We’ve all been there: You go on a first date, walk away thinking you really hit it off, then never hear from the person again. Was it something you said? Should you brush it off and just assume your date is rude as hell? We’ve got answers for you. Below, dating coaches and matchmakers from around the country share nine simple reasons you were ghosted right off the bat.
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1. Your date didn’t feel the same chemistry.
You may have felt sparks right away but that doesn’t necessarily mean the feeling was mutual, said Jenny Apple, a matchmaker in Los Angeles.
“The truth is, half the singles I work with tell me they just aren’t physically attracted to the person they met and don’t feel the need to explain or hurt someone’s feelings with a text or call,” she said. “My advice is to not take it personally. For every person who doesn’t find you attractive, there are another few that do.”
2. You brought up your ex.
Don’t go to the dark side by discussing your ex or past relationships on a first date, even fleetingly, said Fay Goldman, a matchmaker based in New York City.
“No one wants to hear you wallowing or expressing anger,” she said. “Your date might start to picture themselves as the recipient of your anger one day and that will send her heading for the hills fast.”
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3. The date felt more like an interview
We all get worked up and antsy about first dates. There’s a lot on the line: This could be your person, the man or woman you go on to spend your whole life with. That may be true, but you’ll do more damage than good if you fire off a series of questions meant to suss out if they’re “the one,” said Neely Steinberg, a dating coach and the author of Skin In the Game: Unleashing Your Inner Entrepreneur to Find Love.
“Nobody wants to feel like they’re on a job interview when trying to make a romantic connection with someone,” she said. “Sometimes singles think they need to know everything up front about their date, but it puts the other person on defense and makes the flow of conversation feel a lot less organic. Keep it light!”
4. Your date is just a rude person.
The simplest reason your date didn’t text you back, according to Apple? They’re simply a rude, inconsiderate person.
“Most people who ghost are most likely either not ready to be a responsible and accountable partner or they have other priorities ? maybe they reconnected with their ex or decided they are going to play the field,” she said. “In any case, those are all reasons to be grateful you didn’t end up together.”
5. The date lasted too long.
There’s a reason coffee shops are common for first date spots: Drinking coffee doesn’t take a whole lot of time, leaving each person intrigued and wanting to know more about the other when the date is through. That’s the reason dating expert and author Damona Hoffman tells clients to keep their first dates under an hour or two.
“You want to leave the energy at a high point,” she said. “A date should feel like it’s ending in the middle. That way, there will be more for your date to discover about you if you see each other again.”
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6. You seemed less than interested.
Maybe you were on your phone all night, texting your BFF about plans for later in the evening. Maybe you didn’t make eye contact or spent the whole dinner looking like you had better things to do. Those examples are just the sort of disengaged behavior that turns people off on first dates, said May Hui, co-founder of Catch Matchmaking in Southern California
“Someone who doesn’t make eye contact especially can come off as aloof or uninterested and it makes your date uncomfortable,” Hui said. “Your date probably thought you were rude.”
7. You were late to the date.
Being late to a date is never a good look, said Samantha Burns, a dating coach in the Boston area.
“Everyone deals with traffic, getting stuck on work projects and second-guessing their outfit choices, but showing up late, especially without a call or text, suggests you’re not considerate of other people’s time,” she said. “Would you show up late to a job interview and expect to be invited to a second round? Leave yourself a buffer and be respectful of your date’s schedule.”
8. You’re burned out from dating and it’s beginning to show.
In our swipe-left-swipe-right dating culture, it’s easy to get cynical and tire of looking for someone worth your time. If you start to feel less than enthused about meeting new people, remind yourself that you’re entitled to be choosy.
“When you find yourself being ambivalent or cynical going into a date, it’s usually time to take a break, do some tweaking to your dating style and learn more about yourself,” said Deb Besinger, a dating coach who works primarily with women over 40. “My number one dating mantra is, ‘You have to be invested in the process or person without being attached to the outcome.’”
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9. You didn’t text them.
Remember: You have just as much a say in scheduling a second date as the other person does. If you want to see them again, let them know, said Laurel House, a dating coach and the author of Screwing the Rules: The No-Games Guide to Love.
“The so-called ‘rules’ have us so screwed up that sometimes you’re both sitting there wondering who is going to reach out first and then neither of you do because you’re waiting for the other to act,” she said. “Ignore ‘the rules’ and send a text the next morning to say ‘thank you for drinks and that you’d love to see them again.’ Sometimes, that’s all it takes.”
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