Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“I Keep Making Women Flee Away From Me on Dates”

I’m a guy who keeps hearing from ladies that they do not feel a “connection” with me. I usually am able to keep a conversation going, things seem OK, and then, all of a sudden, there seems to be an awkward pause in the conversation and I can see a brief blank look on my date’s face, she starts looking around, and then shortly thereafter the lady finds a way to make an exit, saying: “I don’t feel a connection.”

Is it really that easy to determine there is not a connection? I have had to work at almost everything that I have accomplished, so when someone says, “I don’t feel a connection,” I think this person is unwilling to make the effort to build a relationship. I am somewhat recently divorced, but I don’t remember thinking or hearing anything about making “a connection,” when I was younger and dating.

Is a “connection” like an energy or excitement? If so, how does one build the energy or excitement and make a “connection”? There must be some elements that are needed to ensure the “connection” is made, right? If so, what can I do to ensure “connections” are made?

P.S. I have been told by friends and others that I look much younger than my age and that I am a nice guy, so I can’t help but think that I should have more success at this dating thing. What is going on? — Wanting a Connection

Well, if you’re on a date with someone and things are seemingly going OK until an awkward pause after which the woman you’re out with starts looking for a way to make a quick exit, then you are saying or doing something before that awkward pause that is not normal. In general, even people who aren’t necessarily “feeling a connection” will wait until a date is over and the bill has been paid before they make their exit. If, on multiple occasions, women are giving you blank looks before they dart their eyes around for an escape, you are the problem, and the lack of connection is an excuse your dates use to quickly get away from you.

I promise you, it is not what you look like that is causing this reaction/rejection, so your looking much younger than your age is not going to save you. You are saying or doing something so inflammatory or threatening that it is causing women to flee your presence, and you need to do some self-reflecting to figure out what that might be.

As for your question about what a “connection” is in reference to dating: A connection is when you feel drawn to a person and believe the interest to be reciprocal. It can feel like an energy of sorts, but is most often a feeling that you’ve met someone you really like and want to get to know better, and you believe that feeling is mutual. You do not need to “put effort” into feeling a connection. It’s a natural, organic thing — it’s either there or it isn’t, and if it’s not, there is nothing to “build a relationship” on.

When a woman says she “doesn’t feel a connection” with you, she isn’t lying. But when she says it to abruptly end a date, she most likely isn’t giving the entire reason she’s leaving, which is probably that you’ve said or done something creepy. If it were only one woman who had done this, I might say that’s just her style, but when multiple women are reacting to you like that — in a way that isn’t typical (because leaving in the middle of a date isn’t typical) — YOU are the common denominator. You are the one who is doing or saying something atypical to get the reaction you’re getting. (And it’s not the woman’s job to tell you what it is you’re doing. It’s your job to figure it out yourself.)

The day before my boyfriend went to jail we got into a fight and he threatened me and I threatened him. There was no physical violence, but he thinks I called the police on him and I have not heard from him since he went to jail. How can I convince him that I didn’t call the police on him? I have told him many times I would never turn my back on him, and I still won’t. But I don’t know what to say to convince him that I love him and that I did not call the police. He has trust issues from his past, but I’m not his past; I’m his present and I want to be his future. I need some really good advice. — Not Turning My Back

 
I would think long and hard about being in the presence as well as the present-tense with a man who has a criminal record, makes threats against you, and doesn’t trust you. For him to believe so strongly that you called the police on him, he must have done or said something to warrant that kind of reaction. Maybe you SHOULD have called the police. At the very least, you should protect yourself and stay the hell away from someone who threatens you to the point that he worries you’ll turn him in.

***************

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy​(AT)​dearwendy.com.

42 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Ashley August 17, 2017, 10:01 am

    I feel for you, because there are so many reasons this could be happening. Do you talk about your divorce? Has it been less than a year? I would think twice too. I’ve stopped seeing some guys because over the course of talking, I just get the idea they don’t actually like women. Their Facebook is full of memes about how dumb women are when dating, how they never pick the “right guy” (you). Is that you? It’s not a nice look, and often the worst are guys who will say “oh I was just joking, I really think xyz. ” Or you maybe a hard core trump supporter in a city like Austin or Portland?

