Let me tell you a story about a first date I had a few years ago with a man I’ll call Sam. I drove into Manhattan to meet him. We had planned a fun day–the Museum of Modern Art to see the Tim Burton exhibit and a delicious Japanese restaurant for dinner.
Sam was handsome, there was a lot of shared laughter, and the conversation flowed. After dinner, he accompanied me across town to where my car was parked. He opened the door like a gentleman and gave me a good night kiss on the cheek. I’d say that date was a 9 out of 10! So, the next morning, I sent him a thank you note. That’s the polite thing to do, right? Not so much. Here’s why…
Why You Need to Stop Writing Thank You Notes After a First Date
Here’s what I wrote to Sam the morning after our date:
Good morning Sam,
Just wanted to thank you again for a delightful day in sunny NYC. I was inspired by Tim Burton, invigorated by the hub of the city, and satiated by the delicious food (that I didn’t have to cook, shop for or clean up after!).
Thank you for being a gentleman and seeing me back to my car. I enjoyed your upbeat personality. You seem like a guy who loves life, sees the bright side, and appreciates what’s real. I haven’t met many people who are as grounded and happy as you seem to be.
Hope you are enjoying another glorious day.
Nice email, right? We had a good time, and I wanted to let him know I was thinking of him.
Here’s Sam’s response:
I had a long day yesterday, but I did use my breaks to walk outside in the sun.
Thanks for driving into the city on Sunday for a fun day and for the complements in your email. I do try to stay on the positive side as much as possible! I hope you managed to avoid traffic on the way back.
Have a great birthday tomorrow and hopefully it’ll be another day without cookin’ and cleanin’.
We exchanged a few more emails and then he stopped responding. He disappeared. Why? I’ll never know for sure, but did you notice that there was no mention of how much he enjoyed meeting me? Nothing flirty or romantic in his response?
That’s because men, no matter how old they are, are hardwired for the hunt.
They like to pursue you, to know that they’ve ‘earned’ your love. But, I was chasing him. I was impatient. I sent him an email before he had a chance to email or call me after the date.
Sure, he was flattered by my follow-up thank you email, but he was probably also turned off just a tad. As great as the date may have been, the romance was dead in the water.
My date with Sam came to mind this morning when my client, Lily (not her real name) had a similar experience. She had just gone on her first successful date since her divorce. “This guy is a 5 out of 5”, she said.
They had such a great date, she sent a follow-up email.
Traditionally, I might write a “snail mail” thank you note for such a lovely evening. However that would take a long time to get to you.
Last night was fun, and I’m still smiling. While the food was wonderful, the company was better.
Enjoy the day and I look forward to talking to you soon.
Thanks for your kind and sweet note. I had a wonderful time last night. You are very compelling.
We need to get together again, so let’s talk in a couple of days and make plans. Any suggestions or ideas you may have are welcome and may even be accepted!
Take care and look forward to seeing you soon.
While his email was positive and included plans for an upcoming date, notice that he was asking her for date suggestions.
The danger here is that Lily is inclined to take charge in this budding relationship, just like she did in her marriage. But she’s tired of being the one in charge. She wants a man who can make decisions this time around. If she wants a take-charge man, she’ll need to do less of the planning and let a man step forward and take the reins.
In coaching, I have helped her become less anxious about relinquishing control.
She’s more confident with men. She is beginning to let go of the need to do everything in a relationship. She’s starting to let a man step up and show his desire for her.
Instead of emailing him back right away, I advised her to wait for his phone call. When she read his email again, she noticed that he’d said, “Let’s talk in a couple of days and make plans”. I told her it would be important to let him make the plans, even though he said he’d be open to her suggestions.
One of the keys to successful dating is learning more effective ways to interact with the opposite sex.
If your past relationships failed because of a pattern of behaviors, it makes sense to change those behaviors if you want to find love this time around.
So, don’t write a thank you note after a first date.
DO thank him at the end of the date for choosing the restaurant and treating you to a delicious meal. If you like him, tell him you had a great time and would like to do it again sometime. (Men don’t always pick up on your subtle cues.) If you’ve done all that, there’s no need to email him.
When a man likes you, he pursues you.
And when you call up a man’s inner hero and respect him for taking charge and making decisions, he will cherish you even more. Soon, he won’t be able to get you out of his mind. Be the woman of value who inspires a man to do what it takes to have you in his life.
How do you feel about writing a thank you note after a first date? I want to hear your thoughts.
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Dating at this age can be confusing and frustrating. That’s why Sandy created a fabulous coaching group, a community of women who meet via teleconference 2X monthly to learn about men, dating, and relationships after 50. Sandy helps you stay focused and positive towards your goal of attracting the love you deserve. Click here to learn more about the Inner Circle coaching group.