Here's When To Say No To a Second Date

In a time when ghosting after a first date happens more often than not, it can seem like a modern miracle to even get asked on a second date. Unfortunately, though, not every first date can (or should) lead to a second date. If you find yourself thinking "Should I go on a second date?", chances are there might be a few things holding you back.

A lot can ride on the second date: It's the prime time to see if there's any actual potential with a new partner. While it can be flattering to think someone wants to move forward with you, it's important to honestly reflect on the first date and ask yourself if it was really promising or just meh. While not every date can be filled with figurative fireworks — and truthfully many first dates are mediocre at best — it's still worth thinking hard about who deserves more time in your already busy schedule.

That's not to mention that dates can be costly — emotionally and monetarily — so it's not always in your best interest to agree to every single second date offer you receive. It might be painful to have to reject someone who's eager to see you again, but also consider that it will only be harder to end things after TWO dates instead of just one.

If you're on the fence, here are seven signs that you might want to delete that second date from your tentative calendar. But first, check out the latest episode of our Sex and Relationships podcast, I Want It That Way:

1. You Weren't That Attracted To Them

It may sound shallow, but I know from experience that it's almost always a waste to agree to a second date with someone who you just weren't that into sexually. Attraction is a major component of any relationship, and it's something that truly can't be forced or learned. Sure, someone might seem more attractive to you as you get to know them, but if you come away from a first date knowing the attraction wasn't there AT ALL, there's not a whole lot you can do to salvage that. The surest sign of this? A cringeworthy and/or passionless end-of-date kiss.

2. You Had an Argument

Yikes — talk about a red flag. If you've only been out with someone once and you've already had a disagreement, that doesn't exactly bode well for the future. There's a difference between a friendly debate or first-date banter and a flat out, huffy fight. First dates, as a general rule, should be on the lighter side as you get to know each other. It's no place for hostility and the inability to see eye-to-eye about important things. No one's perfect, but having an argument so soon would definitely give me pause and make me question whether a second date is in the cards.

3. They Made You Uncomfortable

Even if it was only a slight feeling for a fleeting moment on an otherwise good date, it's definitely not something to ignore. One off-color comment made in passing can be more telling than a whole evening's worth of "saying the right things." Whether it's a jab at your beliefs or an unsolicited and aggressive sexual comment, there's no excuse for making your date feel uncomfortable.

4. They Tried to Push Your Boundaries

Boundary-pushing doesn't always come in the form of repeated overt attempts to get you into bed: There are often a lot of little clues on a first date that someone won't respect your boundaries in the future. Whether it's being a little too touchy-feely or asking personal-bordering-on-insensitive questions, you shouldn't ignore your gut telling you that something is off.

5. You Don't Want the Same Things

This may not always be easy to ascertain after only one date, but in the event that you both touch upon what you want long-term and those things don't jive, it might be better to cut your losses. If one of you wants a serious relationship and the other is looking for something more casual, it's likely one of you will wind up getting hurt if you spend more time and get closer. Sure, compromise is possible, but it's more than probable that you aren't compatible and are just putting off the inevitable.

6. They Didn't Ask About You

Nothing is worse than a first date who's all about "me me me." Not that every person who rambles on about themselves is a textbook narcissist, but it's common courtesy on a first date to make sure that each person gets their fair share of say in the conversation. Proceed with caution.

7. You Aren't Excited About Seeing Them Again

Say it with me: I don't owe anyone a follow-up to a mediocre date. Don't feel guilty if things were just "OK" and the date wasn't enough to make you want to see them again. We've all got sh*t to do, and we don't have to make time for second dates just to assuage our guilt.

While it's not exactly a quantifiable feeling, really all you need to say "no" to date number two is a nudge from your gut telling you it's not something you're interested in. It's easy to talk yourself into giving your date the benefit of the doubt, but at the end of the day, it's your call how you spend your precious little free time. If you're unsure, don't sweat it — there are plenty more first dates to come.

Images: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; Giphy (8)