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  • avatar

    Moe P August 17, 2017, 10:01 am

    To the guy in #1: I date a lot. I am a lesbian so I date women. I can say there has only been one date that I left in a rather sudden manner. It is true you could be doing or saying something creepy OR it could be that you are going on and on about uninteresting things and finally they see their escape and leave. I have seen that many women DO seem to need or want a very fast highly sexually charged date and are not willing to give it a second go if it was fun but not enthralling, but when I tell someone there wasn’t a connection, what I am saying is that we seem to have little in common with the person. This includes chemistry but it is more general and widespread than that and i agree it is not something you can WORK at. My question is, do YOU feel a connection? Do you feel you have a lot in common and enjoy HER company?

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    • avatar

      RedRoverRedRover August 17, 2017, 10:14 am

      I don’t know, when I was dating I wasn’t looking for highly sexually charged dates. I just wanted a guy I had chemistry with, who I wanted to get to know better and could see myself getting sexual with a few dates down the line. But I never wanted to feel like the date was about hooking up, I wanted to get to know the guy as a person and see if I liked hanging out with him.

      LW, I have to agree with Wendy that if women are “escaping” dates before the natural end of them, then it’s something you’re doing. You must be saying something that makes them uncomfortable. If they were waiting till the end, when you would normally talk about seeing each other again, then I’d say you may just be having a run of bad luck.

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  • avatar

    Fyodor August 17, 2017, 10:39 am

    LW1

    I probably went on something like 150 dates when I was single and never had a woman flee mid-date. Something is going on that weirds them out.

    I would normally *never* follow up with a date like this-you normally leave people alone if they don’t want to go out. However, given that this is something that has happened multiple times, I would consider emailing a few of these women and asking them in as polite and non confrontational manner as possible if there was something you did that offended or upset them that caused them to leave so abruptly.

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    • avatar

      Ele4phant August 17, 2017, 11:27 am

      Eh – assuming these women felt creeped out or threatened enough to leave mid-date, he should not contact them again.

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      • avatar

        dinoceros August 17, 2017, 1:56 pm

        Agreed. If multiple women are doing this, it’s something he’s doing. And despite wanting answers, contacting someone that was so uncomfortable they had to leave before the date ended can be perceived in a lot of not-good ways. Even if he tries to be nonconfrontational, I think text communication is notoriously bad for conveying the right tone. I assume most women who leave mid-date are not going to respond, which is probably going to make the LW feel worse.

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  • avatar

    Northern Star August 17, 2017, 11:02 am

    “My boyfriend went to jail, and he won’t talk to me anymore.”

    GOOD! LW 2 doesn’t know when she’s won.

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  • avatar

    Essie August 17, 2017, 11:04 am

    I can’t imagine leaving a date midway through out of boredom, or a lack of chemistry. I’d feel like I was being rude and hurtful to the guy. I mean, I agreed to have dinner or coffee or whatever, I can survive being bored for a couple of hours.

    The only reasons I can come up with for walking out on a date, in my case, would be 1) the guy said or did something that made me fear for my safety, or 2) the guy said or did something so completely, utterly offensive that I wasn’t going to spend another minute in the same room with him.

    I’m curious about what the topic of conversation was before these women made a hasty retreat. Politics? Religion? Sex? Any of those are risky on a first date.

    It’s possible, sure, that you haven’t done a thing wrong and these women just aren’t feeling it. So..to answer your question about chemistry and connection. You’ve felt it, I’m sure. You can’t resist smiling when you make eye contract. The conversation comes easily, and the time passes quickly when you’re together. Maybe you have a shared interest that you can talk about for hours.

    How are you choosing women to date? Do you see a woman you find physically attractive and decide to pursue her? Are you using dating sites/services? If so, try changing it up a bit. Follow your interests, go to classes, groups or meetings on things you’re interested in. Get to know the women you meet there. If you’re getting along really well with one of them, ask her out for coffee.

    See what I’m going for? Figure out if you get along with someone before the first date. The connection will already be there.

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  • Miel

    Miel August 17, 2017, 11:12 am

    LW1 reminded me of the whole “FUCK YES!” or “No” concept. Either I really want to get to know this person, I’m excited thinking about them and our date, I can’t wait to see them again, and if they were to ask me on another date I would mentally say “FUCK yes I want to go on another date!”.

