Mind & Body

Ask An Expert: How To Avoid Being Ghosted After A First Date

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First dates can be a bag full of emotions whether you had a mind-blowing time or not. There are the inevitable awkward silences, the cringe-worthy debate about who pays, and those weird moments where you think you are going to hold hands… but you don’t. And just when you think you have a *connection* with the other person, and you’re preparing for the next date: silence. It is a dating cliché that no one wants to deal with, but ghosting happens. And in the modern dating world, it is something to be prepared for.

Unfortunately, there is no foolproof method to stop ghosting from happening. If there was, you know that everyone would be using it. But, there are some things to do during and after your date to make the other person hopefully realize what a great catch you are if the connection was good on your side. And they don’t involve coming on too strong or getting creepy or desperate. We asked the experts how to avoid being ghosted after a first date. Try them out on your next date and remember that if things don’t work out, it is really the other person’s loss — not yours.

Leave Some Mystery

It can be hard to remain ~*mysterious*~ in the modern age of technology, but it’s simpler than you think. Dating Expert and VP of Dating.com Maria Sullivan says that this is a first impression, so keep that in your mind. “If you had a bad day at work, don’t go into detail about how you hate your job,” she explains. “Just say you have something on your mind but are happy to be with your date.” She continues, “This is an introduction, so you don’t need to reveal everything about yourself. Listen and learn more about the person you are with — it will give you intel into them and make you feel more comfortable opening up to them.” You’re not being TMI, but you aren’t being aloof, either.

Do Not Come On Too Strong

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What’s likely the number-one first date killer? Coming on too strong. So, if you’re wondering how to avoid being ghosted after a first date, do not be that intense person who’s got your whole relationship planned out on night one. Don’t jump the gun on the relationship, just let the feelings flow naturally like you would a friendship. Sex & Relationship Expert for TooTimid.com, Mackenzie Riel, points out that even if you’re really feeling your date, it can take longer for some to ease into a relationship, or decide how they feel about the other person, in general.

It can be tricky because she says that if you try to make future plans right away, you could potentially come off as rushing into things. Yet, showing immediate interest doesn’t automatically mean you will be shut out. Riel’s advice is to be you. “Playing games and trying to be somebody that you’re not can come off as fake and disingenuous,” she reasons. “You’ll naturally give off more confidence when you’re secure in who you are.” To add to that point, Riel says you don’t want to start a relationship based on lies because you’ll never have truth and honesty needed for it to be successful. So find the balance.

Don’t Overstay On The First Date

It might seem counterintuitive, but peacing out earlier from a great date is a good thing. First, it adds to the aforementioned mystery. Sullivan continues that when you leave a date sooner than you feel it would’ve naturally ended, you will avoid that awkward moment of running out of things to say or do. She says, “This leaves your date wanting more and nine times out of ten results in a follow-up.” Score! Those are odds we’ll take.

Carefully Consider A Kiss

To smooch or not to smooch? It’s a big question. Kissing definitely makes your feelings clear, but it has the potential to backfire. That’s why it is crucial to be in tune with the vibe of the situation. Riel says that if it seems right and you’re comfortable, a kiss can be a straightforward way to let the other person know where you stand. But, make sure you have read the situation as best as you can before the potential kiss.

If you’re not the type of person who kisses on a first date and/or makes the first move, Riel suggests telling the person you genuinely had a good time. You could add whether you’d like to see him/her again. Pay attention because Riel says this is the best time to get a feel whether the other person is interested or not.

Follow Up With A Text

Waiting for the other person to make a move? Puh-lease. “Either side of the relationship has the right to make the next move, but of course its effectiveness depends on how things were left off,” points out Sullivan. “If you want to see the person again and have a feeling it’s reciprocated, then you should definitely go for it!”

With that in mind, Riel suggests sending a text after a day or two if you haven’t heard anything. Talk about how you had a fun time on the date and you’d like to potentially meet up again. If they paid for something, thank them for that. Not sure where to begin? Riel suggests sending something like this: “Hey [insert name] I just wanted to say I enjoyed our date the other night, I’d love to see you again, if you’re interested.” Want to kick it up a notch? She says you can add a compliment like “you were awesome to talk to” or “you looked pretty/handsome.” The lines will help the other person know you truly noticed them.

Use Social Media To Your Advantage

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If you’re stressing about sending a text, you can use your social channels to convey a less direct message. Sullivan suggests posting a story that’s “timely, fun, and different that almost speaks directly to the interests of your date without actually calling them out.” For example, she says that if you were on your date and you spoke about how much you love museums, bring your friends with you to one and take a photo of the moment. If your crush doesn’t take the bait and respond within a week or two, move on. If all goes well, the post could reignite the spark.

Learn From Ghosting Experiences

We can try all the ways of how to avoid being ghosted after a first date, but it can still happen. Use those ghosted moments as a learning experience for future dates. Riel explains, “Look at the ghosting as a reason to see how you may be able to better yourself and the way you go about dating.” Sometimes it might just be a case of disinterest, but there could be an aspect of your approach that could be improved. Think about the previous points covered. Could you be coming on too strong? Are you not being yourself?

Put It In Perspective

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It can be hard to remember this when you’ve been ghosted, but you have to remind yourself that sometimes it’s just not meant to be, says Riel. That is just the way it goes. As attracted as you may be to a person, he/she just might not reciprocate. But, not every person is the same. Riel says think of the ghosting like you may be one date closer to meeting the one, the real one for you.

“Every single date that you have ever been on has been different – what you’ve talked about, done, and felt different things each time,” Sullivan states. “One ghosting experience isn’t applicable to all other dating experiences you will have. And even if you’ve been ghosted a thousand times, someone who is truly right for you will make sure that doesn’t happen; interpret those ghosts as blessings, leading you to the right person.” Preach.

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