I have been on some bad dates, some less “bad” than others, of course. Back in 2005, I went on a first date to a Mexican restaurant in D.C. for dinner. (That was the first mistake, if you recall from a previous post.) At any rate, my date was… how shall I put this… B-O-R-I-N-G. I consider myself to be an engaging, spunky person who can talk to just about anyone. But there were silences, and awkward ones at that. As I chomped away on my fajitas, I was planning in my head what I would say for the next at least half an hour. Finally, the date came to a close. I thought to myself, “Nice enough guy, but that’s it.”
The next day, in usual Erika-style, I sent my standard “thank you” e-mail. (What we did in the olden days before texting became the norm) He did pay for my meal, after all. I figured this would be the end of our communication. But then, lo and behold, he responded saying that he had a good time and then wrote something funny at the end of his e-mail. I thought to myself, “Hmm… this guy wasn’t funny at all on our date. Interesting.” And so, the e-mails continued, and they became wittier as the hours passed. And then they got pretty darn cute… until he asked me out again. What was a girl to do? While I didn’t have a good time on the date, this guy seemed interested, I knew he could at least communicate in written form, and well, I was free the night he asked. Oh, and I love baseball. (He asked me to go to a Nationals game with some friends.) Why not?
The day of the second date rolled around, and I remember sitting at my apartment’s pool studying for the GMAT with a friend. I kept telling her that I was not looking forward to this date. The hours passed, I finally decided to get ready, and off I went. We met in the metro, and he wasn’t as bad as I had remembered. In fact, he was kind of cute. When we got to the game, his friends were really friendly and inclusive of me. Two points. And then – against all odds – this guy was funny! It was as if I was on a date with a different person. We had a great night and even went out for drinks after the game. I liked this guy.
I found out many months later that he was nervous – very nervous – on the first date. We ended up dating for a year and a half. While he wasn’t the right guy for me in the end, I was so glad that I had gone out on the second date, hence the Rule of Two. Many people get nervous, or as I used to affectionately call myself on dates where I was trying to impress someone, “Weird Erika.”
The moral? Unless someone spits on you, picks his or her nose, offends you in some unforgivable way, or something made it undeniably clear that you are not meant to be, it can’t hurt to go on the second date. You never know what comes after the first unless you try.
Erika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, helping people find success in online dating and getting them excited about its possibilities. “Like” A Little Nudge on Facebook, or follow on Twitter. An archive of all of Erika’s columns is also available.
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