    Or if that’s not how I feel about them, then it’s a No. I don’t really want to put effort into getting to know somebody who didn’t make me feel excited and giggly after we first met.

    The description of the typical date from LW1 doesn’t sound like a “fuck yes” to me, at all. “Able to keep a conversation going”, but I want somebody who I can talk to for hours on end without realizing that any time has passed. “Things seems ok”, but I want to smile and laugh and have my date smile and laugh, or at least look really into me the whole time. “Awkward pause in the conversation”, I don’t even befriend people if conversations lead to awkward pauses. When I have a beer with some people from work and there are awkward pauses here and there, I probably won’t ever befriend them, nor see them outside of work. So if there were awkward pauses on a date, I would certainly not be inclined about going on a second date.

    “Unwilling to make the effort of building a relationship”. I have been in a relationship for six years now, and that didn’t require “effort” at any point. Every time we were faced with a difficulty where I could have said “you know what, I don’t feel like putting in the effort”, it never even crossed my mind. It felt like I had a choice in between breathing (being with my boyfriend) and not breathing (breaking up with him). It wasn’t difficult to chose and make the effort of “keep breathing”.

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  • avatar

    Kate August 17, 2017, 11:15 am

    Oh, come on, LW1. If you’re aware enough to notice this pattern, and the moment there’s an awkward silence (repeatedly), then you know what you did. Women don’t do that unless they’re offended or worried about their safety. Like other people said. We’re conditioned to be nice, so you’re doing and saying something that’s really inappropriate if you’re causing a series of women to bail on your dates. Talking about sex, violent thoughts, angry thoughts, your ex, politics, or anything too personal are all problematic. This is definitely you. The “I don’t feel a connection” is code for “you’re creepy.”

    And no, you don’t have to work at a connection.

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  • avatar

    Janelle August 17, 2017, 11:19 am

    Totally agree with Wendy that LW1 is doing something, likely very creepy or offensive for these women to flee, on a regular basis. I have left one date mid date for just this reason. Even if i felt no chemistry on other dates I would never have just left. Something is making these women uncomfortable.

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  • avatar

    LisforLeslie August 17, 2017, 11:34 am

    LW didn’t say he was on dates – he said he was chatting up a woman and then she would eye the room and then make an exit. That sounds like he’s meeting people in bars or other places but not a date, per se.

    That said – are you talking about yourself or are you asking questions? Are you asking really personal questions? Are you trying sexual innuendo after having met this person only a short time ago? Are you trying to one up: She broke a heel on the subway – you broke your foot? Any of those things would make me look for my friends or find an escape.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph August 17, 2017, 11:51 am

      Good catch. If you’re just walking up to women in bars then yeah maybe they just aren’t feeling the connection and that’s just life. Maybe they aren’t looking for a date, or they aren’t looking to date you.

      One other thing I noticed is that LW is very focused on catching/winning. He wants to force the connection, etc. What he should be doing is trying to decide if he feels the connection, too. It’s not just about finding a woman who agrees to date you, you have to want to date her, too. So maybe spend less time figuring out how to ensnare a woman, any woman who will give him the time of day, and more time trying to decide if it’s right.

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    • avatar

      ele4phant August 17, 2017, 11:59 am

      That’s a good point, he did not say he was on dates.

      All the same, it’s a little weird that he has an answer from them. Are they telling him they don’t have a connection? Is he hounding them for a reason they are leaving the conversation.

      Personally, if I meet someone and there’s an ebb in the conversation (full disclosure I’m a married lady, but still, I have random conversations with strangers I sometimes don’t want to continue, saying you don’t feel a connection is kind of a rude, presumptuous, thing to say. I usually say stuff like, “Nice meeting you, I’m going to go find the restroom/check in with my friend over there/some other soft excuse to leave”.

      That he’s hearing something so specific leads me to wonder if a) even if he’s not on a date he’s still creeping these women out to the point that they want to get away and definitively close the door on him trying to continue to talk to them or b) he’s pressing them for an answer, which come on dude, don’t do that. If someone wants to stop talking to you and gives you a reason that seems specious, take a hint that they’re not interested, let it go, and try for the next one. Don’t make them explain why they’re rejecting you.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy August 17, 2017, 12:03 pm

      Good catch! I assumed date because he talked about putting effort into building a relationship, and as weird as that sounds I’m relationship to a first or second date, it seems even stranger in relation to two strangers in a bar chatting. But maybe that’s exactly what he meant…

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      • avatar

        Kate August 17, 2017, 12:05 pm

        Yeah but if they’re not on a date, why don’t the women just say they have to get going? Why explain that there’s no connection if they’re not in a context where there’s a connection expectation?

