You went out, you enjoyed your time, and now, after a first date, you're wondering what to do next? Call? Wait by the phone? Here's some perspective.
After a First Date: If You Had a Great Time
If you and a date hit it off, there's no reason to wait when setting up a second date. The ideal option is to call within a day or two. If you give it any longer than that, your date will assume that you really didn't like him or her, and they'll be looking for other people to go out with instead. (Or, at the very least, they'll begin to think poorly of you for making them wait.)
There seems to be some worry among midlife daters (men especially) about "looking too eager" when it comes to contacting their date. But who has time to worry about what someone may think? If it's one thing we learn in midlife, it's that being inauthentic is a waste of time. If you liked the person and had a great time on the date, follow up sooner than later.
Should You Send an Email After a First Date?
Email is a good way to feel out someone if you're not sure whether you liked them enough to go out with them again, or if they liked you enough to call and ask for another date. The trouble with email is too many midlifers use it to complicate things after a first date. They don't want to hurt someone's feelings but are afraid to be up front about their own.
If you had fun on your date and hope for a second one, say: "I enjoyed our night together and would like to do it again. How about dinner on Friday?"
Be specific when you ask for a date, rather than saying "we should go out sometime." Pick a date and a general idea of what you'd like to do. You can always change plans once you and your match decide where to go.
Online Dating: First Date Following an Online Meetup
If you met your match online, your first date was probably a coffee date, so in this case we're talking about the first real date. (Coffee dates are the answer to any first meeting.) In this case, an email is acceptable if you don't want to go out again because the majority of your relationship has been built using email.
You can say: "Thanks for a fun night, but I think we're probably not a good match. I enjoyed getting to know you, though, and wish you the best."
Always keep wording positive, even if you really didn't have a good time and really don't wish them the best. Remember, sending an email means someone won't be able to hear the kindness in your voice or see the sincerity in your eyes, so keep things upbeat and gentle.
Day After First Date Advice When You Didn't Hit It Off
In order to avoid hurting someone's feelings, you should call them say you enjoyed your night but you're going to date other people instead. You may see this person again and if you call you won't be ashamed to make small talk with them at some point later. An email (with the exception of online daters) would be considered too harsh for this purpose.
If you don't hear from your date within a couple days, then you can safely assume things just aren't going to happen for the two of you. Get on with your life by continuing to date other people, but check yourself if you start feeling resentment about the unsuccessful date.
The purpose of a first date is simply to see if you have enough in common to know more about the other person, and while a lack of chemistry may feel like a rejection, it really isn't. The more you date, the better you'll be at spotting the right person for you when he or she finally comes your way.