You come home from a first date thinking that you had a perfectly nice but lukewarm time and wondering why you felt no romantic sparks. Don’t give up on the guy too fast, says dating coach Laurel House, author of Screwing the Rules. Separate your “wants” from your “needs”. You might just avoid losing out on discovering The One.

Most women go on a first date looking for excitement. We all want a man who is charming and hot. If we’re going out on a second date, the first one better be spontaneous and fun. But if the thrill factor was low, don’t let expectations of instant romance blind you to your date’s value as a potential partner. Does he show signs of meeting your basic needs in a relationship?


Stop a moment and look at his behavior. Does he seem interested in you as a person? Does he ask you questions about yourself? These are good signs: he has manners, he seems like a happy man, he is considerate of you during your first encounter. These are warning flags: he was late in meeting you. He stayed on is phone texting throughout the date. He was rude to the waiters. He was instantly possessive or jealous of your male friends.

A first date should be about discovering who he is and whether you are on the same page. You need a partner who shares your core values and who respects you. You want a man who consistently shows that he admires and likes you. His communication with you should be open and honest.

“You get what you want all day and every day, and you will never be happy,” says House. “Get what you need, and you’re set for life.”

Forget about chemistry on your first date, she recommends. There are three things you need to explore, and the only way to learn is by giving the fledgling relationship more time than one date.

Keep dating him until you’ve learned:

  1. Where you both were.
  2. Where you both are.
  3. Where you’re both headed.

Take advantage of the first date to connect. House says conversation is the only way to connect with someone. “Talk about what you have done until now, talk about what you learned and where you are now because of those past experiences, and talk about what you are looking for,” she says. “Discuss your goals for the future and what your dating purpose is.”

“Let your second date be ‘on purpose,’” says House.

By the time you’ve discovered these three things, he’ll either be lighting your fire or not. Get to this point of discovery, and you’ll know if your futures could align. Passion may have broken out.

Even if your first date is lukewarm, these are the reasons to accept a second date. It’s hard to get all your values sorted out in the brief time you spend together on that first date. Give it time.

Read More: First Dates Don’t Matter