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy August 17, 2017, 12:09 pm

        He also uses the word “dating” twice in the letter — “I don’t remember thinking or hearing anything about making ‘a connection,’ when I was younger and dating,” and, in the PS “i can’t help but think that I should have more success at this dating thing.” I really do think he’s on dates with these women, and I think he is saying or doing something to make them immediately flee the seen.

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    • avatar

      Lucidity August 17, 2017, 12:12 pm

      This was my interpretation as well – the LW doesn’t say he’s actually on dates with any of these women. I’m wondering if he’s approaching women he finds attractive on the street or in shops and trying to strike up a conversation. If so, I can understand why they’re making a break for it.

      As a woman, I’m always uncomfortable and on high alert when a strange man approaches me. I might reply politely to questions initially (maybe he just needs the time), but if it’s obvious he’s trying to chat me up, I’m immediately looking for an exit. I don’t care how attractive he is, I’m just not interested in being approached this way – and the vast majority of the women I know feel the same.

      If this is what you’re doing, LW, try meeting women in a different setting, where they will be more open to meeting you. There are myriad dating apps and websites that will connect you with women who share your interests. Many community centers put on singles events or have adult recreational leagues. You could also ask friends to set you up if they know of someone you might be compatible with.

      If we’re wrong, and these women are leaving mid-date, then I agree with Wendy and the commenters. You are doing or saying something that is either frightening or offending these women, and could benefit from some soul-searching.

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    • avatar

      dinoceros August 17, 2017, 12:36 pm

      I don’t think multiple women would end a conversation with “I don’t feel a connection” if they weren’t on dates, though.

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      • avatar

        LisforLeslie August 18, 2017, 3:00 pm

        My assumption, and it’s only an assumption is that he buys them a drink, they talk and then when she says it’s time to return to her friends he says something along the lines of “But I thought we had a real connection.” thus leading to at least two women saying “I am not feeling a connection” which then gets internalized as “All the women I meet say they don’t feel a connection”

        But again, assuming.

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  • avatar

    ele4phant August 17, 2017, 11:39 am

    LW1 – you’ve had multiple women leave *during* dates, as others have said, this isn’t about your dates not feeling a connection, its that they feel so threatened, creeped out, or offended, they want out of their as fast as possible and they think “I’m not feeling a connection” is a relatively, safe, inane thing they can say to high tail it out of their pronto. People, women in particular, are pretty socialized to be polite, leaving a date before it’s over is rude – so whatever you’re doing has to be bad enough that they are willing to forgo their social conditioning to leave.

    Think back, what have you been talking about before your dates left. Is there a common theme? Maybe talk it over with your friends

    I would *not* recontact these women to ask them; they clearly felt very spooked by you so they will likely not respond well to you reaching back out.

    If we’ve all misread and you’re getting the “missed connection” line at the conclusion of your date (maybe at the end, or when you call them to ask them out on a second date), they’re probably just being honest. Truthfully, dating is a numbers games, we aren’t going to have a mutual connection with most people we date. Especially if you’re not meeting women you already have a connection to (so if you’re mostly doing online dating or blind dates or something), chances are most people you go on a date with just aren’t going to have enough in common with to feel a connection with. That’s okay and normal, if dispiriting.

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  • Moneypenny

    Moneypenny August 17, 2017, 12:22 pm

    Yikes, I’ve been on many bad dates and I never left mid-date. And any time a guy has tried to chat me up somewhere, and I’m just not feeling it, I might make a polite excuse to leave (gotta go catch my bus, need to use the restroom, etc). Perhaps these women are getting the feeling that he’s desperate and trying too hard? That’s definitely something you can sense when talking to someone… I’m curious for more information on what was said before they left.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros August 17, 2017, 12:34 pm

    LW1: I am somewhat perplexed when a person is so baffled by the idea of not finding a connection with someone. Do you feel romantically interested in every attractive woman you meet who has a good personality? Do you feel an equal amount of attraction to every single woman you are interested in? Probably not. The feeling that tells you that you have a crush on someone is the same feeling that tells a person whether they have a connection with you. On a basic level, they’re saying they aren’t attracted to you. That could be physically, mentally, whatever. Unfortunately, checking off the boxes of “can carry on a conversation, being nice, and looking younger than you are” doesn’t equate to every woman you meet wanting to date you.

