for second dates. What can you do?

Our dating gurus give practical guy advice on real-life issues

His Question

Hi, Gurus,

I’ve got a very basic problem that I’ve struggled with for some time. Here it goes. What do you do if you go on a date and things seem good – only to find out later she doesn’t want a second date?

This has happened a few times to me and now it is starting to eat away at my confidence.

-Mister Embarrassed

The Answer

Hi, ME,

These types of situations are always tricky because they speak to the very core of a man’s self-esteem: Do women find me attractive? Do they like my personality?

Sound familiar?

Here’s the hard truth – being rejected for a second date sucks. I could sit here and entertain you with a bunch of psychological mumbo-jumbo but the reality is this: you put yourself out there and got hurt.

And so, it is like this – getting turned down for a second date is going to happen. Even if you are the most charming guy on the planet and look like Ryan Phillippe, and people perceive you as super confident – it still will happen.

This point is particularly true nowadays where dating apps like Tinder and OK Cupid act as conduits for initial contact. She sees your face and you view hers. The both of you survive being proverbially swiped. At some point, contact is made.

During the back and forth conversation, numbers are exchanged and an agreement to meet face to face happens. Yes, I’m talking about going out on an official date. It could be a quick coffee or something more formal like a dinner. Either way, it is still a date.

Upon meeting, you instantly realize she’s a knockout. Her flowing hair and contagious laugh pull you into her snares. Hoping not to let on how attracted you are, you keep the conversation light. In turn, she mirrors your behavior and sticks to surface topics, like what she does for a living and how amazing her friends are.

At the end of the date, confident things went extremely well, you suggest meeting again in the future – a second date. She agrees and you exit meeting believing something great is in the offing.

Except that’s not what happens.

When you call her and leave a message, you hear nothing back. After a day or two, confused about her silence, you decide to throw caution to the wind and send a text. The result is the same: silence.

Wounded and confused, you swear off the entire business of trying to meet new women and delete your apps. “I’m going on a dating holiday,” you tell your friends, believing that taking a break is the right course of action. Does any of this sound familiar?

The reality is a lot of men can’t stomach rejection. From early on in life, guys are taught to win and conquer. Chalk it up to hyper-masculinity if you want but most people reading this know this dynamic to be true.

I’m super sympathetic to what you are going through. It’s only natural your self-esteem becomes damaged after a girl says no. Stereotypically, we’re supposed to brush it all off and move on like some type of cowboy; rugged and strong with the ability to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.

The reality is most of us aren’t built this way. Instead, we have feelings – like we are supposed to. And so, I’m here to say you should have a reaction (at least of some type) when you get turned down for a second meetup.

sad guySecond date rejection

What I’d like to encourage you to do is look at rejection differently. Believe it or not, you can grow from these types of experiences and come out of it feeling more empowered – or at least better educated. I’m not going to BS you and say that being told no is a pleasant experience, but it doesn’t have to make you turn into a hermit either.

The first thing to realize after getting turned down is that she probably doesn’t know much about you. Think about it for a moment. How well can anyone truly know another after a brief first encounter?

What a lot of guys do is engage in the game of musturbations. That’s a psychological term coined by Albert Ellis, the father of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy whereby a person jumps to conclusions. It goes something like this.

I must be unattractive because women are turning me down.

The “must” part of that sentence is the musterbation. It’s the tape you play in your mind repeatedly until it becomes your reality. And you know what else? That tape is highly toxic. That’s because, over time, it can lead to something even more toxic called learned helplessness (see hyperlink for more).

But here is the truth. When you go out on a first date, the person experiences a slice of you. Based on that interaction, they are guessing what you might be like in a relationship. Well, unless their agenda is something else, like a hookup, which isn’t that unusual with some folks – including guys.

Second date turndowns can be a gift

Regardless, it may be helpful to look at being rejected as a gift. Think of it as a moment for you to take personal inventory and revisit your marketing strategy – rather than a judgment of who you are.

Maybe it’s time to look reassess your wardrobe. Does it need updating? How about your cologne. Is it time to switch to a new brand that is less overpowering (see this men’s colognes page).

And what about your online photos? Do they need updating because the images are old and not an accurate snapshot of the here and now?

What can also be helpful is to ask for feedback from someone you trust. How do they perceive you? Think of this as an image consultation. Do you come off as boring? Uptight? Too eager? Knowing the answers may help you create change and sell yourself better. And let’s not BS ourselves – first dates are all about selling a commodity – in this case, you.

Let’s talk about your body. You didn’t mention it but I am thinking other guys reading this are curious about your physical appearance. If you look great and are happy with your shape, check this area off. But if believe you could make improvements, why not do so?

sharp dressed man talking second dateGuy Counseling has plenty of articles on grooming to review, as do many other men’s websites. Only you will know what is needed by taking an honest and accurate assessment of your physique. If you do this, the goal isn’t to shame yourself or get all self-critical. Instead, you’ll want to identify what is going right and then figure out challenge areas that need improvement. Make sense?

Look, I recognize what I am suggesting here may be vapid and shallow. In a perfect world, you would be judged on your positive qualities. But we don’t live in a perfect world – we live with the reality that women receive scores of suitors, and a lot of them are a-holes, and you’ve got to create the dynamic that demonstrates you are the cream of the crop.

Tough to hear what follows (perhaps) but when you present yourself in an undesirable light, you are literally doing your better qualities a disservice.

It’s kind of like being a product salesman. You go into the meeting looking like Scott Eastwood but totally turn off your target audience. Why? Because your handouts suck, your PowerPoint presentation is blurry, and you vibe out a lack of confidence. In the end, nobody is interested in what you’ve got to sell – even if it is awesome.

This is the same dynamic that takes place with a first date, which can lead to a “yes” or “no” for a second date.

But even once you take a step back and review the things we’ve explored here, like revisiting your wardrobe, your body, and your general vibe, you can still get turned down for a second date. Perhaps not as often but it can still happen. Then what are your options?

You need to allow for the possibility that the women you are meeting simply aren’t into you. Not in the sense that you are unattractive but instead, intuiting that it’s simply not a good match. Maybe you both have different interests. Perhaps she’s looking for something you can’t give. Who knows?

At the end of the day, she’s likely doing you a favor by rejecting the second encounter, thereby sparing you a drawn out and unfulfilling experience that wastes your time. Be grateful!

The trick is to not give up. Don’t let dating anxiety stop you from meeting someone. You’ll never connect with that special someone if you throw in the towel. Follow me?

Think you could use some dating tips? Email the Dating Guru at askus@guycounseling.com

About Brian Tomasio 8 Articles
Brian Tomasio is journalist specializing in men's topics. He enjoys writing about love, relationships, and wellness focused issues. Hailing from Norwalk, CT, he's a certified hypnotherapist. His interests include outdoor activities, strength training, and men's grooming. Follow him on Facebook