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Guy Tawk: The 2nd Date Debate


Art: Richard Vergez, Repurposed by Tawkify

Art: Richard Vergez, Repurposed by Tawkify

“There just wasn’t any chemistry.”

“I didn’t feel a spark.”

“No fireworks.”

When I started working as a matchmaker, I was sexist.

I assumed women were the ones to believe in love-at-first-sight. Shockingly, I have way more male clients who seem to fall for fate, expressing disinterest in second dates due to a lack of “chemistry.” 

Come on, guys.

Let’s think about first dates. You are meeting a stranger for the very first time, in a romantic setting. Pressure, much? You have to decide what to wear, how to style your hair and if you should wear cologne or not. Meanwhile, your date started getting ready at least 30 minutes before you did, and has to make a deluge of other decisions. Should she wear a skirt, pants or a dress? Heels or no? More makeup or less makeup? Hair-up or hair-down? She also has to outline her escape plan in case things get creepy (because, guys, we always have an exit route in mind on first dates, you never know!). To top it off, she’s probably wearing some sort of shaping underwear to exhibit the best possible figure, which also means she’s pretty uncomfortable.

Next, it’s time to get to the date. If you’re in a major city, you have to decide between taking a cab, the train or an Uber — all transportation methods in which punctuality depends on external factors. If you live in the suburbs or country, you have to worry about driving, traffic and parking. That’s a fresh batch of stress. Don’t even think about the added anxiety if something goes wrong along the way — causing you (or your date) to be late!

OK, you’ve finally made it to the date. With most matchmaking services, you don’t see a photo of (or speak to) your date before you get there. That in and of itself can cause the jitters! Next comes a flood of decisions-made and second-guessing: If I order the pork belly, will my date think I’m a pig? If I have another drink, will my date think I’m an alcoholic? Should I pick up the tab? There are so many choices to make, you can’t possibly focus on your date as a person. You likely aren’t even 100% yourself upon that first introduction.

It takes a while to warm up — if you warm up at all.

That’s my point, guys.

First dates are usually quite awkward. There is so much stress on both parties that true personality rarely shines through. Unless you have a knee-jerk “HELL NO” reaction to the person you just met, you should always give the second date a chance. To be clear — this isn’t about agreeing to a pity date, or anything to that effect. Second dates are an opportunity to actually see if there are indeed “fireworks” or “chemistry,” with less nervousness there to put out the sparks.  

Relevant here is the story of me and my husband, to whom I’ve been married for nearly thirteen years. We met on a dating website. I was five minutes late because I passed the turn to the restaurant — literally five minutes late. When I walked in, he wasn’t there. The hostess asked me if I was looking for someone, and I gave her the name for the reservation. I was horrified when she told me that he left. I turned to leave, and (luckily) he walked back in the door. I sheepishly followed him to our table, where he proceeded to interrogate me. (He’s a cop.) When we left the restaurant, I happened to have parked right next to him. He took a dozen roses out of his car, gruffly thrust them at me and thanked me for a nice evening. I felt NO chemistry — but I could see that he was genuinely a nice guy, so I went out with him a second time. Two children and nearly a decade and a half later, I’m glad I did.

You never know what introduction may lead to a relationship. If you’re matched up on a date by a matchmaker or a friend, there is a reason for it — they saw some sort of thread that would connect the two of you.

Going on a first date isn’t giving it a chance. Going on a second date is.

Candice Cain
Writer + Director + Professional Matchmaker at Tawkify

Learn more about Candice, here.


Professional Matchmaker, Candice Cain, thinks resources for men are often overlooked in the dating world. Through close work with male clients, Cain has crafted Guy Tawk — a column to provide single men with the coaching and advice they need and deserve. Welcome to Guy Tawk!

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