    You’re starting on the road of implying that you are entitled to have women date you simply because you have the aforementioned good qualities. Just as you have a right to not date every single woman you meet, they have the right to not want to date you too. Turning this into a judgment of them is not going to make you more dateable. But I’d agree that if multiple women are abruptly ending a date and telling you right there they they don’t feel a connection, then it’s probably something you are doing.

    LW2: You have a gift in the fact that your boyfriend thinking you called the cops is creating the space you two should be mature enough to seek out on your own. If you two get into fights like that, you have no business being in a relationship. Take this as a sign.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros August 17, 2017, 12:34 pm

    Also, LW1, do you really want a woman to keeping seeing you despite not enjoying it simply because she feels she’s supposed to work for a relationship?

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  • avatar

    ele4phant August 17, 2017, 12:36 pm

    LW1 – I do think we need more context on when/where you are hearing from women they don’t feel a connection (Are you on dates or are you just approaching them in bars/in public? Are they telling this to you unsolicited, or are you dragging it out of them?)

    I do want to address this though:

    I have had to work at almost everything that I have accomplished, so when someone says “I don’t feel a connection,” I think this person is unwilling to make the effort to build a relationship.

    I mean, relationships are work, yes. They do take effort to maintain, over time. But *initially*, it should be pretty easy and effortless to connect with someone. The ease in connecting with someone tells you if all the effort that will be necessary to keep the relationship healthy *later* is going to be worth it.

    So, yeah, these women don’t want to put effort to have a relationship with you because for whatever reason, they don’t think whatever is there between you now is worth it.

    That’s not a knock on their character or willingness to work on relationships in general, it’s just an objective fact that they are not interested in you. Move on.

    Also, pay more attention to whether *you* are interested in *them*. I remember when I was young and single, and I would get distraught when a guy wasn’t interested in me, because didn’t I deserve a boyfriend?

    But in retrospect, 9 times out 10, I realized I wasn’t actually compatible with those guys and wouldn’t have enjoyed being in a relationship with them anyways. And that they were clear eyed enough to see that saved us both.

    Usually when there’s an unrequited attraction, it’s actually because one person is hung up on the idea of the other, on the idea of being coupled up, not the actual person. You seem hung up on the idea of being in a relationship, so you’re not actually assessing whether you’re compatible with the real life women in front of you.

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    • avatar

      dinoceros August 17, 2017, 1:53 pm

      A lot of good points, and especially your last paragraph! If a person finds themselves on multiple dates (particularly what I assume are first dates) and they are all with women they are interested in dating and those women are not interested in them, it makes me wonder if they are just interested in literally every woman they go on a date with. Usually a person who experiences the other situation, where they are not interested in someone but the other person wants to see them again, doesn’t get too down on rejection because they know it’s a two-way street.

      I would also wonder why this person was not picking up on the fact that the date wasn’t going well. Everyone gets surprised from time to time, but when it happens all the time, then I also wonder if the LW is not looking at the women he’s meeting as individuals and thinking about their compatibility, rather than focusing just on having someone pursue a relationship with him.

