Five Times You Should Say No to a Second Date

After the first date, you could be left on a rollercoaster of emotion. You wonder what your date thought of you and think about how the date went. Sometimes first dates go well and you can’t wait to ask or to be asked out for a second time.

But if the hour or two that you’ve spent together over dinner and drinks have left you wondering if you should say yes to the second date, take time to discern whether or not you should go out again.

Here are five good reasons to say no the second date (and not feel guilty about it).

They Spent the Whole Date on Their Phone

There’s nothing more annoying than going on a date with someone and realizing they’re already in a relationship with their phone.

Granted, emergencies do happen and sometimes we all have to excuse ourselves to take a call. But if your date is unable to put their phone down, it may just be scratching the surface of a deeper problem.

In their new book, A Mind at Peace: Reclaiming an Ordered Soul in the Age of DistractionChristopher Blum and Joshua Hochschild write,

“Today we are less settled and more easily manipulated, more often distracted, and more deeply worried than we were thirty years ago. These are not healthy developments. The loss of our mental and spiritual composure threatens all that is most important in our lives: our work, our ability to make decisions, our self-knowledge, and our relationships with each other and with God.”

As modern technology becomes more accessible in our everyday lives, we can see that our habits are contributing to our spiritual well-being, too. So while your date checking their social media for updates between appetizers is annoying, it could be pointing to a movement of their interior life as well.

They Were Rude To the Waiter

Rude To the Waiter

The way that your date treats others around you during your time together can reveal a lot about his or her character. But if he or she snaps at the waiter (or anyone who serves you that night), is impatient with how long it takes to get a refill, or makes snide remarks about the people around you, take their actions into consideration before saying yes to date two.

You may not know very much about someone after the first date. And even if he or she is incredibly polite to you, rudeness to others is a big red flag.

Like Doug Barry used to say,

“A person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter is not a nice person.”

You Don’t Agree On Big Issues

Not Agree On Big Issues

It’s okay to have healthy disagreements in conversation (in fact, the world would be in a better place if we were able to politely disagree with each other more often). You don’t have to agree with every one of your date’s opinions on big issues like money, politics, religion and family.

But if you’re dating to discern spending a lifetime with someone in the sacrament of marriage, life together will be so much easier with someone who agrees with your values and stances on the big issues.

That doesn’t mean you should only go out with people who agree with you 100% on everything. In fact, you should get to know people who don’t agree with you and have different interests. You’ll gain better perspective from seeing where people are coming from.

But if you end the first date without being able to see eye to eye on the things you’re passionate about, you don’t have to feel guilty for declining date two. Faithfully living out the vocation of marriage will bring enough challenges as it is; there’s no reason to add on even more hardship by being in a relationship with someone who you can’t agree with when it comes to your standards and thoughts on big issues in life.

They Compared Your Date to Their Prior Relationships

Compared to Prior Relationships

If your date’s ex is constantly being brought up in conversation, don’t be afraid to decline the offer for a second date. If their past relationships are constant fuel for conversation, it’s a good indicator that your date hasn’t taken the time to process and heal from their old relationships.

Whether he thinks she was awful, or she can’t stop talking about how great he was, jumping into another relationship right now with you probably isn’t the best way to heal the old wounds from their last relationship. If he or she is still needing to move on from their last significant other, then they’re likely not ready for a relationship with you yet.

They Only Talked About Themselves during the Date

Talked About Themselves

If every other sentence your date said started with “I”, it may be a good idea to turn down the second date. Self-centered conversation could be an indicator of narcissism, which could lead to trouble down the road.

“One of the easiest ways to detect a possible narcissist is by listening to the way he or she speaks,” Preston Ni, a professor at the Communication Studies Department at Foothill College in Silicon Valley, Californiawrites,

“A pathological narcissist loves to talk about himself, often in exaggerated and grandiose terms. She is also someone who’s likely to dominate a conversation. Common conversational topics for narcissists include accomplishments and achievements (the trophy complex), exciting and envy-worthy activities, excessive focus on personal issues and concerns, excessive focus on looks and materialism, and putting others down to show one’s own superiority.”


That second date is so, so important. It gives validation to the other side’s benefits and features, and asks to see more, which you’ll receive—if you noticed how the first date went.