I like to give people the benefit of the doubt — sometimes to a fault. If I want to put a positive spin on this, I could say it means I am not totally cynical... yet. But I've definitely suffered a bit, thanks to my tendency to try and see the good in people always. That's been true with former friends and occasionally family, but, most of all, in my dating life. I've definitely learned some hard lessons, but what I've found is that if I keep a close eye out for red flags on the second date, I save myself a lot of misery, while still feeling like I gave someone a fair shot. However, as a caveat, this clearly doesn't apply to anyone who makes you feel emotionally or physically unsafe. In those cases, bail immediately. What we're taking about here are some of the more subtle signs that the person you're out with is not the one for you.
The reason I prefer making this call on date number two is because we've all slipped up on a first date, had one-too-many dirty vodka martinis, and had a momentary lapse in dating etiquette. On a second date, however, the first date jitters are usually not as strong, you're more relaxed, and you can actually start to see the person you are on a date with more clearly... which also means seeing ways that you two just aren't a match. There are many things that can go poorly on a second date, but here are six signals that let you know there probably shouldn't be a date number three.
1. Your First Date Red Flags Repeat
Everyone has an off night and makes the occasional first date faux pas sometimes, whether that's having too much to drink, showing up late, or talking about your ex a little too much. While none of these are good looks on a first date, repeating that behavior on a second date is damning. Whatever your personal red flag is, if it reappears the second time around, that’s not a red flag, it’s a red pattern. It's time to exit stage left, without setting up any further dates.
2. It Suddenly Feels Like You’re On A Date With Someone Totally New
If you ever find yourself on a second date wondering who this new person is front of you is, then, gurl, it's time to GTFO. Either that first person you met was an act or this person is. Either way, a lack of authenticity is a big red flag of some major underlying issues.
3. At The End Of The Date, You Know Absolutely Everything About Them — Or Nothing
If, as the date wraps up, you realize you've made it through two outings and either you know next nothing about who they are or you realize they were too busy talking about themselves to learn a single thing about you, that's a pretty clear indication that you need to nip this budding romance in the, well, bud. That imbalance of knowledge and sharing is likely an indication that they are either too self-absorbed or potentially hiding something.
4. They Get Too Serious, Too Quickly
So there you are on a second date, barely finished with the appetizers, and they are already talking love, marriage, and commitment. Yikes. This a sign that it’s time to call it a night... for good. Either this person is really clingy or they think that's what you want to hear and are attempting to manipulate you. Relationship and etiquette expert April Masini, of Relationship Advice Forum, told Elite Daily that someone dropping the L bomb too soon can make their feelings seem not as serious. "Hold out until you're both sure," she said.
5. They Start Getting Pushy
If, by the second date, they have gone full octopus and are not respecting your boundaries, that's definitely a signal that there should not be further contact. Anyone pushing you for more than you're comfortable giving gets an immediate disqualification.
"[It's a red flag] if your new partner doesn’t respect any physical limits you set about sex or intimacy," Brooke Bralove, LCSW, psychotherapist and sex therapist, told Bustle. "[For example] you tell him/her that you don’t want your breasts to be touched and they ignore your request to stop."
6. You Have Nothing In Common Except Attraction
So you have no common interests, life goals, personal philosophies, or morals... but they're just so cute! The chemistry is so powerful. Well, if you realize there is nothing there except attraction, you have a couple of options. You can go for the hookup if you’re happy with something casual, and you've made your intentions known. However, if you want something serious, it's time to call it quits.
While some of these signals will make their presence known right away, sometimes, it takes a second date for you to be sure. The key here is to trust your gut. Don't always excuse away the things you don’t like in an effort to be fair. Instead, focus on being fair to yourself by not settling for less than what you deserve.
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