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Third Date Makes It Or Breaks It

February 15, 2010

What is it about that third date that is such a buzzkill? The excitement of finding someone mildly dateable who also sees you as possibly enjoyable has worn off. You’ve found everything you have in common and now its time for conversation based on something other than “getting to know you.”

It can go one of two ways: swimmingly or sinkingly. If it goes well, you discover a mutual love for people watching/judging or you can make each other laugh even when the topic is as thrilling as competing banana bread recipes.

If it goes poorly, you spend the hours of date number three consciously trying to will your eyes not to glaze over.

Irishman and me? We sank. We struggled through dinner, managed a few laughs but in general it was flat. I didn’t even expect to get an offer for drinks afterward. Once it came, I wished it hadn’t. So we went for drinks where the most riveting topic we touched on was the decor of the swanky sangria bar.

At one point I gave myself a pep talk in the bathroom related to trying to just bask in the accent. But alas, it just wasn’t enough. Our spark had been fire-hosed out. Like so many love interests for before it, my crush on Irishman has waned.

So what now? Being terrible at rejecting people, ending courtships is not my strong suit. Usually, now is the time where I let this limp along desperately until it bleeds out. But, being that this blog is for making changes, I will attempt to be an adult. What’s a nice way to say “Aside from the accent you are about as compelling as a box of kittens, minus the kittens.”?

22 Comments leave one →
  1. February 15, 2010 9:35 am

    I’ve always been fond of the “going back to my old boyfriend” story or just not returning calls. Oh wait, you are seeking an adult approach. Dang. Got nothing for you. Some adult friends of mine, however, advocate the following:
    “This isn’t working for me.” “I don’t think I’m the one for you.” “We need to talk.”

    Way to grown up for the likes of me.

  2. February 15, 2010 9:39 am


    Way too grown up for the likes of me.

    • February 15, 2010 9:51 am

      One time I did “I don’t think I’m right for you” and was rewarded with an hour long lecture about how wrong I was. Still scarred from that. I’m kinda digging the “Going back to the old boyfriend,” truth be told. No way he can argue with that.

  3. jenontheroad permalink
    February 15, 2010 10:11 am

    Honestly, I would tell him straight-up: “I like you, but I don’t think we have a romantic future together.” I am NOT good at rejecting people because I don’t like to hurt them, BUT in the long run it will hurt less for BOTH parties if you are just totally honest and tell him you’re just not feeling it. Trust me, if you lead him on (or he thinks you lead him on), he’ll be irritated at the very least.

    — @jstedham

  4. February 15, 2010 10:44 am

    Yeah, being honest is the best way to go. “I had a great time, but I just don’t see this going anywhere.” is usually sufficient. It’s the truth without the unnecessary negative comments and potentially hurt feelings. After all, you wouldn’t want a guy to tell you he didn’t want to date you anymore because he didn’t think you were interesting. Some other girl will find him fascinating, and there’s nothing wrong with him, he’s just not right for you.

    • February 15, 2010 10:55 am

      The zen approach. Loves it. He’ll be someone’s prince, just not mine. Maybe I’ll send him my old He’s Just Not That Into You post. (as if, men in my life must never know about this blog)

  5. February 15, 2010 10:52 am

    Guys have it easy… they can just NOT call back.

    Not returning his call for a 4th date would be rude.

    I always say, I’m sorry but I don’t think we’re a good match. Although, I’m always surprised by an offer for the next date when I clearly wasn’t interested.

    • February 15, 2010 11:57 am

      man i totally agree. i’m currently sitting on an Irishman text. waiting for genius to strike so i can write back with the perfect air of not-rude-but-not-interested-ness

  6. February 15, 2010 12:23 pm

    Maybe moving to Tibet and joining a monastery? No? Zero idea.

    • February 15, 2010 12:30 pm

      haha! ah yes, the standard moving-out-of-the-country-and-becoming-celibate excuse.

      maybe i’ll try the I-should-tell-you-I’m-scheduled-for-sex-change-surgery-but-would-still-like-to-pursue-this excuse and give him an easy out. at least it would take the onus off me.