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  • mjmaim

    mjmaim August 17, 2017, 1:12 pm

    I’m curious how long the LW has been divorced, and if he’s allowed himself to recover from the trauma that goes with divorce? If not, he may be bringing animosity, insecurity and other unidentified baggage on these dates with him which are a huge red-flag to most women. I would suggest you do some self-evaluation and make sure you are in a healthy head-space to get back into the dating world, which means you can be the type of partner that your future partner is looking for. I second the advice to talk to your friends and see if they are aware of any negative or creepy vibes you are unwittingly putting off.
    Also, you mentioned that you look younger than your age, which makes me think that is a “thing” for you and makes me wonder if you are attempting to date women much younger than yourself? If that’s the case, part of your problem could be that you are looking for a connection with people who are in a different stage of life, and you just don’t have enough in common.
    And lastly, work on eliminating frequent awkward conversations while you are on dates. People enjoy having conversations that:
    1. Have give and take….ask questions/show interest in the other person as well as feel comfortable to offer some related information/stories about yourself. When you ask a question, actually listen and wait for an answer before interjecting.
    2. Are easy going and free-flowing….relax and be comfortable with yourself (people are uncomfortable when the people they are talking to are uncomfortable), take some breaths between questions so it’s not like a hyper machine-gun of constant questions.
    3. Are generally friendly, upbeat and positive…..don’t go on a tirade of pet peeves, don’t be rude to waitstaff, don’t complain about your ex, don’t tell racist/sexist jokes, DO talk about things you are passionate and excited about.

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  • avatar

    Kate August 17, 2017, 1:20 pm

    LW1, Do you put on your profile that you’re younger than you actually are? Or use photos that are a few years old?

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  • avatar

    ele4phant August 17, 2017, 1:27 pm

    I can only think of one time where I left a date in the middle of it, it was after the guy used the n word.

    I’ve had plenty of lack-luster dates that I stuck it out for because, well, I didn’t want to be rude or even though I knew there wasn’t a spark, it’s not like I had anywhere else to be.

    So the bar (at least for me) to ditch a date mid-way through was pretty high. If you’re just a nice guy that I wasn’t really feeling, I would’ve stayed towards the end.

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  • avatar

    Lucy August 17, 2017, 1:29 pm

    Ok so I guess I’m the weirdo in that I have on several occasions in the past made an excuse and cut a date short. In those cases, it was one of three things:
    1. the guy said something so offensive that it was either leave, or get in a pointless argument with a stranger
    2. he was insufferably self obsessed and I wasn’t really even a participant
    3. he was in some way creepy, threatening, or inappropriate
    Either way, LW, it’s almost certainly something you’re doing. So pay attention. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. How does it feel for them to be experiencing your interaction?

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    • avatar

      ele4phant August 17, 2017, 2:24 pm

      I think you’re not weird at all.

      You have left, but only for pretty major reasons. You wouldn’t leave a date if you were so-so on a guy, but he was otherwise a decent person.

      So, if women are regularly leaving dates with this guy mid-way through, he’s probably doing something pretty egregious.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant August 17, 2017, 2:25 pm

        *don’t think

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    • Copa

      Copa August 17, 2017, 3:07 pm

      I almost left early on a date with a guy who laughed aloud when it somehow came up that I am liberal and vote Democrat. And when I didn’t laugh with him at my punch line –“Yes, I voted for Hillary.” — he stopped, and asked, “Wait, so you’re not joking?”
      .
      Even then I was able to finish my drink before telling him I had to get home. He seemed surprised when I declined to go with him to another nearby bar.
      .
      I know, I know — don’t talk politics on a date!

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  • avatar

    Tui August 17, 2017, 1:33 pm

    LW1, one thing that’s off putting (and admittedly there’s no indication that you’re doing this) is for dates to go for too long or to get too intense too quickly. DO NOT talk about your divorce or ex wife other than to acknowledge they exist, or ask her too many personal questions on a first date.
    Meeting someone for coffee is a good first date as there’s more of a mutual expectation that the date will last about half an hour, rather than drinks at a bar which can potentially keep going. This way the women have a natural out and won’t feel trapped if not feeling it.
    If you are having dates in bars, don’t drink too much alcohol, or try to get them to drink more than they want to.

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  • avatar

    AK47 August 17, 2017, 1:58 pm

    As a straight woman, a lot of times “I don’t feel a connection” means there isn’t sexual chemistry. For myself, if I don’t want to see you naked after one date I’m not going to waste either of our time since I personally can’t make it work with someone I’m not attracted to in that way. A lot of men don’t react well to being told “I don’t want to touch your junk,” so that’s the direct but safe way to express it.

    If you’re just chatting people up, as opposed to a date, they’re probably peacing out once they figure out they aren’t interested. Which is unfortunate for you, but thems the breaks.

