Our advice for successful dating

Article 9

First Date: What if there’s no chemistry?

So, they sound perfect on paper but your first encounter with a potential match leaves you feeling let down. Is there anything you can do or is it a lost cause?

The great thing about getting to know someone through an online relationship service like matchaffinity is that is gives you a chance to build up a rapport over time. By taking the affinity questionnaire, you’ve had the chance to think about your personality and values and what really matters to you in a relationship, so when you decide to meet your date in person for the first time, there’s a great chance that you’ll get along well. But if at your first meeting the chemistry isn’t quite there and you fail to connect in the way you’d hoped, how do you let them know they’re not for you? Should you rule them out of the running straight away – or is there a chance that chemistry might grow with time?

While your first (and possibly right) instinct is to rule them out of the running, it’s worth seriously considering giving them another chance. As you already know, first dates can be an incredibly challenging and nerve-wracking experience. The lack of initial spark between you might just have been down to the fact that your date was too nervous to relax and really be themselves.

A second meeting will give you the opportunity to meet under less stressful circumstances and enable you to gauge your compatibility more accurately. You may find the chemistry you thought was lacking is actually lurking beneath the surface, or that your initial gut reaction is wholly confirmed, but at least now you’ll be able to let the other person down with more certainty of mind instead of that nagging doubt.

The laws of dating dictate that you should always treat others as you would expect to be treated – it’s a good approach to life in general too. So, if you’re absolutely positive your date’s just not right for you, make sure that you end things in a polite and decent manner. There’s no need to be rude, mean or make-up an excuse for not wanting to see someone again. Just let them know as gently and honestly as possible that you don’t think you have a future together.

Saying something like “I hope you don’t mind my being frank, I’ve really enjoyed spending time with you but I just don’t think we click romantically,” is to the point without being unnecessarily callous. You might even be relieved to hear that they agree with you. If you’re genuinely getting on well and share the same interests, you may even walk away from the encounter having made a new friend.

Finish by saying something supportive and encouraging about their future dating search like “Good luck with your next date, I hope you have a great time”. In this way you are ensuring that there is no confusion on their part and that you leave them with a positive feeling about the future.

Naturally, if the other person seems surprised and upset or hurt that you have decided not to pursue the relationship, you should do your best to comfort and reassure them but don’t feel pressured or obliged to change your mind out of guilt. Give them a hug, remind them that it’s not personal, wish them well and say your goodbyes. There’s no need to linger as this will only give your date false hope.

Maybe the chemistry wasn’t right this time but at least you’ve learnt how to respond to an awkward situation with integrity and sensitivity. The next date you go on could tell a completely different story.

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