yawning catsDear Sandy,

Last week, I had a first date with a guy I met on Match.com. He was sweet, the conversation went pretty well, and he seemed to enjoy my company. We have a few things in common, such as having lived in New York City during our twenties. But I didn’t feel any chemistry with him. I’m just not sure if it’s worth giving this guy another try. What are your thoughts? Should I cut loose now or go out with him again?


Dear Erica,

Should I stay or should I go? Songs have been written about this age-old dilemma. I feel that your time is precious; so how much time do you spend with a guy before moving on – especially if he’s ho-hum like your Match.com guy? I have found that men are usually much better at this than women. They decide right away – either they’re attracted or not. If there’s some chemistry, they go out again. If not, bye-bye, baby.

Most women, on the other hand, were taught to give people the benefit of the doubt. They feel it’s harsh and unfair to judge someone too quickly. But this can lead to staying too long in a relationship that doesn’t work.

While I encourage you to continue to be open and kind towards the men you date, it’s also important not to waste time when you’re fairly certain there is no future.

If you had told me that you had fun with Mr. Ho-Hum, that the conversation flowed but you weren’t physically attracted, I’d tell you to get to go on a second date and see if the attraction grows.

But, it sounds like your date was not exciting and no real connection was made. You made it sound like going out with him again would be one step up from a root canal!

Here’s an easy way to decide if you should stay or go. Create the following three lists. They will serve as your checklists for 2nd date potential.

Three Lists for 2nd Date Potential

1. Your top 5 relationship values. List the top 5 values you must have in a relationship. This is about finding a mate who shares your way of looking at the world. Some examples are: finances – how you spend and earn money and how you speak about money, respect for religious beliefs, agreement on where and how you want to live (country life/city life, lifestyle), and agreement on parenting philosophy if you have kids or want kids or will share a blended family. It’s critical that you share common values in order to have relationship success. Find out what his relationship values are early on by asking the right questions. (Where do you want to live? Do you save money in investments? How do you practice your religion? What are your political beliefs?)

2. Your top 5 emotional needs. To make sure your emotional needs are met in a relationship, it’s important to get clear and identify your top five. Here are some examples of emotional needs that comprise a loving relationship: being cherished, understood, nurtured, connected, intimate, kind, shared sense of humor, affectionate, and accountable, and having each other’s back. Make your list. Then see if your date is on the same page and has potential to honor those needs.

3. The top 5 things you can’t live with. This is your must not have list. What are the five qualities you absolutely can’t live with in a relationship? These are the things you would get divorced over. Some examples are: addiction, lack of accountability, narcissism or other personality disorders, cruelty, lack of affection, inability to communicate well, self-centered, or greedy. After each item on your list, ask yourself, “Would I get divorced if my husband had this trait?”

Make sure that you haven’t included things on your list that are negotiable, like “drives a fancy car, makes a million dollars, is at least 6 feet tall, is built like Arnold Schwarzenegger.”

Erica, once you’ve completed your three lists of 5, post them where you can look at them every day. You will have an easier time deciding if your date is worth another try. Just go back and check your list after each date. You’ll quickly know whether to give that guy another chance or move on to find your true love match.

It’s important to spend time developing relationships that have potential. It’s equally important to move on from relationships that are merely a DETOUR from your path towards real love.

Readers, please share an experience you had with staying too long in a relationship without 2nd date potential.

For a copy of my FREE report, “The Top Three Mistakes Midlife Daters Make (and how to turn them around to find love now)” please click here.

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