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  • Copa

    Copa August 17, 2017, 3:00 pm

    LW1 – I have been on some bad dates, but have never left abruptly before. If that’s what is happening here, and it’s happening regularly, then yes, you’re the problem.
    .
    I am also surprised that YOU seem so surprised that not every woman you meet feels a connection to you. You don’t mention where you are meeting these women, but I am assuming online. As someone who has been out with quite a few men that I’ve met online, I have to say: genuine connections aren’t that easy to come by. I’ve been out with perfectly nice, normal, attractive (to me) men without feeling any connection. I’ve talked about this with my therapist, but I think it’s worth noting that what it feels like to make a connection is probably different for everyone. I’ve realized I look for things like a natural sense of ease with the other person, easy conversation (and if there are silences, they aren’t hugely awkward), someone who understands my sense of humor, etc. (A friend of mine loves just about any guy who showers her with attention. For her, that’s a connection.)
    .
    I think connections have a lot to do with chemistry, and the chemistry is either there or it’s not — it’s not really something you have to (or even can) work at.

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    Gwyneth August 17, 2017, 3:17 pm

    Here are some possibilities:
    Pushing the physical contact or even sitting too close

    Too many (or any bizarre) comments on her appearance including clothing

    Too much mention of any future with her, too many (or peculiar) compliments

    Too much (any) mention of your ex or wrong tone talking about your ex

    Anything offensive or too strong politically , conspiracy theories, vaccines , anything bigoted, religious , even negative stuff about things most people thing is bad is not a great date topic. Don’t mention Isis for example. Maybe don’t mention trump either.

    Questions that are too intrusive or personal

    Negative interpersonal situations (friends /family /boss ) from your past

    Suggestions for questions – these may not be amazing but they are unlikely to offend.
    Do you like watching or doing any sports ? Do you travel? What is your dog like? Do you like your job? Do you read ? Do you play any video games? Are you from this area?

    I suggest a coffee / tea date, so that it won’t be too awkward if anyone wants to leave.
    You mentioned you’re young looking, are you dating people your age or a lot younger ?

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  • avatar

    Janelle August 17, 2017, 6:59 pm

    Oh gosh I jut remembered this first date where the guy pulled out a pic of his ex wife from his wallet then said “ya that was a long time ago, she is fat and ugly now” so I had to leave her. I ended that right there. I also recall him trying, physically, to stop me from leaving. Major bullet dodged there.

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  • norabb

    norabb August 17, 2017, 7:12 pm

    Yeah I’d only leave a date like that, with the awkward pause and everything, because the guy said something really wrong.
    Examples :
    – he voted for trump
    – said something derogatory about women/his wife/children /another race or religion, etc

    Honestly I can’t think of another reason.

    I suggest reading everything Doctor Nerdlove writes (doctornerdlove.com) bc he writes a lot about this topic. He has a good handle on what it’s like to date from a man’s perspective especially in terms of how to approach women, how to get a second date etc

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  • avatar

    Anon August 17, 2017, 10:36 pm

    LW1, I don’t mean to be offensive, but have you considered you may be on the autism spectrum? Women abandoning first dates with you, and your seeming inability to understand what they even mean by “connection” are big red flags to me.

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  • avatar

    Leslie Joan August 18, 2017, 3:29 pm

    Anon, thanks for writing what you did. I was wondering the same thing. There’s something just kind of strange about the letter, as though all it takes is for there to be reasonably good looks on his side, someone of the suitable gender on the other, and all it takes is work, and voila, you have yaselves a relationship. There needs to be some spark of shared interests and attitude, something in common and something intriguing about each person to the other to make a person want to spend more time with you, even if you *aren’t* saying creepy things. People bond over shared interests, but even that is not so simple.

    I’ve declined to meet people I didn’t feel a connection with. It wasn’t because they were creepy, it’s because we had nothing of interest to share. If she met you without talking with you by phone beforehand, this might cause her to bail.

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  • avatar

    Miss MJ August 20, 2017, 9:28 am

    LW1: You need better friends. Or at least more honest ones. Or maybe you just listen to your honest friends. Trust me, if multiple women are ditching you mid-date, there’s something off about you and your friends know what it is. I’m guessing you should pay attention to what comes after the “but” in “You’re good looking and a nice guy, but…” because that’s your problem.

    LW2: If your primary relationship worry is how to convince your boyfriend that you didn’t call the cops on him, your relationship is a hot mess and you’re better off without him.

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