What to do after the first date is over

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Calling after the first date

To call or not to call? Knowing how to act after a first date, whether good or bad, can be a minefield. Happily, leading dating blogger Paul Thomas Bell is here to help

For many people, going on a first date is a rather daunting prospect. Feeling that you have to literally build yourself up to the day in question is common: the outfit, the destination, the hair, what to talk about. I remember, as a teenager, writing a list of topics all the way up my arm – seems like a good idea until you forget about it and accidentally roll up your sleeves!

But when it’s all over, what happens next? Do you message? Should you call? How long should you wait? There’s a lot to think about.

Bad first date – is it over?

Firstly, let’s look at the worst case scenario – the date went terribly but you still really like them. So often I hear about people building a great rapport online only to have nothing to say to one another in person. How you deal with the aftermath of a bad date is an individual choice. Do you want to cling on to the online magic that got you excited in the first place, or has that one awkward encounter made it too difficult to try again?

In any circumstance, I’d always say wait at least two days before you do anything. So often we make decisions in the heat of the moment only to realise that things can look quite different in the morning. The purpose of these two days is to establish whether or not you’re still thinking about them. Well are you? If you’re not, then it’s probably best to just move on. It may have been good online, but does that really matter if it isn’t going to work in person?

Great dates can be tricky too

The second, more positive, scenario is, surprisingly, a little bit trickier. So, the date was perfect and you can’t wait to see them again! Why is this tricky? Well, when it’s good we dither, we over-analyse, we question every second of every day that passes by without hearing from them – ultimately, we’re scared to blow it.

In life, I’m a big believer that what’s good for you, won’t pass you by, but I realise it’s difficult to feel quite so nonchalant when it comes to dating. With this in mind, go back to the two day rule. Trust me when I say that if a man likes you, you will hear from him, so you can wait for him to make the first move if you’re more comfortable with that.

Play it cool

How long someone waits to message you after the date is a great indicator of how it really went. Ever had dates in the past that you thought went really well, but the days that followed suggested otherwise? If you do message first then I don’t blame you, it’s hard to hold back when you’ve had a great first date. However, under no circumstances, message twice if they haven’t responded to your first message. Until you’ve established exactly how to move forward – and if a second date is likely – then you shouldn’t be afraid to play it cool and just a little bit hard to get. And once that awkwardness is out of the way, you can concentrate on just enjoying yourself!

Of course, the ideal is that everything post-date flows naturally and you won’t need to think about any of this. However, that’s often easier said than done, as many of us know all too well. Remember dating should be fun – it should enhance our lives, not make them more stressful. Try not to give too much away too soon, but still be you, enjoy getting to know this new person and, if all goes to plan, get ready for some exciting times ahead.


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