  7. February 15, 2010 1:09 pm

    How about a cryptic, no-way-to-misconstrue-type text? Something like:

    “Listen…we need to talk”

    He instantly knows something is up. You are saved from having to see that realization register on his face. BUT you’re not guilty of breaking it off via text. Now the phone call will be easy.

    I’m a genius.
    And a shit.

  8. I don't have to leave my name... permalink
    February 15, 2010 1:25 pm

    Listen. Maybe Im just saying this because I spent my Valentine’s day COMPLETELY alone.. actually hearing from the guy I WAS dating and how he is not over his ex and how many excuses he can come up with for NOT dating me. I say to let love in man. It doesn’t always happen overnight and if you are too picky you could very well wind up like me.. so please… for your sake, and for your future children’s sake.. don’t write off the weird initial stuff you are going through right now. He could be a great person… sometimes you need to be patient and dig a bit. How about being super mysterious and being really busy until one day (Even if its out of boredom because he doesn’t have to know that…) you kind of wonder what Irishman is up to.. so call him. That way you never told him to take a hike so he is still a possibility. I have a new mentality in my life… NEVER cross anything out. Let the universe do that for me… because it knows who I might want to come around later better than I do.

    • February 15, 2010 1:33 pm

      hmm, i like it. the no burnt bridges route. i do often end up re-dating guys i’ve dated before. its my M.O.

      I wonder though, is it fair to him to keep him around just in case?

      • February 15, 2010 2:30 pm

        It is not kind to keep someone around just in case. Kinda selfish actually. Let him go find someone who will, in fact, be crazy about him. No one wants to be settled for.

        That said, if you are honest about not wanting to be exclusive, even not wanting to date, and you dig each other enough to stay friends…sure, who knows what can happen in the future.

    • Cousin Kitty-Cat permalink
      February 20, 2010 5:54 pm

      I couldn’t disagree more. We talk ourselves into plenty of relationships that aren’t good for us. If it’s not right, it’s not right. If it’s not right now, then it’ll come back sometime when it is right. You gave it 3 dates and even went out for drinks after dinner when you weren’t feeling it, just to see. He’s not a bad guy, so you’ll tell him you’re not interested in dating him anymore. He’ll be fine and you’ll feel better because it won’t be hanging over your head.

      • February 21, 2010 5:01 pm

        aint that the truth. i ended it and he was genuinely surprised. he’d be a good guy for someone else, but we just were headed no where.

  9. cyrae permalink
    February 15, 2010 2:16 pm

    Perhaps you’ve already “done the deed” and answered Irishman’s text … but if not, my $.02: first, if you can, determine whether you MIGHT like to date him again if the next time is not so boring/bad. If yes, then maybe you want to open up a DIALOGUE with him: tell him you’re feeling that the two of you may have run out of steam and see what he feels about that. Maybe he feels the same, but has a good idea about adding some excitement or interest into your dating plans. Just sitting and talking (even with the assistance of alcohol) can kill the momentum sometimes. But there are lots of “stories” of relationships that started off badly and evenutally started to spark.

    If, on the other hand, you didn’t enjoy yourself and/or don’t really want to put any more effort into it, then a nice, honest “Thanks, but I think I’ll keep looking” is probably best. And yes, definitely avoid providing any critique of him as a person … you don’t know him that well, and your focus needs to be on your OWN reaction to your dates-to-date. That way, there is less of an opening for him to argue with you.

    You can keep the $.02.

    • February 15, 2010 3:19 pm

      thanks for the tip. (i’m so punny!)

      good point that sitting and talking can be kinda boring even if you are right for eachother. maybe we need a more active date like bowling or trivia or cage fighting.

      i’m still sitting on this text. torn between whether to give it another go – worried i might just be doing that to avoid “the conversation.”


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