Over here at Maura Kelly Headquarters, we've been alerted to the fact that there's A SERIOUS PROBLEM out there in The Dating World.
To wit: Women seem to think it's perfectly okay to completely blow off dudes who ask them on a second date.
And their lady friends do not call them out on this behavior (unless their lady friends happen to be myself).
Whereas if a male tried to pull anything like this, women everywhere would be up in arms, picketing outside the fellow's house, and writing to the International Association for Blowing the Whistle on Caddish Behavior, asking to have the guy in question put on the Annual List of Men Who Should Be Blackballed from Human Society.
Know what I mean?
And yet--despite the way we all feel when WE are ignored in some way by dudes--we seem to think it's perfectly okay to pull the silent treatment ourselves.
In fact, over the last couple of weeks, TWO of my female friends have called me up, groaning, saying, "Ugh, so yeah, that guy from the other night that I was soooo not into? Asked me out for another date, of course. I'm just going to ignore him and hope he goes away."
No, ladies, no!
I will admit that back when I was younger and much more foolish, I too could get all arrogant and aggravated if a guy I wasn't interested in followed up with me. I'd diss him completely or wait a week to call him back or whatever.
Which is to say: I'd engage in DISRESPECTFUL BEHAVIOR!
Rather than being guided by the simple golden rule, that most imperative of categorical imperatives--treat others as you'd like to be treated--I'd act like a real nincompoop.
Why did I think it was all right to do that?
Perhaps it was because the man's affections made me feel so regal--so sexier-than-thou--that I lost my head and became temporarily insane by reason of being an ego-maniac. Perhaps it was because I thought the dude had to be an idiotic knucklehead if he hadn't picked up on the fact that I JUST WASN'T THAT INTO HIM and therefore it was okay to treat him like a subaltern. Certainly it was because, for whatever reason, my empathetic powers--which I like to think are pretty good in most circumstances--failed me completely.
Since then--cue the angels--I have seen the light.
These days, I handle it a lot better if a guy I'm not that into asks me on a second date.
Here's what I do:
1) If he asks me in person--at the end of the first date--I DO NOT REFUSE HIM POINT-BLANK, FACE-TO-FACE. Too potentially painful and awkward for both of us. Instead, I hesitantly say, "Sure." I might also be unable to keep myself from grimacing a bit. Then I mention that I'm pretty busy and that we should email to make plans for the next time.
2) As soon as possible onthe following day, I WRITE A POLITE NO-THANK-YOU NOTE, saying that while I enjoyed our time together--and while I think he is attractive, interesting, and all the rest--I just did not feel that elusive, ineffable chemistry thing.
3) Make an effort, in your note, to MENTION THE MAN'S GOOD POINTS. Come on--be the big person! What do you have to lose? And sure, in rare cases--as with that one dude went off about how all women are gold-diggers (opens in new tab)--there is really nothing positive worth saying. But most of the time, if you can't find something nice to say, the problem might be with you!
4) At the same time, BE FIRM. Don't say things like, "I'm too busy for a relationship right now, though you're totally great" or "I'm still hung up on some other guy" or whatever. Do not give him ANY reason to hope! Sever the ties cleanly and clearly.
In sum, let me just say to the chicks: Guys have feelings too! Why do we seem to forget--or willfully ignore--this at times? Please, be kind.
# # #
Lovelies--ladies and gents--you with me on this?
# # #
-dear J.V.: i think you should tell the girl that she knows where to find you if she wants to hang out again. then leave the ball in her court--and try to put her out of your mind. i'm sorry to say that i think it's not great that she's talking about her busy schedule when it's time for date #4. but hang in there, darling.
-babs: did you find the fan page on fbook? if so, thank you for joining! xxx
-mcgig: my friend D-Spech and I had a singles party somewhat similar to the one you suggest recently. it went really well! i'll blog about it sooner or later.
-and camerashy! please don't lose sympathy. i will talk more about me+second chances v. soon. like maybe tomorrow. and explain a little! but in the meantime, please remember that i went on a second date, very recently, with jacques manray (opens in new tab). and despite my serious reservations, i gave barnaby jepperbook a fair shake. AND and and ... i have a second date with someone this weekend. so ... ? come on. i'm trying.
-cali: i agree with you; the internet dating can get kind of tiresome, because people look good "on paper" (or on the world wide web) and then in person just don't seem so scrumptious. sigh. c'est la online personals.
-hi edwinna! i know. i wasn't hasty with any of them, i promise.
'Bachelor in Paradise' 2022: Everything We Know
There's a lot going on when it comes to 'Bachelor in Paradise' this year—but we probably won't get Lil Jon back.
By Jenny Hollander
'Manifest' Season 4: Everything We Know
It's official: The once-canceled NBC show is returning for a final chapter (or two) on Netflix.
By Jenny Hollander
Halsey’s Latest Eye Makeup Look Is a Lesson in Color Blocking
They only used three About Face products to get the look.
By Samantha Holender
The 50 Best Vibrators, According to Sex Toy Experts
The most trusted source in feelin' yourself.
By Alanna Greco
The 16 Best Sex Games to Spice Up Date Night With
Game night, but make it hot.
By The Editors
COVID Forced My Polyamorous Marriage to Become Monogamous
For Melanie LaForce, pandemic-induced social distancing guidelines meant she could no longer see men outside of her marriage. But monogamy didn't just change her relationship with her husband—it changed her relationship with herself.
By Melanie LaForce
Four Flirting Fun Facts--With Research to Back Them Up!
My pal Judy Dutton just wrote an excellent new book: How We Do It: How the Science of Sex Can Make You a Better Lover. She's chatted with me about the psychological studies that show how best to flirt; what kind of pick-up lines work best; and what you're really saying with your body language.
By Maura Kelly
100 Sex Songs That Won't Make You Cringe
Dim the lights and hit play on this sex songs — the perfect playlist of songs to have sex to.
By The Editors
75 Movie Sex Scenes That Are 100 Percent Real
These actors aren't faking anything.
By Mehera Bonner
33 Unexpected Valentine's Day 2022 Date Ideas
A.k.a. not dinner and roses.
By The Editors
The All-Time Favorite Sex Positions of 11 Real Women
"It makes me feel like the sexiest woman on earth."
By The Editors